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We offer social innovations for solving today's intractable problems


Good News! ... Here's a new way "We the People" can come into being and solve our most difficult, impossible-seeming issues! ... Naturally, if "We the People" can continue at global or national levels, it's it would be a transformation of "the system" to a higher level of democracy and economics. Many experiments with this strategy have already been initiated through governments, citizen groups, and employees of organizations. We can apply it to solve impossible-seeming problems at any level of society ...

What do you think?
#1 ... Do you believe our global system is sustainable? ...
Of course it isn't. Even science says, "NO!" ... Increasingly it cannot work for us to live in a system, which assumes people and organizations should maximize their own well-being at the expense of the public interest. How to shift our system to one that promotes cooperation in serving the public interest? See the ToBe Project: How to facilitate a global 'We the People'.
#2 ... Do you believe the U.S. Constitutional System (or any other national system) is sustainable? ...
It's designed for people as though they are in-dependent. But it works less well (and causes problems) as we become more inter-dependent. In so-called "democracies" the people are increasingly excluded, the rule of law is threatened and powerful partisan interests generate gridlock instead of intelligence. See the nine minute video a rebirth of "We the People".
#3 ... The solution is for "all the people" to come together as "We the People", face our pressing issues and figure out what's best for all. Do you think this is possible? ...
Most people do not have an experience of creative collaboration at small scale or large. So it's hard for them to imagine. But YES, it is possible. There are many demonstration examples.
#4 ... Could "we" ... just you and I ... initiate this transformation at the global and national levels? ... YES. This is not a "social movement" requiring lots of people who are trying to affect those in power. This is a simple high-leverage strategy that becomes apparent with study and experience. The magic sauce to sparking "We the People" into existence is a special kind of thinking, "choice-creating."
What is being suggested?
In simple terms, we invite 12-24 randomly selected citizens from the system of people to come together as a symbol of all. They face a monster problem, something everyone cares about but maybe seems impossible to solve. We dynamically facilitate this small group so that in just a couple days they achieve shared perspective. Then they present their perspective in a ceremony, where everyone is invited. They share their perspective and the story of how it developed and disband. (Note: We can't find any risk to this proposal) It turns out that most of us basically say, "Yes!... I think so too." And government, non-profit and corporate leaders realize that this is a voice of "the public interest", beyond the usual special interest voices.
Are you ... like most people ... imagining lots of reasons why this cannot work? ... But it does work
... We've done lots of experiments in many settings. Plus, the process has been adopted by governments of Europe as a new form of citizen participation. Key to realizing how this works is to understand the social innovations that form the basis of the Wisdom Council Process.

Social innovations make this transformation possible, including
  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 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.)
  4. 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?]

Examples include:
  • In the Westernmost state of Austria, Vorarlberg, government leaders use the Wisdom Council Process to leap forward difficult public issues and to improve the relationship among politicians and between citizens and government. See the 5 min video (in English below) on how the Wisdom Council was used state-wide to address the issue: “influx of refugees.”
  • Citizen groups in Asheville NC, Victoria BC, Pleasantville NY, Port Townsend WA, the Rogue Valley of OR, and other communities implemented Wisdom Council experiments.
  • Here's a plan for how we facilitate a transformation of global society (governance, economics, transnational corporations, etc.) so We can collectively solve climate change and other global issues: “The ToBe Project: How to Facilitate a Global “We the People.
  • 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

Check out "Our Story" ... How this strategy developed. ... And please become a supporter!