Citizen group in Asheville NC convenes a Wisdom Council
See the news article on the process.
Kickstarter campaign to improve the U.S. national conversation

See the 4.5 minute cartoon video on how to stimulate the essential "We the People" national conversation.
Talk in Durham NC ...
Beyond Partisanship to “We the People” through the Wisdom Council and Dynamic Facilitation .

Former Nazi concentration camp area uses Wisdom Council to empower the community
How does a community, famous as the home of a Nazi concentration camp, own its past yet proudly come together and move forward? The Wisdom Council is being used successfully for this purpose. See the Mauthausen example.
The state of Vorarlberg changes its constitution to account for the Wisdom Council
Over last six years OFRI (the Office of Future Related Issues) in the state of Vorarlberg, Austria has encouraged mayors of cities to use the Wisdom Council when facing difficult public issues. Many did. The process was so successful it was adopted by elected officials in state government as well, to help them better communicate among themselves. Recently, the governor and all four political parties enacted a change to their Constitution to include the Wisdom Council. The actual change to the constitution is to include a focus on "participative democracy" as well as "direct democracy" and "representative democracy." There are three resolutions explaining "participative democracy" that mention the Wisdom Council directly: 1) There will be two statewide Wisdom Councils each year on topics chosen by government. The governor chooses one and political parties take turns choosing the other. 2) The citizens can spark a state-sponsored Wisdom Council simply by submitting a topic with 1000 signatures supporting that topic. 3) Government will officially respond to any points Wisdom Councils raise that are directed to government.

This change provides the citizens of Vorarlberg with a way to raise important issues into public consciousness, shift the public conversation toward more open-minded and open-heartedness, and reach new conclusions as a whole system. It's a way a minority viewpoint on some hot issue, can get a fair and respectful hearing from the general public, where new choices emerge. This is a powerful experiment in democracy just getting under way, that has great promise for all levels of human organization.

See Tom Atlee's post about the Tom's history with the Wisdom Council and DF'ing… "
An unsung treasure for facilitators and civilizations"
- Plus, be sure to read Rosa Zubizarreta's "Dynamic Facilitation, Focusing, Pakistan, and Polygamy"
Monday, Jan 14, 2013
State-wide Wisdom Council in Vorarlberg held … on the topic of neighborhoods
On Friday Nov 16 there was a presentation of the unanimous report of eleven random citizens to the legislature. (It's called "Bergerat" meaning Citizens Council) in German. See the article with videos (in German) at

OCTOBER 19, 2012 12:30 PM  
Brown Bag Lunch – Dynamic Facilitation and the Wisdom Council—new tools for transforming society and self
Dynamic Facilitation is a way to evoke the natural brilliance in people, where they can come together to solve impossible-seeming problems. The Wisdom Council can facilitate this high quality of thinking in large systems, to help citizens achieve “Wise Democracy.”  These methods are being tested and proven in cities of Central Europe, especially Austria where the Wisdom Council is being incorporated into the Constitution for Vorarlberg.
Jim Rough, the originator of these approaches, is visiting from the United States. He is a consultant and teacher of Dynamic Facilitation, presenting seminars all over the world. He is co-founder of The Center for Wise Democracy ( and author of “Society’s Breakthrough! Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People” ( In this short session, Jim will share a taste of these methods and his vision for social change.
Brown Bag Lunch – Wisdom Council
October 19, 2012 12:30 pm
October 19, 2012 2:00 pm
HUB Members Only
HUB Zürich
+41 (0)44 273 58 79
HUB Zürich Arena
Viaduktstr. 93, Zuerich, 8005, Switzerland


Jim and Jean Rough will be participating in two conferences in Austria where the Wisdom Council will be a focus:

1) Oct 8-10, 2012

An international conference on "How Shall we Grow?" supported by the Austrian government (See The "Department of Life" in Austria will be conducting an Austria-wide Wisdom Council on the topic as well. Jim will be presenting a plenary key note talk on "How can we get into common action?"


 2) Oct 12-14

The other conference is "Way of Hope: Spiritual Initiative for a Change of Society" ( This is an interfaith network of deeply concerned people who are meeting without the usual plenary speakers in favor embedding a Wisdom Council into the conference. Twelve people have been randomly selected from attendees to arrive early, meet for a day and a half with the DF'er (Jim Rough will be coaching the DF'er) who will then present to the conference on the morning of the first day.


On Sept 5, 2012, as part of the Singapore Facilitators Conference, Jim Rough gave a one-day plenary experience on Dynamic Facilitation and the Wisdom Council. This was followed by a one day workshop for interested people. The event fit perfectly with "
The National Conversation" now being organized by the Singapore government.
Image 23

On April 21, 2012 Jim Rough spoke as part of the 
Better World Forum, a web-based conference featuring a selection of strategies for transforming the world.

12 Noon Eastern Time USA (GMT 17:00)
Jim Rough from Wise Democracy, Seattle
Wise Democracy: A Practical Approach to Re-inventing our World

Albert Einstein said "You cannot solve today’s problems with the same level of thinking that created them."  … This is true both individually and collectively. Especially needed is a high quality thinking among all of us, as "We the People." Once we are thinking together open-mindedly, respectfully and creatively, we achieve breakthrough progress on most all of today's impossible-seeming issues.  Then too, all the brilliant solutions presented in this conference can be thoughtfully considered for implementation.  In this session Jim Rough, originator of Dynamic Facilitation, co-founder of the Center for Wise Democracy, and author of Society's Breakthrough, shares a practical strategy for sparking the necessary shift in thinking. Jim will also share examples of how this new strategy is working in cities, states and organizations from around the world.



You're invited to connect with Visionaries & Activists
Taking ideas to action for global social change

Better World Forum 2012
Sharing Solutions, Taking Action
April 21-22 and April 28-29

A Co-Production of
We, The World
and the Global Entertainment and Media Summit

Participate Online or by Phone From Anywhere Worldwide!

Sharing Solutions, Taking Action

An online, virtual conference and exposition
with seminars, screenings, interviews and panels

April 21-22 and April 28-29

Be Inspired, Informed and Involved!

Participants from six continents and dozens of countries around the world will unite via an online, virtual conference and exposition featuring an array of distinguished leaders and teachers on the cutting edge of cultural, economic, environmental and political change.
Add your voice to the grassroots organizations, forward thinking business leaders, visionaries, artists and activists who are joining the Better World Forum to provide empowering solutions that create sustainable, effective, highly productive and
peaceful communities!

The list of Better World Forum distinguished presenters includes:

  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Nobel Peace Laureate, Nelson Mandela appointed Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa)
  • Bill McKibben (President and Co-Founder of, a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis)
  • Dot Maver (President of the National Peace Academy, USA; Executive Director of the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding; Coordinator of; Former Executive Director of the Peace Alliance; and National Campaign Manager of Kucinich for President, 2004)
  • Deepak Chopra, M.D. (Author of many bestselling books, frequent network TV and Radio show guest, spiritual activist, and Co-Founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing)
  • John Perkins (Former economist & New York Times best selling author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man)
  • Hazel Henderson (Evolutionary Economist and President of Ethical Markets)
  • Robert Thurman (Co-Founder/President of Tibet House. He is a renowned Buddhist Scholar and the first western Tibetan Buddhist monk. He studied Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism for almost thirty years as a personal student of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He has written both scholarly and popular books, and has lectured widely all over the world.)
  • Jack Healey (Former Executive Director of Amnesty International USA and Founder of Human Rights Action Center)
  • Mahesh Pradhan (Head of the United Nations Environment Programme's Education and Training Unit)
  • Danny Schechter "The News Dissector" (Documentary Filmmaker, TV Producer, Editor of
  • Carol Barbeito (President and Managing Director of Earth Protect)
  • Benjamin Barber (Distinguished Senior Fellow at DÄ“mos, president and founder of the Interdependence Movement, and Walt Whitman Professor Emeritus at Rutgers University. Dr. Barber is the author of 17 books, including the classic Strong Democracy, the international best-seller Jihad vs. McWorld and most recently,Consumed)
  • Rev. Deborah Moldow (Representative to the UN of the World Peace Prayer Society, Co-chair of the International Day of Peace NGO Committee and serves on the bureau of the Committee of Religious NGOs; Deborah is also an ordained interfaith minister.)
  • Kathy Davis (Producer and Public Affairs Director of WBAI Pacifica Radio)
  • Stephen Dinan (CEO of The Shift Network and a member of the prestigious Transformational Leadership Council and Evolutionary Leaders groups)
  • Jim Rough (Executive Director of The Center for Wise Democracy) 
  • Occupy Movement Organizers
  • Peggy Duvette (Executive Director of Wiser Earth)
  • Jeunnesse Park (Food and Trees for Africa)
  • Thom Bond (Internationally Certified Nonviolent Communication Trainer who studied with, and is a close associate of, the creator of NVC - Marshall Rosenberg)
  • Gustav Grob (President of the International Clean Energy Consortium Geneva)
  • and many many others!
Besides interactive online seminars, there will be screenings of films as well as opportunities for participants to network with the presenters and with each other. This Forum will bring thought leaders and solution providers together with community activists and all who are concerned about the direction our society and world are going in.

From Vision to Action, topics such as:
  • Where are the new green jobs and how do we train people for them?
  • Be The Media: How Independent Media and crowd-sourcing are getting the truth out
  • The Present and Future of the Occupy Movement
  • Can young people turn the tide - from revolution to evolution?
  • How and when will green technology become mainstream?
  • How to create the Shift: from your inner life, to grassroots activism, to international social change
  • How can we end the scourge of war?
  • How can communicating with compassion change your personal life, your work life and the world?
  • How Interfaith Dialogue and inclusive spiritual values can create bridges of understanding, even as extremist rhetoric dominates the media
  • Grassroots practices to green your marketing campaign
  • The movement to ensure women have equal representation at all levels of governance
  • You are the Gift: How to listen to your heart and true calling to be a gift to others and the world
  • Good business practices that make a better world
  • How the swarm can enable empowering new media
  • Technology that empowers global change
  • Artists and filmmakers use their talents to create a new world
  • What is organic architecture and how does it fit into the eco system?
  • Linking the world's grassroots networks to create unprecedented change
You will hear from and work with leaders and pioneers who are utilizing their passion and talents to make the world a better place, both individually and collectively. You will find out and understand the realities and obstacles that people are faced with as well as new solutions that can overcome those obstacles. You will take away knowledge and insights on how to effectively and productively enable the growth of your vision, your organization and your network - from idea to movement!