Solving for collective
decision making

We founded Apiary to solve the challenge of collective decision-making, by improving the efficacy of communication, coordination, and collaboration. To do this, we’re focused on three core areas of work: 


  1. Community science.
  2. Operationalizing decentralization.
  3. Effective governance.


Community science

Without a clear practice of community research, leaders build solutions based on absent or  biased information, which leads to controlling problems rather than solving them. The inability for these solutions to meaningfully address community challenges breeds frustration – both for community members who feel unheard and for leaders who feel like their efforts are in vain. 


Our approach = Through qualitative research, we enable communities to see, understand, and assess themselves, which results in improved community interactions and outcomes.


Operationalizing decentralization 

Decentralizing an organization is hard. It compounds the difficulty of founding a startup by distributing decision making before culture, values, processes and sometimes product market fit have been established, integrated or internalized. This approach removes the essential ingredient of time in how systems of human collaboration mature. The result is unnecessary complexity and disorganization. 


Our approach = By visualizing how the whole breaks into its parts and how each element relates to the whole, we create a map within which members are able to orient themselves. Where and when useful, we apply traditional structuring. 


Effective governance 

Governance (defined as the systems and processes by which groups of people navigate and direct change through decision making) is inherently hard. This is a known and a perennial challenge, evidenced in organizations, communities, and democracies all over the world. It’s hard for a myriad of reasons: We struggle to understand what governance is, we’re overwhelmed by the complexity of collective-decision making structures and processes, and our imaginations are limited by the precedent of legacy systems.


Our approach = To admit what we don’t know; if we did know the solution, our democracies would function. What we do know is that bespoke systems built for a specific community’s context have higher success rates. We are beginning by building these systems for our clients. We then plan to measure the efficacy of governance over time to define what does (or does not) work. 


More is possible

Through a focus on community science, operationalizing decentralization, and effective governance with our clients, we have found that communities become rich in ideas, kind in relationships, and they get more done. 


More is possible.