Trustroots is organised like a do-ocracy and we embrace a culture of participation. We encourage each member of the community to use their right to take on responsibilities. We understand that not everyone is comfortable with this way of working right away, but we think it's a good way to move forward in a volunteering environment where no one is forced to do anything.
Trustroots Foundation and Volunteers
- Ideally the foundation does as little as possible, just whatever is legally essential to ensure longevity plus basics of volunteer and member happiness.
- Ideally volunteers do what makes themselves and members happy.
- Some level of discussions and politics are inevitable to avoid creating cliques that exclude others. Meetings and discussions aren’t the goal within itself though, they’re just means to an end.
Organizations that work in similar ways are Burning Man, Rainbow Gatherings etc. It's also a very common way of working for online projects, especially in free open source projects (which Trustroots is as well) and wikis, for example Hitchwiki.
We value an attitude of getting things done. Arguments about minor issues shouldn't get in the way of the work and achieving more important results. Where suitable we believe decisions should be taken by those who do the work.
Another term that is very much related to do-ocracy but got out of fashion is adhocracy. Most of the concepts and ideas around adhocracy apply just as well to Trustroots. According to Wikipedia
Adhocracy is a flexible, adaptable and informal form of organization that is defined by a lack of formal structure. It operates in an opposite fashion to a bureaucracy.
We have so far managed to avoid votes and voting. We prefer reaching consensus.
Not: "I can do whatever I want"
It doesn't mean: "I can do whatever I want", it's more like "I can choose how this thing we discussed is done".
It's also important to consider impact and reversibility when you want to do something. For example, editing the Wiki is not going to have a huge impact and can in most cases be be done without any discussion. Check here how to create an account, log in and click edit.
At the other end of the spectrum, implementing references requires advanced coding and UI/UX and is going to impact almost everyone and is almost impossible to revert. In such cases discussions, consensus and collaboration is essential.
Some organizations are using similar principles:
Other hospitality exchange networks have different structures:
- BeWelcome is a democracy, with regular voting and discussions. Official French non-profit.
- CouchSurfing was run by a small group in a sort of oligarchy. In 2011 they became for-profit and up for grabs for venture capital.
- Hospitality Club is probably best described as having been a dictatorship from the start. No official organization, sole proprietor.
- WarmShowers is a US non-profit with the 501(c)(3) charity status. It's run by a board of 5 members with little clarity about community involvement.