In the second addition of The Community Builders Forum, the FIC’s new webinar series for members, Laird Schaub takes us through what makes consensus work. Members can participate in these webinars live. For more info on becoming an FIC member, click here.
For most people consensus is an unnatural act. It calls for participants to listen deeply, and to put the good of the group ahead of personal agendas. Because consensus thrives in cooperative culture, it requires personal work to undo our competitive conditioning—to learn to think and act cooperatively. We’ll cover the essential ingredients for consensus to work well, explore the nuances of blocking and the dynamics of voting back-ups, offer a productive way to tackle tough issues in the group, and make the case for why consensus can be the most efficient form of decision-making in cooperative settings.
Presentation notes can be found here.
Laird lived for nearly four decades (1974-2013) at Sandhill Farm, an income-sharing rural community in Missouri that he helped found. After that he lived for two years at Dancing Rabbit, a Missouri ecovillage trying to model high-quality living using only 10% of the resources of the average American. He’s worked with more than 100 intentional communities, both as a trainer and as an outside facilitator to help groups navigate anaerobic dynamics and organizational snarls. His specialty is up-tempo meetings that engage the full range of human input, teaching groups to work constructively with conflict, and at the same time being ruthless about about capturing as much product as possible.