Circle Forward Vision and Purpose

We envision governance systems that are designed for complexity, equity, resiliency, healing, regeneration, and well-being.

These systems are grounded in mutual consent and care. They honor our relationship to ourselves, our ancestors, future generations, and all life.

Our Prevailing Governance Systems are Falling Short

It’s likely the statement above isn’t a shock to you.

The systems around food, energy, healthcare, education, and criminal justice (to name a few) are generating unacceptable, negative consequences. They aren’t creating the community or planetary wellness and resilience that we need.

Many organizations attempt to solve these deeply entrenched issues, and real change requires a whole systems approach. We are recognizing that we are fundamentally interconnected and, therefore, interdependent. Our problems require us to collaborate like never before. The dominance hierarchies that led us here, passed down as they were from our dominance culture, are unable to lead us out.

Collaborative Networks are Offering a Path Forward

People across communities, public agencies, organizations, and businesses are coming together, working in multi-sector networks, and networks of networks, sharing resources and building trust.

From grassroots to grasstops, these networks are aligning our most creative strategies toward common goals. (See our FAQ “Why are networks important to systems change?).

A Liberating Governance Structure for Collaborative Networks

Circle Forward supports networks and networked organizations to co-design and integrate systems of consent-based collaborative governance that are fit for purpose.

Together, we co-design practical and adaptive ways to govern, make decisions, create inclusion, distribute power, and empower diverse leadership.

We have a mission to equip leaders and social innovators with the skills, practices, and tools for collaborative network governance.

We guide people in multi-stakeholder networks to unpack the challenging, interconnected problems our communities face today. The skills, tools and practices of consent-based governance open up dialogue and creativity within the collaborative networks we support. They change the status quo on the inside, by changing norms and and how they make rules.

Our approach is not linear – we look for patterns. One pattern that shows up in consent culture is the circle. It is indigenous and ancient. It represents inclusion among members, parts that form a connected whole, and cyclical processes. Water cycles, seasonal rhythms, and the spiral of a shell are natural patterns that we mirror in practices for governing with consent.

In collaborative networks, which are naturally non-hierarchical and complex, consent-based governance provides the kinds of structures that help in navigating systems-level change.

At Circle Forward, we use our hard-earned experience to help your network, and network of networks, put contemporary problems into perspective. We have the tools, skills, and resources to help you spark, navigate and sustain significant, meaningful change.

Let’s meet the transformational moment that is here, now.

We work with clients to co-design structures that are fit for purpose, context, goals, and culture.

Contact Us to Get Started

Circle Forward’s Services Are Ideal For…

  • Networks that naturally have a non-hierarchical structure.
  • Innovative funders and organizations cultivating networks to address systems-level change.
  • Anyone looking to govern in alignment with their justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion values.
  • Established organizations ready to embrace more adaptive structures and practices for emergent strategy.
  • Networks needing to navigate competing interests and priorities with equity. 
  • Public agencies focused on authentic citizen-led, democratic approaches.

Cultivating transparent and adaptive structures that address today’s interconnected problems is complex and challenging.

We can help.

How much do your services cost?

We work with organizations and networks, for-profits and nonprofits, folks at the beginning of their governance stages, and folks further along the journey. We want to make consent-based collaborative governance available to everyone doing the important work of transforming systems. So, we consider your overall organizational budget and capacity to pay.

As a social enterprise, we want our services to be accessible to anyone who needs them. Fill out a contact form via the button below to start a conversation about your unique context and what you hope to achieve.

And after, check out our free resources to get started.

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