A system that is governed by the whole. The government of whole systems. Empowered only by the freely-given consent of its members.
The beginning of the word, holo- is a combining form meaning "whole," "entire," used in the formation of compound words.
The ending -cracy signifies "rule" or "government" by the aspect specified in the initial part of the word. A combining form occurring in loanwords from Greek to form abstract nouns from stems of other origin: democracy, theocracy, technocracy, mobocracy, bureaucracy, etc.
The roots of the word Holocracy stem from an observation from psychologist and philosopher Arthur Koestler, who, in his book The Ghost in the Machine (1967) spoke about holons, individual units that whole unto themselves and are also are part of the whole.
"Holocracy is the total system of whole things in nature, the original whole which is made up of the smaller whole parts." -- Doctress Neutopia
"Holocracy includes local action and some sort of system or process that feeds that into a bigger whole. A bottom up, decentralized approach, but one that is guided by a shared humanity and the common interests of the whole." -- New Civilization News
"I have been starting to call [this effort] an experiment in a self-generating, self-harmonizing government called 'inclusive holocracy.' Where each individual recognizes himself and all others as the Totality emanating from a particular viewpoint." -- Cherag
"We can call this way of carrying out politics, Local Action, which is a contemporary commonplace action, developed to make viable the collaboration or a mutual service between men and women who want to live in the present in a concrete community. All of this is part of a process which generates the construction of a mutually binding humanity, decentralized and with goals in common. In this way, the Global Humanity is slowly constructed through the development of ethical-political relationships which can only thrive in spaces of Local Action. This new way of carrying out politics can be called Holocracy, that is, a common government or a government for each and every person." -- Augusto de Franco
"REM, the nonprofit, civic enterprise described as a Holocracy is designed to support and facilitate the existing local governance of communities which choose to operate under these By-Laws. REM provides a process capable of assembling community resources, ascertaining community values, defining community vision, designing and implementing a wide variety of community programs approved by members. REM voluntarily assumes responsibility for convening and mobilizing community with the goal of improving the quality of community life, and voluntarily accepts accountability for its actions. REM as a Holocracy is empowered only by the freely given consent of its members." -- REM
"Basic levels of life processes in communities are fundamental in importance but higher levels of complexity and integration require a deeper level of reflection and analysis and are more significant. As more diverse elements comprise a system, the diversity of contribution becomes a more significant consideration. At these higher levels of capacity for wholeness, what constitutes a critical mass is not the numbers of one element but the diversity of critical elements. This points to a need to expand advocacy to a 'holocracy' the affirmation of wholes that envelope fundamental issues and concerns and transcend them to more inclusive wholes that define Public Interest translating the principle of subsidiarity and solidarity at various levels of the hierarchy of wholes, that are parts of more encompassing and communing wholes. This phenomenon has expanded the role of civil society organizations to defining norms for more complex systems and move from resistance and advocacy to alternative-building and creative counterparting." -- ECouncil