consensus building

Consensus building is when one consults with a large number of people, citizens, stakeholders (whatever applies), as equals to deliberate and discover which of all the possible positions (solutions) on an issue have the highest approval.

The object of consensus building is not to determine which position is most popular, but which position serves everyone the best, now and in the future.

Consensus building usually requires talented facilitators who ensure that different stakeholders all get their chance to make their views known and encourages mutual trust in a fair process.

More organic approaches to consensus building have been formalized in best practices for consensus decision making, or grassroots democracy. Most significant is the question of what degree of consensus is required to proceed.