Establish a General Circle


We have officially consented to establish a general circle as of June 27th, 2021.

Detailed Proposal

Next Steps for General Circle

  • Executive directors convene general circle (see Circle Lead description)
  • General circle revise sub-aims and domains of department circles (use this checklist)
  • Select circle leads to convene department circles
  • Circle leads convene department circles
  • Department circles revise and consent their own aims and domains
  • Department circles select delegates
  • General circle consent to delegates, and to revised versions of aims and domains
  • Create updated version of circle structure (and make plan on how to update it as time passes and the organization evolves)
  • Select operational roles as needed

Next Steps for Internal Comms
Set up General Circle in accordance with updating circle workflows


Our team has really grown! As a result, we now have so much operational work going on that it no longer makes sense for the Mission Circle to have so much of an operational role anymore. How exciting. :slightly_smiling_face:

This will impact the Mission Circle, the leads and delegates of current sub-circles, will require clear definition of purpose and aims, and discussions within the Mission Circle.

This is an example of how Sociocracy for All has differentiated its Mission Circle from its General Circle

SoFA Mission Circle

  • Purpose: To make resources for learning and implementing sociocracy accessible to all.
  • Aims: Keeping the organization true to its mission.

SoFA General Circle

  • Purpose: To ensure the effective execution of the overall aims for the whole organization
  • Aims:
    • Coordinating and supporting the operations of department circles in keeping with the organization’s Vision, Mission, and Aims
    • Holding department circles accountable for their missions, aims, and domains and supporting them in their work
    • Setting (and consenting to) the aims, and domains of the department circles


Continue meeting Sundays at 1:30 PM but switch off General and Mission Circle meetings. Example:

  • January General Circle
  • February General Circle
  • March Mission Circle
  • April General Circle
  • May General Circle
  • June Mission Circle
  • July Break
  • August General Circle
  • September General Circle
  • October Mission Circle
  • November General Circle
  • December General + Mission Circle (maybe this is a good all team space, actually?)

Have an Adult Board Chair and Youth Board Chair, similar to how we have an Adult Executive Director (aka General Circle Lead) and Youth Executive Director.


Propose to
Mission Circle leads (Rachel and Michael)
Governance implementation circle
Current Mission Circle members
All circle leads and delegates given that they’ll be the members of the General Circle
Determine who holds what membership within the two circles
Rename #_general-coordination in Slack #_team and clearly define it as space for people to discuss topics with everyone on the team. Meanwhile, we also create a separate #general-circle Slack channel for only members following the General Circle work. The renaming helps differentiate the two.


Conversation on Sociocracy for All Facebook Group

Forming the General Circle video

Related Projects

1 Like

@Carlee123 Here’s the proposal I just discussed with you!

Hey! Some questions about your proposals: under your proposal, General Circle and Mission Circle would be the same collection of individuals (members), but just meeting with a different agenda when meeting as General circle than as Mission circle? And how often does the mission circle currently meet?

Nope! In my proposal the Mission Circle and the General Circle have different members! To clarify I edited the first post in idea to include

Determine who holds what membership within the two circles

The challenge is that currently we don’t have a General Circle. Up until now, the Mission Circle served also as the General Circle. See our Mission Circle notes and you’ll notice that our meetings were basically split in half. Half of the meeting was department circle updates (typically a General Circle agenda item) and the other half was about things like our strategy (typically a Mission Circle agenda item). This is a function of how our Board/Mission Circle was traditionally a working one.

Right now once a month. My current idea is that when we create a General Circle, the Mission Circle moves to meet four times a year instead. I think the Mission Circle can eventually meet once a month again like Sociocracy for All’s Mission Circle does, but right now my best guess is that we don’t have the capacity to do that. I certainly don’t have the capacity to do that since I’m in almost every circle right now, as is my co-Executive Director (aka General Circle lead), @Far-Pritte.

@Far-Pritte I just added this idea from our last check-in to our overall Establish a General Circle proposal.

What if the general circle was sometimes a general assembly? Check this example out.

March 2021 General Assembly

The Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council (MACC) is hosting our next General Assembly this Friday, March 12th via Zoom. As well as a place to introduce new members, GAs are where we discuss current topics, report back from our various Working Groups, and coordinate to build support, awareness and capacity around new projects and important initiatives. During covid, these assemblies have become even more vital to ensure communication and visibility across diverse Working Groups.

We encourage those who are new to MACC to call in, join orientation at 6:15 (it’s okay if you have to come late) and to participate in discussion. MACC organizers will happily connect you to Working Groups and familiarize you with projects. In or out of a GA, we are happy to meet with and help introduce new people to anarchist organizing in NYC!

MACC assemblies are open to all anarchists and those interested in anarchist ideas and organizing so please invite your friends!

As always we will confirm the building of an agenda at the start of the assembly and on Loomio. We aim to directly connect the GA to ongoing organizing. Please feel free to volunteer important projects and key topics alongside our usual report backs and working group breakouts.

We encourage everyone to come with ideas about what they would like to see for future campaigns or actions and what direction they’d like MACC to take to build a more powerful anarchist movement. Especially in our current context in which renewed attention has mixed repression with incredible struggles for racial justice, abolition, and a humane economy.

The orientation is the same meeting ID and you do not need to attend a separate conference call.

For more information visit or contact us at

MACC’s safer spaces policy is available here, please read before attending if you can:
MACC gifs are available here:

Here’s really helpful example language from Sociocracy for All! Thanks Ted.

SoFA’s organizational structure is based on a series of interlinked circles. The specific pattern, including the purpose (aim) and area of responsibility (domain) of SoFA circles, is on the website: SoFA’s organizational structure.

Circles are classified as follows:

1. Mission Circle.

a. Aim: Holding the organization true to its vision and mission

b. Domain: Most abstract view of SoFA: long-term vision, a place for dreaming, fiduciary, strategic and generative responsibilities

c. Tasks:
1. Supporting the General Circle (through review, advice, and research)
2. Reviewing the budget and any changes in the aims of SoFA made by the General Circle
3. Willing to shake things up in SoFA or support stability in SOFA according to organizational needs. especially by providing connection to the outside world
4. Reflection on the work and strategies of SoFA, and feedback to the General Circle’s Leader and Delegate.
5. Bring in state of the art theory/research/experimentations that can support action and further connection to outside world
6. Hiring/supporting/advising/reviewing performance/removing the Executive Director/Operational Leader of SoFA
7. Ensuring there are program and financial reviews

d. Terms of Office/Composition
1. 5-9 person circle as selected by the existing Board, except that the organizational operational leader and at least one delegate is selected by the General Circle and confirmed by the Mission Circle.
2. staggered two year terms with terms ending in October with no limit on number of terms

2. General Circle. The General Circle is responsible for carrying out the organization’s mission and aims, including the effective implementation of the governance system. The General Circle assigns operational work and policy making to Department Circles.

The General Circle is responsible for:

a. the well-being of the Department Circles
b. resolving any gaps or overlap in domains of Department Circles
c. making policies in any areas not otherwise delegated to Department Circles
d. maintaining the logbook and ensuring that the Policy Manual, including governance policies, are kept updated and periodically reviewed
e. the flow of information among the Department Circles, the Mission Circle and the General Circle
f. supporting long term planning & visioning for the organization
g. reviewing and revising the aims of the organization
h. Managing the overall budget process and approving the rolling budget
i. selecting the organization’s operation leader, to be confirmed by the Mission Circle.

The General Circle is composed of the leaders and delegates of the Department Circles, and the organization’s Operational Leader.

3. Department Circles: The Department Circles are the primary set of circles that divide up the entire work of the organization.There are preferably not more than five Department Circles so that the General Circle is small enough for meaningful dialog and ease of scheduling.

4. Subcircles: Subcircles are circles that are created by a parent circle (either a Department Circle or another subcircle) to focus on a particular portion of the parent circle’s aim and have a specific domain of responsibility.

5. Helping Circles: Helping Circles are temporary circles created by an existing circle to research and recommend actions or policies to the circle that created it. A Helping Circle can also carry out specific, short-­term work assignments. A Helping Circle can also mean that two or more circles meet together for a limited time.

Helpful excerpts from


6.1 Authority

Within the requirements of the laws of [jurisdiction], the board, as the top circle of the Organization, shall manage and direct the business of the Organization with full power to engage in any lawful act unless otherwise limited by these bylaws.

6.2 Responsibilities

The board is responsible for ensuring that the Organization, as a non-profit organization, is acting in accordance with the public trust and any laws that govern non-profit corporations. Other responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

a. Setting and overseeing the execution of a strategic plan,

b. Ensuring fiscal responsibility,

c. Maintaining long-term viability,

d. Generating new ideas and directions, and

e. Maintaining connections with external persons, organizations, agencies, and any other bodies necessary to the development and functioning of the Organization.

6.3 Composition

The Board shall include:

a. The managing director (the chief executive officer)

b. One or more representatives of the general management circle

c. Three or more expert directors as defined in § 6.5 Expert Directors

d. Other directors as determined by the board


We’ve officially established our general circle! Consent was reached at our June Board / Mission Circle Meeting.

Topic now closed.