(Collaborative) resources for decentralised organising – Richard D. Bartlett

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Resources for decentralised organising

🐒 Hi I’m Richard D. Bartlett! I’m writing a book about decentralised organising, finding lessons across diverse contexts, from social movements to formal workplaces.

I recently asked on Twitter and on a mailing list for examples of decentralised organisations that have a public, transparent, well-documented handbook that explains how they work (e.g. decision making, roles, communications tools, etc). The response was overwhelming so I’ve digested it into this page.

If you have more to add, please edit this page, contribute on Twitter, or email rich@thehum.org :heart_eyes:


Documentation from specific organisations

Toolkits & books

Generalised lessons about decentralised organising


  • Ayni Institute – training for social movement organisers. A lot of their training content is available as online videos, e.g. see the Momentum Webinar Series on the science of social movements, and the SWARM Training on decentralised organising.
  • Momentum “gives grassroots organizers the tools to build massive, decentralized social movements that aim to shift the terrain under policymakers’ feet”
  • Ulex Project – a residential training centre in Catalunya. They practice “integral activist training”, addressing the interdependent links between individuals, organisations, and cultures.
  • My little consulting company The Hum provides practical guidance for decentralised organisations.


I think the best structure for any organising effort must be custom-fit to its local context. I don’t believe in “one size fits all” solutions, but we don’t need to start from a blank slate either. My book is a collection of “patterns”, experiences that are common in all collaborative groups. Each pattern names a common dysfunction (e.g. unfair distribution of care labour), and a response (e.g. account for care work the same way you treat other work).

My approach to organisational development:

  1. 🏠 understand the local context for this org: history, relationships, intentions, strengths, obstacles, etc.
  2. 🌏 zoom out to a global view to find an appropriate frame of reference (e.g. #agile, #teal, #sociocracy, #coops, #designthinking, #artofhosting)
  3. 🔎 zoom in to an adjacent local context (i.e. another organisation that shares something in common with this one)
  4. 🏡 return home with lessons to inform the next experiment we’ll try

So the “handbooks” listed here are examples of local context (with much gratitude to the authors who make their experience transparent for others to learn from). The “toolkits and books” are global lessons extracted from local experience.


@patconnoly @toddhoskins @shareable @JPatrickDunn @patriciarealini @WCCWLA@adriennemaree @AyniTeam @UlexProject @pircuk @NEON_UK @jaimeyann @feminineist@staccoP2P @bcnencomu @mrchrisadams @350 @rhizomecoop @jdaviescoates@PlatformLondon @CFTransition @transitiontowns @awesomefound @sam5 @radicalthnktnk@Jas_Tribe @Sam_Applebee @randallito @CosechaMovement @roguesofa @Owoy@douginamug @neil @mattcropp @wearehanno

If you have more to add, please edit this page, contribute on Twitter, or email rich at thehum.org :heart_eyes: