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HARMONIC GOVERNANCE - CIRCLES OF HOPE

Blueprint for a New World Age

Frequently Asked Questions

What changes have modern forms of Sociocracy taken – and why?

First, huge advances in communication technology allow us to establish common irrevocable aims and disseminate these not just locally, but globally. We no longer need to spend time physically on-the-road, ‘travelling with the message. Second, it reduces the need for the off-spring of small committees that in earlier models had a strong tendency to move power away from the grass-roots, back toward the archaic, hierarchical structures of the past, dominated by a few. Now, experts can be consulted, their views posted on the web and then voted on by consent. Third, new technology allows for triple-linking as an alternative to double linking and speeds growth without sacrificing integrity.

Could you give an example of the difference between consent and consensus?

Consensus looks for agreement. Consent looks for disagreement and uses the reasons for disagreeing to come up with an amended proposal that is within everyone's limits.

For example, if a group wanted to paint an outbuilding, consensus would require everyone agreeing on a colour. Consent would require everyone defining their limits and then allowing the choice to be made within those limits. The painter might end up with 5 colours that are within everyone's limits and then choose from those.

What is the downside of consensus?

To make consensus workable in highly diverse groups, particularly between people who do not have daily contact nor shared aims in the rest of their lives, various teachers of consensus and professional facilitators have come to put limits on consensus, for example, redefining "agreement" to mean "agree that this is in the best interests of the group even though it may not be my personal preference". People are allowed to "stand aside" so the group can still declare consensus. Some groups define consensus as "all but one" or "all but two."

Culturally, consensus has come to mean many things from an almost sacred union of minds to a negotiated supra-majority vote.

What if I don't think someone else’s objection is reasoned and paramount?

The best way is to ask the person whose objection is questionable how they would change the proposal to accommodate their objection.

Can you provide links to other sources of similar information?