The AA General Service Conference – The Workings of AA’s Collective Group Conscience


Hi, my name is Ronald and I’m an alcoholic. In our group, we value the group conscience.

Every three months, we have a group conscience meeting in which we discuss the 13 questions from the pamphlet ‘The AA Group’ in order to reflect on our ability to fulfill our primary purpose. We believe, that with this, we allow for all of our voices to be heard and all of our opinions to be expressed.

But then that makes me think: “How is the group conscience from more than one AA group, let alone from all the English-speaking AA groups in Continental Europe, formed?”

On a larger scale, this group conscience is expressed via the General Service Conference, or the GSC. While we can discuss issues in our group as each situation arises, the GSC requires more structure and planning. Every year, any member, group, intergroup or region may submit practical and conscience related questions. These submissions may range, for example, from how to deal with new electronic payment methods of the 7th tradition, to concerns regarding social media and anonymity. The Conference Steering Committee selects several of the most pertinent questions to be discussed at the GSC, along with amendments to our service handbooks, and proposals for new literature, put forward by the Literature Sub Committee.

The feedback of all AA members and groups is highly sought after, and indeed required, to fulfill this task. In order to get this feedback, the conference questions are sent out every year to the fellowship, so that everyone can voice their opinion and provide their answers. Ultimately, this enables all members to share – and to do so together.

Beginning in early December 2018, members will all be able to read, study, and share their thoughts on the questions for the GSC which will be held in April 2019.

Representatives at each level of the service structure (GSRs, regions representatives and conference delegates) gather the submitted answers which are then compiled into a collective group conscience to be taken to the GSC by the delegates.

Hopefully I could describe to you how the collective group conscience of AA works. Thorough, inclusive and fully transparent! I urge you all to contribute. It is our practical interpretation of Tradition 2.

More detailed information on the GSC can be found on our website here.

Thank you!

In service,

Ronald vV.
CER Delegate to Conference 2019