So you want to apply some of these methods to form your own democratic group consensus? Let’s go over the process of making your voice heard in large scale conversations (without shouting!).
It is important to remember that only one person should talk at a time. In order to achieve this, Occupy employes the use of randomly appointed facilitators and stack takers, as well as having every person use hand signals.
Depending on the size of the group, one or more facilitators are chosen. In order to keep the process as democratic as possible, new facilitators are often chosen for each new assembly. Their purpose is to lead the discussion topics and ensure all necessary ideas and issues are covered. As the group conversation proceeds, the facilitators bring up each topic of discussion and opens the floor to those who wish to speak on the subject. In a sense, they are the closest thing to a “leader” each assembly has.
Depending on the size of the group, one or more stake takers are chosen. In order to keep the process as democratic as possible, new stack takers are often chosen for each new assembly. Their job is to keep an eye out for each person who wants to speak and allow them the chance to talk when it is their turn (according to the order of importance based on hand signals).
- Raised Hand- This signal indicates a desire to start a new topic.
- Direct Response- This signal indicates a desire to respond to what a person is saying.
- Clarify(ing Question)- This signal indicates that a question needs to be asked about a subject.
- Point of Order(Process)- This signal indicates that the conversation has gone off topic and needs to return to the critical discussion.
- (Point of Information)- Index finger raised indicates wanting to add critical information to what was just said.
- (Raise the Roof/Ear Cone)- Hands pressed up in the air “raising the roof” or a hand cupped around an ear indicates that the speaker needs to speak up.
- (Wrap It Up)- Hands rolling in a circular motion around one another indicates that a person or subject has gone on too long, critical points should be made, and the topic needs to be wrapped up.
Importance of Signals Order-
When the primary person (the one who brought up the subject) is done talking, the stack taker will notify the group which person will speak next, based on this order:
- Point of Information
- Clarifying Question
- Direct Respose
- Raised Hand (starts a new topic)
To see these terms explained with live action motions, please check out this awesome video! (They will even show you a few more, just for fun!)