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Nov 03 2011
Consensus Democracy - How do the Occupy Wall Street protesters reach decisions in a very diverse group?
We filmed at the Occupy Wall Street protests recently. One of the wonderful things to emerge in these protests has been the Consensus Democracy approach: broad, highly inclusive, community-focused and introspective - everyone has a voice. This form of decision-making is similar to older forms - for example, Quaker Letters - used to find central commonalities among diverse groups.
Consensus Democracy is very powerful. When decisions are reached, you know that the vast majority agree; and that essentially all in the group will accept the result. There is a lot of listening required: deeply understanding the others' points of view and priorities - good skills for us to re-learn now, especially in U.S. politics!