General Assembly Information

General Assemblies are decision making gatherings.  They are a way to implement the consensus process that has evolved through many meetings by the Process Workgroup and decisions made at General Assemblies.

Consensus Process

Over months the PAOV consensus procedure was refined and evolved to our own unique process.  It was simplified and streamlined for constructive discussion while not allowing any disruptive or disgruntled group to derail the outcome.  The following steps are for well designed proposal from workgroup or individual. It has been agreed that we attempt for 100% but will allow 80% consensus to pass a proposal. It is the responsibility of the proposer to continue as a motivator and organiser in aim of completion of the passed proposal and it is the individual responsibility of the General Assembly members to support them in this.

a) Proposal Presentations - The proposal is delivered with background or context to set a explanation for motivation. Details on What, How that is concluded with a yes or no question for the assembly, usually not more than 2-5 minutes. 
b) Clarifying Questions - This is time for anyone unsure of exactly what we are trying to reach consensus on to ask questions of the presenter.
c) Concerns - This time is to address any concerns the assembly may have about the proposal such as exclusivity or possible negative outcomes, the presenter may wish to respond at this time or wait. It is expected that any and all concerns should be brought forward at this point and not during a consensus check if not brought to light at this time.
d) Friendly Amendments - This is time for the assembly to address the concerns that have just deliberated, usually the wide spectrum of knowledge and understanding in a General Assembly can be harnessed to resolve any concerns unless fundamental disagreement exists. It is up to the pesenter whether to include any friendly amendments in their proposal
e) Consensus Check - The proposer can request this at any time and it does not end the process but can be used to give a clear feedback of the general assembly's feelings.  
A full consensus check has 4 steps;

YES: In favour
ABSTENTION: not in favour but not going to stop it or dont know and dont care
NO: I am against the proposal as it stands and I am prepared to speak as to why
BLOCK: I am fundamentally opposed to this proposal and believe it is the wrong direction for the PAOV

Our evolved process has grouped the last 3 as opposition and if any combination of these equal more than 20% the proposal will be tabled or the presenter is given the rest of the 20 minutes alotted to continue their petioning if they choose.

The block traditionally has been able to stop a proposal but with our process a person blocking is given an opportunity to speak in opposition to the proposal and attempt to show other general assembly participants that it is fundamentally flawed in their eyes and needs to be tabled until their concerns can be properly addressed.  This will allow for those sympathetic or empathetic to the blocker to alter their position until such time as the proposal can be refined so as to not significantly marginalize any voices.



General Assembly Code of Conduct


1. Check your assumptions and “isms” at the Door to help create a respectful inclusive and safe place for people to participate.

2. Listen to each other and help others to listen to others.  

3. Do not interupt others.

4. Respect the order of speakers chosen by the facilitator. 

5. Resepct the agreed upon Consesus Meeting process(ask for help if you do not know or understand the process by raising your hand and the facilitator will answer your question or get someone to help you without disrupting the meeting. 

6. Be brief in speaking your piece.  

7. Use "I" statements in stead of "We"  

8.  This is an alcohol and drug free meeting space.  Please respect the meeting by not these into the space inside or outside your body.

9. If you disagree with a persons actions or idea, speak out about the behavior or idea not against the person. 

10. By attending this meeting you agree to follow the rules of the consensus decision making process as decided by consensus of previous meetings. If you disagree with any of the rules you are free to put forth an amendement to the rules under the proposal section of the meeting.

If you want to help please ask the facilitator or others during or after a meeting.

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