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Methods for developing consensus - crowd wise

I wanted to share with you some information about a participative decision-making method called Crowd Wise, developed by a colleague of mine, Perry Walker (now a nef fellow). I'm sure many of you will know of and use methods like Open Space and World Cafe. These are great for opening up conversations and ensuring everyones voice and perspective is heard. However, sometimes it is difficult from this open starting point, to generate actions and next steps that everyone signs up to. In other meeting formats too often people are asked to vote 'for' or 'against' something, and those who are able to generate most support drown out those with alternative ideas.  

Crowd Wise is a useful process for enabling people to reach a consensus conclusion and a way of making the most of all the ideas that are created by open processes. It generates a series of possible answers to an issue, then seeks to generate consensus among and between these options. Rather than being 'for' or 'against' an option you are able to rate your preferences. This is then followed by deliberation or discussion, enabling the best bits of various popular ideas to be reviewed and/ or adapted and improved. This 'preference voting' approach often means that most people who take part are able to feel at least some of what they want is represented, offering a positive starting point on which many people are able to take action.

Crowd Wise might be useful where people are involved in commissioining or decommissioning services in an area, or within organisations wanting to refocus their activities.

You can read more about Crowd Wise in action at where it has been used by Wimbledon AFC (a football club owned by its supporters).

Theres more about Crowd Wise here, crowd wise  or contact Perry dierct at He's keen to understand whether and how Crowd Wise could be useful to co-production and would be delighted to hear from any of you.

If anyone does use it - or investigate it further - perhaps you could share your thoughts with other practitioners on this blog?



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Comment by Keith Morris on November 1, 2011 at 16:43
Thanks Lucie, will do.
Comment by Lucie Stephens on November 1, 2011 at 16:39

glad you like the look of it. do speak to perry for more information. also, i know he's keen to find more settings in which to evolve the method so if you have anything forthcoming that you think it might help with do flag that up with him!


Comment by Keith Morris on November 1, 2011 at 16:30
Thanks Lucie. This looks very interesting. I did some work on behalf of the Department of Health where we had people living with long term conditions work with clinicians, social workers, commissioners etc to develop options for better care and support and then develop a consensus about what to take forward. The consensus stage worked pretty well in most cases but it did throw up a few issues and I'll be interested to check out Crowd Wise.
Comment by Lucie Stephens on November 1, 2011 at 15:52

Ruth, do get in touch with Perry to find out more, it could well be another useful tool in your forthcoming research!


Comment by Ruth Dineen on November 1, 2011 at 15:35
Great - thanks. Sounds like a brilliant method of reaching consensual decisions and engaging stakeholders in to the bargain.
Comment by Lucie Stephens on November 1, 2011 at 15:23
apologies for problems with the link to the story about afc wimbledon - have amended so should work now
Comment by Ruth Dineen on November 1, 2011 at 15:09

Hi Lucie

Can't seem to access CrowdWise via the http link above. Is it correct?


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