March 10th, 2020 18:00

The Advice Process

Kiez Burn e.V. Board
Kiez Burn e.V. Board Public Seen by 74

Most of our decisions do not require a long process, and can use the short definition. For the important decisions however, we ask you to follow this more structured advice process (e.g. decisions that affect the budget). It helps us reach better decisions while keeping a co-operative atmosphere within the community of fellow event realizers. Transparency = default

In case of strong disagreement:

  • The conflict escalation process allows for individuals to stop a decision by making sure leaders listen to advice

  • A meeting can be called so to solve bigger disagreements between groups of people

The IDEA phase

  1. You, possibly with some other people, have an IDEA that addresses a problem or opportunity

  2. You talk about this IDEA with friends and other people you know within Kiez Burn. 

  3. You seek advice from experts on the topic and other event realizers that might be affected by your decision on the IDEA. This might mean picking up the phone or writing a private message to make sure you get advice from those you identify as important. You can also seek advice through Talk by using this IDEA template.

The PROPOSAL phase

4. When you feel confident about the extent of advice you've considered, post a PROPOSAL of the idea on Talk, using this PROPOSAL template. Make sure to clearly state what problem or opportunity you are addressing (e.g. “accidents happen because the roads do not have enough light”).

5. Recruit & engage interaction on the PROPOSAL, particularly from experts on the topic and event realizers that might be affected by your decision on the IDEA. You can use Realities to identify Realizers of needs that are dependent on your decision

6. Modify the PROPOSAL as appropriate based on the advice given before. Event realizers that are (strongly) affected by your decision must consent to go through with the PROPOSAL.

The ACTION phase

7. Once you've made a DECISION, update your Talk post as the PROPOSAL template advises.

8. Make the DECISION public and transparent and link to it in relevant discussions on Talk, Facebook, email etc.

9. Drive the ACTION based on the proposal. You are now responsible for the actions & consequences coming from this proposal or/and have the support needed to make this proposal happen


A well functioning community is not a community where everyone always agrees with everyone else, but instead, where disagreements or conflicts are handled in a productive way. We have 2 processes in place that help us come to decisions and nurture relationships. They are the alternative to people withdrawing from the community frustrated, too-long-to-read Talk threads or big shouting matches.

  1. Conflict escalation process

  2. Open call for a meeting

Conflict escalation process

This process is ideal when there is a disagreement/conflict between the person objecting to and the person behind a proposal. A conflict escalation process can prevent a decision on a proposal from happening if the objection comes from an affected event realizer (within reasonable limits). When this halts the decision, it should be made clear within the proposal thread, that this process is happening.

  1. Start with yourself. What do you need to take care of yourself in such a way that you can handle this situation in the most productive way? How can you better listen and try to understand the opinions and arguments of the other side?

  2. Find an impartial mediator, a space holder who can facilitate the conversation. The role of this individual is not to have an opinion on the matter or try to make judgements, but to make sure that both sides listen to one another.

  3. The third step is to bring in an arbitration panel to make the call. Arbitration is a form of ad-hoc community created court system, where each party in the conflict chooses one arbitrator to be on the panel. The two chosen arbitrators then chose a third member together, without the influence of the conflicting parties. These three parties will then interview the affected parties, as well as any experts that might have relevant information on the matter. The panel will make a vote and their decision is to be considered an authoritative, final decision.

  4. If one of the conflicting parties at this stage refuses to participate in the arbitration process, or ignores the decision of the arbitration panel, the board of the non-profit organisation responsible for the event will make the decision. To escalate a conflict to this level is to be considered a complete breakdown of self-organization and something we hope to never happen.

(source: Borderland)


Open call for a meeting for consent

This process is ideal when there is a disagreement/conflict between multiple people. This may be because the proposal is backed by a bigger group, or because the objections come from a bigger group of affected people. We are not (necessarily) looking for consensus, you are just looking for the consent of the affected parties (within reason).

  1. Find a date that works for all the affected parties and the person behind the proposal

  2. Follow the Kiez Burn meeting guidelines. Particularly important here, is to find an impartial mediator, a space holder who can facilitate the conversation. 

  3. At the meeting, start off by truly trying to understand each other’s perspectives on the topic. See if there is a possibility for the event realizers that would be affected by a decision on the proposal, to consent for the proposal to go through even though they might disagree with the content of the proposal. Consent is reached by choosing the proposal with the least objections.

  4. When no decision can be reached, the event coordination team takes the decision.

Visualization of the advice process