Our History

Consensus Council:  A Mission With A History


Established in 1990, the Consensus Council, is a private, North Dakota, nonprofit corporation dedicated to the improvement of government structure, services, and policy primarily in North Dakota and the Great Plains region of North America (North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Montana, Kansas, Nebraska, Manitoba). Originally called the “North Dakota Consensus Council, Inc.,” the name was changed in 1999 to “The Consensus Council, Inc.” to more accurately reflect its growing regional service presence. In 2021, the organization name was simplified to Consensus Council.


The primary function of the Consensus Council is to provide supplemental forums and assistance to leaders and citizens as they establish basic agreements regarding major issues of public structures, policies, and services.


The Council is committed to the use of innovative consensus-building tools and methods. The consensus processes include forums for discussion and study among leaders of diverse viewpoints, methods for connecting citizens to leaders in conversation, and document preparation that articulates the resulting mutual agreement and provides vehicles for implementation.


This consensus approach to basic public policy agreement and implementation helps to bridge the gap between how we think and how we act in public life. The Consensus Council provides models for institutions and consensus-building procedures that can be adapted to other governing circumstances in the region and throughout the world.



Purposes of the Consensus Council


The corporate purposes of the Consensus Council are:


*   To provide continuing forums for discussion of issues concerning the structure and services of government and the public, private, and nonprofit sectors;


*   To develop proposals and replicable models for improving the structure and services of state, provincial, regional, and local government;To identify, assess, and present public policy choices and models for state, provincial, regional, and local government;


*   To coordinate and contribute to the building of the public consensus concerning the structure and services of state, provincial, regional, and local government, and the roles of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors;


*   To develop and encourage public discussion of proposals to enhance the opportunities for pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness for the people through the public, private, and nonprofit sectors;


*   To provide public information and education programs regarding the role of the state, provincial, regional, and local government structure and services;


*   To contribute to public discussion of the future role of the prairie region;


*   To accomplish any other legal purpose which is directly related to the purposes outlined above, and


*   To receive and expend funds for approved corporate purposes as described above.