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WorldBlu aims to increase its 2009 democratic workplaces list

Third annual search looks for new organizations to join, past recipients to sustain award

WorldBlu has a call out for its 2009 List of Most Democratic Workplaces and aims to grow the list and have current awardees sustain their place, says Traci Fenton.

Fenton, founder and CEO of WorldBlu, says growing the list is the biggest goal and there is an amazing group of companies that are applying this year.

“It’s looking good,” Fenton says.

This marks the third year of the list, which is open for applicants from for-profit, non-profit, non-governmental and government sectors.

WorldBlu Inc. is a Texas-based leadership and business design studio specializing in organizational democracy with a vision “to build a more democratic world, one organization at a time.”

WorldBlu aims to inspire the creation of 20,000 democratic organizations by 2020.

The 2008 List of Most Democratic Workplaces included 25 for-profit and non-profit organizations from the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands and Malaysia representing a variety of industries including health care, telecommunications and retail.

It was the first year that a Fortune 500 company, DaVita, was on the list.

“Hopefully we’ll have our first group of companies that have been on it for three years, which I think is a really noteworthy accomplishment,” Fenton told Axiom News.

“The goal is for the companies to show that they can sustain it,” she says. “We’re not looking for one-hit wonders here, we are looking for organizations that have built their companies this way (and) can sustain it.”

To apply, organizations must have been in operation for at least one year and have five or more employees.

Employees at organizations eligible for the list take the WorldBlu Democratic Workplace Scorecard, which rates their organization’s implementation of 10 democratic principles including decentralization, accountability, and transparency.

The scorecard evaluates these 10 principles on an individual level, a leadership level and a systems and processes level.

Equal Exchange, a full-service provider of Fair Trade coffee, tea, chocolate and cocoa products based out of West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, is a WorldBlu List of Most Democratic Workplaces 2007 and 2008 awardee.

Rodney North, Equal Exchange's vice-chair and Answer Man, was one of the speakers at WorldBlu LIVE — a conference that convenes leaders of democratic workplaces.

North says if all the WorldBlu organizations looked to inspire other companies to become more democratic it would provide the critical mass of outreach activity needed to help the new workplace democracy model catch on.

"The WorldBlu LIVE participants and the WorldBlu List companies together can provide that critical mass of activity such that we actually make it onto the public radar," says North.

Application for the 2009 List of Most Democratic Workplaces is open until Dec. 31, 2008. To learn more and to apply, visit www.worldblu.com.

If you have feedback on this article, please contact jennifer(at)axiomnews.ca or 800-294-0051.

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Jennifer Neutel's picture

Jennifer Neutel is a Story Advocate and Generative Journalist at Axiom News. She completed her Bachelor of Journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa in 2006, and joined Axiom News in 2007. She has taken on a variety of roles at Axiom including new social media intiatives and has a passion for creating strengths-based questions that can lead to positive change.

Contact Jennifer: jennifer@axiomnews.ca, or 705-741-4421 ext. 26.