This handbook on group decision-making for those wanting to operate in a consensus fashion stresses the advantages of informal, common sense approaches to working together. It describes how any group can put these approaches into practice, and relates numerous examples of situations in which such approaches have been applied.
In the early 1980s, Chattanooga, Tennessee faced economic, social, and environmental problems that had been brewing for a long time. Early industrial growth had brought dozens of major industries to this small city, including the Tennessee Valley Authority, and with them the promise of economic well-being. But by the early 1960s, that promise remained unrealized. While the population of other Southern cities boomed, Chattanooga's slowed to a crawl. The city had few professional jobs to offer; most of the workforce was concentrated in the manufacturing sector. Meanwhile, years of industrial activity began to take its toll. In 1969, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Chattanooga had the worst air quality of any urban area in the United States. By the 1970s, ...