Consensus Decision-Making


This guide (click the link above)was written a few years ago and some of my analysis has changed, though i think the tools are still sound.

It attempts to give you a basic framework and some tools for working within a consensus environment. It can be applied to modified versions of consensus as well as other democratic decision-making structures. I feel passionately committed to finding ways for people to work together horizontally, (that means no leaders, no strati) refusing formal hierarchy and undermining informal ones, fighting against domination and oppression in our organizing as we fight against it in the world.

I believe that the best decisions are ones that have broad input, and are tested against the concerns and critiques of those who will be implementing the decisions. I believe the best actions are decided up and carried out by those directly affected. I think that the tools contained within help create a context in which people’s voices are heard, creativity is pushed, and ideas are valued.

It is a work in progress and the result of years of practice and discussion with many amazing people and learning from the most productive and most frustrating experiences in various contexts, generally in grassroots militant organizing, including mass consulta and spokescouncils but also working within not-for-profits, corporate settings and just living in a community with a people with a broad range of experiences, beliefs and styles of communication and decision-making.

It’s based on workshops i’ve given in the past and might be useful for other people’s workshops. I’ve put it under a creative commons license to ensure no one uses it commercially or profits from it and that anyone amending or building upon continues to keep it non-commercial and shares it freely. If you correct the typos, all the better!


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