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Tom Atlee, author of The Tao of Democracy, is on a mission to bring the citizen back into democracy through a simple and practical method. The co-director of The Co-Intelligence Institute in Eugene, Oregon, calls for the introduction of citizen councils that offer a platform for “collective intelligence.” This political pioneer shares his views in his new book, Empowering Public Wisdom, and with you in this engaging online seminar.
Date: October 18, 2012
Time: 5 pm-6:30pm PDT
All events are recorded and send to everyone who is registered afterwards.
How can we transform our democracy?
The United States presidential elections are coming up. For many of us, these elections are seen as the highlight of our democratic process. But have you ever considered that democracy could be more than merely voting every four years? Tom Atlee sees a new possibility for all citizens in democracies: to delegate some of their decision-making power to temporary panels of randomly selected ordinary citizens, called “citizen councils.” These councils would be similar to trial juries in structure, and they could be plugged into the existing political system in various ways.
Atlee will share his pioneering views on these panels and his inspiring thoughts on how citizens can be included in democracy again. Like Atlee says: “Creating the capacity for public wisdom in the 21st century is our task, our calling. We are the revolutionary founders of the new democracy.”
Who should attend?
- All you pioneers of the possible, people who believe that we can transform our democratic process for the better.
- People who are interested in the wisdom of the group, and how that wisdom can contribute to politics.
- Everyone who would like to fix politics, and thinks that voting every two or four years is not enough.
About Tom Atlee
Tom Atlee is co-director and research director of the Co-Intelligence Institute, a nonprofit organization he founded in 1996. His early co-intelligence research in the late 1980s focused on the relationship between group dynamics and collective intelligence. Later, his focus shifted to developing society’s capacity to function as a wise democracy. From his view, democracy is a means through which human groups, communities and societies co-create their future together. He’s the author of The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All (The Writers Collective, 2003) and the forthcoming Empowering Public Wisdom: A Practical Vision of Citizen-Led Politics (North Atlantic Books).
Praise for Tom Atlee
“Tom Atlee helps us envision, in amazing detail, how we can shape democracy we believe in because we’re creating together.”
—Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet and EcoMind
“In this practical and visionary book, filled with concrete examples of what works, Tom Atlee shows us how we can harness our collective wisdom to discern the way forward in these complex and challenging times. Inspiring and highly recommended!”
—William Ury, coauthor of Getting to Yes and author of The Third Side
“A wise and important development for the democracy movement.”
—Hawaii state senator Les Ihara Jr., Senate majority policy leader
“At last someone has described the conditions under which ordinary people can generate real public wisdom. The implications for democracy—especially for democratic handling of our most troubling, complex, and urgent issues—are profound. I urge activists, academics, public officials, and every concerned citizen to heed the call in this book.”
—Richard Sclove, author of Democracy and Technology
“Empowering Public Wisdom serves up a juicy antidote to today’s increasingly intractable issues, political gridlock, and public disengagement. Having used many of the practices Atlee outlines, I can attest to the viability and vitality of the vision he paints and the approaches he proposes on behalf of us all.”
—Peggy Holman, consultant, author of Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity and coauthor of The Change Handbook
“In this book, Tom Atlee highlights the seldom-noted potential of dialogue and deliberation to generate true public wisdom. He explores how to increase that potential, how to embed it in our democracy, and how to empower it to make a real difference—an important contribution to our field and our political culture.”
—Sandy Heierbacher, director, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation