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From the CommunityAuthor Archives: Tom Atlee

Blogger Bio:  Awed by the evolutionary challenges and opportunities we face as a civilization, Tom Atlee researches and promotes dialogue, deliberation, and other resources for collective intelligence and conscious evolution. Tom founded The Co-Intelligence Institute in 1996 and wrote The Tao of Democracy in 2003.

Public Opinion, Public Judgment, and Public Wisdom

Pollsters, politicians and pundits quote public opinion polls to tell us what the public thinks. Deliberative democracy advocates promote public judgment to deepen public opinion. Few people talk about public wisdom – what it could be and what it could do. I think we need all three forms of public sensibility. I think we can make useful distinctions between them. I believe we need to be particularly clear and creative about public wisdom. We need real wisdom to guide us through the unprecedented challenges of […] (continue)

New Crowdfunded Project in Eugene — Let’s Talk: Our New Economy

In Eugene, Oregon, the Co-Intelligence Institute is engineering a community-focused process to increase local capacity for healthy, creative group dialogue. By combining trainings and workshops with a series of dialogues around a substantive issue — in this case, the economy — we plan to demonstrate the generative power of group process even as we stimulate conversations that strengthen the Eugene community. We’re calling the project “Let’s Talk: Our New Economy,” and we’re holding the opening events early next month. The people of Eugene are no […] (continue)

GroupWorks Pattern Language card deck available now

A BIG breakthrough for all group process folks… For almost 5 years I’ve been involved with envisioning and creating a “pattern language” for group process.  (A pattern language is a set of design factors to guide people in creating things that are wholesome and life-giving – vibrant communities, effective curricula, engaging software… and great conversations.)  That process has now come to fruition. In 2008 Peggy Holman and I did an all day workshop on “A Pattern Language for Conversations that Matter” to introduce the idea […] (continue)

Whole System Conversations – and the Voice of the Whole

Consciously convened conversations have many functions. Many seek simply to get people talking with each other. Others try to bring together what they call “the whole system” to address that system’s collective issues or dreams. Who is involved in these “whole system” conversations? A “whole system”, in this case, involves all the parties who play – or could play – roles in some social unit or situation. The social unit could be a family or relationship, a group or organization, a community or a whole […] (continue)

A powerful emerging language for Group Process?

The day before the Cascadia NCDD gathering last November, I was sitting with a dozen process folks in Portland playing with a set of 78 cards describing the underlying dynamics of good group process.  The draft card set was being developed as guidance for meeting planners, hosts, facilitators and participants. The cards had names like All Grist for the Mill, Expressive Arts, Listening, Moving Towards Alignment, Purpose, Transparency, The Whole System in the Room, etc. Like others in that November work session, I had 7 cards in […] (continue)

Will powerful conversations solve state and local budget crises?

What would happen if professional organizers and facilitators of dialogue and deliberation decisively and publicly demonstrated their capacity to help cities and states solve their biggest problem -- collapsing budgets -- and then broadly promoted that fact? (continue)

Participatory Budgeting Practices, Places, Games and Resources

A sampling of participatory budgeting info, in relatively raw form. Most of this material is about online public budgeting exercises, but some of it also describes the kind of face-to-face, seriously empowered mass-participatory civic budgeting processes developed in Brazil which have spread widely in the last decade or so. (continue)

The Conversational Commons

The phrase “the commons” refers to domains and resources that belong to or affect the whole of a community.  The “conversational commons” then embraces everything that supports or makes possible the enjoyable and productive conversations of a community — notably including the health and productivity of professions that specialize in serving quality conversation, e.g., conveners and facilitators, mediators and negotiators, diplomats and public engagement professionals, and so on. A legitimate and important function of professional organizations like the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD), […] (continue)

Creative Deliberation

Hello.  New NCDD blogger Tom Atlee here.  I’m founder of and research director for the Co-Intelligence Institute, interested in how high quality D&D can be used to catalyze a wiser democracy and more conscious evolution of humanity’s cultures, social systems, and technologies.  I’ve been collecting, promoting, critiquing and weaving together dozens of diverse processes for two decades, and I’m very interested in their underlying dynamics and mutual synergies.  I live in a co-op house in Eugene Oregon.  I’m happy to share my thoughts about all […] (continue)