Benefits Of Self Governance

The Model Communities Association promotes self-governance as a basis for our collaborative structure. Self-governance is the ability of a person or a group to regulate themselves without the intervention of any external authority. Benefits of self-governance include:


Each association knows what it needs and the best way to respond to those needs. Every group is different, and self-governance allows for individual solutions to be applied to these unique groups. With flexible solutions, as opposed to the usual “one size fits all” solutions that must be imposed by a larger government trying to fit the needs of many different types of groups, self-governed associations can perform more agilely to serve their individual members.

EXAMPLE - Within a living arrangement, some groups may want to trade off chores and duties on a monthly basis. Others might like to trade every quarter or even less often. Because each group makes these decisions within their own purview, the solutions can be flexible.

Another example might be how the group responds to the weather while gardening. Because there come times when the garden needs to be attended to in force, the group can adjust their response. And with those modifications, the entire association can share the burden without overtaxing single members of the group.

Empowerment & Leadership

Traditional governance takes a paternal role, assuming all of the power in the situation. In our collaborative, self-governed structure, the power is shared through an assumption of responsibility by the group. Taking on this responsibility empowers each member of the group.

As members of the associations realize their power, they begin to take on leadership roles, and are in fact encouraged to do so in the circles formed for projects. As each project progresses, different members take ownership of these projects and activities. This assumption of leadership creates more involved community members, more committed workers, and more responsible residents.

EXAMPLE - Instead of calling the landlord and waiting for them to solve the problem (a traditional governance role), each resident can take the power in the situation. They can work with others in the group to find a solution OR can solve the issue themselves.

Creativity & Connection to Community

With the assumption of ownership that taking leadership roles engenders, members of these self-governing associations begin to exercise their creativity to find innovative solutions for their issues.

As well, their connection to their community deepens with each project they lead. And this connection to the community happens because they have sovereignty. Because their self-governance allows them to choose their own direction.

EXAMPLE - When a circle confronts an issue, they can brainstorm and use multiple points-of-view to find a solution that will work for them. This sort of collaboration reliably results in a more innovative solution, and the cooperation necessary to make it happen helps to deepen the connection to the community for the indiviuals.

Cost-Effectiveness & Sufficiency

Once a system of self-governance is set up, the cost of maintaining the environment decreases. As residents take responsibility and leadership, a sufficiency naturally results. The decrease in cost relates to the facts that needs are met efficiently by the residents themselves and the need for supervision decreases.

EXAMPLE - When a maintenance issue arises, the resident is more likely to look at the most cost-effective ways to solve the issue since they bear the shared cost. By taking leadership over the problem, they can implement a timely and sufficient solution.

The Results

When these factors combine, we begin to see more innovative solutions, an increased resilience within the group members, and an improved quality of life for all of those within the community. In addition, members of these self-governing communities develop deeper connections with each other and with the world around them.