Wise Democracy: Accessing the Wisdom of We the People to Create Political Climate Change

Aired 5 March 2019 – 5:00 PM EDT

An Interview with Author and Wisdom Council Convener Jim Rough

“If we want peace in the Middle East, first we need to create peace in the Middle West.” — Swami Beyondananda


As my colleague Bruce Lipton points out, when we are adrenalized by anger and outrage, we go into “fight or flight”. In other words, our energy flows from our cerebral cortex to our hindbrain. We become more reactive, less creative. And when we are in a political climate where outrage against the other is carefully and continually cultivated, we become downright stupid.

As many progressives can see, this “stupidization” process had culminated in Donald Trump as President. However, what many progressives cannot see is that their own blind outrage has fueled the flames of misunderstanding and taken us further from the awareness we will collectively need to “overgrow” our current corrupt political “shituation.”

Consider this quote from a New York Times OpEd piece on our “Culture of Contempt” by Arthur C. Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute:

This “outrage industrial complex” works by catering to just one ideological side, creating a species of addiction by feeding our desire to believe that we are completely right and that the other side is made up of knaves and fools. It strokes our own biases while affirming our worst assumptions about those who disagree with us.

Fortunately, there are some excellent tools available for we the people to not just listen to and hear one another, but to collaborate on bringing forth breakthrough solutions and “political climate change.” This week’s show is about one such tool.

In Spontaneous Evolution, in our chapter “Healing the Body Politic”, Bruce Lipton and I explored what author James Surowiecki called “the wisdom of crowds” and Tom Atlee calls “co-intelligence” as we offer example after example of how ordinary people can collectively access extraordinary wisdom. One of the specific examples we gave was the work of Jim Rough, author of Society’s Breakthrough! Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People. Jim is the developer of Dynamic Facilitation and exciting strategy called the Wisdom Council Process, that has been practiced widely around the world and has actually been incorporated into the Constitutions of two states of Austria.

Writes Jim:

Dynamic Facilitation is a way to spark people to achieve breakthrough progress on impossible-to-solve issues. In my seminars teaching Dynamic Facilitation participants often practice their new skills by facing impossible-seeming issues from society like climate change, partisan gridlock, threats of authoritarianism, etc. More than 25 years ago, this led to the development of the Wisdom Council Process.

Today our society is like a supertanker heading in a direction no one wants to go—trashing the planet, our democratic institutions and our people. But the “Wisdom Council Process” offers a way to quickly turn things around. It’s a way to educate the people, create shared vision, heal the partisan divide, establish new legislation, generate new technologies, etc.

Jim Rough is a social innovator and Director of the Center for Wise Democracy (www.WiseDemocracy.org). As a business consultant he developed “Dynamic Facilitation” and “The Wisdom Council Process,” new tools which are used all over the world to bring transformational change to individuals and organizations. He is also a speaker, seminar leader and author of the book, Society’s Breakthrough! Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People. (2002)

If you’re ready to discover how seemingly opposite polarities can transcend the current “tug-of-war” and pull together in a “tug of peace”, tune in.

To find out about Jim Rough’s work and the Wisdom Councils, please go here: www.WiseDemocracy.org