CONSENSUS MANUALS AVAILABLE ONLINE
Change (UK) is my new favorite website on consensus
decision-making. Their writing is straightforward, thorough, clearly
values-based, and includes a historical and multicultural perspective.
See also this excellent
series of posts on consensus by former "Seed" Matthew Herbert
currently of the UK-based Rhizome Co-op.
Wolf's The Makings of a Good Meeting, based on the classic
booklet by Berit Lakey of Movement for a New Society with a bunch of
other stuff added:
CT Butler & Amy Rothstein's Formal
Basics, shorter paper by Rob Sandelin. Written for cohousers,
but applicable to other groups.
written by organizers of the Direct Action Conference in Berlin in 1995
is online at last, courtesy of the European facilitators' collective
Civil Disobedience Handbook from the Alliance to Stop First
Strike, Santa Cruz, CA, 1987
New York Civil Disobedience handbook
Book on Collective Process is largely a critique of bad
habits that groups who purport to use consensus sometimes fall into,
but it also contains useful suggestions.
Valley Cohousing used to have a nice manual posted for their
sociocratic consensus system. Feel free to try contacting them to see
if it's still available?
LIST PAGE IS ALSO AVAILABLE.
DESCRIPTIONS OF CONSENSUS IN USE AT VARIOUS
Consensus, Hierarchy, Authority and Power
This town on the California coast makes its decisions by consensus!
Read about it on their website, or stop by to see a meeting.
Ontario (Canada) Participatory Budgeting
Inspired by Porto Alegre, Brazil, citizens of this city of 100,000
allocate more than $1 million annually through neighborhood
Excellent documentation of policies on decision-making, facilitator's
guidelines, and so on.
Quakers (Religious Society of Friends)
1. An Introduction to Quaker Business Practice
by Eden Grace.
Intriguing description of how the effort to discern a Sense of the
Meeting in harmony with God's will makes Quaker process different from
secular consensus practice.
2. Quaker Business Meetings: How Friends Make
Decisions. From Glasgow
Meeting, Scotland. Oriented toward newcomers to such meetings.
Library includes documents related to consensus from
cohousing and other intentional communities.
Tulsa Symphony Orchestra
Four years after the Tulsa Philharmonic went bankrupt, a core
group of former musicians reorganized as a worker co-op operating by
consensus, now playing to rave reviews and strong community
Universal Postal Union
The second-oldest international organization in existence, composed of 192 member countries, has used consensus for its decisions since 1874. While i have not located a description of its process (let me know if you find one?), the example is surely worth noting.
Institute for Facilitation and Change. Classes
in Spanish and English. IIFAC, Domingo Diez 1589, Plaza Corporativa
#113, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico 62250; +52 (777) 102 2288; email@example.com;
Your group can hire someone to come give you a
training specifically tailored to your organization. For
intentional communities and other alternative culture organizations,
there is a list of consultants posted on the FIC's
Process Consultant Clearinghouse at http://www.ic.org/community-consultants/
Institute lists some organizations using
Autumn Brown's site has
of consensus use in the U.S. and a map
of consensus use around the world.
Intentional Communities Association (NICA).
Maintains resource pages on meetings and group process at their web
Contact NICA at 22110 East Lost Lake Rd., Snohomish, WA 98296; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Schutt, long-time activist, has a dozen short
papers (1-12 pages each) on cooperative decision-making, many
downloadable as PDF documents over the web and the rest available for
the cost of copying and postage. See the list at www.vernalproject.org/RPapers.shtml.
Contact Randy at PO Box 608867, Cleveland, OH 44108; email@example.com.
for Change. Wonderful collection of tools and
exercises, includes topics such as diversity, strategy, nonviolence,
and more. trainingforchange.org
for Intentional Community (FIC). North American
network for people interested in cooperative living. In addition to
offering many of the books listed on the reverse, FIC also has audio
tapes and reprint packets available on decision-making, leadership, and
consensus and facilitation specifically. FIC, RR 1 Box 156, Rutledge,
MO 63563; 660-883-5545; firstname.lastname@example.org;
Meeting. The Religious Society of Friends, more
commonly known as the Quakers, have been using consensus
decision-making methods for over 300 years. At Eugene Friends Meeting,
for example, newcomers are welcome to sit in on Meeting for Worship for
Business, usually held after Meeting for Worship on the 4th Sunday of
the month. 2274 Onyx St., Eugene, OR 97403; 541-343-3840. Quaker
worship groups exist in many locations around the world.
Tree Bressen, facilitator and teacher,
has been assisting intentional communities, nonprofits, and other
organizations with group process since 1994. Pages from her website are
available for copying and distribution free of charge as long as you
continue to include these credit lines and contact information.