Participatory Decision-Making Core Values

Full Participation In a participatory group, all members are encouraged to speak up and say what's on their minds. This strengthens a group in several ways. Members become more courageous in raising difficult issues. They learn how to share them.

Mutual Understanding In order for a group to reach a sustainable agreement, the members need to understand and accept the legitimacy of one another's needs and goals. Their basic sense of acceptance and understanding is what allows people to develop innovative ideas that incorporate everyone's point of view.

Inclusive Solutions Inclusive solutions are wise solutions. Their wisdom emerges from the integration of everybody's perspectives and needs. These are solutions whose range and vision is expanded to take advantage of the truth held not only by the quick, the articulate, the most powerful and influential, but also of the truth held by the slower thinkers, the shy, the disenfranchised and the weak. As the Quakers say, “Everybody has a piece of the truth.”

Shared Responsibility In participatory groups, members feel a strong sense of responsibility for creating and developing sustainable agreements. They recognize that they must be willing and able to implement the proposals they endorse, so they make every effort to give and receive input before final decisions are made.