What is a Wisdom Council Process?
The Wisdom Council Process is a way to facilitate the people of a large system to become more informed, competent, creative and collaborative, to address the key issues of the system, reach unanimous conclusions, and speak with one voice as "We the People." This process is ongoing, so it structurally affects the thinking and deciding process of the system, putting the voice of "We the People" in charge. It is applicable to any system seeking to become democratic, including communities, cities, nations, businesses, schools, nonprofit organizations or even corporations. This process offers the prospect of “Wise Democracy,” where "We" get involved and take ultimate responsiblity for our systems.
What does it look like?
Every three to six months, twelve members of a given community are randomly selected to meet for a few days. Each Wisdom Council is a symbol of the whole community. Each one identifies and addresses an issue of high importance, whether it seems solvable or not. They are dynamically facilitated to achieve a form of conversation known as “choice-creating,” where they creatively and collaboratively seek new solutions that work for everyone. At the end of their meeting they reach a unanimous perspective that they present back to the community, along with the story of how they got there. Then they disband. The Wisdom Council has no formal authority, yet the integrity of the process gives it great symbolic value. Everyone is invited to hear the statements, reflect on them with others in small groups, and report back their own perspectives. This new a whole-system conversation is creative and collaborative, beyond partisanship, drawing out differing views and expert opinions. It evolves a near unanimous perspective.
What makes the Wisdom Council Process unique?
The Wisdom Council Process is not issue dependent. It is a structural change that happens every four months or so. It basically adds a new kind of creative whole-system conversation to the existing structure. It’s like a time-out, where the people form together, think about system we are in and what changes we'd like. Then it’s like a time-in, where we use the system in place to achieve the changes we seek.
Other key differences are: Each Wisdom Council chooses its own issues. It chooses dragon issues that might seem ill-defined or impossible to solve. The group is facilitated using Dynamic Facilitation so it’s results are unanimous. It tells a creative story about how those results were determined.
Resources on the Wisdom Council