Sampling mood and opinions in community

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Sampling mood and opinions in community

From ICWiki


One of the processes of sampling the mood and opinions used in our commune in Niederkaufungen (Germany) is conducted through the use of booklets containing symbols similar to „smileys“ and with short texts expressing various possible moods and opinions about the subject or proposal up for discussion. We have seven stylized representations of a humanoid face showing different expressions. Each one is on different coloured paper. Above each smiley is a heading, and below each is a main text with more detail about the opinion.

The process

In order to gauge the mood and opinions about proposals for communal decisions, the members of the commune attending the plenary meeting are first asked if there are any people who have „existential distress“ or „existential objections“ connected with the proposal, either if it is passed or if it is not accepted. If this is the case, the person is invited to explain their distress or objection.

Then the commune members are asked by the chairperson of the meeting to hold up and display one of the sides of the booklet. These are displayed in the order arranged in the booklet. The numbers of each picture displayed are noted in the minutes of the meeting, giving a fairly clear impression of the acceptance or non-acceptance of the proposal. However, this is neither a vote for or against the proposal, nor is it noted who is more or less in favour of the proposal.

The booklet pictures and texts

Picture One is on white paper and has the heading, „I am happy to hand that over to others“ showing a smiley with dark glasses and a smile. The main text is, „I don’t need to get involved in this decision and have trust that a decision will be made that I can happily live with or one which does not effect me“.

Picture Two is on sky blue paper and has the heading, „That is still too unclear for me“. It shows a smiley with a wavy line for a mouth and three question marks over its head. The main text is, „Am I for it? Am I against it? I still don’t have an opinion because there is still too much which is not clear. I am not well informed enough or I still need to talk about it“.

Picture Three is on grass green paper and has the heading, „I am enthusiastic“. It shows a smiley with rounded eyebrows and a broad, open mouthed smile. The main text is, “I am totally enthusiastic about the proposal or I find it simply really important that we decide this or decide something similar. I would be sad if we didn’t decide this“.

Picture Four is on lime green paper and has the heading, „I find it good“. It shows a smiley with a simple smile. The main text is, „I find the proposal good. It does not waken enthusiasm in me, but I think that it is a good solution that I am happy to support“.

Picture Five is on lemon yellow paper and has the heading, „So-so“. It shows a smiley with a horizontal straight line as mouth. The main text is, „I find the proposal neither really good nor really bad. Middling or run-of-the-mill. Maybe there are better solutions, but I would not find it really bad if we make this decision“.

Picture Six is on orange paper and has the heading, „I don’t find this good.“ It shows a smiley with a downturned mouth. The main text is, „I don’t find this proposal good. I can live with it but only with a heavy heart“.

Picture Seven is on crimson paper and has the heading, „I am really against this“. It shows a smiley with rounded eyebrows and a wide open, downturned mouth. The main text is, „I find the proposal bad and I am not in agreement with it. If this were decided then I would be very discontented, but it would not give me existential distress“.

See also

Consensus

Consensus minus 3 in Niederkaufungen

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