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Colorfull dots that form an arrowFinding solutions that work for everyone

Discover breakthrough solutions with a collaborative decision-making process designed to build trust across differences and integrate what's important to everyone involved.

How people experienced Convergent Facilitation

Tim Mahoney

I really had no interest nor any belief that this process would actually do anything. However, the trust that it built was quite amazing to me. I wouldn’t have believed it was possible, but we achieved more collaboratively than we were able to do as adversaries.” There was a moment when it became apparent to me that people had become problem-solvers rather than position-staters.

Aimee Ryan

At some point, we came upon the issue that was THE issue; the one that, if we didn't crack, we wouldn't reach consensus on the overall project. When we didn't think we could find consensus, we created the opportunity to simply publish the opposing viewpoints. Eventually, we agreed that the field didn’t need another report that outlined the polarizing perspectives. So instead, we dug deeper, expanded our creativity, and developed a frame, and solutions, that held us all.

Vanda Perez Bessone

As soon as we started meeting, we had fun. Parents, staff and board members didn’t experience the decision process as a debate - no one tried to convince anyone else - and our discussions didn’t feel endless. The main shift happened when we discovered we could integrate two pathways we initially thought of as opposite. We could merge them into a parallel and complementary model that works beautifully.

Katy Mamen

I came up against a lot of intense power struggles when I worked as an advocate. Instead, what I witnessed in this process was completely different: people representing different parts of the system came together and stayed together across real differences, went to the heart of thorny issues, and came out at the other end with realistic, durable and robust strategies.

What makes these experiences possible?

Everything that matters is included

Everything that matters is included

We leave no stone unturned to discover and capture what's important to all stakeholders in the decision. This creates a solid foundation to explore all sorts of creative solutions.

We aim for zero waste

We aim for zero waste

We have all and only the necessary discussions, hearing every need, but not every voice. This enables us to capture all that is important to everyone without draining the group’s energy when people repeat what’s already been said.

We never settle for compromise

We never settle for compromise

We know that when people compromise an agreement is more likely to be broken later. We never push anyone to agree to anything. We invite dissent to know more of what’s important and then we keep integrating what we hear until we are done. Then everyone is on board.

We aim for solutions that work for the most powerful and the least powerful

We aim for solutions that work for the most powerful and the least powerful

We go through great efforts to bring in, hear and integrate all that matters to all stakeholders across power differences. Without those with the most power, agreements might just not be implemented. Without those with the least power, agreements might simply not work. We know that this is a key condition for a practical, sustainable and implementable outcome.

We create conditions to make shifts possible

We create conditions to make shifts possible

We don’t expect people to change their position or values, because it’s not necessary for them to agree on specific solutions. All we aim for is to make it possible for people to trust that everyone cares about what matters to them, to see that there are deep principles they all care about regardless of their differences, and to be supported in seeing and caring about what matters to others. This combination is what moves people to orient to the whole. Then they can shift to see that this or that proposal isn’t actually threatening anything that matters to them.

Appreciation for Convergent Facilitation

Frederic Laloux
Author of "Reinventing Organisations"

There is a belief in our culture that we have to choose between collaboration and efficiency. It’s one or the other. Convergent Facilitation shows that there is an efficient path—perhaps the only truly efficient one—that gets everyone’s needs met.

Joanna Macy
Root teacher of the "Work That Reconnects", activist

Convergent Facilitation will steer us away from wasting time and accelerate our work for the Great Turning.

Aaron Goggans
Writer, facilitator, and organizer with the Movement for Black Lives

Convergent Facilitation is a revolutionary new way of collaborating by creating space for all needs to be heard, inviting dissent without fear or animosity, and attending to power dynamics that are in the room.

Kazu Haga
Writer, facilitator, and organizer with the Movement for Black Lives

Convergent Facilitation is a vision of democracy that is something other than a six-hour meeting after which we are too tired to implement any decision. It opens a path towards a democratic praxis where we all take responsibility for the whole and make decisions that meet the needs of everyone.

Listen to Paul's experience of the power of Convergent Facilitation