Consensus Meetings

Consensus Meetings

Consensus is about hearing everybody’s voice. It is about finding solutions that suit the whole group. It’s about listening to and valuing everyone’s opinion.

In each meeting, there will be three facilitators. The Main facilitator will focus on covering the agenda and taking proposals. The Access Facilitator will focus on ensuring everybody can participate equally. The Stack Facilitator will focus on making sure that everyone that wishes to speak gets their turn.

Autonomy and Consensus
As free thinking and free acting individuals we will be making important decisions autonomously or in small groups everyday. If an issue arises that effects the entire camp or its future. We may attempt to reach a whole group consensus.

The Process
After a long enough discussion the Facilitators will test for support. If support for a proposal is over 90% then the facilitators will check for the following:

Any Blocks? – An individual objection so serious that it may holt a proposal. A block must be recognised as valid by 75% of the meeting in order for it to holt a proposal.

Any Stand Asides? – “I don’t fully support this proposal but I’m prepared to side with the will of the group.”

If there are valid Blocks or over 10% stand asides then we will discuss and possibly modify the proposal to suit the groups wishes. Or replace it with a counter proposal. If there are no valid Blocks and less than 10% stand aside.

Then we have Consensus!

3 thoughts on “Consensus Meetings

  1. janosabel

    Is there enough time to achieve consensus in a meeting seeking consensus on an issue? In my experience the answer is “no”.

    Occupy’s economimics working group (EWG) has failed to acheve consensus on major things since it started three years ago. That in spite of meeting, by and large, twice a week for two hours. Currently it seems even to have abandoned the effort alltogether.
    I submit that this single example hints at the general problem with the consensus ideal for democracy.

  2. davidwd

    Hey Janos, we did reach consensus on all sorts of economic priorities & put them in order. (Wasn’t tax evasion & related issues -corporate capture, regulatory arbitrage) top? Yes we did bog down with people pushing pet themes which didn’t grab the rest; so a lot of people walked & got involved elsewhere. Certainly consensus is open to abuse, like all other systems imo, but it’s worth working for and the effort can force you to think more clearly.
    There is loads of stuff on getting unstuck – which I’m not an expert in.


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