Resources for Decentralised Organising

I’m writing a book about decentralised organising, finding lessons across diverse contexts, from social movements to formal workplaces.

I recently asked the hivemind for examples of decentralised organisations that have a public, transparent, well-documented handbook that explains how they work (e.g. decision making, roles, communications tools, etc). The response was overwhelming so I’ve digested it into this page:

the Mega List of Resources for Decentralised Organisations

I’m sharing it here in the hopes that it is useful to you, and that you may have things to add. Who are your favourite bossless companies? What books are essential to your understanding of self-management? Do you know of any social movements organised with a transparent structure?

The document is openly editable, so feel free to update it there, or comment here with suggestions.


For those who don’t know me: I met some Edgeryders at the Reef in Brussels, then joined this community when @hugi started this thread about my #microsolidarity proposal. I’m from Enspiral, Loomio and The Hum. More about me on my website. :slight_smile:


This is really useful @richdecibels, thank you for compiling! I think @brooks will love this.

Aw, Edgeryders (with a link to Alberto’s writeup) is in the list, too :blush: Thank you!

And I think @patrick_andrews will find this resource interesting and might have pieces to add from his work around Human Organizing.

Well done, @richdecibels, thanks for writing it!

My little consulting company The Hum provides practical guidance for decentralised organisations.

Is there a market for this kind of training? I always wondered, and now I’m curious.


Thanks @matthias. Yes, this is very useful. Apart from anything else, I am just starting on a first draft of an operating manual for Human Organising Co, and was looking for good precedents. I knew about some of these but many of them are new to me.

And @alberto we are currently testing the market to see if there a demand for such training. I think a few years ago there was not - but there has been an explosion of interest in distributed organisation, triggered in particular by Laloux’s 2014 book “Reinventing Organisations” (which has sold over 3000,000 copies). We ran a couple of events on “next stage organisations” last year and had no problem attracting participants. Lots of large companies are looking at this stuff now.


Warm support and positive recommendation for @richdecibels from me!


Yep, I’ve made most my income in the past two years by offering training workshops to the general public. We get about 20-30 people into a room for 4-8 hours. Some fraction of them then hire us to work with their organisation, e.g. in an advisor or coach role, or hosting team retreats. A sold out one-day workshop can net €5000.

It’s growing into a good business, we keep steadily increasing our fees (while doing a lot of pro bono) and there’s reasonably high demand if you’re willing to travel through Europe. Some of our distinctive features:

  • more lived experience within decentralised orgs than most consultants
  • extensive networks due to Loomio & Enspiral
  • super engaging participatory pedagogy (blog)
  • agnostic about what is the “right” structure; we’re not strongly opinionated about what your group should look like, just that you should talk about it together and make something that works for everyone

In 2019 we’re focussing on deeper engagements, e.g. I want to see if we can get about 5 teams of about 5 people to share the cost of a 3 day intensive learning retreat, going deep on their own org challenges while building networks.

My hunch is there’s a good business model in a more “program” approach. E.g., get people into a small cohort, connect with each other with a few online calls, give them pre recorded video content, and then bring them physically together for a couple of days. Maybe it takes 6 weeks or 6 months in total.


I’m obviously a little partial, but there are the Dream Prototyping and Consensual Do-ocracy processes of the Borderland. I’ve added it to the list.

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Excellent list, and I’ve just purchased your book. Currently, I am working on a project with the City of Athens, which just won the designation of European Innovation Capital for this year, with the entire focus on social innovation. One of the major issues is the creation of a decentralised and self-organised framework that can embrace the large number of innovative social initiatives in the city and that could help safeguard and develop social innovation in a city with weak public authorities whose main focus is on maintaining essential services in a context of severe financial hardship. A combination of economic and social crises in Athens since 2011 has generated a large number of projects developed by civil society organisations, social movements and creative individuals. Many of these remain quite fragile. An umbrella organisation created to help support such initiatives is called SynAthina, a community platform which may be of interest to you. Some information in English is available at
Your skills and experience would be very valuable. If you want to hear more and talk about this, please contact me @bob


Thanks Bob. I’m trying to keep my head down here in New Zealand to finish that book asap. Back in EU in March so happy to talk then :slight_smile:

It would be indeed very interesting to hear how cities learn about decentralization.

@richdecibels have you consulted for public institutions too?
My experience has been at times encouraging, but also disappointing. This kind of learning seemed to be embedded in a project involving a community, and less for internal skills and capacity building.

I have done a tiny bit of city work, advised the Mayor of Seoul and hosted a workshop with officials there. South Korea and Taiwan are pretty advanced. Nearly no one in the West is paying attention unfortunately.

I think a lot of big institutions have such low collective intelligence they need oversimplified answers. Unfortunately most of the wisdom of decentralised organising is in the nuance, so it gets lost in translation. And of course you can’t learn much in a culture of fear and risk aversion that most public bodies are stuck in. By their organisational design choices, many institutions prevent learning.


Sure. Let’s do that. Enjoying reading your draft. Do you work with Appreciative Enquiry techniques. I use that quite frequently when working with organisations

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Very interesting, noted.

When we started out with Edgeryders, we considered this. Many orgs complained they are too hierarchical, and would like to think like a network. We are a network, so we could sell the expertise, right? But I, personally, never got around to actually putting together an offer. The implications for the power structure of rewiring an existing org (as opposed to starting a new one from scratch) are profound. Most corporates will balk when faced with the hard work and the disruption. I was worried to end up like one of those design companies giving “design thinking” workshops; they do a brisk business, but they appear to have a very limited impact on how their clients operate. The bargain seems to be: give your employees a fun, interactive event with lots of colorful post-its. In return, no one rocks the boat, and after the workshop we all go back to Monday morning meetings and emails with 50 people in cc.

If I found a “client zero” willing to take the risk, I would like to try taking a unit and re-organizing its information and decision flow, then seeing how it does compared with a control group. Yeah, that’s really likely to happen :slight_smile: