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Sociocracy in co-operative organisations

Co-operatives using Sociocracy

Many co-operatives in the UK have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, sociocracy. Four examples are shown below.

Equal Care Co-operative

Equal Care is a multi-stakeholder platform co-op in the social care sector. Established in 2018, Equal Care was founded to put power back into the hands of those who give and receive care and support. The co-op designed its governance structure based on all four pillars of sociocracy: Circle working, a double-linked Circle structure, open elections and Consent Decision Making. Equal Care was influenced by the Netherlands Buurtzorg model of self-management, which has its roots in sociocratic processes.

More info: and


Outlandish is a fourteen-member worker co-op in the tech sector, and co-founder member of CoTech - the network of UK technology co-operatives. Outlandish adopted Consent Decision Making seven years ago and introduced Circle working a couple of years later. Its members are enthusiastic advocates of sociocracy for its ability to bring clarity, efficiency and a high level of ownership to decision making and co-operative working. More info available here (Sociocracy for All – Outlandish case study)

Unicorn Grocery

Unicorn Grocery is a 70-member worker co-operative in Manchester practising collective governance (i.e. all members hold director status and take Board-level decisions collectively). The co-op began implementing sociocracy in 2018 to accommodate a growing membership. Unicorn has adopted three of the four elements of sociocracy - Circle working, Consent Decision Making and open elections. Instead of a double-linked Circle structure the co-op has chosen to adopt a form of networked sociocracy, using single links and retaining all-member meetings in lieu of a Mission Circle. General Meetings remain the sovereign body of the co-op. More info available here (Sociocracy For All - Unicorn Grocery case study)


VME Retail Systems converted into a worker cooperative as an Employee Ownership Trust, making it the largest such conversion in the software industry. VME has 36 employees located in three countries and has successfully integrated sociocracy. More info:

Other examples

Many other co-ops have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, one or more elements of sociocracy into their governance systems, including community-owned pubs, platform, multi-stakeholder and worker co-ops.  At the time of writing, July 2021, they include:

  • Bristol Cable – community-led media co-op
  • Chorlton Bike Deliveries – multi-stakeholder co-op
  • Ethical Consumer – multi-stakeholder co-op
  • Fox and Goose – community-owned co-operative pub
  • InFact Digital Co-op – worker co-op
  • Infinity Wholefoods – worker co-op
  • Platform 6 – platform co-op
  • Third Sector Accountancy – worker co-op