Evolving Collective Intelligence by Tom Atlee

Exploring how to generate the collective wisdom we need

Exploring how to generate the collective wisdom we need

Evolving Collective Intelligence

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What Does MHRA Stand For??

Bono and Bush Party without Koch: AIDS Industry Makes a Mockery of Medical Science

Profit as Usual and to Hell with the Risks: Media Urge that Young Girls Receive Mandatory Cervical Cancer Vaccine


Health Supreme

Multiple sclerosis is Lyme disease: Anatomy of a cover-up

Chromotherapy in Cancer

Inclined Bed Therapy: Tilt your bed for healthful sleep


Share The Wealth

Artificial Water Fluoridation: Off To A Poor Start / Fluoride Injures The Newborn

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Democracy At Work? - PPM On Fluoride

"Evidence Be Damned...Patient Outcome Is Irrelevant" - From Helke

Why Remove Fluoride From Phosphate Rock To Make Fertilizer



Islanda, quando il popolo sconfigge l'economia globale.

Il Giorno Fuori dal Tempo, Il significato energetico del 25 luglio

Rinaldo Lampis: L'uso Cosciente delle Energie

Attivazione nei Colli Euganei (PD) della Piramide di Luce

Contatti con gli Abitanti Invisibili della Natura


Diary of a Knowledge Broker

Giving It Away, Making Money

Greenhouses That Change the World

Cycles of Communication and Collaboration

What Is an "Integrated Solution"?

Thoughts about Value-Add

April 14, 2005

Tom Atlee Radio Interview May 1, 2005

I'll be interviewed on Oasis Forum, WKNH 91.3FM, Keene, NH, May 1, 7-8 pm EST. Their blurb on it says "Tom Atlee, founder of the Co-Intelligence Institute, and author of The Tao of Democracy, will speak about a new vision of politics and governance that can simultaneously address our unprecedented social problems and build a society that works for all." If you're interested and miss it, they keep an archive.

The interviewer, John-Michael Dumais, asked for some talking points. I suspect I will want to speak about the following:

  • The Citizens Assembly - British Columbia, Canada, just finished a remarkable exercise in empowered citizen deliberation which did a thorough review of alternative voting systems and designed a brilliant one for British Columbia, which will be voted on by the population May 2005 (the month of my interview). This is an example of tapping into the collective intelligence of citizens thinking and talking together in a kind of forum I call citizen deliberative councils. This approach could be used widely to deal with public issues and even evaluate candidates.
  • The citizen deliberative council approach represents a very different kind of democracy than we are used to. Most democratic activity involves partisans fighting to win battles for their side, their proposal, their candidate, their position. This is adversarial politics, and will probably always be with us. But a surprising number of issues and conflicts can be dealt with through creative dialogue and deliberation involving a full spectrum of perspective, coming up with approaches that work well for the vast majority of people involved. Doing that as often as possible creates a more holistic politics -- tapping into the wisdom of the whole society for the benefit of the whole society.
  • Majoritarianism is booby-trapped in that it pushes political actors towards polarized for/against positions, rather than encouraging an open-ended exploration of the problem or issue they all face. This oversimplifies what the options and trade-offs are, reducing our ability to be smart and wise together (collectively intelligent). While majoritarianism is far better than a dictatorship, we need to acknowledge its dark side. And we need to build up our ability to use more holistic approaches to democracy.
  • Many of our greatest 21st century challenges are unprecedented. Addressing them will require that we face their very real complexity, that we involve many many more people and stakeholders in solving them, and that we remain flexible, because we can never be sure how our solutions will fare in the real world. We have to be able to review what is happening, as whole communities and societies, over and over, and to change course when necessary. And we need to think long term, think systemically, see the interconnections, and become aware that we are co-creating what happens next, no matter what we do. Finally, we need to be more humble, recognizing our limitations. (When we have the ability to profoundly effect the whole planet, our arrogance can destroy us. Infinite pride cometh before an infinite fall.) Doing all this will be much easier with more holistic forms of democracy. If we succeed in building such democracies, we will have "wisdom cultures" remarkably different from (and better than) the cultures we live in now.
  • A more holistic form of self-governance - which we need just to survive as a civilization - also can be viewed as the next step in our evolution -- expanding our intelligence to embrace the whole, and becoming able to consciously, responsibly co-evolve with each other and nature.


posted by Tom Atlee on Thursday April 14 2005
updated on Saturday September 24 2005

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Readers' Comments

What a great website! Your ideas on a Citizen Deliberative Council are ideas I have also been working with for several years. Please put me on your distribution list.
Thanks a million.

Posted by: R. Hunt on May 2, 2005 04:52 PM


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