I'm starting to see game developers wondering how they can add symbiotic gameplay to their games. While I'll try to elaborate later in more detail on how to create a symbiotic environment within your social groups, I think it's critically important to realize how democracy actually counteracts a symbiotic environment. The reason for this should hopefully be obvious.
Symbiotic groups excel in their ability to deal with rapid change or crisis because they act innately without very little communication between them. In effect, when something happens, they automatically know what to do as a group, so they just do it.
In a democratic group though, even though there is no centralized command and control to slow it down, the process of everyone voicing their individual concerns and suggestions can effectively kill any chance of rapid response because, more often than not, people end up arguing about what should be done (and hopefully this in itself is a great hint as to how symbiotic groups work more effectively).
I think another huge difference between a "typical" democratic group of today and a symbiotic group is that individuals within symbiotic groups don't need to ask for permission from their greater group or community before they engage something. In effect, if they see something that will affect them and the greater group, they immediately engage it but also relay awareness of the situation to others. This awareness is the lifeblood of a symbiotic group because it determines the decision for self-engagement from each individual within the group without them being ordered to do so.