Re: Consensus changing the world
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sun, 16 Oct 2011 10:17:07 -0700 (PDT)
On 15 Oct 2011, at 7:25 AM, Jessie Kome wrote:

> The Occupy Wall Street folks are using consensus process.  Are there 
> cohousers up there? Check this out:

This video also contains a definition of a "block" that I could support — it 
means you would have to leave the group if this proposal is adopted.

This definition also allows the group the option of adopting the proposed 
action and the person leaving. And it doesn't have to be viewed as a 
manipulative threat, just a statement of fact. There is an example in the video 
in which a woman explained that she couldn't go back home and organize her 
neighbors around the mission if a proposal passed — they wouldn't accept it. 
The group was able to modify the proposal to be more inclusive.

The hand signals I really liked to the extent that they are not referred to as 
votes or used to intimidate the minority. We have a nominating committee for 
board positions and its very hard for them to not count the number of 
nominations as justification for one person being chosen for the board. The 
only way to stop this was to prevent them from reporting the number of 
nominations except as a total with no editorializing (Detailed recommendations 
or no reasons given, etc.)

L-shape for louder is one I will introduce next Sunday. We have several 
mumblers who tend to talk to the facilitator and no one else can hear what they 
are saying.

C-shape for clarifying question.

Triangle using both hands — process alert, off topic, etc.

Pointed Finger — point of information.

Hands fluttering by ears/head. Twinkle for like. We used the Twinkle from 
move-in because we had a member who taught at a university for the deaf where 
applause has little meaning. We've gotten away from it as our population has 

Hands level for okay, but not really.

Hands drooping, not good.

One issue that they will run into soon is the need for decision-making that can 
allow specialization/expertise and participation with out being able to attend 
all the meetings — particularly if they require traveling. This will limit 
participation to those with the time and money to do it. Immediately eliminates 
people with jobs and children. Sociocracy/dynamic governance is the only method 
that ensures consensus at all levels. 

Representatives would be chosen by consensus to represent local groups in a 
larger coordinating body and teams or task forces would be chosen by consensus. 
As many representatives as desired can be chosen — in consensus, one person can 
represent a group. Another group that has sent 25 people has no more authority 
than the one.

So if anyone is involved in this, let them know. If they contact me I can point 
them to someone who consults and can help them.

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