Wise integral governance of, by, for the whole… ?

I’ve recently struggled with how to integrate
the separate theories and visions of
wise democracy
inclusive multi-sector, multi-stakeholder, multi-scale
networks as an emerging form of governance.

I’ve come to believe…

… that traditional powerholders should not be on top….
… that bureaucrats should not be on top….
… that experts should not be on top….
… that stakeholders should not be on top….
… and even We the People should not be on top.

No one should be on top.

What should be on top – that is, what should govern our shared public affairs – is wisdom that emerges from informed, generative conversations among appropriately diverse people and perspectives, including especially people affected by and involved with the issues or areas we’re talking about. There should be equity and transparency and answerability that support the ultimate goal, which is

to evoke and engage
he wisdom and resourcefulness of the whole
on behalf of the whole.

Out of that principle can come wise integral governance OF, BY, and FOR whole communities and systems. Since we can manifest that in different ways, there are many approaches we can and should explore and experiment with. Together these would constitute radically new, wiser, and evolving forms of wholesome self-governance.

I’m curious. What do you think? What comes up for you when you read this? I’d love to engage with your responses in the comment section below, where our public dialogue could benefit everyone.


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Tom Atlee, The Co-Intelligence Institute, POB 493, Eugene, OR 97440
Calling forth the wisdom of the whole for the wellbeing of the whole

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