new resources
From: Tree Bressen (
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2006 23:03:12 -0700 (PDT)
Hi folks,

Just a quick note to say i posted two new items to my website yesterday that i think some of you may be interested in:

1. Formats - descriptions of more than two dozen different meeting formats (to provide alternatives to whole group discussion), available in

2. Voting Fallbacks - 1-page handout available in PDF, excerpted from the article link i posted the other day

In other process news, i discovered two things today that i found exciting.

First of all, someone attending a consensus workshop i was giving informed me that sociocracy has sunset clauses on every single decision! In traditional consensus, unless the group explicitly adopts a sunset provision, a decision holds until a new decision is reached. Assuming that what my informant told me is true, having every single decision revert at some future point to a wide open, undecided state would certainly be a distinguishing factor of sociocratic consensus. And would help address the inherent conservatism of traditional consensus that i think is a shortcoming. Of course, decisions about physical buildings may not lend themselves to sunset clauses ;-).

Second, i was rereading some of the info in my Quaker file and saw that according to the (2001) Faith & Practice Book of Pacific Yearly Meeting, the facilitator can overrule a block if it comes from someone(s) who objects too frequently. Here is the direct quote:

"Meetings may occasionally act even over the objections of one or more Friends. Due weight should be given to the insights of any Friend, long experienced in Friends meetings, whose judgment and service have been proven over considerable time. A 'stop' in such a member's mind should be heeded. If, on the other hand, the one who is withholding support is known for persistently objecting, then the Clerk may call for a period of silent worship and, if so led, announce that the weight of the Meeting seems decidedly to favor the action, and the proposal is approved. The same principle applies even on occasions when there is more than one objector."


--Tree, looking forward to seeing a bunch of y'all in person soon at the conference


Tree Bressen
1680 Walnut St.
Eugene, OR 97403
(541) 484-1156
tree [at]

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