This montage is from the movie “School of Rock.” When the leader, played by Jack Black, starts working there, his main motivation is money. But eventually he sees that his exciting quest of having an amazing band goes along with their musical skills.
They start out with not much appreciation about their skills. But as it starts to get better, some of them start to withdraw: a guitarist is getting yelled at when he plays outside the group; a roadie who kept quiet about her amazing voice really wants to sing. The guitarist starts to learn how to express himself through guitar, turning his anger into fun. The roadie shares her skill and desire, and becomes a singer.
A checkbox-complaining middle-manager is taken out of her job for a day, asks for responsibility, and without any more checkboxes but now with responsibility she can make her own, starts being responsible for her interests by reading up on The Business of Music.
As you see in this montage, they work towards a common goal: expressing themselves as individuals through the band. Each in their own way, together.
They are facilitated, and sometimes they are told what to do by the leader, but they can disagree, they can publicly not like something until they figure out how to like it, and they can make their own suggestions and do their suggestions for themselves, and within their groups, they lead themselves.
They are coordinated through common activities (watching TV and rehearsing together), sharing the same space (coworking), the feedback of free speech (expressing themselves publicly in the group, within their subcommittees, and individually outside of the group in the halls), and more.
It is not a direct democracy because they do not all share decision-making on anything. It is a representative democracy because subcommittees and representatives each make decisions and are each responsible for specific things.
Democracies rarely start as democracies, and when they do, the “start” is usually marked with a name change. The band isn’t yet called “School of Rock.” They haven’t yet figured out their name. They haven’t yet figured out what they are. They’re in transition, and it’s pretty cool.
This is what representative democracy looks like: