Temple Guardians have an Innovative Approach to Governance

The Temple Guardians operate as a Holacracy, an innovative method of decentralized management and organizational governance. Under Holacracy, we distribute authority and decision-making through self-organizing and self-governing teams called circles. The rules of the game (authority, structure, decision making, governance) are defined in a constitution.  

Holacracy distributes power through a hierarchy of circles within circles (referred to as nested circles or a “holarchy”). Each circle has a defined set of roles whose purpose and accountabilities are identified in the constitution and define the ongoing activities needed to manage the Guardians’ work.  

Our structure and governance is transparent and always available to view here.

Why did we do it?

We had four specific goals in the redesign of our organization: 

  • Ensure transparency and clarity
  • Create a path to participation and leadership
  • Accurately express our principles through our organizational structure
  • Grow sustainably and organically

Working with several colleagues and leaders in the Burning Man Project, we determined that Holacracy was the single best structure for meeting all of our goals.

How are the Temple Guardians Organized as a Holacracy

The outermost circle is the Council: Chosen by the existing year-round volunteers through consensus decision-making process defined in the Holacracy constitution.

  • Leader       
  • Deputy Leader
    • Purpose: The future leadership of the Temple Guardians is secured.
    • Captain has been appointed Temple Guardian Deputy Leader
  • Emeritus Leader
    • Purpose: Temple Guardians remain true to its mission over the long-term
    • This role is currently open.
  • On-Playa Circle Leader
    • Purpose: Temple Guardian operations run smoothly on playa.
    • Tophat has been appointed On-Playa Circle Leader
  • Off-Playa Circle Leader
    • Purpose: Temple Guardian operations run smoothly off playa, and we are set up well for our work on playa.
    • Spanks has been appointed Off-Playa Circle Leader
  • Community Circle Leader
    • Purpose: Temple Guardians are a healthy community and are prepared to serve.
    • Katrina has been appointed Community Circle Leader.

In addition, there will be three Council members that are selected as representatives from each operating circle. Members of each circle select these roles to represent their circle on the Council.

Each circle will also have a Facilitator and Secretary.   

How to get involved

We will be sharing available roles individually through the newsletter. If you see an opportunity that interests you,  please feel free to send a message to the appropriate Circle Lead. We will then be able to share more about the skill sets required for that particular role.

What’s next

Watch the newsletter for information about what it means to fill a role and how the holacracy will operate in practical terms.   Check out our frequently asked questions here.