We offer the potential for breakthrough progress
on society's impossible-seeming problems
- Transform global society... How we can facilitate the people of the world to transform global governance and economics and solve the big global issues ... e.g. poverty, terrorism, climate change, etc. ...
- Transform American democracy ... How we can facilitate a rebirth of "We the People" and, in the process solve national issues....e.g. partisan battling, election reform, health care, money-in-politics, tax policy, etc.
- Transform state-level governance ... How we can facilitate a people state-wide to a new level of collaboration in solving state issues .... taxing, education, welfare, etc.
- Transform local governance (cities, communities) ... e.g. How we can facilitate the people of a community to get involved and help resolve difficult public issues (see examples from Austria)
- Organizations (e.g. co-op, conferences, and corporations (e.g. Swisscom IT) ... etc.
In the United States for example, the monster issues we face arise largely because of our System. The design of our System assumes the pursuit of self-interest, a competition of Special Interests, and judgmental decision-making. So we end up with a public conversation that's a power struggle among elite forces, instead of citizens facing problems and collaborating to discover win/win solutions. This power struggle becomes self-destructive as we become more inter-dependent. It can turn our national win/win design into a lose/lose operation.
We can achieve breakthrough progress on today's problems by facilitating the missing "We the People"conversation into existence. That's all it takes. Adding a new conversation—a special kind of conversation— to what we already have. The Wisdom Council Process is how we can do this. For a simple example, here's how we might do it in the U.S. as a TV show (3.5 min video):
It's a simple concept ... Periodically all of us need to stop and think. We need to face the problems together as "We the People." And determine solutions that work for everyone. If we can do this —and we can— there is no higher authority. We would be transitioning to a kind of democracy where "We the People" provide responsible leadership to the branches of government.
For example, here's how one state of Austria used a Wisdom Council to address the "influx of refugees."
There are four social innovations that make this transformation possible
- Choice-creating ....Choice-creating is the quality of conversation that makes “We the People” possible. In choice-creating we face a difficult problem creatively and collaboratively, holding feelings, concerns, solutions, information, etc. until a new clarity arises when we just know what to do. It’s complementary to decision-making in that both processes result in a group conclusion, but it's also opposite because decision-making uses judgment while choice-creating uses creativity.
- Dynamic Facilitation … Dynamic Facilitation is a way to facilitate small groups into the spirit of choice-creating, where they can face an ill-defined, emotionally charged, impossible-seeming issue and reach rapid unity through shifts and breakthroughs. This process brings diverse people together as "We". (See the chart comparing Dynamic Facilitation with traditional facilitation.)
- The Wisdom Council Process… The Wisdom Council is a way to facilitate the spirit of choice-creating in a very large system of people. Every three months or so a small group of 8-24 people are randomly selected (like a lottery) from a large system They are dynamically facilitated to face a difficult, impossible-seeming issue and reach unity. They report their conclusions and disband. This evokes a “We the People” conversation in the organization, community, state, etc., wherever it is applied. (See the chart comparing Wisdom Councils to other forms of public engagement: Three forms of Public Engagement.)
- The ToBe Process ... This is a special kind of "time out" from normal life, set up to happen regularly. In this kind of "time out" people face the most important impossible-seeming issues in the spirit of choice-creating. They stop and think, just for a limited time, about what’s going on, what we want, and what changes are needed. Then when the limited time is over, everyone can go back to normal ... only normal life has been changed by the process. ... [Question: What problem wouldn’t be radically transformed if we could stop every so often, where we all step back to look at the issue, and where we achieve breakthrough progress on what to do?]
In this 22 minute video interview created by Hemma Spreitzhofer and the people at KOMUNARIKO, Salzburg Austria (Feb. 13, 2012) Jim Rough describes these social innovations.
Check out "Our Story" of how this strategy was developed.