New FAQ 4: The Co-Intelligence Worldview and Democracy

In this post you will find our new co-intelligence FAQ’s answers to the following four questions:

  • 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?

Remember: If you find anything hard to understand or if you would like to see new questions added to the FAQ, write to me at or in a comment on this blog post.

As you explore this simpler, fuller, more revitalized way of thinking about co-intelligence, I hope that the topic becomes even more vividly real, exciting, and useful for you.

We depend on your support to make the most of our work at the Co-Intelligence Institute. Please consider sending us a contribution. We appreciate every donation of any amount, realizing it comes with real care for what we are trying to do here.

Thank you so much for your past support, which has made it possible for us to be here making this available right now.

Blessings on the Journey we’re all on together.


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The new co-intelligence FAQ answers twenty questions about co-intelligence. The questions in bold italics below are answered here. The previous questions were answered in
New FAQ 1: Co-intelligence simplified
New FAQ 2: How co-intelligence and co-stupidity happen
New FAQ 3: Co-intelligence: An experience? A method? Just for groups?
The last four will be answered in the next blog post.

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?


The simple answer is “Yes!” In fact, given that people are always dealing with situations they face together – consciously or not, successfully or not – co-intelligence is always present to some extent. Many groups and organizations develop a level of collective functionality that shows up as co-intelligence even if they don’t call it that. However, when we understand the dynamics involved and some approaches that make good use of those dynamics, we can significantly increase the co-intelligence that’s present within, among, and around us.


A worldview is the way someone sees the world. For example, many artists and others have an aesthetic worldview, seeing the aesthetic dimensions of every person, every place, every creation of people or nature. A devout Christian or Hindu may see the face of God in every being and the workings of God everywhere. When someone who sees the world in terms of co-intelligence observes people trying to deal with a situation, they notice how well those people are working with each other – and with whatever challenges and resources exist in the situation – in ways that create beneficial outcomes for everyone who is connected to that situation. If their discernment is trained in the co-intelligence worldview, they also see ways to help those involved be more co-intelligent.


Democracy is, essentially, self-governance – government by the people. Some people are legitimately concerned about “too much” democracy because they fear mob rule and general co-stupidity. The fact that we can enhance the co-intelligence of groups, communities, and whole societies suggests that we could create wiser forms of self-governance at all levels of society. We call this the promise of “wise democracy”.

A primary example of this is the use of citizen deliberative councils, randomly selected panels of citizens who consider an issue together, supported by full-spectrum information and facilitation that helps them listen to each other and co-create shared findings and recommendations about the issue. These and other approaches are covered in detail in the books The Tao of Democracy and Empowering Public Wisdom.


There is never a time when people don’t need to address situations in their collective lives. In fact, politics, governance, economics, justice and international relations all involve major social systems dedicated to doing exactly that. Doing it successfully is not easy and doing it unsuccessfully can produce disastrous consequences.

Given the obvious collective dysfunction, stupidity, and folly we can observe here and there at every level and in every sector of society – and even by any given society and civilization as a whole – there is clear need for improvement. Furthermore, given the consequences of the worst of our collective failures – including some very large and foreseeable global catastrophes – the ability to increase humanity’s capacity for co-intelligence is a precious skill indeed.

If you support efforts to promote this expanded form of intelligence and its associated methods to create wiser democratic societies, please send a contribution to the Co-Intelligence Institute.

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