Wisdom Councils


We offer small groups an opportunity to have a profound experience of Dynamic Facilitation over a several day period – trying to come to an agreement around a specific topic.

About Wisdom Councils

Wisdom Councils are made up of a small group of 8-12 randomly selected people who are being Dynamically Facilitated around a particular issue. Through a day and a half process the group then comes up with some summary points that reflect the common sense view of the people on a particular issue. These people can then speak with one voice and carry that voice wherever it needs to be heard. It is a very powerful mechanism to help bring about the change we need to see as we move forward.

What people have said about the Wisdom Council process

“The Wisdom Council is the most powerful democratic innovation I know.”
Tom Atlee, Author of the “Tao of Democracy” and “Empowering Public Wisdom”

“The Wisdom Council is the most important democratic development since invention of the jury”
Richard K. Moore, author of Escaping the Matrix

“The Wisdom Council is the future of democracy.”
Sen. Les Ihara, State Senate Majority Leader, Hawaii

What is the capacity of groups & how can we tap into their deepest capacity?

Wisdom Councils have been shown to reliably help groups tap into their collective intelligence. Have you ever wondered why people can be so brilliant individually and yet when we come together in groups we become so dysfunctional? The strength of Wisdom Councils is that through the use of Dynamic Facilitation groups can diffuse conflict and tap into their natural problem-solving capacity.

Scientists have found that if you put a puzzle in the cage of a chimpanzee, they will try and solve it without any reward. It turns out that problem solving is intrinsically satisfying to both humans and chimps and that if groups can diffuse conflict they can tap into their natural problem solving nature. When in this place, they can harness the greater wisdom of the group and problem solve from a place of greater collective intelligence.

Wisdom Councils have been so successful in the state of Vorarlburg, Austria that they have included them in their constitution as a mechanism to get input from the people. If the government wants citizen input on a particular issue, it can create a Wisdom Council. If citizens want to have their input on a particular issue, they have to gather a 1,000 signatures on a petition and then the city will create a Wisdom Council for the citizens.

How can we have transformational conversations that move us forward to where we need to be?

The conversations that happen in Wisdom Councils are powerful because they include diverse points of view and can use that diversity to maximize the creativity of a group. Through deep listening the facilitator is able to create a safe space for all points of view and that also allows the group to listen in new ways that facilitates them to have breakthroughs around difficult issues.

One group was talking about the divisive issue of abortion and there were people that covered the whole range of views on the pros and cons of abortions. At the end of their discussion, they realized that they all agreed that we should create a world where every child was a wanted child. That became a place to begin to imagine what that might look like instead of fighting over abortions.

How can we get our public discourse to reflect these conversations?

Wisdom Councils are a place where people can come together and talk about difficult issues that they long to talk about on a much deeper level than our usual level of public discourse. It is a place where we can bring our conversations that we are having around our kitchen tables into the public arena where they need to be. Read about the latest Wisdom Council in Asheville, NC.   Here is the link for the Mountain Xpress article on the Wisdom Council: