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Cooperative Decision-Making

“Sample Consensus Workshop Agenda”

5 pages. This paper presents agendas for a 7-hour workshop on consensus decision-making and cooperative meetings. It includes presentations (based on the notes listed below) and participatory exercises. It also lists alternative agendas for shorter workshops.

“Notes on Consensus Decision-Making”

12 pages. These notes outline many of the most important ideas about consensus decision-making in cooperative groups. Topics include: Consensus Basics; Examples; Tips; The Flow of the Process; Essentials of Good Process; Types of Consensus Decisions; What Consensus is Not; Why Consensus?; Developing Attitudes, Learning Skills, and Problems Solving; Special Roles in a Cooperative Meeting; Special Techniques; Spokescouncils; Problems; Interrupting Poor Process; History; and a Bibliography.

“The AD Method of Cooperative Decision-Making”

2 pages. Five steps in the advantages/disadvantages method of cooperatively finding, evaluating, and choosing solutions.

“Getting Unstuck: Common Problems in Meetings and Some Solutions”

7 pages. This chart lists 24 common problems encountered in meetings and provides an example and several possible solutions for each one.

“A Checklist for the Consensus Process”

1 page. This list summarizes basic tools and tasks needed for a consensus meeting.

“Preparation for Meetings — A Checklist”

2 pages. This paper outlines the steps to prepare an agenda and otherwise prepare for a productive cooperative meeting.

“Consensus Is Not Unanimity: Making Decisions Cooperatively”

2 pages. This paper points out common misperceptions about consensus decision-making.

“Decision Making Structures”

1 page. This series of diagrams contrasts consensus with unanimity, hierarchy, majority rule, and no structure.

“Organizational Structures for Cooperative Groups”

1 page. This chart summarizes ten types of groups, their typical membership requirements, and the kinds of activities for which they are most appropriate.

“Achieving Democracy”

4 pages. This paper summarizes Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem and recent efforts to find fair voting systems. It then explores consensus decision-making as a way to achieve true democracy.

“Letter to the Alliance for Democracy”

A note on mailing list process and consensus decision-making.

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