Holacracy is a social technology for governing and operating an organization. The necessary power is distributed and allocated to specific roles to carry out specific responsibilities. This distribution of authority takes the decision-making burden off of one person such as a manager or CEO. In an arcology of well-being, holacracy will mean the formation of a new social structure that sets members free to reach their full potential without the need for supervision or pressure from a “boss. Holacracy within an arcology is specifically designed to create order within the arcology without all of the domination and control that goes with hierarchy; with some higher than others, some having more authority than others.
The best way to think of holacracy is a living breathing human made up of a group of cells, each with a clear membrane creating a boundary that defines what's inside of it and outside of it. There is a clear energetic exchange from cell to cell such as collaboration, service exchange, lending and borrowing, food provided, assets or properties owned together, and projects that more than one cell may be working on together. We might think of groups of cells within the arcology as organs, bone structure, muscle power or offspring. The most important factor that will define the success of an arcology or a project within an arcology is that the roles are so well defined that no one is confused as to where the distinct lines are drawn of what they control, what they do not control and what others are depending on them to do.
The holacracy decision-making process creates and defines the roles necessary to make the arcology run smoothly, produce more than enough, and disperse its abundant overages. Once the roles are defined, each with their domains and responsibilities, the next task is to find people who are capable and committed enough to take on the roles. When the arcology roles are populated, at this point the members are free to begin the process of designing spaces, acquiring property, and building an arcology. They will not be required to ask permission about their own responsibilities because there will be no “manager” to ask. An autonomous domain is granted to each role along with tasks, assignments, responsibilities or decision-making authority needed to carry out those responsibilities. This means that the authority that would have traditionally gone to a CEO is broken down into processes that are distributed to those who are on the front line of that role. Rather than distributing “work” to some and “authority” to others, each role meets certain expectations and the authority to carry out those expectations are packaged with them. People working on the front lines are in a better position to drive improvements on a moment to moment basis than authority figures who spend their time elsewhere.
About 100 core roles within the arcology of well-being are defined by the needs of the arcology members such as food, shelter, clothing, water and power, health care and child care. Like applying for any job, these roles will be filled through an interviewing process. Those who fill one of the core roles will bring their families and close friends. This is where a Contribution Agreement comes in. Family and friends who don’t fill a pre-defined role will offer a Contribution Agreement based upon the unique gifts, talents, education and experience they bring. Contribution Agreements are a tool used by each member to map out a life for themselves living and working in the arcology.
A Contribution Agreement is a declaration of intent to serve the arcology and gives members a way to communicate how they plan to improve the lives of those in the arcology. One person might offer to fill several roles using their expertise or experience. One might offer products, services, or ideas that will make the arcology a more enjoyable place to live. They will estimate how much of their time will be spent on each part of their Contribution Agreement. Their life purpose will emerge and develop as they transition from capitalism to a contribution-based economy. As members write their Contribution Agreements they will commit to their agreements with all of their hearts. They will not require a “boss” or a supervisor to enforce their offerings.
Contribution Agreements are written during special workshops that are designed for this purpose. During this workshop they will be taught the ins and outs of an arcology and will begin to envision how their unique gifts and talents could benefit the arcology the most. The people who offer the Contribution Agreement Workshop will be trained to craft the agreement in such a way that will bring the highest level of Career Well-Being to the person writing the agreement while at the same time meeting real-world needs of the arcology at the same time.
Holacracy and Contribution Agreements help to define what is controlled by an individual and what is controlled by the arcology as a whole through consensus. It also does a good job to define what is private and not included in the arcology management at all, such as family matters and family decisions, financial assets, and intellectual property. It goes along with the old saying, “Good fences make good neighbors.” The arcology self-governance begins as a system of 7 “Circles. The Circles correspond with the objectives for each of the 7 Objectives. Each circle is a team with a team lead. Each circle controls its own functions and activities. Filling a major or minor role will depend upon your ability, experience, education and passion to meet the responsibilities of that role.