The Wise Democracy Project

The Wise Democracy Project was initiated by Tom Atlee of the Co-Intelligence Institute with impetus and tremendous help from Martin Rausch in Switzerland, between July 2016 and March 2017.

The Wise Democracy Project has been created to inspire the formation of a community of practice around approaches and innovations that can further the development of a democratic system capable of generating wise public policy and collective activities. “Wise” in this context means taking into account what needs to be taken into account for long-term broad benefit. D&D – and conversation and generative interaction generally – are central to this worldview and are contextualized for their gifts among many other dimensions of a wise democracy.

The project includes both broad theory and, in particular, an initial “pattern language” of 70 design guidelines, each of which can be applied through many different modes and approaches, using different tools and resources. The pattern language site (and its accompanying set of freely downloadable modular cards) provides a space for the gathering of additional examples and resources in each design category – and the analysis of any given case of democratic practice or vision, clarifying its specific gifts and improvable shortcomings.

The Wise Democracy Pattern Language was inspired by – and is a large-system companion to – the GroupWorksDeck.org pattern language for group process, which is familiar to many NCDD members. In fact, there is a parallel project underway linking the two pattern languages into a more coherent whole.

The relevance of the Wise Democracy Project to NCDD is that it adds a larger dimension to the work of D&D professionals, a vision of a civilization capable of generating actual collective wisdom. D&D practitioners can, if they choose, view their work as part of that larger civilizational mission and, using the models, patterns and networks associated with the Wise Democracy Project, focus their efforts in ways that empower that larger undertaking.

About The Co-Intelligence Institute
The nonprofit Co-Intelligence Institute (CII) promotes awareness of co-intelligence and of the many existing tools and ideas that can be used to increase it. The CII embraces all such ideas and methods, and explores and catalyzes their integrated application to democratic renewal, community problems, organizational transformation, national and global crises and the creation of just, vibrant, sustainable cultures. The goal of the CII is the conscious evolution of culture in harmony with nature and with the highest human potentials.We research, network, advocate, and help organize leading-edge experiments and conversations in order to weave what is possible into new, wiser forms of civilization.

Resource Link: www.wd-pl.com/

This resource was submitted by Tom Atlee, co-founder of The Co-Intelligence Institute via the Add-a-Resource form.

Leading Organizational and Community Change

We are happy to share the announcement below about a series of D&D skills trainings being offered at Humboldt State University this year. NCDD Supporting Member Mary Gelinas shared the announcement below via our great Submit-to-Blog Form. Do you have news you want to share with the NCDD network? Just click here to submit your news post for the NCDD Blog!


If you are an elected official, community leader, manager, planner, consultant or facilitator who wants to be even more effective than you already are, these workshops are for you.

The Leading Organizational & Community Change program is a transformative professional development program focused on creating collaboration at work and in your communities. Offered through the College of eLearning and Extended Education at Humboldt State University in Northern California, this program offers courses designed to help organizational managers, community leaders, public officials, city managers, planners, facilitators, and consultants to be more effective in getting things done and creating sustainable change at work, in communities, and in municipalities.

Grounded in the behavioral sciences and brain science, along with effective and innovative process skills and approaches, the curriculum is designed to build your knowledge and develop your skills so you can work more constructively and productively with colleagues, constituents, neighbors, and clients to solve problems, resolve conflicts, build lasting agreements, develop public policy, and plan for the future.

The courses still available in 2017 include:

Consulting  Skills: Bringing Our Authentic Selves Forward
Feb. 15-17, 2017

Increase your ability to have a strong and positive impact on your client’s results as a staff person or external consultant or facilitator by applying the eight keys to effective consulting and using the phases of the consulting process. Learn how to establish and maintain effective partnerships with clients and have your expertise and experience more fully utilized.

Graphic Recording
March 16, 2017

Increase your ability to serve meeting participants by writing and drawing their conversation live and large to help them do their work. Graphic Recording is a powerful tool to help people feel heard, develop shared understandings and be able to see their work in real-time.

Effective Meetings: The Key to Getting Things Done
May 11-12, 2017

Effective meetings are the building blocks of creating sustainable change. Learn key elements to build collaboration in meetings in order to get stuff done. Acquire tools to plan and conduct meetings, get and stay focused, and handle difficult behaviors.

Advanced Meeting Leadership for High-Stakes Meetings
August 16-18, 2017

Learn and practice strategies and techniques to design and facilitate high-stakes meetings with complex power and group dynamics. Become more adept at engaging diverse stakeholders in constructive and productive interactions. Practice using your internal state of being, body language, pace and tone to help meetings state on track and move forward.

Designing Multi-Stakeholder Collaborative Change Processes
Oct. 25-27, 2017

Develop the ability to design collaborative and inclusive multi-stakeholder processes to solve complex problems, resolve conflicts, develop a vision, craft a policy, or create change.  Learn how various change models can help you plan processes and engage multiple stakeholders in various ways. Understand the key differences between designing change processes for organizations and communities.

For more information, visit www2.humboldt.edu/locc.

How Elite and Popular Discourse Supress Dialogue

We are happy to share the announcement below about a new facilitation training opportunity in California from NCDD supporting member Donald Ellis from the University of Hartford. Donald shared this piece via our great Submit-to-Blog Form. Do you have news or thoughts you want to share with the NCDD network? Just click here to submit your news post for the NCDD Blog!


Me Talk Prettier Than You: Elite and Popular Discourse

One of the divides that has emerged more starkly from the Brexit debate and the candidacy of Donald Trump is the distinction between elite and popular discourse. Just being overly general for the moment, elite discourse is most associated with the educated and professional classes and is characterized by what is considered to be acceptable forms of argument, the use of evidence, the recognition of complexity, and articulation. Popular discourse is more ethnopolitical and nationalistic. It is typically characterized by binary thinking, a simpler and more reductive understanding of the issue, and an ample amount of cognitive rigidity makes it difficult to change attitudes. To be sure, this is a general characterization because both genres are capable of each.

Still, consistent with the well-known polarization of society is the withdrawal of each side into a comfortable discourse structure where the two codes are increasingly removed from one another and the gap between them cannot be transcended very easily. Dialogue is a real challenge if possible at all.

Additionally, elite and popular discourses share some different sociological and economic orientations. Elites are more cosmopolitan and popular is more local and nationalistic. Elites live in more urban centers and are comfortable with and exposed regularly to diversity. Those who employ more popular discourse tend to live in smaller towns and are more provincial. They seem to resist cultural change more and are less comfortable with diversity.

These two orientations toward language divide the leave-remain vote over Brexit and the electorate that characterizes the differences between Clinton and Trump. But this distinction is more than a socioeconomic divide that reflects some typical differences between people. It symbolizes the polarization currently characterizing American politics and has the potential to spiral into dangerous violence as the “popular” form of discourse becomes more “nationalistic.” It lowers the quality of public discourse and typically degenerates into even more rigid differences and stereotypical exemplars of elite and popular discourse. Nationalist discourse substitutes close minded combativeness for elite debate which can be passionate but is geared toward deliberative conversation that can be constructive. Nationalism is the deep sense of commitment a group has to their collective including territory, history and language. When national “consciousness” sets in then one nation is exalted and considered sacred and worthy of protection even in the face of death. Trump’s catchphrase “make America great again” or “let’s take our country back” or his appeals to separation and distinctiveness by building walls that clearly demark “us” and “them” are all examples of a nationalist consciousness that glorifies the state.

The nationalism espoused by Trump and the “leave” camp during Britain’s vote on the EU question are the primary impediments to consolidating, integrating, and strengthening democracies. All states with any sort of diverse population must establish a civil order that protects those populations; that is, no society will remain integrated and coherent if it does not accommodate ethnic diversity. At the moment, Trump’s rhetoric is divisive and representative of a tribal mentality that clearly wants to separate in many ways various communities in the US. Trump’s references to Mexicans, Jews, Muslims, for example betrays his own nationalistic sentiments.

The two ways to handle ethnic diversity are either pluralistic integration or organizational isolation of groups. Isolating and separating groups is inherently destabilizing and foment ripe conditions for violence. Building a wall and making determinations about who can enter the United States and who can’t are all examples of isolating groups. Intensifying nationalist discourse and the privileging of rights for a dominant group is fundamentally unsustainable.

This gap in the United States between an elite discourse and the nationalist discourse has grown wider and deeper. Each side snickers at the other’s orientation toward language and communication and continues the cycle by reinforcing the superiority of his own discursive position.

Ben Franklin Circles

The Ben Franklin Circles (BFC) is a collaborative project of 92nd Street Y (92Y), the Hoover Institution, and Citizen University. BFC reflects a shared commitment to fostering civic participation, open dialogue, and ethics-based leadership. Ben Franklin Circles are based on the idea of a mutual improvement club started by Benjamin Franklin. Franklin gathered a group of peers once a week to hash out projects to improve their community and also, to discuss and debate 13 virtues that Franklin saw as the basis of personal improvement and civic life — qualities like justice, humility and resolution. This mutual improvement club became the jumping off point for projects like the post office, the volunteer fire department and the lending library.

92Y – in partnership with Stanford’s Hoover Institution and Citizen University — is now reviving this idea. We’ve created the tools and resources any community will need to start their own Ben Franklin Circle, with the goal of creating a network of Circles dedicated to hosting conversations about what matters most. The Ben Franklin Circles are a fun, innovative way to build and strengthen community in an increasingly disconnected and digital world. They are about asking two simple questions:

  1. How can I improve myself?
  2. How can I improve the world?

Please contact Julie Mashack, senior producer at 92Y’s Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact: jmashack[at]92y[dot]org.

About 92Y
The organization, founded in 1874, is a center for innovation and the visual and performing arts; a convener of both people and ideas; and an incubator for creativity. 92Y is built on a foundation of Jewish values: the unparalleled capacity of civil dialogue to change minds; the unlimited potential of education and the arts to change lives; and the eternal commitment to welcoming and serving people of all races, religions and ethnicities.

About Hoover Institution
BFC is a program within the Mary Jo and Dick Kovacevich Initiative at the Hoover Institution, Educating Americans in Public Policy, that seeks to provide citizens with accurate facts, information, and an analytic perspective to enable them better perform their civic duties, hold their elected leaders accountable, and, as expressed in the Constitution, “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Founded in 1919, the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, is a public policy research center devoted to the advanced study of economics, politics, history, domestic and foreign political economy, and international affairs.

About Citizen University
Citizen University is a national nonprofit based in Seattle that works to help Americans cultivate the values, systems knowledge, and skills of powerful citizenship. Programs and initiatives include the Civic Collaboratory, a civic leadership network; Sworn-Again America, a project on civic rituals; programs and resources to teach civic power; and a new initiative, the Joy of Voting, that aims to reinvigorate a culture of participation and engagement around voting. The Citizen University National Conference features hundreds of change makers, activists, catalysts, and students from across the country, an annual civic gathering unlike any other. This is a time when citizens are solving problems in new ways,

Resource Link: http://benfranklincircles.org/

This resource was submitted by Julie Mashack, the Senior Producer at 92nd Street Y via the Add-a-Resource form.

Change for the Audacious: A Doer’s Guide

We are happy to share the announcement below about a new resource available at a 25% discount for D&D practitioners. NCDD Member Steve Waddell of NetworkingAction shared the announcement below via our great Submit-to-Blog Form. Do you have news you want to share with the NCDD network? Just click here to submit your news post for the NCDD Blog!


Those working for large systems change have a new resource with the book Change for the Audacious: a doer’s guide.

It presents “large systems change” as an emerging field of practice and knowledge united by the need to involve many, many people and organizations in transformational change in contrast to incremental change. It draws on the author’s more than 30 years experience and the experience of leading practitioners around the world from diverse traditions such as community development, environmental concerns, peace building, corporate social responsibility, and spirituality / psychology.

The heart of the book is five examples of large systems change work: a global network developing “human revolution”, the German electricity transformation, apartheid in South Africa, marriage equality in the US, and our global environmental epochal shift to the anthropocene.

The book aims to present a comprehensive view of the large systems change behind this cases by identifying four core strategies, organizing structures and processes, a typology of tools that integrates NCDD’s Streams framework, and personal guidance for practitioners.

NCDD members can get a 25% discount by using the code “NCDD” by June 1st when they order here: www.networkingaction.net/product/change-for-the-audacious.

Change for the Audacious: a doer’s guide

The 240-page book, Change for the Audacious: a doers’ guide by Steve Waddell, was published in 2016. This book explores how we must, and can do much better at addressing issues such as: climate change, food security, health, education, environmental degradation, peace-building, water, equity, corruption, and wealth creation. This book is for people working on these types of issues, with the belief that we can create a future that is not just “sustainable”, but also flourishing. This perspective means that the challenge is not just one of simple change, but of transformation – radical change in the way we perceive our world, create relationships and organize our societies. This is the implication of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and other global efforts, and also innumerable efforts locally, nationally and regionally.

Audacious_ChangeThis book approaches these challenges as large systems change issues: issues requiring engagement of many, many people and organizations often globally; issues requiring deep innovation with shifts in mindsets and power structures; and issues that require capacity to work with complexity. Large systems change is presented as a new field of practice and knowledge; the book is not about a “method” or particular “approach”; rather it provides an overview of frameworks, methods and approaches to develop capacity to use the appropriate ones in particular contexts.

After introducing concepts of transformation and complexity, the book presents five case studies of large systems change. These cases and others are referenced throughout the remainder of the book to present large systems change strategy, organizing structures, steps in developing the necessary collective action, tools, and personal guidance for change practitioners.

About Steve Waddell & NetworkingAction
Responding to the 21st century’s enormous global challenges and realizing its unsurpassed opportunities require new ways of acting and organizing. NetworkingAction is my personal vehicle to support organizational, network, and societal change and development, through consultation, education, research, and personal leadership. In particular, I focus upon intersectoral (business-government-civil society) and inter-organizational collaboration to produce innovation, enhance impact, and build new capacity. These initiatives may be local, national and/or global. The topics are varied, including water, forestry, youth, finance, economic development, and peace.

Resource Link: http://networkingaction.net/product/a-truly-path-breaking-work/

This resource was submitted by Steve Waddell, the Principal at NetworkingAction via the Add-a-Resource form.

Teens Dream

The Global Co Lab Network is a virtual “do tank” designed to empower cost effective inter-generational engagement with the goal of incubating initiatives out of carefully designed informal gatherings such as living room salons, utilizing facilitated design thinking. Our goal is to help people get out of their silos and work across networks more effectively, utilizing a virtual organization with diverse expertise.

The “Co Lab” helps people identify “doable problem sets” of specific challenges and curates invitees of diverse perspective and backgrounds to foster intentional, solutions-based collaboration with a focus on ensuring input from teens and/or millennials. Over the past year and a half, we have gained legal status as a new global and virtual non governmental organization, assembled a diverse team of advisors, created and secured the Co Lab website, launched a successful crowdfunding campaign, and hosted over twenty salons.

Our first successful incubated project from six salons engaging teens is Teens Dream, a digital platform empowering teens globally to articulate and pursue their dreams. Through two annual video competitions we have received over 135 short YouTube videos from across the world, including Morocco, Romania, Sri Lanka, Australia, Estonia, Canada, Denmark, the United States, Latvia, Germany, and the United Kingdom. We have awarded hundreds of dollars in prizes and hosted a celebration in Washington DC, to pair winners with mentors and organizations who can help them realize their dreams. Our promotional videos, Gallery of Submissions, Teen Media Production Group, and our soon to be established Dream Hubs, are all available on our website at www.teensdream.net.

The Global Co Lab Network seeks to engage those NCDD members interested in youth engagement, for more information email Istaheli[at]globalcolab[dot]net.

About The Global Co Lab Network
Global_Co_LabThe Global Co Lab Network is building a virtual network of partners, mentors, teens, and millennials interested in changing the culture for how we engage. Our dream is to empower everyday citizens to take ownership for the issues they care about by empowering them to engage and incubate new initiatives with inputs – across sectors, generations, and cultures – to build networks of networks and find ways to collaborate more effectively.

Resource Link: www.teensdream.net/

This resource was submitted by Linda Staheli, the Founding Director at The Global Co Lab Network via the Add-a-Resource form.

Integral Facilitator & Meridian Univ. Collaboration Advances Facilitative Leadership

We are happy to share the announcement below about a new facilitation training opportunity in California from NCDD Sustaining Member Rebecca Colwell of Ten Directions. Rebecca shared this announcement via our great Submit-to-Blog Form. Do you have news you want to share with the NCDD network? Just click here to submit your news post for the NCDD Blog!


Ten Directions & Meridian University Collaboration

We are pleased to announce an innovative professional training and development collaboration between Ten Directions and Meridian University, based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Ten Directions and Meridian University collaboration enables students who are pursuing graduate degrees at Meridian University to concurrently complete the Integral Facilitator certificate program for academic credit towards their degree program.

The Meridian University degree programs which are eligible to receive academic credit for participation in the Integral Facilitator Certificate Program are:

  • Integral MBA in Creative Enterprise
  • M.A. in Psychology
  • Ph.D. in Psychology (meets the educational requirements for psychologist licensure in California)
  • M.Ed. in Educational Leadership
  • Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership

How it Works 

Students enrolled both at Meridian University and Ten Directions can substitute 120 Integral Facilitator program hours for 12 quarter credits of Meridian coursework during the academic year in which they are participating in the Integral Facilitator training. Enrolled Meridian University students meet the academic requirements of Meridian’s programs, consisting of online learning, residential sessions, and reading and writing assignments related to the content of the Integral Facilitator Certificate Program.

Meridian Scholarship program for Ten Directions

Students admitted to both Meridian University and the Ten Directions Integral Facilitator Certificate Program are eligible to apply for a $5,000 scholarship, established especially for this program.

To Apply

To apply, please submit a separate application for each program, unless you have already been accepted into one of the programs.

Apply for Ten Directions training at www.tendirections.com/integral-facilitator
Apply for Meridian’s programs at www.meridianuniversity.edu

About Ten Directions
As many NCDD members know, Ten Directions provides premier developmental trainings for leaders, facilitators, coaches, consultants and change agents who wish to employ an Integral approach to facilitation and develop the competencies of facilitative leadership.

Ten Directions’ programs emphasize personal transformative practice to support the development of embodied presence, skillful perspective taking, masterful communication, compassionate engagement and fluid responsiveness to complexity. Our facilitation and leadership training programs are available in North America and Europe, including online programs, 3-day live Intensives and a 9-month Integral Facilitator Certificate program.

About Meridian University
Guided by an Integral Vision, Meridian University seeks to educate leaders with the capacities, skills, and knowledge essential for transforming the professions of Psychology, Business, and Education. The leadership capacities of courage, compassion, clarity, conscience, and embodied self-awareness together constitute the wisdom and integrity required for transforming the professions and the wider culture. Transformative learning at Meridian catalyzes the emergence of these capacities which, along with developing creative inquiry skills and acquiring professional knowledge, actualizes Meridian’s commitment to sustaining an education that transforms.

Collaborative Communication Processes and Decision Making in Organizations

The 410-page text, Collaborative Communication Processes and Decision Making in Organizations, edited by Ephraim Nikoi (University of Wisconsin-Superior, USA) and Kwasi Boateng (University of Arkansas-Little Rock, USA), was published by IGI Global in August 2013.

Collab_Communications

Although organizational decision-making can be very complex, the understanding of technology applications is significant in not only determining the usefulness of virtual groups in organizations, but also in the designing of electronic collaborative activities.

In this work’s 16 chapters, international contributors present research and global case examples in organizational decision making and communication processes for enhancing the effectiveness of organizations and educational environments. Sections deal with themes concerning: e-collaboration tools, creating effective virtual teams, and collaboration and decision making in organizations. Some specific subjects addressed include: fostering social innovation through e-collaboration, promoting critical thinking in virtual teams, and mobile phone usage in organizational communication and decision making.

This title provides academics and management teams with current research in the field of virtual teams in organizations. It is an essential resource for instructors and students of organization and group communication, and institutions that have networks of offices and employees in multiple geographical locations.

About IGI Global
IGI Global is committed to publishing scholarly books, journals, cases, encyclopedias, handbooks of research and electronic resources of the highest quality that provide comprehensive insight into all aspects of information science, business science, medical information science and engineering science. As an internationally-recognized publisher, IGI Global seeks to facilitate the availability of academic excellence and disseminate innovative knowledge worldwide.

Resource Link: www.igi-global.com/book/collaborative-communication-processes-decision-making/75842

This resource was submitted by Ann Lupold, Promotions Coordinator at IGI Global via the Add-a-Resource form.