This post is a fundraiser. You’ll read about some of the Co-Intelligence Institute’s leading-edge activities and how specific people treasure our valuable contributions. We ask you to help us raise $25,000 soon and to find others who can help us raise more so we can do more to help humanity’s fledgling collective wisdom develop as a potent blessing for the world.
At this critical time for wisdom in democracy, the Board of the Co-Intelligence Institute (CII) is excited about how CII’s contributions have expanded and been recognized in the past year. Tom Atlee and his colleagues are interacting with and influencing leading-edge initiatives globally. Both our collaborations and the Wise Democracy Pattern Language are increasingly appreciated. We want to let you know about it, and ask for your support – to add some of your wind to the sails of our shared journey to enhance the world’s collective wisdom.
Following are descriptions and endorsements from six of the initiatives we have been involved with, and three ways you can support this ongoing work.
vTaiwan is increasingly recognized as one of the most exciting and effective open-source democracy initiatives in the world. Tom has done extensive research and writings on the (r)evolutionary developments in vTaiwan this year, interacting for many hours with Taiwan’s Digital Minister Audrey Tang. She has this to say:
“I met with Tom online and face to face. I am intrigued by and admire his and CII’s contribution to the field of collaborative democracy. We currently have a high demand of inquiries regarding our open government processes. We refer to Tom’s coherent and accessible description of our work on our site. If the idea of a collaborative and interactive democracy appeals to you, Tom and his Co-Intelligence Institute colleagues and their ‘pattern language’ will be helpful companions and guides.”
Some exciting on-the-ground applications of our work are happening. Notably, in the UK our colleague Andy Paice (a graduate of CII’s 2016 Wise Democracy class) has become a consultant to Rokhsana Fiaz, the new Mayor of the London Borough of Newham, in her mission to embed a culture of participatory democracy and citizens assemblies in that highly diverse community of 350,000 citizens. Andy writes:
“Input from Tom and the CII informs my contribution by shining a light on what is actually going to bring long term holistic benefit for the borough. In my discussions with Tom and his colleagues I consistently come away with ‘aha! moments’ about specific processes and dynamic factors to take into account that enhance my ability to provide effective, informed support.”
And Martin Rausch, CII associate and co-creator of the Wise Democracy Pattern Language, is not only collaborating on a German reality TV show on collective intelligence, a Swiss documentary highlighting four democratic innovations, and a series of films on participatory democracy, but also helped jumpstart a participatory process in a national neurologist association. Martin says:
“Working with Tom over the years on the TV project or on the pattern language has been informative and critical for me. All these projects are informed by Tom’s thinking, resources and in many cases by concrete suggestions.”
In 2017, Tom and a half dozen other CII colleagues talked with the 2019 Climate Change and Consciousness planning team about how they could apply the Wise Democracy Pattern Language to their remarkable upcoming 2019 conference. Their response was enthusiastic. CCC19 visionary and lead organizer, Dr. Stephanie Mines, wrote us:
“Tom Atlee is an inspirational model of patient and attuned listening and presence. His pattern cards make a stunning contribution to leadership potential at a time when true leadership is scarce. We need this orientation towards conscious, proactive witnessing if humanity is to evolve. If you are called to lead, you need the Wise Democracy Pattern Language.”
And Dana Lynne Anderson, CCC19 arts coordinator and Founding Director at the Academy of Art, Creativity & Consciousness wrote:
“The Pattern Language cards are a springboard to clear, rich and meaningful dialogue. They enable a kind of ‘shorthand’ in conversation that allows a group to move quickly into greater levels of subtlety and complexity. Though simple to use, they quickly generate communication with greater wholeness and depth. I see them as a very essential step in the evolution of collective conversation.”
Over the last year Tom has worked extensively with the Emerging Network Governance Initiative (ENGI), which he co-founded with network consultants Steve Waddell and Tracy Kunkler. ENGI seeks to help collaborating multi-sector, multi-stakeholder, multi-scale networks evolve into a functionally wise form of governance that includes and transcends government as we’ve known it – as described in a post by Tom last year. Tracy, another graduate of CII’s 2017 Wise Democracy class who is now the lead organizer of ENGI, wrote to Tom:
“I want to stay connected in that grand, thoughtful, delightful conversational way that I value so much about you. I appreciate how you are connecting us with others in the field, and that you keep taking us into deeper inquiry about our shared goals. You are so articulate in how you communicate this whole picture, I’m watching you orient new people and keep framing the conversation for the group in ways that are generative and that invite depth and creativity. What you bring to the conversation is valuable. I appreciate the quality of thinking that your questions raise.”
The Bloom Network is a social and mobilization network for regenerative culture. In January 2018 Tom was invited to be on its Advisory Panel for a year-long Regenerative Culture Community Innovations Incubator, including a major conference in September. Looking over the invitation, he responded that he supported them but sensed “a vital omission in your articulated vision that happens to be at the center of my own work: i.e., the design of a culture of collective wisdom” about which he proceeded to provide more details. The lead Bloom Network organizer Magenta Ceiba responded:
“Thank you so much for your in-depth response. Your suggestion is brilliant and we love the way you framed it. Our core team had a similar realization this week, that … it’s central to the whole thing working at all. We couldn’t have pointed to it as clearly as you. Inspired by your message, we have decided to add the core theme Collective Wisdom as the overarching focus of the plenary program and main focus/process of the event. As we flesh out the Summit and Action Incubator, we’ll establish a clear foundation of processes for collectively generating wise answers together on an ongoing basis as circumstances change. We had been planning to address this in the governance hackathon we’ll be doing at the event, and within the technology theme (as process and governance technology), but you’re totally right that it’s actually at the center of the whole endeavor and should be both embedded across the other themes and also given its own arena as a separate focus area…. As we’ll be bringing such a diverse set of stakeholders together to collaborate, it’s crucial this capacity is addressed and supported throughout all aspects of the event and the larger incubator cycle.”
At which point they invited Tom into the project’s design team where he has now been a leading participant for four months.
Our perspective is increasingly being sought in new places. In academia, Tom will be speaking, in June, at the University Network for Collaborative Governance conference and keynoting the Participatory Communication Research section of the conference of the International Association for Media and Communication Research.
And we have people suddenly appearing seeking to do more interesting things with our material. Tomas Gardelka, who sought permission to translate Tom’s vTaiwan posts into Czech, writes “I’m just starting to write a blog about cooperative democracy in the Czech language and Tom Atlee’s websites are indispensable resources for my own publications. The Wise Democracy Project is one of the most comprehensive sources on this topic these days and I would recommend it to everyone as a starting point of a quest for a better democracy of the future.”
In the near-term, we need to raise $25,000 to cover our usual basic expenses – including Tom’s very minimal salary.
In the coming year we aspire to expand our web of collaborations and to create new accessible media about wise democracy that reaches more people. We are developing a proposal estimated at over $100,000 to create, co-create, or piggy-back on a professional and publicly accessible media portal that offers sharing, learning and networking options that will highlight, improve and propagate the best practices and innovations in the field of democracy and build wisdom-generating capacity. The practices and innovations would be presented by videos, to capture and convey the complexity of change. The Portal would also build wisdom-generating capacity by developing a community of WD-PL practitioners. We would also like to update and enhance the co-intelligence.org website and craft a new version of the Wise Democracy Pattern Language.
We ask for your support in three ways:
1. Please donate directly to the Co-Intelligence Institute. See the note at the end of this message. We look forward to and deeply appreciate all donations, whatever fits your budget and your dreams. By joining us in this way, you become a partner in our work.
2. Tell us about anyone who you believe might give us further support – individuals, foundations, corporations, whoever. If you have personal contacts and can give us contact info or introduce us, all the better. But we are looking for any leads you might have about sources of funding for our unique, leading edge work. Most traditional funders don’t know about – or often have trouble actually comprehending – what we are trying to do, so any connections that might work are precious to us.
3. Spread the word. Please forward this message to your own friends and networks, perhaps with a cover note from yourself about your thoughts and feelings about what we do.
Together we can contribute to the powerful energies that are emerging to realize wiser, more compassionate and regenerative cultures for future generations.
The Co-Intelligence Institute Board
TO SUPPORT THE CO-INTELLIGENCE INSTITUTE & TOM ATLEE’S WORK…
Please send a tax deductible donation of any amount to
The Co-Intelligence Institute
PO Box 493
Eugene, OR 97440
or use your Visa or MasterCard – or Paypal – to make an online donation at
or tell some friends you know about our work, and invite them to support it.
Do let me know when you’ve mailed a donation, so I can add it to our tally right
away. Including your email address on your check will help me keep track of
You can also use the link above to arrange a monthly donation.
Also, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org any contacts you believe might help us raise more money for an expanded program of initiatives over the coming year.
Tom Atlee, The Co-Intelligence Institute, POB 493, Eugene, OR 97440
Evoking and engaging the wisdom and resourcefulness of the whole on behalf of the whole
- EMPOWERING PUBLIC WISDOM
- PARTICIPATORY SUSTAINABILITY
- THE TAO OF DEMOCRACY
- REFLECTIONS ON EVOLUTIONARY ACTIVISM