5 great reasons to embrace SAN (decision making by full consent)

Abhishek Thakore
3 min readJan 20, 2021

SAN (Sarvanumati) is the challenging process of making decisions with full consent. Yet, here are five reasons why we feel it is worth taking the journey

1. Majoritarian democracy divides collectives and oppresses minority

There is violence in the current model of democracy which oppresses the minority. The minority in turn is occupied with dethroning the majority. The result? A fragmented society. Is that what we really want? No! So why not atleast attempt to agree on something and act together — to build unity through the process of deep democracy itself

2. SAN builds unprecedented levels of ownership

Our experience of practicing SAN has been that when a group truly makes decisions with consent, every member of the group owns the decision as if they have made it. They go through the process of deicsion making just as a single leader does. In doing this they are able to access the group thought process and understand the WHY behind a decision. A decision arrived at by SAN is owned by the collective as well as the individuals. Which means, no need to force or convince, no need to motivate or empower. Bye bye modern management!

3. SAN enables quick action

SAN is cumbersome and time consuming at the start. This is particularly true as the field is being built and the collective is just learning to walk together, listen and dialogue. But done over time, SAN starts creating decisions based on fresh knowledge. This knowledge is the combined experience of people in the group. When decisions are taken based on this knowledge, they are actionable. Moreover, everyone involved then is engaged with execution, congruently. Being consulted for a decision and having given permission for it gives enough impetus to act.

4. It is a personal growth workshop that you can never attend

The journey of SAN enables personal growth at several levels. As you engage in the process, you keep deepening your listening, build your patience, improve your communication and capacity to dialogue. The regular practice of this means you don’t have to go to a workshop to pick these skills. Rather, they are picked as a part of the practice itself. In doing SAN you go to the roots of issues, you understand nuances of questions grounded in real life. A workshop can only simulate real life through games or activities. SAN on the other hand is a workshop anchored in real life.

5. It unites you to let you listen to the collective WE

The collective WE is the voice of our shared spirit. It is the voice of a group that has truly given consent to a proposal. Whenever we reach such a point, there is tension in the air, followed by a deep energetic release. The joy of seeing that we consent and concur is priceless. Repeated over and over, this process binds the group and unites it at a subtle energetic level. The shared langugage, experience and voice builds cohesion. Yet it is not uniformity. Each person is speaking their own truth and voice. They bring their ingrident to the cooking and the delicious meal is for everyone to enjoy!

We cannot recommend SAN enough. To know more about it, join us at our campaign, Sarvanumati : Our experiment with love