New FAQ 1: Co-intelligence simplified

With the help of a handful of colleagues I have simplified the concept of co-intelligence to make it easier to learn and teach. I’ve woven its diverse aspects into a Frequently Asked Questions document (FAQ) which will soon be up on the website.

But first I want to check it with you.

Every couple of days I will post on my blog the FAQ’s 20 questions and a few of the answers.

If you find any of it hard to understand or if you would like to see new questions added to the FAQ, write to me at

I hope as you explore this revitalized, fuller, simpler approach to co-intelligence that the subject becomes even more vivid, real and exciting to you.

If you find the idea of co-intelligence and its associated tools reaching more people more effectively, please consider supporting the Co-Intelligence Institute. We are planning many new ways to get these ideas and skills out and used.

Blessings on the Journey we’re all on together.



This FAQ (in its full form) answers twenty questions about co-intelligence. The bold questions below are answered in this message. The answers are designed to be readily understood by most people. While they provide a good introduction to the topic, you will find much more detail on the site.

** What is intelligence?
** What is co-intelligence?
** How is co-intelligence a bigger form of intelligence?
** What is a bigger picture perspective and what are bigger picture outcomes?

What helps people make co-intelligence happen?
Isn’t co-intelligence just collaboration?
What’s the difference between co-intelligence and collective intelligence?
What is co-stupidity?
What causes people and groups to be co-stupid?

Is co-intelligence an experience?
Can individuals be co-intelligent, or just groups?
Is co-intelligence a method?

Isn’t co-intelligence already happening in lots of places?
What is the co-intelligence worldview?
What does co-intelligence have to do with democracy?
What value do the co-intelligence worldview and co-intelligence capacities add to human life?

Is co-intelligence the intelligence of God or Spirit?
What is holistic intelligence?
How does all this fit together?
What is the Co-Intelligence Institute?


Intelligence can be described in a number of ways:

  • Intelligence is the ability to develop, apply, and change our knowledge and skills.
  • Intelligence is the ability to learn and solve problems, especially in the face of challenges and change.
  • Intelligence is our ability to recognize patterns in our thinking and in life.
  • Intelligence is our capacity to fit our thinking, feeling, and behavior (our inner patterns) with what is actually going on (the patterns of reality).

When we think we know what’s going on and that’s not what’s actually going on, we make “stupid” mistakes. Keeping ourselves aligned with reality – that’s what intelligence is – is vital to our survival, success, and having good lives generally.


  • Co-intelligence is diverse people working really well together and getting results that make sense when viewed from an inclusive, long-term perspective.
  • Co-intelligence is alignment between the inner world of a group or community and the broad spectrum of factors in the larger world around them.
  • Co-intelligence is accurate sense-making BY everyone involved, looking at as big a picture as they can manage ON BEHALF OF everyone involved.

Co-intelligence involves truly COMMON sense – shared awareness among people about how to live well together in the circumstances they share, in partnership with the living world – today and tomorrow. It is a bigger way to generate bigger understandings of bigger realities to promote bigger forms of success and quality of life for all.


We can look at co-intelligence as an expanded, inclusive form of intelligence because…

  • It seeks to include not only individual minds but also the intelligence of groups and other collectives – embracing, as well, the capacities for intelligence that are embedded in cultures and systems.
  • It seeks to include not only reason but also the intelligences of relationship like heart intelligence, gut intelligence, resonance, intuition, spirit, and the evolved, evolving wisdom of nature.
  • It seeks to include not only our own interests in the immediate situation but also to embrace the true needs and gifts of all lives involved, including future generations and erstwhile opponents.
  • It seeks to include not only the immediate obvious facts of the matter but also important contexts, interdependencies, feedback dynamics, and other less obvious but influential factors that are easily overlooked.
  • It seeks to work with anyone and anything that can help generate broad, long-term benefits.
  • It honors, seeks and supports the emergence of unexpected, surprising, out-of-the-box solutions and wisdom.

For a model of how co-intelligence expands traditional intelligence, see Six basic manifestations of co-intelligence.


To improve our ability to see things from a bigger picture perspective and create bigger picture benefits, we can ask questions like these:

  • How many different ways of looking at the situation have we fairly and appropriately taken into account?
  • How many of the facts, dynamics, beliefs, interconnections, and nuances involved in the situation have we considered?
  • How many diverse real interests and deep needs have we addressed and met?
  • How much of the web of life are we benefiting – and how deeply?
  • Are we engaging all of our cognitive capacities in ways that help us expand what we are able to understand as well as who and what we are able to benefit?
  • Are we considering impacts on the larger world over the long term?

If you support efforts to promote such an expanded form of intelligence in the world, please send a contribution to the Co-Intelligence Institute.

* * * * * * *

Summer 2015 Co-Intelligence Institute Fundraiser: So far 3 people have supported us with $400. Join them in supporting our work. Our target is $20,000. As you can see, we can use your support. Please donate now. It will make a big difference and your donation is fully tax-deductible in the U.S.

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