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First Victoria, BC Wisdom Council A Success

The first Victoria Wisdom Council in Victoria, British Columbia (as well as in Canada) took place over the weekend of March 30-31, 2007, with twelve members randomly selected from the community. It was an amazing experience for all involved, with Jim Rough kindly providing his facilitation skills. The members shared their experience of the Wisdom Council with enthusiasm and energized the entire group who gathered to listen. The Wisdom Council members delivered the following staement to the people of Victoria at the well-attended public meeting that followed.

March 31, 2007

Message from the Victoria Wisdom Council

The first Canadian Wisdom Council met in Victoria on Friday evening and Saturday.

The Victoria Wisdom Council is a randomly selected group of citizens – symbolically representing all the people of Victoria – speaking on issues that affect us all.

Participation in a Wisdom Council is free and voluntary. Because of the random selection of its members, the Wisdom Council is independent. It does not represent any voice other than its own.

The Council chooses issues based on what the members feel is important. These issues are discussed and at the end of the meeting a unanimous statement is reached and presented to the public, after which this Wisdom Council disbands. A new Wisdom Council will be convened in the near future.

Statement of the Victoria Wisdom Council

The Victoria Wisdom Council recognizes that the fabric of our society is fraying in a variety of ways:

* We are increasingly isolated from each other
* We are losing connection with our environment and making choices that have grave impacts upon it
* Our society is increasingly socially and environmentally unsustainable
* There is a growing disconnection between our government and the people

We believe these issues are solvable by fostering a shift from “I” to “We” in our attitudes and actions, by taking a greater role in our democracy, and by recognizing our personal responsibility for these issues.

The Victoria Wisdom Council encourages citizens to become more civically engaged and politically active, by:

* Empowering disenchanted people to reconnect with public life
* Providing more people to people connections, and
* Offering new ways of finding and using our voice

The Wisdom Council itself is one way of achieving this.

More information on this project is available from Wise Democracy Victoria www.wisedemocracyvictoria.com


1. Join our Wisdom Council Enthusiasts discussion list. Participate in our online community of practice, share ideas, learn from others about how to implement Wisdom Councils, and discover with us the difference this process can make. You’ll be invited to join us for periodic conference calls where communities, like Victoria, will share their experiences in conducting Wisdom Councils. Send an email to deanna@wisedemocracy.org with “subscribe” in the subject line.
2. Become a donor or volunteer. Tax-deductible contributions can be mailed to the Center for Wise Democracy, PMB 578, 1122 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122. Join us April 13-15 in Port Townsend, WA to witness a Wisdom Council, network with others, learn more about our organization, and co-create our next steps as an organization. Contact DeAnna at 206-459-8429 or deanna@wisedemocracy.org to register or learn more about our volunteer needs.

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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