More juicy Inquiries into sense-making (Sense-making – Part 3)

In the previous two posts in this “sense-making” series (here and here) I shared several earlier articles on this subject that I had not yet woven into a coherent series. Below are several more essays picked from the past, which I decided to cluster together to keep the series compact. There’s LOTS of stuff here. I realize you probably don’t have time to read it all, but I assure you that it is all very rich and anywhere you dip into it will prove interesting. In the next several posts of the series I’ll be covering totally new ground with you, ground that’s still an adventure for me….

Refresh your sense of this big topic with one or more of the following timeless articles:

  1. In The fall and rise of truth, trust and society’s capacity for wisdom”, I explore some of the ways our shared belief in broadly knowable “truth” and “reality” have been undermined, leaving many of us in need of new ways to discover a shared sense of the world upon which to base our collective lives. “Post-truth” has more dimensions than the manipulations of politicians (although they are definitely part of it!)….
  2. In ‘“Participatory Knowing’ and ‘Co-Sensing’”, I reflect on the extent to which everything we know arises from our participation with others and with the world around us. We can learn to navigate that dynamic more elegantly and powerfully. We can evolve authentic common sense together, feeling our way together humbly from shared ignorance, misunderstanding or confusion to shared understanding. There are many ways to do this, including welcoming multiple ways of knowing.
  3. In “Sense-making – together and apart”, I share a video adventure with my London colleague Andy Paice exploring how each perspective and each way of knowing is both partial and essential to understanding more of what’s going. In the video “we explore how very diverse people and sense-making modes can interact in ways that cover more of the landscape of their shared situation, thereby generating collective wisdom that embraces more of what needs to be taken into account.” This post also features links to my full four-part “Collective Coherence” series describing practical approaches to finding or generating authentic common ground, whether among a group in a room or in a whole community or society.

In future posts in this series, I’ll share my explorations into visionary ways to weave diverse participatory processes into integrated programs or systems usable by groups and communities to make deeper sense together. I’ll share leading-edge ways to deepen into a topic or issue, so we can think about it in more potent, holistic ways. And I’ll expand on some of the many forms of diversity that can be creatively used to cover more of what needs to be considered when dealing with any issue, need or vision – and I’ll explore, as well, the social dynamics that hinder or help our ability to do that.

I hope you’ll find all this useful, both to provide inspiring visions of what’s possible and to learn actionable techniques for generating fuller, wiser sense with the diverse people we work and live with every day.


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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

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