Dotmocracy: Large Group Decision Making

September’s session on large group decision making was hosted by Jason Diceman, Senior Public Consultation Coordinator for the City of Toronto and author of the Dotmocracy Handbook.

Dotmocracy is a transparent, equal opportunity, and participatory large group decision-making tool. It is a simple method for recognizing points of agreement among a large number of people. Participants write down ideas on specially designed paper forms called Dotmocracy sheets and use pens to fill in one dot per sheet, recording their levels of agreement. The result is a graph-like visual representation of the group’s collective opinion. Note, this is not sticky dot voting like you may be familiar with. It focuses attention on each idea in turn, as shown here in the session:

Dotmocracy has been proven to:

  • Recognize collective priorities and direction from all participants.
  • Engage and empower diverse groups of people.
  • Recognize agreement on unique and specific ideas, as well as general and thematic ideas.
  • Give an equal voice to even the quietest of participants.
  • Help avoid verbal debates and “soap box” style speech-making.
  • Support friendly discussions while efficiently leading to practical conclusions.
  • Provide fully documented results that can be easily turned into action plans.

We will learn the details of facilitating this technique and apply the tool in a real life scenario, discuss approaches to various challenges and hear stories from Jason’s experience in Venezuelan communal councils, Canadian co-operatives, un-conferences and public consultations.

You can download a free PDF of the Handbook and learn more about Dotmocracy at