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Lessons from discussion circles, Aya Shoshan by Mind Map: Lessons from discussion circles, Aya Shoshan
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Lessons from discussion circles, Aya Shoshan

Personal story

Studied in Spain in May, 2011

Went to see the protest that started in the main square

Observed that there was something new in this protest - the way it was organized

Was very impressed with the success of the protest, In less than a week, assemblies of thousands of people were formed, with success in discussion & even decision making


the message was "Real democracy"

there are problems in the government & parliament structure & representation there

the protest wanted to create an alternative


horizontal flat structure, no leaders, even if some people did led, they refused to take credit, & present themselves in communications, communication committee serving as channel to media, constant rotation in positions, example, when the TV invited them for a "60 minutes" show, they decided to refuse sending a person saying:, no 1 or few could represent the protest movement, There's a base vocabulary in the Spain, extended in the US

wisdom of the crowds, influencing the decision making process

strive to concensus, the challenge of participants is not to convince others but to find the solution that will be accepted by all, assuming that everyone have the same goal, so if someone has objections, it's important to listen to him

The spaniards were very good in communicating the meta-knowledge of how to create this such protest

which influenced similar movements in the States &c

Step up, step back

US, If you are over-influential & represented outside the assembly (or in some issue), step back, if you are under-influential outside the assembly, step up

Comparison between the protest movements

Hands gestures

enable interaction with interrupting the discussion flow


Spain, when preparing a discussion, listing arguments, suggestions & blocks, blocks aren't just con opinion, but rather veto, the policy was complete concensus, this made the general assembly incapable of making decisions

US, trying to reach full concensus, but if not reached, have a voting requiring 90% majority

Mechanism isn't enough - human culture & drive are required


discussion culture is very important because even discussions themselves are a process of dividing resources, such as the discussion time resource