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What is the Wisdom Council?

The Wisdom Council is a way to facilitate the people of a large system—e.g. citizens of a community, members of an organization, citizens of a nation—to address and solve difficult issues together.Used at the national level, for instance, it’s an out-of-the-box way to transcend and overcome the usual partisan battle between entrenched positions.

Basically, it begins by randomly selecting twelve to twenty-four people from the community. They face an issue they care about deeply, which might be seemingly impossible-to-solve like climate change, influx of refugees, or institutional racism. With the help of someone skilled in Dynamic Facilitation they talk in the spirit of choice-creating. At the end of just a short period ... like two days ... the Wisdom Council reaches unity, which they report back to the whole population. At the presentation, they tell the story of how they achieved their conclusion through breakthroughs and shifts. Then the live audience talks among themselves. They usually resonate with both the conclusions and process, Over time they continue talking and build on the perspective of the Wisdom Council, seeking answers that work for everyone. As new Wisdom Councils are randomly selected every four months or so, increasing numbers of people become involved in the conversations and help evolve the conclusions. Also in time people recognize their increased power. Speaking in unity we all speak as “We the People,” the ultimate authority in society.
Different kinds of Wisdom Council include:
  • The Wisdom Council process is an established, ongoing process of Wisdom Councils so that a legitimate, powerful “We the People” can form over time. This promises a system transformation. At the national level, for example, here’s a way to approximate true democracy plus a new economics we call “Tobe-ism.”
  • The Creative Insight Council. Often people hear about the Wisdom Council process and implement a modified version. They may try it without Dynamic Facilitation, for instance; or use carefully selected people rather than a pure random selection; or use experts instead of ordinary people; or they present conclusions exclusively to “decision-makers” rather than to the citizenry. These modified based on the Wisdom Council process have merit but do not have the same potential to transform the system. In the past we thought that a Wisdom Council needed to identify its own issue. So we called those situations where the issue was identified ahead of time a “Creative Insight Council.” But through experience we now know that the Wisdom Council works even better with an issue chosen beforehand.
  • Society’s Breakthrough. This is where we apply the Wisdom Council process to the nation and/or to the world. These special applications have the prospect of affecting the paradigm by which we live, the mythology of our time, and our sense of identity. The scale of impact is so great that we treat these essential applications separately. (See Society’s Breakthrough! Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People).


Handout: "Wise Democracy Strategy"
A Rebirth of 'We the People' by Jim Rough