If we want to shift where power lies in the formal structures of our city then we must demonstrate how this can be done by organising as horizontally as possible in our own working groups, committees and assemblies in the ward. This means coming together in ways that flatten out hierarchies.
The best way is to avoid delegating decision making up. Where an issue affects the whole ward then let’s find creative ways to consult and engage everyone in making important decisions – through online forums and in community assemblies. We may not be able to please everybody, but we can deliberate and use tools to find consensus or a majority that are in favour.
Where that is not appropriate let’s encourage ways of working that share decision making responsibilities broadly amongst people in teams and committees rather than leaving it to a single person.
This does not mean that there is no place for leadership. Working together requires people to stand up and be counted, volunteer their time and take on additional responsibilities. Some people end up doing the heavy lifting and are natural leaders. They have innate talents and abilities, valuable experience and insight, a particular skill, or an ability to make sense of what is going on. Leadership should be shared, mandated through democratic elections where necessary and accountable to the collective.