Issues: Miscellaneous
Updated: 31 January 2017

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  1. From Group Magic to a Wise Democracy (MP3, 57:36), a talk by Tom Atlee, author of The Tao of Democracy, founder of the The Co-Intelligence Institute
    Tom Atlee introduces this engaging talk (at Community at Work in San Francisco in May 2004, introduced by owner Sam Kaner) with his experience on the 1989 Great Peace March with a large, topless (non-heirarchical) self-organizing group that made leaderless, yet effective, consensus decisions. The experience inspired the beginning of his development of the concept of "co-intelligence." The talk references a few of the many group processes that have the potential to manifest co-intelligence in drawing out from people the untapped wisdom that could remake our crippled democracy.
    A few related links:
    1. Citizen's Deliberative Councils (CDCs)
    2. National Coalition for Dialog and Deliberation (NCDD)
    3. NCDD Wiki -- no longer active, but browsable in the WayBack Machine.
    4. Dynamic Facilitation
    5. 1991 Maclean's Magazine experiment.
    Endorsement of the book by Francis Moore Lappé: "I've been a fan of Tom Atlee's for years. He paints a vision not of some distant, ideal democracy but of here-and-now practices showing us what's possible in our immediate future. In The Tao of Democracy he describes how we really can use citizen dialogue and deliberation powerfully to solve our common problems and meet deep human needs. What an important gift for our small, challenged planet!"

  2. Introduction to Empowering Public Wisdom: A Practical Vision of Citizen-Led Politics (MP4, 2min)
    The book (also available at Amazon) describes itself in this way: "In this book you will find innovative ways to distill the wisdom of ordinary people to better guide public policy. Beyond elections, public participation, and citizen input, we must find a way to produce wise public policy. In Empowering Public Wisdom, lifelong activist Tom Atlee shows how diverse views can be engaged around public issues in ways that generate a coherent, shared "voice of the people," infusing the political process with common sense and guiding intelligent decision making."

    Among the endorsements of the book: "No problem facing our society is too great if we can learn to deliberate and act together as We the People. In this practical and visionary book, filled with concrete examples of what works, Tom Atlee shows us how we can harness our collective wisdom to discern the way forward in these complex and challenging times. Inspiring and highly recommended!" -- William Ury, co-author, Getting to Yes and author, The Third Side