We offer social innovations to facilitate “all the people” to come together as “We the People,” capable of solving our most intractable issues


Is this possible? ... Can “all the people” of a system come together as “We the People?”... Can “We” then face the big impossible-seeming problems and solve them? ... Can “We” co-create win/win unity on what to do? ... Can “We” do it? ... Can we (just a few of us) set this in motion?

The answer is ... “Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! ... All aspects of this Wise Democracy strategy have been shown to work. This is REALLY GOOD NEWS!

This Wise Democracy strategy can work for any level of society ...

  • Globally ... e.g. to open a new door of possibility for overcoming monster issues like wars, poverty, terrorism, climate change, etc.
  • Nationally ... e.g. to overcome partisan battling and responsibly address stuck issues like election reform, health care, money-in-politics, tax policy, etc.
  • State-wide (region) ... e.g. to build the spirit of community by addressing and solving hot issues like funding education, welfare, taxing, etc.
  • Local (cities and communities) ... e.g. to build the spirit of community and get clear on what to do about contested community projects
  • Personally and professionally ... At the core of this strategy is a set of social innovations that elevate a person’s thinking capabilities

The Social Innovations include ...
  1. Choice-creating … Choice-creating is the quality of conversation that makes “We the People” possible. In choice-creating we face a difficult problem creatively from the heart, holding feelings, concerns, solutions, information, etc. until new clarity arises spontaneously, and we just know what to do. It’s complementary but opposite to decision-making because it uses creativity rather than judgment. Choice-creating is the core of democracy but does not involve the normal aspects ... representatives, laws, voting, etc. (See the chart contrasting decision-making with choice-creating.)
  2. Dynamic Facilitation … Dynamic Facilitation is a way of facilitating individuals or small groups of people into the spirit of choice-creating. So using Dynamic Facilitation a small group can face an ill-defined, emotionally charged, impossible-seeming issue and reach rapid unity through shifts and breakthroughs. This process builds individual uniqueness and the appreciation of diversity. (See the chart comparing Dynamic Facilitation with traditional facilitation.)
  3. The Wisdom Council … The Wisdom Council process is a way to facilitate the spirit of choice-creating into a very large system of people. For instance, every three months or so a small group of 12-24 people are randomly selected from a large population 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 community, organization, nation, or wherever it is applied. (See the chart comparing Wisdom Councils to other forms of public engagement: Three forms of Public Engagement.)
  4. The ToBe Process ... This is about taking regular “times out” (e.g. from the normal decision-making process) for people to face big impossible-seeming issues in the spirit of choice-creating. They stop and think about what’s going on, what we want, and how to make needed adjustments. Then after just a short time we essentially call “time in,” and people go back to normal. ... What problem wouldn’t be radically transformed if we can do this?

Who can initiate this? ... 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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