We offer social innovations to solve
difficult public issues, involve citizens
and build the spirit of community

Wise Democracy Parade

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.
At the Center for Wise Democracy we have developed a set of social innovations that offer new possibilities for breakthrough progress on these issues. The innovations are new and are being proven to work. They can be set in motion by forward-thinking government leaders or by citizen groups. Some examples are:
  • 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 working on sparking a national Wisdom Council as a Reality TV show. See this short video to imagine how it might work.
Albert Einstein famously said, "today's problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them." Most important is to facilitate COLLECTIVE intelligence.
Three primary
social innovations make it possible for large systems of people to work together and solve seemingly impossible problems:
  1. Choice-creating … is central because it's the necessary heartfelt quality of thinking where we all face the important issues creatively and collaboratively and achieve win/win progress. (See the chart contrasting decision-making, consensus, and choice-creating.)
  2. Dynamic Facilitation … provides the ability for one person to reliably evoke the spirit of choice-creating in a group of people, so they achieve unanimous perspectives on ill-defined, impossible-seeming issues. (See the chart comparing Dynamic Facilitation with traditional facilitation.)
  3. The Wisdom Council … is a new way to evoke the spirit of choice-creating throughout a large system of people, like an organization, city or nation. This way we can all face the issues together and co-determine what to do. The Wisdom Council convenes a series of small groups of randomly selected people. They face difficult, ill-defined issues and co-create unanimous perspectives. Acting as symbolic representations of "We the People" these random, unanimous groups shift the public conversation from power-struggle to choice-creating. Different forms of Wisdom Council include:
Video interview: Jim Rough describes Dynamic Facilitation and the Wisdom Council
(Thanks to Hemma Spreitzhofer and the people at KOMUNARIKO. Filmed Feb. 13, 2012 in Salzburg, Austria )

Example strategies include:
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 to save the world fast and easy. The Wisdom Council Process offers the exciting new prospect of sparking collective intelligence at the global level.

206.459.8429 or 360.385.7118 info@wisedemocracy.org www.wisedemocracy.org

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