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The Many Faces of Circles

A number of books have been published recently that illustrate the many moods and nuanced meanings that the word "circle" carries. For example, The Circle Wayby Baldwin, Linnea, and Wheatley, says modern group processes that are open to collaboration or to flattening the hierarchy are based in some way on circle practices. As organizations of all kinds move increasingly toward shared and rotating leadership, they are calling on the circle model to form sustainable teams and adopt circle-driven group processes such as World Café, Open Space, and Art of Hosting. Meetings in the round have become the preferred tool for moving individual commitment into group action. This book lays out the structure of circle conversation, based on the original work of the co-authors who have studied and standardized the essential elements that constitute circle practice. It takes readers through a circle visual (the Components of Circle) and presents both structure and story so that readers understand how these elements come into play and how they interrelate and interact.

Interlinked Circles

Here is a critic's write up of another book, Calling the Circle. It has become one of the key resources for the rapidly-growing "circle" movement. For millennia, women and men have gathered around campfires to decide the key issues in their lives. Today, groups everywhere are discovering a new form of this ancient ritual for communication, mutual support, teamwork, and social change. Christina Baldwin offers this powerful new tool to everyone who longs for a community based on honesty, equality, and integrity. In this simple, profound practice, participants sit in a circle, pass a talking piece from person to person, and speak and listen from the heart. Baldwin gives detailed instructions and suggestions for getting started, setting goals, and solving disagreements safely and respectfully. She also offers inspiring examples of circles in action: a women's group, a father and son in crisis, a PTA group that averts a school strike, and a work project team that accesses a new level of creativity and caring.

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  • The Many Faces of Circles
    A number of books have been published recently that illustrate the many moods and nuanced meanings that the word "circle" carries. For example, The Circle Way, by Baldwin, Linnea, and Wheatley, says modern group processes that are open to collaboration or to flattening the hierarchy are based in some way on circle practices. As organizations of all kinds […]
  • Evolution of Circles
    Dynamic Governance uses a circle governance structure. Circles are both a basic form and a practical concept that keeps evolving. We can see the deep values we place on the basic form in a poem called Circles by Hafiz, the Twelfth Century Persian poet. It contains a number of lyric sentiments such as "All the hemispheres in heaven.. stitching themselves […]
  • Magic, Belief, and Sociocracy
    What do magic and belief have to do with dynamic governance Lots! It's natural that every day by consent we make most of our decisions based on belief. For example, say you're in a nice café at lunchtime and you order a nice cup of coffee to finish off your meal. Do you worry that the coffee […]