I’ve got to take a whole new critical look at Tom Atlee’s stuff now that this class has severely problematized “deliberative democracy”. Maybe I’m just gaining clarity on the aspects of this that have always made me a bit squidgy. (Or I’m identifying another way in which I’ve been a naive dupe, sigh!)
Here’s the latest from Tom, comments on an article from The Observer, called “Kicking the Six Figure Habit“:
“This remarkable article is an example of “collective intelligence” going mainstream. The article (which appeared this spring in a UK major daily THE OBSERVER) is about how — in both business and sports — “collecting star talent” is not as dependable a strategy as developing the collective intelligence of the whole system or group (a topic explored from a more spiritual perspective in “The Soul of Teamwork“.
Democracy theorist and organizer John Turnbull, who just sent this article out to his WorldWide Democracy list, notes one lesson from this: Dysfunctional systems limit the capacity of otherwise brilliant public officials to make good decisions.
We can also take a creative, pro-active lesson, based on our understandings of co-intelligence: It is possible to design high quality systems SPECIFICALLY to call forth the individual and collective intelligence and wisdom hidden within them — brilliance and insight that can then generate wise solutions, decisions, initiatives — and their implementation. Leaders are only a part (ideally primarily a facilitative part) of the whole picture.
The mainstream appearance of this article gives me hope. Mainstreaming its application to democracy is our next step.”
~ Tom Atlee, via email