OuiShare's General Decision Making Principles

These principles were agreed here.

# 1 Autonomy of projects & communities

All OuiShare projects manage their budget and decisions completely independently. Their only obligation towards the organization is to contribute 10% structure costs to their local OuiShare non-profit. We rely upon the good judgement of the project leaders to know when a decision about a project could have a large impact on the rest of the organization and / or brand and thus make it necessary to consult the rest of the Connectors community before.

#2 3-Connector rule

All day-to-day decisions (that are not project related) without impact on budget or the OuiShare brand can be made by 3 Connectors together (arguably, this is not the case that often anymore). Example: a OuiShare meetup in a new city.

#3 Voting as last resort

Voting creates winners and losers and often slows things down. The tools we have chosen to make decisions are meant to enable discussions to take place in a transparent and agile way without forcing votes on all points. Only when an aspect emerges that cleary needs a decision, a vote is held.


How decisions are made

For formal decisions, OuiShare uses a version of consent decision-making, called Lazy consent, a methodology with a specific meaning and practice.

Lazy consent means that you do not need a specific percentage of people to vote on a matter for the result to be valid. Silence is the equivalent to supporting a decision. Attention: we are using consent, not consensus, meaning that if you vote yes, that may not mean you necessarily agree, but you can live with the decision and don’t veto it.

Decision Tool: Loomio

In OuiShare, formal decisions are made using a software tool called Loomio, which helps groups make collective decisions using constructive deliberation. This process is based on the principle that diverse perspectives can be synthesised to achieve better solutions that work for more people.

While making use of other channels (online and offline) to enrich input into a decision is strongly encouraged, the results on Loomio are considered the official outcome. This is so that we can keep a clear record and archive, and to ensure that everyone who desires to participate in a given decision-making process has the opportunity to make their voice heard.

Not every Loomio proposal constitutes a formal decision. Many Loomio proposals are created simply to gauge interest or share information. For the purposes of this Agreement, a “formal decision” is a clearly worded Loomio proposal seeking a specific mandate on behalf of the community.

Decision Types

Standard & Strategic Decisions

Standard and strategic decisions happen both at a local and global level, though most of the time at a local level. Since it varies by case which level a decision should be made on, it is up to the discression of members and Connectors leading a decision to judge whether to consult a local or the global Loomio group.

Decision Type Passing Criteria Minimum time frame for voting Description
Standard Decision As long as 3 Connectors agree none Any day-to-day decision that does not have a large impact on the OuiShare brand and budget, for example to organizing a OuiShare meetup in a city.
Use of the OuiShare Brand As long as there are no blocks 5 working days on Loomio For example associating an external project, event or organization with the brand and promoting it on our communication channels
Strategic Decisions As long as there are no blocks 5 working days on Loomio For example partnering with other organizations for a project, applying for an EU project or moving to a new office.

Budget Decisions

Decision Type Passing Criteria Minimum time frame Description
> 300 € Decision of each local communities financial steward(s) none Example for uses of such budgets are travel costs, event tickets, office costs, etc. The financial steward is reponsible for knowing the current status of finances to make this decision
> 2000 € As long as there are no blocks 3 working days on Loomio Decision is made in the local community whose budget is in question.
< 2000 € As long as there are no blocks 5 working days on Loomio Decision is made in the local community whose budget is in question.
Annual budget for local commons Depends on local community, see decision making principle #1 Validated once a year in November on Loomio for the budget of the following year Operational costs of local OuiShare entities and their communities
Annual budget for global commons Each local community votes with money via the collaborative funding tool Cobudget November - December for funding the budget of the following year. Global operational costs. See examples of what is part of the global commons.

Archive of important past decisions

You can see a list of important past decisions and case studies on this map.


Would you like to make changes or improvements to this handbook? Read how here.

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