Stand asides are a time-honored practice in majority vote decision-making. They are used when a person wants their vote recorded, but can’t vote yes, doesn’t want to vote no, and doesn’t want to abstain. Usually it means the person disagrees but has agreed to stand aside and allow the decision to go forward. Sometimes it means that they have a conflict of interest and want the record to show that they were not voting, but… Read More . . . “Stand Asides”
I find the word block in consensus decision-making destructive. It is particularly counter-productive when used to refer to all objections, rather than seemingly unresolvable objections.
Objections do feel like blocks when after hours of discussion a person or persons will not consent — I find myself feeling this too. And sometimes when I object, in my gut I really want to block. I don’t want to argue the point, I just want to BLOCK. The… Read More . . . ““Blocks” & Vetos in Consensus Decision-Making”
In decision-making, one consents or one objects. Consent is defined as no objections. To object means no consent It’s very simple.
Consent has no modifiers so why should objections? No one asks for paramount or principled consent.
What would paramount consent be? Would we ask, “Are you consenting because this proposed action is the most important thing in the world right now?”
Do we examine the basis on which people are consenting? No, we don’t.… Read More . . . “Objections: Paramount, Principled, or Otherwise”
Often heard: “We don’t use sociocracy or dynamic governance; we use consensus.” Or, “We don’t use dynamic governance; we use non-violent communication (NVC).
The simple problem with these oppositions is that neither consensus nor NVC are governance methods. They don’t come with a set of principles or practices for structuring an organization, managing operations, and ensuring that the appropriate people are making the necessary decisions.
Consensus is a method for making decisions, just like majority… Read More . . . “Equating Consensus and Non-Violent Communication (NVC) with Governance”
In 1972 with a group of parents forming a cooperative school, predominantly young Yale faculty members who had moved to town to join a new college. We were committed to diversity and having a hard time recruiting people of color and from a different socio-economic class.
We were having an equally hard time finding appropriate space that we could afford. This was long before charter schools so we were funding the whole thing ourselves. We… Read More . . . “My Pivotal Consensus Experience”
In dynamic governance there is no option to stand aside — the only options are consent or object. If you don’t have tangible objections, ones that can be teased out and addressed, then you consent. It maybe a passive consent, “I don’t see any reason not to do this”, or an active consent, “I really think this is a good idea.” Both are consent.
We have members who insist on having a stand aside option,… Read More . . . “Consent & Responsibility”
Sociocracy is a governance method based on collaboration, self-organization, and distributed authority. It is designed for transparency, inclusiveness, and accountability. Democracy values freedom and equality but doesn’t have a governance structure guaranteed to ensure them. A Sociocratic Democracy uses the methods of sociocracy to achieve the values of democracy creating a practical and effective way to organize. This site is about sociocracy and the ways in which it can help democracy achieve its highest goal: freedom and equality for all, finally.