The Evolutionary Role of Citizen Deliberation
Probably the evolutionary ecosystemic truth that most applies to citizen deliberative councils is that organisms co-create the environment that shapes them. They evolve it; it evolves them. Rain and wind have an impact on the presence and role of trees -- and trees have an impact on the presence and role of rain and wind. Organisms are part of each other's environments -- and as they change, their environment changes, and then they change, and then their environment changes. They co-evolve each other, round and round, for billions of years...
People co-create the communities, societies, governments and cultures that shape their behavior, their consciousness, their lives. This is always true, no matter what kind of society they live in -- a truth Gandhi used to empower his people. Democracy is supposed to be based on people doing this co-creation consciously as citizens -- creating their shared world and letting it shape them, and then creating it newly -- an iterative cycle of mutual shaping and co-creation. The fact that it is not that is no reason that it cannot become that.
Doing this co-creative work well, collaboratively, wisely, and very consciously is what citizen deliberation is all about. Citizen deliberative councils are one aspect of a visionary wisdom culture which could help us evolve together consciously -- not through anything esoteric, but just through listening and learning together and discovering what makes sense together, over and over and over..
posted by Tom Atlee on Wednesday May 11 2005
updated on Saturday September 24 2005
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Reflections on the evolution of choice and collective intelligence
I had an interesting conversation about choice today with my friend and colleague Adin Rogovin. We noticed that increased choice may increase or decrease happiness. Choice -- seen by most people as supporting happiness -- can be overwhelming, or false, or of poor quality. Lack of choice -- normally thought of as a source of unhappiness -- can make life simple, supporting happiness if one's life situation is otherwise satisfying.... [read more]
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A few days ago I stumbled on a new model for whole-system intelligence inspired by some work my friend Peggy Holman is doing with Journalism that Matters. These journalists are reexamining the kinds of stories they tell and their role in democracy, especially in light of how the rise of bloggers and other citizen journalists challenges mainstream media. Journalism that Matters is trying to revision that challenge into a create... [read more]
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In addition to its immediate relevance for our personal behaviors and health and as a public health issue, this report from The Ecologist on "The Gathering Brainstorm" of damaging Wi-Fi impacts, includes the sentence "The technology is now moving far faster than it can be tested or regulated." This is one of the rare occasions of a specific reference to a phenomenon that really concerns me:... [read more]
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Diversity is possibility waiting to be born. So how can we use our differences most creatively?
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