We offer social innovations to facilitate “all the people” to come together as “We the People”


Is it possible? ... to facilitate “all the people” to choose to be involved and come together as “We the People?” ... to face the most important issues and develop win/win solutions? And to work together to implement the solutions? ... If we (a small group of us) can do this, that changes everything. If we shift from “collective stupidity” to “collective wisdom” it affects all issues ... and us besides.

At the Center for Wise Democracy we have developed a set of social innovations to facilitate collective wisdom at all levels

  • Globally ... e.g. to open a new door of possibility for overcoming monster issues like wars, poverty, and climate change.
  • Nationally ... e.g. to overcome “identity politics” where people identify with Left or Right and worry about how the other side will gain power and cause harm. This is how we come together to responsibly address issues like health-care, money-in-politics, and tax policy.

The Social Innovations, which make this possible include ...

  1. Choice-creating (vs. Decision-making)… Choice-creating is the missing heart of democracy. It’s the heartfelt quality of thinking where all come together, face the most important issues, and creatively seek win/win answers. Instead, we exclusively rely on “decision-making” in the form of voting, which turns out to be a partisan battle. (See the chart contrasting decision-making with choice-creating.) Key in solving our most important issues is to add the missing “We the People” (whole-system choice-creating) conversation to what already exists.
  2. Dynamic Facilitation … here’s a way that one person can work with a group of random people and reliably evoke the spirit of choice-creating. This allows them to face ill-defined, emotionally charged, impossible-seeming issues from society and achieve unanimous perspectives through shifts and breakthroughs. (See the chart comparing Dynamic Facilitation with traditional facilitation.)
  3. The Wisdom Council … here’s how the people of a large system — a community, organization, nation, etc. — can face controversial or impossible-seeming issues and reach thoughtful, near-unanimous conclusions. Plus this new “We the People” conversation process builds the spirit of involvement, empowerment, and democracy. (See the chart comparing Wisdom Councils with other forms of public engagement: Three forms of Public Engagement.)

This “Wise Democracy” strategy can be set in motion by government leaders, citizen groups, organizational leaders, conference organizers, media or activists.

Examples include:

  • In the Westernmost state of Austria, Vorarlberg, government leaders use the Wisdom Council to leap forward difficult public issues. See the 5 min video (in English below) on how the Wisdom Council was used state-wide to involve citizens in addressing the “influx of refugees.”

The Civic Council ("Bürgerrat") in Austria on: "How do we deal best with the influx of refugees" - June 2015 from Martin Rausch on Vimeo.

  • Citizen groups in Asheville NC, Victoria BC, Pleasantville NY, Port Townsend WA, the Rogue Valley of OR, and other communities implemented Wisdom Council experiments to try this form of citizen empowerment.
  • See this two minute video for how a TV show might spark this “We the People” conversation globally:
  • See the 22 minute video interview created by Hemma Spreitzhofer and the people at KOMUNARIKO. Filmed Feb. 13, 2012 in Salzburg, Austria, Jim Rough describes Dynamic Facilitation and the Wisdom Council

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