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Consensus is not a decision procedure. Respect each persons contribution.

valuing each individual person. The notion of blocking is. Risky approach, it's a path to resisting the process. commitment of letting go of high stakes. There are creative and clever alternatives. better to to let things fail so you can learn.

Fluidity. Contributes to larger goal. Fun joke at end is that even negativity can be a contribution.

Consensus is old, our conversation is about hacker spaces and our experiences.

Blocking is such a wrecker of process. Noisebridge has experience with this, technology of language.

Judo, to make what someones story actionable

Consensus anti-patterns

  • 1. Raise no sequiturs
  • 2. Reduction to decision procedure
  • 3. Own the framework of the discussion
  • 4. Making blocks

Balance between do-oracy and bureaucracy

How do we distinguish between blocks from those who genuinely understand the issue and those who are just blocking for power w/o responsibility?

It all comes down to trust.. - how to scale trust? webs of trust...

Get to the bottom of _why_ someone is blocking, articulate the issues and demonstrate good faith in seeking solutions.

"What can we do to change this proposal so that it moves forward?"

Perfectly acceptable to exclude people from the process if they don't want to participate in the process.

Concern that consensus is no different from the tyranny of majority

In Noisebridge, and sudo, members can block new memberships if they feel uncomfortable with someone. This is a different mode of consensus than proposing a major project or governance decision

  • --> Who are we willing to trust with blocking power?

Bias toward those who have the free time to participate

Culture not as a vestige, but a means of dynamic change in pursuit of self-governance

If several members are standing aside, might we consider that a block?

Gradations of blocking (eg; Queer Nation) - standing aside, etc

A functional consensus process should never end with a block

  • A good facilitator will note when someone seems to have objections but is not speaking up, to nurture te process so as to address all concerns

Important to note people's sensitivities, to avoid blocking individuals from being targeted and pressured by the group

Consensus works well if

  • people feel safe,
  • they feel invested,
  • are participating in do-ocracy

For awhile at Noisebridge, meetings became stressful hotbeds of drama - consensus wasn't working, do-ocracy wasn't working, and the only people attending the meetings were those who got juice from this kind of drama. Since the reboot, things are going a lot better - respectful disagreements at meetings, more do-ocracy, expelled those who didn't belong and drew back some of those who do.

Suggested total time limit of 7 minutes total per person :)

Quaker model of moving from one person to the next, 2 min per person, but very slowly moving to the next person to provide space to reflect.