Process to select the sites: some concerns about the review of the fiches

Hello @reef-building,

So the next step is creating a process to select the sites that we would like to send for a feasibility study. This is quite important, because we can only do 10, and so we need to make sure that the entire process is fully transparent.

Sophie and Sarah will be working out a detailed proposal, but what we know from our Governance Document is that it will most likely be a “multi-voting” system, in which every household gets a certain number of sticky dots that they can freely attribute to the sites that have been shortlisted.

To make this work, it is really important that

  1. Everybody understands why certain sites have been shortlisted
  2. Everybody can easily access all the important information about the sites that are subject to the vote

Having filled in a couple of scouting fiches the other day I have a couple of concerns about the current system of scoring the sites, which is an important first step in the process to decide which sites we’ll send for a feasibility study. One concern is about the scoring system, and another about transparency. Below you can find a detailed explanation on both.

The scoring system

My most important objection relates to the 1-6 scoring of the different criteria.

Looking at the overview file (“follow-up fiches” - internal link) I worry that there is a possibility that a site that gets a low score for an important criterion gets a high score overall because it gets a high score for certain less important criteria.

For example: a site that gets a high score for all our criteria (the garden, close to a park, 30 minutes from the station etc), but is located next to a disco or padel place: this is probably not a site that we want to consider. An example is the site in the rue de Danmark (STG-01), which currently gets the 4th highest score, but which is super far away from a park.

Looking at the scores in the overview table I also find it difficult to see what explains the differences between the scores of the different sites. The rather complicated formula to calculate the scores doesn’t help in that regard.

Finally I am also not sure whether it makes sense to differentiate the score for certain criteria. For example: either there is a low flood risk either there isn’t. Any site with even a moderate flood risk should be excluded right away (IMHO), i.e. the only acceptable score should be a 6.


When we are going to take a decision on which sites to send for a feasibility study, it will be super important that everybody can quickly get the essentials about all the sites that are potential candidates. In the current system, to me at least, it seems that it is going to require quite some work to be able to understand the pros and cons about every site.

Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Giving the sites a code is great, but it quickly becomes a bit abstract. Example STG-01 (abstract number) = rue de Danmark (a street that many people may know). Can it be an option to put the column with the address next to the one with the location number?

  • Linked to that I think it will save everybody a lot of time if we can make sure that we have consistent file naming, with all files in the same folder. If anybody can be bothered, having the link to the file in the overview file would be fantastic, but I am of course aware like nobody else that this takes some extra effort.

  • I’ll leave it up to you how you want to remedy the issue with the scores. One alternative could be to reduce the scoring to 2. The default “yes” would be 2, 1 would be “it’s not great, but it could be acceptable” and 0 would be “no”. With automatic formatting zeros could be coloured red, and ones could be orange, so that it becomes more visual which are a site’s downsides.

  • This could be accompanied by an extra column that says “candidate?” with a simple “yes / no” as possible answers. I myself for example, realised when filling in my fiches that some sites that I reported are most probably not good candidates because they are too small. Having a column that just says “no” can even save the reviewers a lot of time?

  • Likewise I think it would be an absolute win if we could add some columns that are like an executive summary. For example one column could be “the site’s main advantages” and another “the site’s main disadvantages”. Using a couple of short sentences, I think this will make things more concrete and easy to access. An additional plus I think would be that it gives feedback to the people who scouted the site.

  • A final extra column could be for feedback from non-reviewers. Given that tracked changes are close to impossible in Excel and you probably don’t want people to mess around with what has been written, adding an extra column where people can put any questions or remarks may save us a lot of misery?

  • An additional advantage of all this (I believe) would be that it should become easier for more people to review the fiches. This is important for business continuity and efficiency, which are two things we highly value in our working methods.


To be clear: I am super grateful for the current strategy and all the work that has been invested in it. It’s fantastic beyond any doubt, and nothing that I said in this post makes it any less fantastic.

Having gone through the exercise for real however, things have become a bit more concrete, which makes that I see a couple of concerns further down the line. I always feel a bit uncomfortable to deliver detailed feedback because we attach so much importance to team autonomy. At the same time I trust that it has to be possible for feedback not to be seen as criticism, but rather as a contribution towards making it to the finish line all together, as efficiently as possible.


@Lee thank you for this in depth feedback, it’s realy worthy !

About the scoring system:

  1. The weight of the different criteria can be changed. At this moment they go from 1 to 3 but we could change that to bigger numbers. I also added cell checkboxes yesterday so that you can remove colums/criteria of the total score (f.ex. because a critaria is not evaluated for all sites).
  2. The scale of the scores can certainly being adapted also and I can say that with the team gathering yesterday to do together some fiche reviewing we were constantly struggling with the scores. Not necceraly the scale but how important is it and in which imporantance it wil impact our choice of a site.
    Most existing cohousing aren’t in zones which fullfils all our criteria (noise, lively, safe for woman, …)

For the transparancy part:

  1. It’s doesn’t look as a problem of transparancy but visibility for people who wants to easily have a view on the sites. And I completely agree.
  2. I suggest those different points are discussed on next team meating to see which one we take into account. I will then adapt the file to this.

Once again, thanks for your feedback


Hi @Julien,

Thanks for being so open for the feedback. I really appreciate that.

The Team Building meetings don’t seem to be on the calendar (can somebody please take care of that?), so I can’t see when the next meeting is.

My personal opinion - which by now no longer comes as a surprise - is that we need to speed things up as much as possible. In the future it will not be possible to always wait for a team or a plenary meeting, and I think we should start to let go of that already now.

As far as I can see there are about 40 fiches for the moment, so the sooner we can get started with a simpler and more transparent system, the better. Can it be an option that you look for a date for a quick online meeting with only a couple of people? In sociocracy we call this a “helping circle”, which is a sub-team that gets charged with one specific task. You could then briefly report the findings of that meeting, and anybody who cares can then still bring in their concerns.

Final note, also in view of efficiency and transparency: can it be an option to add the files of the pre-feasibility studies in the same folder, with the same naming convention (just adding “pre-feasibility study” to the file name). This way everybody knows where to find them, and we can also filter them using the search function.

Thanks again for your consideration!


There’s a team building meeting on 27/7.

All dates have been added to Nextcloud Calendar


Hello @reef-building,

I have seen your updated Powerpoint for the plenary meeting, which looks great.

I didn’t see anything on the scoring of the fiches though. Did you prepare anything on this?

I’m asking, because, as indicated in the post above, the approach to scoring and selecting sites for pre-feasibility studies for me no longer meets the “good enough for now, safe enough to try” criterion. The strategy that was proposed initially was very detailed and thought-through and thus “good enough for now, safe enough to try” when it was proposed, but now that we are using it, we are seeing that it has some points that don’t really work. Therefore I’d be grateful if you could consider my post above as a sociocratic “objection”, including the suggestions I made to amend the proposal. TIA for your understanding!


Hello Lee,
We discussed this topic at our last TB meeting. It was decided to adapt the assessment system in consultation with you, Julien and me as soon as possible. In the meantime, I can remove the evaluation sheet from the power point for better clarity. Bon week end !


Ping @Julien @Sebas and @Sophie_Beese: thanks very much for the constructive meeting of tonight!

I have finished my homework in the meanwhile:

  • Overview Excel: tweaked and saved in the “scouting coordination” folder

  • Manual for scoring: first draft created and saved in the same folder

  • Fiches: saved as a new file “revised”, with changes suggested as track changes

All files are yours now. Feel free to modify them as you see fit.

@Julien: can you please post the meeting notes below?

@Julien and @Sebas: when you are done with everything, can you please archive the files we no longer need in the “OLD” folder?

Many thanks!

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@Lee nice work, did some peer review and no comments/observations on it. Well done!
I just don’t find the new fiche template.

Notes of meeting:
Present: Lee, Sophie, Sebastien, Julien

1. Explanation of objections of Lee on first way of working

Lee expressed her opinion on how it has to be:

  • Clean & Transparant
  • Quick
  • Cannot lie on 1 person → Needs to be easy easy
  • Not all criteria have to be scored by now

Result: After all rounds everybody agree totaly

2. New scoring system

Lee presented the new file she put up for follow-up the fiches:

Questian arised:

  • What with grey zones of Knock-Out criteria ?
  • Who scores ?
  • Does fiche template has to be update / be more easy ?


  • Grey zones explained and to explain in manual
  • Scoring by scouter, explanation in manuel + review by scouting coordinators
  • Fiche has to be updated


    1. Let’s try it
    1. Making manual
    1. Restructure fiches
    1. Update new follow-up file with all allready made fiches
    1. Make powerpoint for plenary
    1. Communicate on edgeryders

3. Work distribution based on proposal

    1. Everybody
    1. Lee
    1. Lee / Review: Julien
    1. Julien
    1. Sebastien
    1. Sophie

All has to be done for 2 days before the next plenary, 20/08/2023.


Proposal: * 5. Make powerpoint for plenary ( i understood update power point during the meeting, is it a misunderstanding from me ?)

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I just don’t find the new fiche template also @Lee , thank you

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I think this mostly relates to the screening of all the fiches. Would you agree?

I moved the file to the “scouting coordination” folder, apologies for the confusion. Can you please retire the old one, by moving it to the “OLD” folder and adding “old” to the file name?

Yes, that was my understanding too. We use the powerpoint more or less as the overall manual, so it would be great if it could be updated.

Many thanks to all once again!

@Sebas, I just filled in couple of fiches for the zone in the south of Forest scouted by Alberto, Sophie and me, and it seems like most of it is located in a flood-prone area.

That made me stare for quite a bit at this flood map, which made me conclude that there is a massive amount of flood prone areas as a matter of fact. It’s hard to deny that Brussels was built in a place that used to be a swamp :scream:.

Do you think it could make sense to use a second colour on our mother map, to highlight the zones we may want to skip for this reason?



Hello @Lee, Team Building is aware of this and @Sophie_Beese has suggested that all flood-prone areas, as well as noisy areas (aeroplanes), should be removed from the scouting programme. We need to find the technical solution to do this and we’re working on it. (Personally, I’m very bad at IT, so if anyone knows a quick and easy way of doing it, I’d love to hear from you.) Thanks, seb

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Thanks for pointing that out, @Lee. Indeed, @MariaAM and @Sebas are working on establishing a reduced map with the zones that are actually worth scouting, we’ll talk about it at our next team meeting this Friday.

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