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The Wisdom Council: a tool for creating Jim Rough & DeAnna Martin

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Presentation on theme: "The Wisdom Council: a tool for creating Jim Rough & DeAnna Martin"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Wisdom Council: a tool for creating Jim Rough & DeAnna Martin

2 ‘We the People’ is all of us acting wisely together It emerges from a special kind of conversation that’s: –A “Time out!”… outside of the existing System –Where we speak authentically from the heart –Where everyone is involved… not just a small group –Creative …where we seek win/win’s –Facilitated to produce unanimous results! Sound impossible? … We’ve experienced this before…

3 The Wisdom Council facilitates ‘We the People’ in LARGE systems Democracies –City, local community –State –Nation Organizations Populations Opens new doors of possibility for… Dialogue and Deliberation colleagues Educators and facilitators Social “investors”

4 The Wisdom Council is designed to … Facilitate ONE system-wide conversation that is creative and collaborative Involve EVERYONE… symbolically and actually Generate UNANIMOUS views and new Win/Win solutions Build TRUST and the spirit of community Evoke EMPOWERMENT, intrinsic motivation, and deep systems understanding in all And, it is ongoing…

5 The Wisdom Council has 12 Ingredients 1. Chartered... The members approve this concept 2. Microcosm... 12 members are randomly selected for two meetings 3. Empowered... They select and frame their own issues 4. Ceremony... The members are chosen in a ceremony 5. Non-coercive... The Wisdom Council has no power 6. Fishbowl... All know about the process and are invited to view it 7. Dynamic Facilitation... A “Choice-creating” conversation is established 8. Unanimous… The Council reaches unanimous conclusions 9. System presentation... People hear the Wisdom Council present 10. Self-reflection... All are invited to dialogue and reflect with others 11. On-going... A new Wisdom Council happens at regular intervals 12. Safe!... The process supplements what’s there. It replaces nothing

6 The Wisdom Council is based on ‘Dynamic Facilitation’ The dynamic facilitator uses the power of crises by helping people choose impossible- seeming issues People talk naturally—he/she assures a heartfelt, creative, collaborative conversation “Shifts” and breakthroughs occur, including new ideas, “changes of heart” and redefinitions of the problem People reach unanimous conclusions and experience the spirit of “We the People ”

7 ‘Choice-creating’ is … when people address a high-care issue creatively from the heart, seeking new answers that work for everyone.

8 Consider the dynamically facilitated conversation Context … 1. How big is the issue? … impossible? emotional? 2. How much time was available? … short? long? 3. How many people? … small? large? Process … 1. Was “everyone” involved? 2. Were people authentic and passionate? 3. Did people listen with respect? 4. Did people grow in their perspectives? 5. Did divergent opinions hinder? … or help? 6. Was creativity evident? Results … 1. Did points of consensus develop? 2. Did people develop more wisdom and clarity? 3. Did trust develop … a sense of “we”? 4. Were there shifts?.. Breakthroughs? 5. Were there any action items?

9 Example #1: WA State Department of Agriculture Selected issues: Feeling locked in a career path The number of duplicate records Fair, efficient allocation of project vs intermittent resources Hiring based on need but which is fee- based Eliminating the “rumor mills” and revamping “silo” communications

10 Ex. #2: Among citizens in the Rogue Valley, OR Randomly selected citizens speak to their fellow citizens … Implications for democracy Time: 2 min


12 Ex #3: Among members of a Food Coop Time 2.5 min Strategic direction


14 Here’s the plan … Facilitate experiences of ‘We the People’ 1. Within local communities … 1. Madison, WI; Victoria, BC; St. Helens, OR; Port Townsend, WA; Wolfurt, Austria; Brisbane, Australia, etc. 2. Within organizations 3. Within conferences 4. For the United States and other countries Working with Campaign to Reunite America 5. For ‘We the People’ of the World?

15 Society is facing BIG problems that move us to change Global temperatures are rising Increasing threat of terrorism Growing money pressure on middle class Declining natural resources … oil, fish, etc. Jobs going overseas Money dominating politics, etc.

16 A few of us can initiate the necessary transformation 1. The Wisdom Council frames the issues for Dialogue and Deliberation processes 2. It builds trust and the spirit of community 3. It builds the ‘Political Will’ for legislative change in the “public interest” 4. It makes new win/win solutions possible 5. It builds ‘We the People’… i.e. transforms the system

17 The Wisdom Council is unique, yet complementary Who’s involved? Type of conversation Ultimate Decision process Impact How many Conversations? Results Time duration Many Many people Inquire into topics & weigh the options Majority vote X% say “yes” Influence the legislators One-time event One Everyone Creatively solve problems together “Co-sensing” Unanimous solution “We the People” Ongoing Citizen InvolvementWisdom Council

18 Call to Action See for books, audios, videos, articles, seminars Get involved with the Center for Wise Democracy! VOLUNTEER GET TRAINING START A WISDOM COUNCIL DONATE

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