Step-by-Step Process

The three main roles for people involved in a Dotmocracy process are:


Trained individuals who manage the process and remain neutral on the content.


The many people who take part in the process, contributing their ideas and opinions.

 Hosts:Representatives of the organization(s) that have sponsored the process and will be responsible for acting on the results.


Below are the essential instructions for doing a proper Dotmocracy process.

1.  Learn about the issue.

Before starting a Dotmocracy process on a complex topic, education should be provided to the participants to ensure they are knowledgeable on the issue that will be addressed, e.g., distribute a primer booklet a few days ahead of time, or host an introductory lesson on the topic.

2. Present the issue and question(s).

The hosting group provides a preamble to introduce the issue at hand and the context in which it will be addressed. Post the key question(s) participants will answer through the Dotmocracy process.

A person poiting to preamble and questions posted on a wall 

3. Discuss potential answers.

In small groups, have participants brainstorm and deliberate potential answers to the posted questions. Invite participants to collectively and independently draft many ideas.
  People brainstorming ideas and making notes.

4. Write ideas on Dotmocracy sheets.

Participants clearly print idea statements Dotmocracy sheets. Sheets are usually either posted on a wall or passed around among participants.
  Proposals posted on a wall under posted questions.

5. Fill dots to record opinions. Write comments.

Participants read and consider the ideas and fill in one dot per sheet to record their opinion of each idea on a scale of “strong agreement”, “agreement”, “neutral”, “disagreement”, “strong disagreement” or “confusion”. Participants sign each sheet they dot and may choose to add brief comments.

  People filling in dots on sheets.

Repeat steps 3 through 5.

Participants review ideas, discuss comments and dotting patterns, and post new ideas to be dotted.

6. Report the results.

The end of the dotting process is announced. The sheets are collected and sorted by topic and/or level of agreement. All results are published, with the most popularly agreed-upon ideas celebrated and the important disagreements recognized.
  A written plan is presented as people celebrate the most popular ideas.

7. Announce a decision.

The hosting group authors a plan that selects, combines, prioritizes, and/or finds compromise among the popularly agreed-upon ideas, with minimal disagreement. The decision is publicized and the hosting group is held accountable to the reported results of the Dotmocracy process, in relation to the original preamble provided.


Graphic for Instruction Download

To get reliably useful results and to promote accountability, facilitators should follow the official Dotmocracy Rules & Requirements.


Download these instructions and the rules as a on page PDF


For more helpful suggestions Download the complete Dotmocracy Handbook.