We offer social innovations to solve
difficult public issues, involve citizens
and build the spirit of community
In communities, cities, states, and nations … and globally … we are facing impossible-seeming problems like:
- Deep inequities ... poverty, prejudice, elite power, etc.
- Institutional failures ... education, health care, justice, security, etc.
- Intractable problems ... punishing economic cycles, addictive substances, environmental destruction, etc.
- Flawed decision-making ... disaffected citizens, money-in-politics, partisan gridlock, etc.
- In Central Europe, government leaders now use the Wisdom Council to involve and empower citizens, build the spirit of community, and leap forward difficult public issues. The process has proven so successful that all four parties of the Parliament of Vorarlberg amended the state Constitution to include the Wisdom Council.
- Citizen groups in Victoria BC, Pleasantville NY, Port Townsend WA, the Rogue Valley of OR, and other communities have implemented Wisdom Council experiments to facilitate citizen empowerment.
- Currently, in Durham NC a citizen group is building skills in Dynamic Facilitation to prepare for local and state-wide Wisdom Councils.
- We are beginning work on a national Wisdom Council in the U.S. as a TV show. See this two-minute cartoon video created by Martin Rausch to imagine how it might work:
Three social innovations make it possible for large systems of people to solve seemingly impossible problems by working together:
- Choice-creating … is the heartfelt quality of thinking where we all face the important issues creatively and collaboratively and achieve win/win progress through shifts and breakthroughs. This quality of thinking is the heart of "true democracy." (See the chart contrasting decision-making, consensus, and choice-creating.)
- Dynamic Facilitation … provides the ability for one person to reliably evoke the spirit of choice-creating in a group of people, so they quickly achieve unanimous perspectives on ill-defined, impossible-seeming issues. (See the chart comparing Dynamic Facilitation with traditional facilitation.)
- The Wisdom Council … is a way to evoke the spirit of choice-creating throughout a large system of people, like an organization, city or nation. This way we can start facing the really important issues and co-determine what to do ... where the thinking process builds the spirit of community rather than tearing it apart. The Wisdom Council convenes a series of small groups of randomly selected people. They are dynamically facilitated to face difficult, ill-defined issues and co-create unanimous perspectives. These random, unanimous groups act as symbolic representations of "We the People" and shift the public conversation from power-struggle to choice-creating. Different forms of Wisdom Council include:
- The Creative Insight Council where the issue is chosen ahead of time and presented to the random group.
- The Wisdom Council Process where the Wisdom Council chooses their own topic in an ongoing series.
- Society's Breakthrough ... is a strategy promising to transform the national and global system by adding collective wisdom, where "We the People" face the big problems of our society, build shared vision, and co-determine answers that work for all.
1) A suggested strategy for transcending partisan gridlock in the U.S. Congress.
2) How citizen groups can initiate substantive change in their community using the Wisdom Council.
3) How people worried about the state of our society can help spark real change.
206.459.8429 or 360.385.7118 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wisedemocracy.org
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