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Consensus Building

Here are the 35 resources from Consensus Building. Too many choices? Narrow your results

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A Manual for Group Facilitators Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Brian Auvine. Center for Conflict Resolution; reprinted by the Fellowship for Intentional Community, 1981.

The role of group facilitator is often pivotal to good results for groups making the transition to consensus. The Manual is a great introduction to the concept of approaching the role of facilitator as someone who welcomes both rational and emotional input. The staff of the Center for Conflict Resolution put their experience in working with groups into A Manual for Group Facilitators. This is an informal outline detailing useful and effective techniques to help groups work well. More than a simple 'how to,' the manual contains a discussion of the values, dynamics, and common sense behind group process that have been verified by our own experience.

Resource Link: http://store.ic.org

A Practical Guide to Consensus Highly Recommended

Chris Carlson and Jim Arthur. Policy Consensus Institute.

This 75-page step-by-step handbook walks readers through the stages of sponsoring, organizing, and participating in a public policy consensus process. Designed primarily for government agencies or departments, the guide also is useful for any other sponsor of - or participant in - a consensus building process.

Resource Link: http://www.policyconsensus.org

Americans Talk Issues

The ATI Foundation promotes a democratic process that combines repeated large-scale, random polling of Americans with 30-minute deliberations between individual voters and unbiased professional interviewers. The result is a consensus of public opinion, which sometimes includes unexpected positions and solutions. As explained in the book Locating Consensus for Democracy, Public Interest Polling provides an inexpensive, practical way to locate a consensus of all Americans on major national issues.

Resource Link: http://www.publicinterestpolling.com

Building United Judgment: A Handbook for Consensus Decision-Making Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Michael Avery, Brian Auvine, Barbara Streible and Lonnie Weiss. Center for Conflict Resolution; reprinted by the Fellowship for Intentional Community, 1981.

Consensus decision making in groups can maximize cooperation and participation of all group members. Consensus brings together the needs, resources, and ideas of every group member by means of a supportive creative structure. This classic introduction to secular consensus was recently brought back into print by the Fellowship for Intentional Community. It is an excellent explanation of what it means to make the switch from voting to consensus, and how to unlock the potential of groups working with the whole person. Highly recommended, it is the companion publication to A Manual for Group Facilitators.

Resource Link: http://store.ic.org

Center for Wise Democracy

The Center assists communities in creating Wisdom Councils - randomly-selected, facilitated 'juries,' reflecting the larger diversity of the community - which engage in dialogue about the larger system and arrive at creative consensus on shared visions. These visions in turn serve to increase the quality of the dialogue among the larger community.

Resource Link: http://www.wisedemocracy.org

Center for Wise Democracy - Dynamic Facilitation Training

The Center assists communities in creating Wisdom Councils - randomly-selected, facilitated 'juries' reflecting the larger diversity of the community - which engage in dialogue about the larger system and arrive at creative consensus on shared visions. These visions in turn serve to increase the quality of the dialogue among the larger community. "Dynamic facilitation" is used to facilitate Wisdom Councils, and the Center provides trainings in dynamic facilitation regularly.

Resource Link: http://www.tobe.net/info/general.html

Charrettes in Site Design and Land Use Regulation new

Dino C. La Fiandra. Maryland Bar Journal. September/October, 2006.

There is a relatively new planning and zoning tool gaining popularity in Maryland known as "charrettes." A charrette is a series of meetings involving the stakeholders and the charrette team. Contrary to traditional zoning and development principles which apply a rigid set of regulations to proposed development within a defined geographic area, charrettes use a different methodology to design a project uniquely from scratch, or almost from scratch. In Maryland and elsewhere, charrettes have been used as a catalyst to permit a departure from restrictive zoning regulations which obstruct creative development. This article examines the use of charrettes in Maryland and elsewhere as they have emerged over the past few years.

Resource Link: http://www.wtplaw.com/publication.cfm?sp=publication&id;=216

Co-Laboratories of Democracy: How People Harness Their Collective Wisdom to Create the Future

Alexander N. Christakis, with Kenneth C. Bausch, Institute for 21st Century Agoras. Information Age Publishing Inc., 2006.

We have all experienced the benefits of dialogue when we openly and thoughtfully confront issues. We have also experienced the frustration of interminable discussion that does not lead to progress. Co-Laboratories of Democracy enable large, diverse groups to dialogue and generate positive results.

Resource Link: http://www.globalagoras.org

Community At Work

The authors of "Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making" offer a variety of courses on group facilitation skills, effective teams and consulting skills. Community At Work is also a consulting firm, specializing in group decision-making.

Resource Link: http://www.CommunityAtWork.com

Consensus Building Institute, Inc.

CBI is a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based organization committed to refining the art and science of consensus building. Consensus building involves informal, face-to-face interaction among representatives of stakeholding groups. It aims for 'mutual gain' solutions, rather than win-lose or lowest common denominator outcomes.

Resource Link: http://www.cbuilding.org

Consensus Statement and Survey for Wise Democracy Victoria II

The statements in this survey were formulated by local residents who agreed to meet as a Wisdom Council for Victoria on June 22-23, 2007. Wisdom Councils create consensus statements which are presented to the public or an institution in a public meeting. The public meeting starts a discussion that engages the broader community. In order to gauge the public's level of agreement with the Wisdom Council's statements, an online Opinionnaire® (a tool being demonstrated for this event by the Forum Foundation) is being used to reveal degrees of consensus for those who participate. We are posting the contents of the survey as a great example of two dialogue and deliberation organizations combining their assets to help promote, evaluate, and further a D&D; program.

Resource Link: http://opn.forumfoundation.org/index.php?pid=30

Consensus Through Conversation: How to Achieve High-Commitment Decisions Great for Beginners Highly Recommended

Larry Dressler. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2006.

At a time when organizational hierarchies are flattening, workforces are becoming more geographically dispersed, and workers are demanding a say in what they do, consensus is more needed than ever. Consensus Through Conversation guides leaders and facilitators toward the proper use of consensus and away from applications that create the 'illusion of inclusion' and false agreement. It is a handy, vital reference readers can turn to in their efforts build enthusiasm and commitment on high-stakes issues.

Resource Link: http://www.consensustools.com

CoVision and Council

CoVision supports process consultants and executives with methods, tools and capacity to affect change through increased collaboration. Over 14 years and 3,000 meetings, CoVision has provided large groups (and small) with a simple and effective 'fast-feedback' capability.

Resource Link: http://www.covision.com

Delphi

Delphi (also known as policy delphi) reaches consensus by asking a small group of experts to give advice. The results can generate further discussion at committee or public meetings. The delphi process begins when an agency distributes questionnaires to a panel of experts, whose responses are then tabulated. Results are sent back to the panelists, who reflect on their colleagues' opinions and either alter their stances or provide reasons for holding to their own positions. This process is continued until basic concepts and elements of a project or plan are identified by a majority.

Evaluating the First U.S. Consensus Conference: The Impact of the Citizens' Panel on Telecommunications and the Future of Democracy

David H. Guston, Rutgers University. Science, Technology, & Human Values, Vol. 24, No. 4, 451-482 (1999). Sage Publications., 1999.

Consensus conferences, also known as citizens' panels - a collection of lay citizens akin to a jury but charged with deliberating on policy issues with a high technical content - are a potentially important way to conduct technology assessments, inform policy makers about public views of new technologies, and improve public understanding of and participation in technological decision making. The first citizens' panel in the United States occurred in April 1997 on the issue of "Telecommunications and the Future of Democracy." This article evaluates the impact of this citizens' panel.

Resource Link: http://sth.sagepub.com/cgi/content/short/24/4/451

Evaluation Report: California Mediated Public Policy on Physician-Assisted Suicide and End-of-Life Issues

Center for Collaborative Policy, 2002.

At the request of the California State Assembly Select Committee on Palliative Care, a group of nineteen stakeholders and interested individuals assembled in a mediated process to discuss end of life issues. This group met beginning November 1, 2001, and convened nine times before ending in June 2002 with a final report. This report is an evaluation of the dialogue using a methodology appropriate for such consensus seeking dialogue processes.

Resource Link: http://www.csus.edu/ccp/publications/Devolution_CCP_2004.pdf

Facilitate.com

Since 1996 Facilitate.com has specialized in web-based collaboration software tools and techniques that dramatically enhance meeting productivity in the conference room or over the internet. Facilitate.com 8.0 is an electronic conference center with group decision making tools that accelerate idea generation and consensus building in a meeting room and across the internet. The resources section at Factilitate.com provides some great resources on topics like facilitating effective virtual meetings, web-based meeting tools and online strategic planning.

Resource Link: http://www.facilitate.com

Innovations in Democracy: An Evaluation of the Rogue Valley Wisdom Council

Elliot David Shuford. A thesis presented to the Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management and the Graduate School of the University of Oregon in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Public Administration, 2004.

Discussions about participatory democracy frequently focus on levels of participation and its direct effects on policy-making. A new model for community dialogue has been developed called The Wisdom Council. This model focuses on high-quality conversation in a small group of participants, with a goal of affecting overall community conversation. Despite, or because of, its newness, there have been no critical evaluations of this approach. Recently, a Wisdom Council was held in the Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon. This 68-page thesis provides an evaluation of that event.

Resource Link: http://www.wisedemocracy.org/papers/InnovinDemocracyRVWC.pdf

International Institute for Facilitation and Consensus

The International Institute for Facilitation and Consensus is a professional team of facilitators, trainers and consultants who specialize in participatory processes. We work with change-oriented groups in both the public and private sector, as well as with national and international networks. Headquartered in Mexico, IIFAC relies on a group of skilled colleagues around the world to provide customized services designed to meet our clients’ training and facilitation needs. IIFAC's monthly electronic publication, Bonfire, is designed to inform and inspire facilitators.

Resource Link: http://iifac.org

Is There a Place for Private Conversation in Public Dialogue? Comparing Stakeholder Assessments of Informal Communication in Collaborative Regional Planning

Caroline Lee. American Journal of Sociology, 113(1): 41-96, 2007.

This article, which is based on Lee's dissertation research, compares how ideals like inclusion, transparency, and social capital are interpreted very differently in two different collaborative partnerships – and explores the long-term challenges this might create for those attempting to develop formal institutions or best practices for dialogue and deliberation in local communities.

Resource Link: http://ww2.lafayette.edu/~anthrosoc/Lee2007.pdf

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