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Policy for creating Circles within Samara and for proposing role-assignments, quests and contributions

EXPLANATION - Why this policy

 We need organizational protocols for complexity to turn into emergence.



In order for birds to murmur (fly together in harmony), they don't just do whatever they want whenever the feeling strikes in isolation. They all play by the same rules and the same sensitivity to each other's position. They move according to the same biological/evolutionary responses towards the natural inputs they are sensing. Doesn’t mean each bird can’t still be unique or have unique relationships in the murmur, but there are commonly shared protocols. 


For more details check out this short video by Tyler: 


In order to manifest the collective ambitions we have and keep our organisation supporting all its members on all levels, various circles form to see to different needs, tasks and initiatives. 


This policy describes how Samara members can form a circle, balancing change and consistency in order to contribute and evolve.




  1. How to start and formalise a circle


Samara members who would like to start a circle create an Circle Outline Proposal with the following minimum amount of information:

  • Name of the circle

  • Purpose 

  • Aims

  • Accountabilities

  • Minimum commitment from members, if applicable

  • Objectives/KRs for 3 lunar cycles and for 6 lunar cycles

    • Distinguish between ‘Committed’ O/KRS and ‘Possible’ O/KRs to communicate areas of certainty and areas of possible impact

  • Total Circle Contribution % (sum of individual contributions) 

    • Minimum / Expected / Maximum (Next Lunar Cycle)  

    • Minimum / Expected / Maximum (Subsequent 2 Lunar Cycles - cycles 2-3 from start)

    • Minimum / Expected / Maximum (Subsequent 3 Lunar Cycles - cycles 4-6 from start) 

  • Basic Badges

    • A circle proposal must include: Lamplighter + Scribe

    • Each Circle agrees on a standard facilitation process as a regular rhythm.


A Circle in Samara can be proposed by a minimum of 2 members. 


When the outline is ready,those making the proposal add it to Loomio in a new thread for feedback and advice. After feedback, members create a poll/vote to formalise the Circle according to the current Governance Policy. If the proposal/vote passes, the Circle is formalised. 


Role assignments, quests and contributions can only be proposed for a formalised circle. At this stage in Samara all the assignments, contributions and quests need to serve the objectives of a circle and be proposed from within a circle. 


When there is a change in the work, focus, structure or areas that the outline describes, circle members can propose updates to the Circle Outline by creating a new proposal in the same Loomio thread for the specific circle. 


Formalised Circles update their Outline Proposal every 6 lunar cycles, by presenting new objectives and KRs. If a formalised circle doesn’t propose and receives the passing vote for an updated Outline Proposal in 6 lunar cycles from the previous one, the circle is no longer a formal Samara circle and contributions to the circle can no longer be active.


  1. Recommendations for organising within a circle


Ideally, the circles keep the no. of members at 3. This has proven to work really well in Samara for people to be able to coordinate activities and schedule calls easily. 


Whenever there are more than 4 people in a circle, members will look for ways to create a sub-circle of one specific circle. For example, if 3 people join a circle with 3 already in it, they can create two sub-circles of 3 and come together as a group after developing work that needs more minds. Circles have autonomy in how to organise and collaborate with sub-circles.


  1. How to join a Circle in Samara - Role assignments, quests and contributions


Samara members can join a Circle by creating and submitting a role assignment, a quest or a contribution proposal. All these contribute to the objectives of the circle, according to that Circle’s Outline and purpose. 


A role assignment is a commitment to a set of activities, with regular compensation for executing those activities. Roles can be time-bound, but are generally longer-term. Roles can be designed to accommodate various commitment levels. 


A contribution is a specific key result that has already been completed paired with a request for remuneration. 


A quest is a specific proposed objective or set of objectives, paired with measurable Key Results (OKRs) and a compensation request. Quests are generally time-bound, and can have one or multiple participants. If the participation in a quest is voted by Samara, quest member(s)

execute it and return for a completion vote, at which point the compensation for the quest is received, if accepted. 


Proposed role assignments, contributions or quests for every Samara Circle are voted in by the entire organisation, following the Governance process in place and using Loomio. 


Proposed assignments, contributions or quests for a circle ideally need to be vouched by the existing members of the circle before being submitted as a proposal for vote on Loomio by the entire organisation. If a member refrains from vouching on a proposal he or she will provide additional information on why they do not vouch for the proposal.


Members role - assignments for Circles:


This is a 3 step process in order to enhance our ability to ‘murmur’ together:

  • Persona profile is done once per person, ideally during onboarding quest (refined as needed) however the person likes with the suggestion to look at others and make it wholistic.

  • Form + Role proposal which translates profile into purpose in circle is done when joining a circle

  • Objectives + KR’s, activities and commitment, compensation, vouching, start date and duration which speaks to specifics of role in action is done at start of new cycle/s (a few days before previous committed cycle end date after first time).


How the process works:

  • All members produce a persona profile in order to join a circle, to honour, presence and share  their uniqueness and speak to how that meets Samara. Specifically includes:

    • Wholistic personal expression of how we see our natural strengths and roles and what others appreciate about us in work-play.

    • Naming capacity we have learned to be ‘good at’ and tend to start doing easily, but if leant on too much causes stress and ‘degeneration’.

    • Work, hobby and life experience that speaks to the essence of contribution in Samara.

    • Personal Purpose + Purpose in context of Samara.

  • All members fill out a standard inquiry form to detail the role proposal for the circle. This links natural role with circle purpose.

    • Purpose of this is:

      • To be included in people board to help synchronous connections as Samara scale’s and give a welcoming sense to new people

      • Establish a shared cultural language that allows expression embodied in persona profile to speak to the same areas/questions

      • Encourage full-spectrum expression of potential (all levels, all lines)

  • Circle where the role - assignments contributes to (one person may have many role-assignments speaking to each circle they are committed to around a single persona profile)

  • The Circle Objectives and KRs which the member intends to contribute towards

  • Individual/Personal activities that contribute to the circle KRs 

  • Commitment (%) to this circle

  • Compensation: to be proposed according to the Remuneration Protocol in place

  • Vouched by: 

  • Didn’t get vouch by: (with additional information)

  • Start date of the assignment (next half, new or full moon)

  • Duration (no. of cycles - max 3)


Quests proposals:

  • Circle where the quests contributes to

  • Purpose, objectives and KRs

  • Members proposing the quest, if several

  • Compensation required - to be proposed according to the Remuneration Protocol in place

  • Vouched by: 

  • Didn’t get vouch by: (with additional information)

  • Start date of the assignment (next half, new or full moon)

  • Duration (no. of cycles)



  • Circle where the contribution took place

  • Purpose, objectives and KRs accomplished

  • Members, if several

  • Compensation required

  • Vouched by: 

  • Didn’t get vouch by: (with additional information)


At this stage of Samara (before moving to the DHO platform) the role assignments and quests start being active at the beginning of a lunar cycle (either new, half or full moon, to be able to be accounted for easily in the spreadsheet).