Burning Nest - Advice Process

The Advice Process is designed to make decisions for Burning Nest.

Burning Nest is co-created through the principle of Consensual Doocracy in conjunction with the 11 principles taken from Burning Man and extended with Each one teach one and is organized by a community of volunteers, and supported by a legal entity called Burning Nest LTD.  We are still learning, and there will probably be mistakes and fuckups along the way, but we believe this is our way forward to becoming an even more co-created event.

DISCLAIMER: The intention of this process is to enable the wider community to make a decision for the benefit of Burning Nest. However, this is quite a different and unfamiliar way of working for a lot of people and is still very experimental, especially for our Community and it may take a while for everyone to get a handle on things. For this reason, we want to keep a handle on what and how many Advice Processes are running while we find out how it works for the Burning Nest Community. Existing Circle members will use this process for Formal Decision (See below about Formal and Informal Decisions) however if you feel there is a decision/improvement that needs to be made through the Advice Process please email ADD IN NEW EMAIL ADDRESS HERE

The Short Version – this is usually enough

The general principle is that anyone should be able to make any decision regarding Burning Nest.

Before a decision is made, you must ask advice from those who will be impacted by that decision, and those who are experts on that subject.

Assuming that you follow this process, and honestly try to listen to the advice of others, that advice is yours to evaluate and the decision yours to make.

The Advice Process

The principle of Consensual Doocracy means that the power to decide on activities should rest with those who are going to execute them. In order to do this skillfully and without stepping on other's toes however, the doocrat needs to gather perspectives, advice, and consent from those who will be affected by their decisions. By learning more about the topic and connecting with people that are dependent on a decision of the idea, they become the best qualified in the community to take on or take over responsibility.

The goal of the Advice Process is to empower members of the community to make decisions for the benefit of Burning Nest, while:

  • Enabling individuals to make a positive change with community support

  • Empowering everyone to take action & not be stuck in indecisiveness
    Hold up the principals of Community, Participation and Self Reliance

  • Reach better decisions when more members can give input

  • Enables decentralization: Consensual Doocracy is the answer to the choice of not having a small group of overworked volunteers dictate the experience for others.

Please be kind, patient and respectful of others through this process. Try having productive conversations in a non-confrontational manner, everybody is a community member giving up their time to help create this event and are trying their best.

Formal Process vs Informal Process

If you can reasonably support that your decision does not need system-wide advice, use the informal process. If not, use the formal process which includes checks and balances to mitigate power and ensure transparency.

Informal Process

The informal layer of the advice process is intended to facilitate both circle and individual autonomy, flexibility, and efficiency. Before you make a decision you must seek advice from those who will be impacted by that decision, and those with expertise on the subject. Assuming the appropriate advice has been sought, you can then make the decision.

Formal Process

  1. Identify a tension or opportunity and launch an investigation that gathers the advice you need to make a decision. You should gather advice from stakeholders  (people/community who would be interested and/or affected by decisions) and those with expertise which is in proportion to the scope of the decision. It is your responsibility to actively seek out advice. That might mean picking up the phone, writing a private message or initiating a discussion via a Loomio thread.

  2. When you feel confident about the extent of advice you've considered, publish a proposal on the ‘Advice Process’ group of Loomio that includes the following, at a minimum: [Proposal Template made for you]

    1. Your details (name, role)

    2. What purpose the proposal serves, and/or what tension it addresses,

    3. A discussion on the scope of the decision, including the potential impact on identified stakeholders;

    4. How you invited people to take part in offering advice, and what important input you received from them (include links if necessary);

    5. A discussion on the collective principles or purposes you identified as relevant to the decision, and

    6. Your proposal based on your investigation.

    7. Ensure your proposal accounts for your taking personal responsibility going forward, and others are not included in your proposal without consent.

    8. Remember, like any good burner, you must hold yourself accountable for the results of the proposal, intended, and unintended.

  3. Answer any clarifying questions raised.

  4. Receive and resolve objections, and modify the proposal as appropriate (you can continue to update the context of a thread after initially posting).

    In the case of strong disagreements, we recommend making an open call for a meeting to resolve major issues. We are not necessarily looking for consensus, you are just looking for the consent of the affected parties.

  5. Once you've made a decision, update the context of your proposal on Loomio using the format below. This will ensure knowledge/decisions are easily accessed by all and preserved for future yous!
    Decision has been made
    Who made the decision:
    Your name
    When was the decision made: Date
    Decision summary: Short version of what you have decided

  6. Raise awareness of the decision if relevant, through Facebook posts, community newsletters and by informing people you think might need to know and don’t already.

  7. Drive the action based on the proposal. Remember to take accountability for the results of the action, based on the proposal, intended and unintended.

Document and archive

We use Loomios tags to document and archive decisions. There are five different tags that are applied to Advise Process threads.



Discussion (Ideas)

These are embryos to Advice Processes that are still at the first step of identifying a challenge and gathering initial advice. It should be the goal of these threads to move on towards a clear proposal. Threads that stagnate at this stage without becoming a proposal are eventually closed to decrease clutter.

Active AP

This tag is applied to threads where some proposal has been made and advice on that proposal is being gathered. Once you move into this stage, it is generally good form to set a date at which you are planning to complete the round of advice and move forward.

Completed AP

Once you have made a decision, follow steps 5 and 6 in the process above to make it known. Your Advice Process thread can then be tagged as completed. Completed AP:s are left open as long as they are relevant. For example, a decision for emergency funds for infrastructure is closed once the event is over to not clutter the group with old decisions.

Policy (Current)

Some Advice Processes lead to new policies that will be in place until they are replaced by other policies or someone decides to remove them. For example, the Conflict Escalation Process is a policy.

Policy (Archived)

Once a policy is replaced by a new policy or simply removed, it becomes tagged as archived and the thread is closed.


These are hand resources that have been created to make it easier to get started.