Frequently Asked Questions

Should I attend the Foundations Course or the Practical Course? 

Both of these courses are part of the Practitioner Level 1 program. To attend the Practical Course, you’ll first need to complete the Foundations Course. If you’re interested in applying S3 patterns to any great extent in organizations and would like to learn how to go about that in an effective way, we highly recommend you consider joining the full Practitioner Level 1 program. Otherwise, you can always start with the Foundations Course and decide later on if you want to continue your learning journey with the Practical Course as well.

The Foundations Course (part 1 of the Practitioner Level 1 program) covers the principles, key concepts and some of the key patterns from Sociocracy 3.0. If you want a thorough introduction into what S3 is, both practically speaking, and in terms of its underlying assumptions and the value it can bring to organizations, then this course will meet those needs. You’ll also learn useful practices that you can apply right away, to improve collaboration, and your ability to respond effectively to the various challenges and opportunities you are facing. 

The Practical Course (part 2 of the Practitioner Level 1 program), is a highly experiential, 24 hour learning journey where you get to collaborate with peers to apply everything you learned in the Foundations Course and build your understanding and competence applying S3 patterns in practice. As well as a deep dive into S3’s various process patterns for decision making and co-creation, you’ll also apply dozens of other Sociocracy 3.0 patterns to respond to a diversity of typical organizational needs.

I might not be able to attend all the sessions in the Practitioner Level 1 Program. Is there any way to catch up with what I miss?

For all online course sessions, we use Zoom. All activity in the main Zoom room is recorded and edited to remove pauses and breaks, so that you can watch it (again), later. Activity in breakout rooms is not recorded, unless a special request is made. 

The Foundations course:
For the foundations course there are 6 online sessions in total. We encourage you to try and attend as many as you can.

The Q&A session is an important part of the course. Even if you don't have questions of your own, we approach this session in a participatory way. Rather than us simply answering questions, we encourage others to share their own ideas and reflections on questions too. Participation is certainly worthwhile but if you are unable to attend for some reason, it’s easy to catch up by listening to the recording later. You can even forward your questions beforehand and we'll answer them in your absence.

The welcome session is especially important to attend. It's a chance to connect with other participants. There is a lot of interaction throughout the call. We also answer questions about how to navigate through the course and get the best out of the learning journey.

The other workshops are all highly participatory, with various exercises for experimenting with others around what you are learning. Missing a session will impact your learning. However, once again, the main room conversations will all be recorded if for some reason you cannot attend.

The Practical Course:
Because of the practical nature of these sessions and the fact that each session builds on the learning from the last, attendance in all 6 sessions is a mandatory requirement for completing the course. We can make an exception in case absence is unavoidable but it will necessitate finding another way to catch up with what was missed. We take situations like this on a case-by-case basis. For the online Practical Course, all video recordings include an index of activities with timestamps, so that you can easily navigate to your sections of interest.

For the in-person Practical Course, no sessions are recorded unless you make special arrangements.

Which courses are  online and which  are in-person?

The S3 Foundations Course combines e-learning, assignments, verification of learning and group sessions. Learning modules are spread over several weeks, giving participants the opportunity to apply what they are learning, as they go. For this reason, and to help students to get the best out of the course, we always run this course online.

The S3 Practical Course is exactly that! It gives students the opportunity to apply all of their learning from the S3 Foundations Course in a practical context, plus much more! The course s highly experiential and can be run online, or in-person. To accommodate the fact that some people prefer to learn in-person in a block of three days, while others prefer meeting online over a few weeks, we run both online and in-person Practical Courses.

The S3 Facilitation Masterclass forms part of our Practitioner Level 2 program. Due to the highly participatory nature of this course, we aim to run these courses in-person.

What is “verification of learning” and how does it work?

Verification of learning provides practitioners with the option to track and evidence their learning and development. It’s a way of verifying for themselves, and demonstrating to others, their growing competence and skills in applying Sociocracy 3.0 Patterns. 

Both the new Practitioner Level 1 and Level 2 Programs include a verification track for practitioners to verify their learning along the way. This covers both the theoretical and practical aspects. 

We use a variety of assessment tools ranging from simple Q&A’s and practical assignments, to occasional written work, and iterative self-led assessments for tracking and evidencing learning and development along the way. Practitioners receive extensive feedback on both their written and practical work. We work with practitioners to identify specific areas that would be beneficial to focus on and support them to integrate feedback to attain the learning outcomes for each program they attend.

I attended the previous LearnS3 Practitioner level 1 course. Is this new program the same and if not, what's different and is it worthwhile attending this as well?

Over the years, hundreds of practitioners attended the old LearnS3 Practitioner Level 1 course, and dozens chose to attend more than once. Every one of them reported that repeating the course was profoundly worthwhile because they learned so much more by attending a second time. With this new Practitioner Level 1 program however, the content covered is far more extensive and we are able to achieve far higher learning outcomes than in the older version of the course. This is because the average total learning time spent by participants during this new format totals upward of 50 hours, versus 21 hours of classroom time that were available in the old practitioner course. Moreover, this new format also includes 7+ hours of re-watchable video lessons. All synchronous sessions are recorded and can be reviewed again and again. Written assignments and feedback ensure that blind-spots and misunderstanding are easily identified and addressed throughout the course. Because the program is spread out over several weeks, participants have numerous opportunities to apply learning in practice as they progress and to get feedback and ask important questions along the way.

If you want to refresh and deepen your knowledge and understanding of S3, we highly recommend attending the new Foundations course and completing the verification of learning track. If you want to brush-up your skills applying S3 patterns in practice, you might also consider joining the new Practical Course as well. Of course, there will be some repetition, but that’s one of the ways in which you will learn. 

Because we want to encourage and support your investment in learning, we’re also happy to offer you a 10% discount from the full price or the early bird price (depending on the date you book). To benefit from this discount, simply include in the registration form when you completed the previous LearnS3 Practitioner Level 1 Course. 

If you consider yourself pretty fluent in Sociocracy 3.0 already but you’re interested in identifying gaps in your learning and the unknown unknowns, you also have the option to sign up to a self-directed version of the Foundations course and complete the verification of learning track only. Please reach out to us at if this is the way you would like to go.

What’s the difference between the old LearnS3 Practitioner Level 2 Course and the new Practitioner Level 2 Program?

We were proud of our Learn S3 Practitioner courses. They evolved from humble beginnings and with the help of many hundreds of people and many iterations over the years, they evolved to develop a reputation for excellence. People learned A LOT, but despite this, experience has proven over time that attending these intensive courses alone is inadequate for most practitioners to learn all they need to get the best out of S3. 

Simply put, learning about the breadth and depth of S3, requires a more thorough and iterative approach, distributed across more time. Taking part in an intensive course can be insightful, sometimes even life-changing, but when we learn a lot of new things in a short space of time, we often forget important details quickly as well. The previous version of our practitioner courses were no exception.

It’s out of these insights that our new Online Practitioner Level 1 and Level 2 programs have emerged. 

The Level 1 program now comprises 2 parts: the S3 Foundations Course and the Practical Course. This approach enables us to provide a more comprehensive introduction to many foundational elements of S3 that are important to understand for getting the best out of it.  

The Practitioner Level 1 program includes:
- a more spacious program spread over time: combining live sessions with asynchronous study and exchange, to support integration of learning and with time to reflect and experiment in between.
- more practice time: with most theory covered in e-lessons, live sessions now emphasize focus on practice and reflection on learning.
- ways to quickly find out what you don’t know yet: to avoid misunderstandings that can otherwise lead to unfortunate and sometimes costly mistakes.
- expanded documentation: bite-sized e-lessons and recordings of any online sessions you attend, that you can come back to later on.

For more information about the Practitioner Level 1 Program, check out this page.

I attended the previous Practitioner Level 2 Course. How does this segue with the new Practitioner Level 2 Program?

Are you convinced of the potential that S3 has, but struggle to convey it to others?
Do you feel unclear or unsure at times when you are facilitating S3 processes? 
Are you applying S3 with your clients and realize you have some gaps in understanding.
Or, are you in need of support and feedback? 
Would you like to brush up on your skills facilitating S3 process patterns and helping others do the same?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, we wholeheartedly recommend you consider attending the new Practitioner Level 2 Program (whether you attended the LearnS3 Level 2 Course, or not). This Level 2 Program is designed to help you develop in those areas where you need it most, while benefiting from specialist and peer support every step of the way. 

To participate in this program, you’ll need to demonstrate that you are already fluent with the topics we cover in the Practitioner Level 1 program. If you already feel confident in your understanding and practice with S3 patterns and prefer not to attend the new Level 1 program, you have the option to just complete the S3 Foundations Self-Directed e-Course and the corresponding Verification of Learning module. To find out more about verification of learning, go here.

Is it worth verifying my learning if I previously attended the old LearnS3 Practitioner Level 1 Course?

If you attended the previous LearnS3 Practitioner Level 1 Course, you have the option to verify your learning without needing to go through the new Practitioner Level 1 program. We recommend you consider choosing this option, which includes completing the S3 Foundations Self-Directed e-Course, even if you already feel confident in your understanding and practice of S3 patterns and principles.

Because supporting you to go through the Verification of Learning process entails some hours of work from our side (4-8 hours), this option does include a fee to cover our time. We are happy to provide the S3 Foundations Self-Directed e-Course to you, free of charge. If you’re interested in this option, please contact us to arrange a meeting where we can learn more about your learning needs and talk through the options that are available to you. 

I attended the old LearnS3 Practitioner Level 2 Course. Can I just verify my learning for the new Level 2 program without attending?

No. This new Level 2 program is radically different and comprises a more advanced learning journey which delivers many learning outcomes than the previous level 2 course. Evidencing learning for this program requires your full participation.

However, the new Practitioner Level 1 program covers the majority of learning outcomes that were previously delivered through the old Level 1 and Level 2 courses. So, if you already feel confident in your understanding and practice with S3 patterns that you learned during those courses and would like to verify learning for yourself, you do have the option to complete the S3 Foundations Self-Directed e-Course and the verification of learning module for Level 1 without needing to attend the full Level 1 program again.

What happened to LearnS3?

In June 2018 we launched LearnS3 and joined forces with a few other practitioners who were already actively helping people to learn about Sociocracy 3.0. 

In 2020 however, due to the changes that the Covid 19 pandemic brought, we decided to end this initiative and to take a new approach. This came as a natural conclusion and without hard feelings, simply by observing and honoring what emerged in contrast with what we had set out to do.

If you're curious to know more about why and what we all learned, you can check out this article.

For general information about the Academy, please check out our about page.