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Consensus Decision Making

Consensus… is a process for decisions without voting.

Consensus as a decision making method is based on the belief that people have the capacity to reconcile differences and work out solutions to dilemmas.

That means finding solutions that are as advantageous as possible to everyone involved; decisions everyone can live.

Consensus does not mean that everyone enthusiastically endorses the decisions.

Consensus: promotes inclusiveness, understanding, respect and personal integrity.

Consensus can produce more creative and long-lasting decisions and does not mean silence is consent.

When you are working with this method of problem solving or conflict resolution it is important to remember to not strive for compromise as a final result but rather a synthesis of different views to create a new solution.

Peace Making always involves a "synthesis" of different points of view.

What's Needed for Consensus to Work
An atmosphere that is safe for people to voice concerns and objections.
A willingness to listen and hear - listening and summarizing skills are essential.
Recognition that a disagreement is an opportunity to improve the decision.
Keeping participants in need of information up to date.
and most importantly:
Everyone participates.
The active consent of each participant through a process of mutual understanding is essential.

A fundamental agreement to abide by a philosophy of cooperation and a spirit of mutual aid needs to be established at the beginning of the process.

There are times when consensus is not the best method for solving problems. Let's look at a few possible situations where consus would most likely not work:

When there is extreme urgency to make quick decisions - when time is a factor.
When the issue at stake is relatively unimportant and people don't care much about it.
When there is a mandate to make decision for others.
With groups that function in an adversarial/defensive way (no trust; no desire to build trust; no shared philosophy). If anyone in the group is not committed to following through with the decision.
With groups where there are real differences in power, influence and information.
Peace Rally

Peace rally, took part to promote peace.

Peace March
People marching to promote peace

GIS Maps
GIS wharehouse, where you will find maps