Re: Consensus decision making
From: Brian Bartholomew (
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2008 14:01:28 -0700 (PDT)
> Sociocratic decision-making also puts decisions in the domain that  
> they affect. Decisions that are delegated to a team/circle, must be  
> made with consensus within that team/circle. If the team/circle cannot  
> reach consensus, then the decision is referred to the Management  
> Group / General Circle. This group includes two members of each team/ 
> circle, including the circle that could not reach a decision. If the  
> general circle cannot reach a decision, it goes to the Board or Top  
> Circle. This group includes outside experts like lawyers, accountants,  
> process or cohousing community consultants, etc.

> At each level a broader point of view and scope of knowledge is  
> available to determine the best decision. Decisions in full circle  
> meetings or full group meetings would be limited to larger issues like  
> the goals of the group and the overall strategies for reaching them.  
> In large groups, over 40 people, for example, these would be rare.  
> Overall goals and strategies would be made with all levels modifying a  
> written master plan, but probably not in full circle meetings.

Again, this has the same effect as majority vote. My own objections  
are not valid unless someone else thinks they are.

The farther distance you pull in experts from and the larger you make
the group, the less agreement that larger group of more diverse
individuals has on shared goals and values.

You can't win.  Commons work better the smaller they are.  Extended
families, tribes, and villages have historically been a certain max
size for psychological/instinctual reasons that so far we can't avoid.

        "the upper limit for a simple, self-contained, sustaining,
        well-functioning commons may be as low as 150 people"

| Muriel Kranowski <murielk [at]>
| I wonder how much it really helps communities to avoid idiosyncratic
| blocking to say "Blocks must be justifiable in terms of the
| community's //needs//vision//principles//".  If there's one thing
| that most people are good at, it's being able to justify nearly
| anything in the name of a higher principle, either sincerely or with
| a hidden agenda.  I'll bet that even the personal-preference
| blockers whom Racheli has written about could justify themselves in
| that way if they knew that was the requirement.

And this is just for people of good will.  Throw a few evil people in
the mix, and absolutely anything: naked pictures of air travelers,
indefinite imprisonment, torture, can be justified "For the children".


Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.