Last night, a participant in the Process & Facilitation workgroup presented a basic outline of the consensus decision-making discussion. Here's the discussion model that was presented:
Issues and Proposals - An issue for dicussion or a proposal is presented by the person who put the item on the agenda.
- Turn and Talk – 3 min, initial thoughts on the issue.
- Understanding; questions, facts – stack is open for questions and facts to make sure everyone has the same understanding of the issue.
- Open Discussion – thoughts, opinions, background information, and general debate
- Ideas and Concerns: list and address - how can we address this issue? what are our goals? what are our concerns?
- Consensus Test – are we ready to move forward with what's been suggested to address the issue?
- Other Concerns?
- Strong Opposition?
- Stand Asides?
If consensus is not reached, or there is strong opposition to a proposal to address an issue, the assembly may table the proposal until a future meeting. If a proposal has been tabled once, the assembly may call for consensus among at least 90% of participants to move forward over strong opposition. This is a last resort if there is irreconcilable opposition to a proposal that the rest of the assembly is in favor of moving ahead with, and should not be considered as strong as full consensus of the assembly.
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