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Consensual Do-ocracy - short definition

Kiez Burn e.V. Board
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Kiez Burn is co-created through the principle of Consensual Do-ocracy:

You are able to make any decision regarding Kiez Burn, if

  • you have sought advice from experts on the subject and the people who will be affected by your decision,

  • you are willing to take responsibility for the actions & consequences coming from the decision or have the support needed to make it happen,

  • you got consent from other event realizers that are affected by your decision.

Introduction

Through this principle and its methods, we attempt to live the Kiez Burn principles. It is not easy. We fuck up, we make mistakes, we learn and we improve. We are not here to make a perfect burn with perfect individuals. We are here to grow, together.

This short definition is usually sufficient in enabling anyone to take on responsibility. Hundreds of decisions are taken at Kiez Burn. Examples include:

  • How to set up an efficient electrical power grid

  • Designing a shift schedule for rangers or welfare leads

  • How to make a fun & informative greeting experience at the gate

These decisions do not affect that many people and are usually taken by people who are already experts on a particular subject. For bigger decisions, please use the advice process.

Why we do this

The principle of consensual do-ocracy means the power to decide on an idea, should be with those who carry out the idea (a.k.a. realizers). Sufficient energy should be put into (1) exploring if this idea will truly benefit Kiez Burn as a whole, and (2) making sure this idea is consented to by other Kiez Burn leaders who would be affected by a decision on this idea.

By learning more about the topic and connecting with people that are dependent on a decision of the idea, they become the best qualified in the community to take on or take over a responsibility. They become leaders within temporary hierarchies based on the thinking that power should flow to those who need it, in order to carry out ideas.

Given the above, anyone should be able to propose an idea, improve on it, gather consent and then decide to carry it out. They are now responsible for the actions & consequences coming from this proposal or/and have the support needed to make this proposal happen & deal with the (unintended) consequences.

  • Usually, the short definition of consensual do-ocracy is sufficient to guide people from idea to decision. 

  • For bigger decisions, we found we need more structure, which is given by the advice process

  • 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

Consent is defined here as “not having significant objections (to a certain proposal)”. If an affected person cannot accept the proposed action, they state their objections with reasons that can be understood by the others. The responsibility of all is to listen with the intent to understand and adapt the proposal to minimize possible risks. Consensing does not require agreement, affirmation or even preference.  Consent is reached by choosing the proposal with the least objections. The lowest level of objection — resistance — results in the highest acceptance. (source)