Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Online consensus process

Consensus Process (Electronic)

Revised June 26, 2012

(1) One person introduces a topic and that person will be called the facilitator.

(2) A discussion follows for five (5) calendar days following 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time immediately after the time of the topic's posting, led by the facilitator. (Facilitator may lengthen discussion time if s/he feels it necessary.)

(3) A second member will be appointed to help monitor tensions and help maintain balance during the discussion.  After the prescribed discussion time, the facilitator sets up a poll at the list site (http://www.facebook.com/groups/chaplainsoccupypdx) and calls the question and announces the poll in a separate group message.  Members are asked to respond to the question by taking the poll within five (5) calendar days following 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time immediately after the time of the poll's start. The questions must be responded by: "support", "stand aside" or "block."  There should always be a response that says “Clarifying questions requested.”  However, should anyone select that response, their questions must be posted immediately to the list so that they can be addressed right away.  The facilitator may choose to lengthen response time if they believe further discussion is called for.  A “lack of response” by any member during the specified time period is to be considered a “support.” 

(4) The facilitator makes the announcement of the completed consensus process to the list via a group message.  If there is no consensus, the facilitator may choose to keep discussion open for an additional five (5) day period.

(5) The poll should be set up to read something like this:
  *I support
  *I stand aside
  *I request clarifying question
  *I block

(6) If a facilitator is to be gone and unable to check messages for over three (3) days, s/he should post a message in advance so that we accommodate that absence accordingly.  If a poll is in place and this happens, s/he should make every effort to respond to the poll prior to leaving so as to not delay a vote.

(7) It needs to be emphasized that a true consensus process cannot always be strictly adhered to.  We can try our best, but we are doing business on the Internet and are not face to face.  Therefore, each member of the board has a responsibility to be “present”  which means s/he must be responsible for keeping up with messages from our list and by responding in a timely manner.  In all cases, should the process of consensus outlined here fail or become bogged down, the facilitator have the right to call the question and make decisions in the next monthly meeting.

The Interfaith Guild of Chaplains
Occupy Portland
1131 SE Oak St
Portland, Oregon  97214

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