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subud symbol   how is Subud organised?


How does WSA work?

So long as our founder Muhammad Subuh was alive, we were given his guidance and direction on how to conduct the business of the Subud Community. He left behind a framework to carry forward the work he started.

Every 4 or 5 years the WSA holds a world congress to review its activities and formulate future programs. The World Subud Congress consists of both Kejiwaan (helper) and organisational delegates from each national organisation, and this is the ultimate governing body.

The World Subud Council (WSC) has been established to carry out the decisions of one congress until the next, and consists of the organisational representatives of the zones, the affiliated bodies representing welfare, cultural, youth and entrepreneurial activities (Wings), the international helpers and a chief executive called the Executive Committee. A meeting of the WSC is like a miniature Congress.

World Subud Congress diagram Flow diagram

The basic principles underlying this structures are quite simple and are uniform throughout all levels of the Subud organisation.

The structure in Subud is organic. Individual members get together and become groups, groups become regions, then nations; national bodies support one another, and comprise an international body: the WSA. So that Subud members can voice their concerns and suggestions, and to allow decisions taken between Congresses to be democratic, the organisation has representatives at each layer.

A group will choose a chairperson to represent their concerns within the regional or national body; and likewise the chairperson of the national body represents the nation within the zonal council and the chairperson of the zonal council represents the views of the zone within the World Subud Council. Selection is usually subject to testing.

Despite some terminological differences, the international organisation of Subud is very similar to the national.

Each body is responsible to the cells of which it is composed. The international organisation represents national bodies, just as a group represents its members.

The organisation has grown in this way, following the advice of its founder, so that it belongs to the members, who can thus participate in the formulation and development of a common mission.

Numbers of members 1999

In order for Subud democracy to function, a clear organisational framework must be maintained, which can effectively air the views of members everywhere. Therefore, the Executive Committee has no permanent headquarters and moves to another country after each World Congress, to prevent monopoly of the executive function by any one nation. It also requires an enormous collective effort to keep national committees and interested members informed, to iron out misunderstandings, answer questions and act on suggestions. For this reason, zonal representatives often visit national congresses and stay in touch with the national committees in their Zones. There is an allocation in the WSA budget to subsidise their communication costs. In addition, WSC meets annually to pool this information and to plan its work for the forthcoming year.

Although these meetings are expensive, without them the WSC could not work.



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