to the top


BSPW / Open Workshop / 2021

The project: Self-organization is in demand, anti-discrimination is in demand. Why don’t we think about them together more often? Even when hierarchies are dismantled and organizations transition to self-organized forms of collaboration, invisible or implicit power structures remain active.

Therefore, as part of the series “Eine Arbeitswelt wie sie uns gefällt” in cooperation with Wigwam eG, Now.New.Next, and Flipped Job Market, we invited participants to explore the topic of power-sensitive self-organization together.

Our contribution: In our view, the topic of self-organization has gone through three phases:

  1. Changing structures: Here, self-organization is created by focusing mainly on changing the structures of organizations. Examples of this are circle organizations, holacracy, and sociocracy 3.0.
  2. Inner work: Here, in addition to restructuring, the focus is on the inner attitude and relationships among employees. It is assumed that self-organized work can only function if people also change within the structures.
  3. Anti-discrimination: In recent years, there has been an additional focus on categorically and structurally questioning power in order to make self-organized organizations anti-discriminatory. This brings us back to the level of collective structures, but this time to the inner, often invisible ones.

In a virtual workshop, which we co-designed and moderated with Aileen Puhlmann, we explored the topic of self-organization and anti-discrimination with participants: In which moments have we encountered implicit hierarchies so far? How have I dealt with these moments? What measures have we learned/implemented so that people with multidimensional discrimination feel included and find access (especially in self-organized spaces)?

Why this topic moves us so much: We want to combine these two layers of dealing with power more closely in the processes we support, because the moment when organizations deal with visible power structures (hierarchies) seems to be the ideal moment to also address the invisible power structures! As process facilitators, it is our goal to question anti-discrimination as part of the process of questioning power.