DecisionLab and S.E.E.D. Co-op

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Status: no longer trading

DecisionLab, a trading name of Sociocratic Ecological and Economic Development Ltd, often referred to S.E.E.D. Co-op, was a business co-created by Martin Grimshaw and colleagues around 2009. It was borne of discussions between a number of committed participants in the Advanced Facilitation Programme led by Nathaniel Whitestone in Brighton and Sussex, which later became the Facilitative Leadership Programme. Martin was a core member for several years and supporter of Nate and his work in teaching facilitation, with an emphasis on Formal Consensus, Sociocracy and similar tools for serving groups.

DecisionLab was relatively successful for a startup and was truly a pioneering and innovative enterprise. It was a not-for-profit Social Enterprise, the UK’s first ever fully incorporated Sociocratic company, and the world’s first ever incorporated Sociocratic co-operative enterprise.

S.E.E.D. Co-op and DecisionLab had a variety of business interests including consultancy, training and facilitation, hosting events and business development support. It was a co-operative development body and as a member of the Co-operative Enterprise Hub was funded to provide development support for co-op businesses.

Key figure in spreading Sociocracy in English, John Buck, was a Director, and well known ecovillage, co-operative housing and co-housing advocate Diana Leafe Christian was briefly an associate consultant among others.

At its height DecisionLab and S.E.E.D. Co-op had many hundreds of newsletter subscribers, was regularly running popular training and events – including Sociocracy with John Buck – and serving business clients, and its members were instrumental in co-creating SociocracyUK. Sadly, like many startups it didn’t survive. Martin left in late 2012, and continues the work at There’s Better Ways of Working.


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