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The Power of Collective Wisdom and the Trap of Collective Folly

The Power of Collective Wisdom (2009) is the culmination of our efforts that began ten years ago with the Fetzer sponsored Collective Wisdom Initiative. The book is intended for people who seek more effective and satisfying ways of working with others, for people working to make their communities, neighborhoods, and organizations more inclusive, effective, and wise.

From our perspective, collective wisdom refers to knowledge and insight gained through group and community interaction. At a deeper level, however, it is about our living connection to each other and the interdependence we share. Ultimately, this book emerges from a deep conviction that we all have a stake in each other and that what binds us together can be greater than what drives us apart.

Stories and historical examples illustrate how collective wisdom has emerged in a range of cultures, settings, and traditions, and we offer a set of practices to help readers realize the key lessons of the book. Equally important, we describe how to recognize the pitfalls of polarization or false agreement that lead to collective folly.

The book is the result of a collaboration involving dozens of contributors and hundreds of people from our networks and beyond. We see our efforts as part of a larger social movement. Everywhere we look, we see groups, networks, and communities rising up to address common challenges. Our intent is to provide a foundation for the field of collective wisdom’s further emergence and a worldview for its continued practice and application.

Resource Link: www.thepowerofcollectivewisdom.com

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