consensus Process — Draft 2b

Posted by & filed under .

Proposed Agenda Item– Draft 2b, November 10, 2010


We propose the creation of a document that addresses the unique challenges posed in groups states the inherent problems of groups whose membership is open within online forums, including to individuals who may operate remotely and/or with complete anonymity often operate with anonymity and express their ideas remotely; along with a set of proposed solutions to help mitigate these issues so that constructive dialogue and consensus building is maximized.  directives that serves to mitigate these problems.

In addition, we should post This document will be posted online to honor full accountability & transparency as to the adopted solutions and to allow for a space to propose future amendments by any group members.

Here Below is my our suggestion of what this document shcould look like:


There appears to be some inherent challenges problems that arise within groups that are goal oriented and leaderless, and whose members often operate remotely and/or anonymously: (This would be our statement recognizing that there exists a problem. Please add…)

Concerns:(This would be our list that clarifies what our concerns are in a very specific way. Please add…)

  1. Anonymous members are more likely to harbor hidden agendas that can harm this movement, this group, and it’s members.   (sorry but i disagree that anonymous members are more likely, verified individuals who show up at meetings also may have destructive agendas which are hidden from the rest of group.  another point : the definition of harm is subjective and who’s to decide what is harmful and what is constructive criticism?)
  2. Anonymous members cannot be held accountable because they can readily change or operate under different aliases.
  3. Remote (Q: what is the difference between remote & anonymous?) members in conjunction with stated concerns 1 and/or 2 may empower them may be able to derail or block agenda items from moving forward within the group by –imagine a scenario where one person operates as multiple agents within our group, that is, they may assuming multiple identities, thus giving their individual voice more weight than others who choose to identify in person as one solitary individual.
  4. To prevent proposals from passing by tactical means alone, We propose that establishing clear & concise rules of quorum and membership definitions would help to mitigate these issues dramatically. need to be established. Furthermore, this concern and or threat We also propose that time is of the essence on this issue becomes more relevant as the contributions of this body arebecoming ever larger by the day.    —it would be tragic to see this group’s body of work be seriously diverted from its intent or hijacked by rouge agents.

Directive Guidelines to mitigate aforementioned concerns:

  1. Remote members are encouraged to contribute constructive relevant ideas relevant to the subject matter of the group.
  2. Remote All members are intrinsically permitted to propose agenda items, including proposals and/or announcements. However, the progenitor or its equivalent a full member (either the author or a sponsor if the author is not able to be physically present) must present theitem proposal in-person otherwise the proposal cannot move forward in order for the item to be considered on the agenda for that particular meeting.
  3. Remote members are intrinsically permitted to block agenda items.    
    (Q : is this item needed given #4 below or is it redundant?)
  4. Any group member is intrinsically permitted to block an agenda item  share concerns regarding a proposal.     However, all members are strongly encouraged to offer a friendly amendment that directly address their concerns and offer a solution.   Such friendly amendments can be presented either by (1) author of the amendment in-person at the meeting as a full member, (2) by an in-person sponsor if the author is not present, (3) online within 24 hours of said meeting or within 24 hours of proposal being posted online (whichever is later).
    However, the remote and physical member is required to propose a friendly amendment, or state clearly the reason for the block, in writing, within 24 hours. Otherwise, the block is automatically removed after the required turnaround time has expired.
  5. A block can only delay non-emergency agenda items for a period of 24 hours from the time consensus was sought for, for the given proposal.   (don’t see why this is necessary?)
  6. If a member continuously blocks agenda items, then he or she may be asked to no longer contribute to the group since the dissenting member may harbor views that are in serious conflict with the aspirations of the greater group.   (POI : this is already addressed in the very definition of a block as per NYC-GA standards.   A block should only undertaken by an individual if they serious ethical or legal concerns with a proposal and are willing to leave the group if the proposal is passed.   thus, a block should NOT be undertaken lightly.)
  7. Only physical members of our group can come to consensus on any proposed agenda item.   (if so, then remote members would not be able to block which is contrary to point #3 above)

    alternative to points #3 & #7 : Consensus approval of a proposal can be achieved onlyphysical by full members of our group at the particular meeting in which the proposal is addressed.   can come to consensus on any proposed agenda item
  8. Reaching consensus on a proposal during unofficial group meetings are considered non-binding by the group as a whole. (To some extent this line empowers subgroups).
  9. Proposals must be posted on the official website of this group for a period of three(3) days before consensus is sought for.     (Q: didn’t we discuss categorizing major and minor proposals at the last meeting and how minor proposals can be presented day of or am i mistaken in my recollection?)
  10. This body has mutually agreed to will adopt the below Rules of Quorum for the sole purpose of establishing legitimacy regarding the consensual approval of proposals.   of thwarting any agents that are bent on derailing or acting with malice to this movement, group or its members. The rules of quorum will not and cannot be applied for any other purpose.  (Q: why not?)  As an example, a quorum rule cannot be used as a pretext to block or delay a proposa.

The Rules (another word please) of Quorum:

  1. At official meetings, and before agenda items are presented, the working group’s Archiving Body will ask the physical members to raise one hand, if and only if they would like to be counted as members of this quorum. The Archiving Body will then record the physical member count.
  2. The Archiving Body will record the proposals that passed by consensus; the number of dissenting members, along with their capacity and/or form, will also be recorded.
  3. The Quorum Consensus Average( or QCA) is defined as, nine tenths of the average number of quorum members from the last six consecutive official meetings that transpired prior to, the proposal in question, consensus date.
    (POI/question:  Sunday meetings are more well-attended than Thursday meetings.   thus, is it accurate to average them both together?)
  4. If the QCA value is less than or equal to the quorum member count at the official meeting when the proposal in question reached consensus, then the proposal is binding, otherwise the proposal becomes invalid.
  5. Only rules one(1) and two(2) are mandated at all official meetings. Rules three(3) and four(4) are mandated when a proposal that has reached consensus is challenged by P&ERWG members.
  6. Any P&ERWG member, remote or otherwise, may challenge the validity of a binding proposal as per “The Rules of Quorum.”

    (note:  i feel that these quorum ‘rules’ can be made more clear & concise.   however, i’ve run out of time to work on this before the meeting.)


Membership : A remote member is any person that contributes to the group and is not physically present at any given in-person group meetings.  This also applies to members that are attending meetings on a regular basis buthappen to not be are not able to be present for a given meeting. For example: e.g. , if you are not present at a meeting then you are a remote member for that particular meeting, however, if you are present, then you arenot a remote a full member for that particular meeting(Can someone come up with a better definition? Please!)

other suggestion: define members who are physically present at meeting “present” members, instead of “full”.

DefinitionOfficial Meetings are group/subgroup meetings, where non-remote members have traditionally agreed to meet at very specific times, and venues. In addition, advance notice of venue changes, and meeting times rescheduling are required.

Definition: A Binding Proposal is any proposal that has reached consensus during official P&ERWG meetings.

Definition: A Non-binding Proposal is any proposal that has reached consensus, but its validity is currently being challenged by “The Rules of Quorum.” Also, a non-binding proposal is any proposal that has reached consensus during official subgroup meetings.

Definition: An Invalid Proposal is any proposal that has reached consensus but failed to satisfy “The Rules of Quorum.” The proposal is also understood to be devoid of non-binding status.

Q1: ‘What is the “equivalent” of a “progenitor”?’
A1: An equivalent can be a sponsor. I didn’t not use the word sponsor because I think that the P&ERWG what an ‘equivalent’ is.

Q2: ‘”quorum” has a fluid definition.’
A2: Yes, the quorum does have a fluid definition. My intent was to devise a circular definition for the quorum in order to complement the dynamic nature of this body.

Q3:’What is the “Archiving Body.” 
A1:This attempts to address a concern that words like ‘permitted’ are to authoritative which was not my intent. Intrinsic in this context implies or means that one is by design, by the nature, or by default permitted…

Q4:’What exactly is a “quorum member.”’
A1: A quorum member is any physical member of the P&ERWG that was counted during official meetings. Hence a fluid quorum is created. Furthermore, Since no names are recorded the quorum automatically dissolves once the agenda items have been addressed by the working group.




3 Responses to “consensus Process — Draft 2b”

  1. s.t.

    since the editing feature was locked on Draft 2, started a new doc as 2b.
    please note that any proposed changes to draft 2 has been clearly marked, i.e. no verbiage from Draft 2 has been eliminated, only crossed out.

  2. Stefan Agapie

    Hi Scott,
    You’ve maid lots of amendments. Due to time constrains I can not address them all online. However, if your or ANYONE ELSE would like to make major changes in one sit-in, I would like for us to meet in-person–schedule a meeting.

    PS: This document is nowhere near final, and I will only be presenting it to our official meeting as a discussion. There is plenty of time to include everyones amendment.