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Consensus Decision-Making

A Virtual Learning Center for People
Interested In Making Decisions by Consensus

Articles & Videos on Consensus Process
Consensus Websites

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Videos & Articles on Consensus
and Group Facilitation:

The Videos and Articles listed below are intended to represent a variety of different perspectives. To submit an article for posting, please contact the curator:

The Basics of Consensus Decision-making
by Tim Hartnett, PhD
This article offers an overview of the process, including the principles, goals, variations, and helpful flow charts.

The Theology of Consensus
by L.A. Kaufman
This article reviews the history of the use of consensus by activist groups, highlighting how consensus ideology has undermined effective activism.

Meeting Processes & Decision-Making
Amanda Dorter
Lots of lists of tools and procedures for facilitators

Reaching Consensus on Consensus
Sandor P. Schuman
This explores how the word consensus is commonly used to describe both the process and the outcome of collaborative group decision making.

Consensus Basics
Tree Bressen
This article offers a good synopses on facilitating a consensus process that includes consensus blocking.

Using Modified Consensus in Occupy Groups
An article exploring the use of modified consensus in the Occupy Movement

Consensus or Alignment?
Beatrice Briggs, International Institute for Facilitation and Change

Superheroes Do Consensus (Video)
created by Tim Hartnett
An amusing and informative video on helping people understand the difference between a consensus process and the options for finalizing decision.

A Short Guide to Building Consensus
by The Public Diputes Program. Part of the Inter-university
Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School

Consensus is Not Unanimity
Adapted by Starhawk from an article by Randy Schott
This article views the process of consensus decisionmaking as much more involved than just employing a decision rule that requires everyone to agree.

The Different Approaches to Consensus
Tim Hartnett, PhD
This article articulates some of the different ways people think about consensus. It can help you identify what is important to you about consensus and how you might understand the ways others use the word or view the principles behind it.

The Special Place of Blocking in Consensus
Tree Bressen
This article explores several different perspectives on consensus blocking and guidelines for its use.

Consensus-Oriented Decision Making (Video)
Powerpoint training in the CODM process by Tim Hartnett, PhD for Tranisition US

Consensus Simple Steps
by Craig Freshley
A brief handout on using a consensus process with a 75% decision rule.

What if You Needed a Town Planning Decision Supported by (Almost) Everyone?
by Rick Lent, PhD
This article describes how a consensus decisionmaking process can be applied to a large public discussion.

Spectrum of Public Participation
International Association for Public Participation
This one page graphic shows the varying degrees to which the public may be included in a decision making process. The range is from "We will keep you informed," to "We will implement what you decide." Techniques for facilitators are listed according to the level of invovlement the technique offers.

Checklist and Roles for Consensus Process Facilitation
by Randy Schott
This is a general checklist of tips for group facilitators and members in consensus groups.

Why Bother with Consensus Building?
by Hal Movius
The case for using a consensus process in business settings.