Phi Beta Iota: If there were one single person to elect as being representative of all that we are capable of if we commit ourselves to conscious evolution, Tom Atlee would be that person.
We urge all those interested in Public Intelligence to buy his new book, a tipping-point book, and consider buying it in lots of 10 or more as holiday gifts.
Tom and the Co-Intelligence Institute are the role models for all of us, and anything anyone can do to support their continuing contributions to social sanity is strongly encouraged. St.
In the midst of economic, political, and environmental crises, we ask for your support. We know that many nonprofits seek your help right now. We know that providing such assistance is a major personal choice. We know that you may be experiencing hard times yourself.
We invite you to consider our brand of leading-edge work and to support it — not in spite of the emerging crises, but BECAUSE of them, because they are resources for the kind of change the world so desperately needs. The Co-Intelligence Institute works at that edge where possibility just might tumble into breakthrough, seeking what we sometimes call acupuncture points in the system where ideas or conversations could make a difference far beyond the usual.
At the end of this message, you’ll see how you can contribute. But right now, here are some highlights of our work so far this year:
1. CORE PRINCIPLES OF PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT: Most of you know that we played a leading role with the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation in compiling the Seven Core Principles for Public Engagement <http://www.thataway.org/files/ Core_Principles_of_Public_Engagement.pdf>. This first-ever broad agreement on principles for the public engagement field was welcomed by the Obama Administration’s Open Government Initiative and broadly discussed in their public dialogue earlier this year about making government more participatory. The recently published federal government directive on this
mandates federal agencies to engage the public, especially to gather innovative ideas, opening up unprecedented possibilities for creative use of citizen dialogue and deliberation to impact federal policy.
2. WHOLE SYSTEM INITIATIVE: The Co-Intelligence Institute has recently designed a Whole System Initiative http://co-intelligence.org/WSSI.doc and is currently in the R&D phase. Our underlying inquiry for this big picture project is “How do we generate the wisest and most coherent voice of the whole that will be viewed as legitimate by society as a whole?” The initiative — which currently envisions both citizens and stakeholders in deliberations and creative choice-creating — is designed to build society’s capacity to deal wisely with challenges and opportunities through recurring strategic conversations about major public issues while simultaneously revitalizing democracy. We are currently talking to other visionaries and leaders who share this focus and are keeping our eyes open for synergistic collaborations. If you have questions
about this project or know of an individual, organization, or project that has a related interest, please contact our project manager, Lyn Bazzell, at [email protected].
3. REFRAMING ACTIVISM IN EVOLUTIONARY TERMS: Tom Atlee spent much of this year researching evolutionary dynamics that can be used to guide social change agents and transform social systems. When his partner Karen completed her second round of chemo, Tom redoubled his efforts and managed to get a book on evolutionary activism pulled together, designed and published in two intense months. REFLECTIONS ON EVOLUTIONARY ACTIVISM: Essays, Poems, and Prayers from an Emerging Field of Sacred Social Change is now available from
http://evolutionaryactivism.com, with discounts for bulk purchases. To encourage more people to read and use it, Tom has also made it available for free download. The book envisions co-intelligent social change work being undertaken as part of the 13.7 billion year process of evolution,
informed by our growing knowledge of evolutionary dynamics and inspired and empowered by a sense that the creative power of the universe is working through us; that we are more than just isolated individuals and groups. He describes evolution-based strategies and leverage; the role of consciousness and conversation; the direction of evolution and our role in that; the importance of systems thinking (especially in compassion); the creative use of crisis, disturbance and diversity; and dozens of examples of particularly significant evolutionary initiatives. Readers of the book will be able to participate in special conversations with Tom and each other in 2010.
4. LOCAL PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT: Board members Tom Atlee and John Abbe have been working with the City of Eugene, Oregon, in developing and facilitating innovative public engagement forums during the City’s climate and energy planning process to address peak oil and climate change issues. Board member Adin Rogovin consulted with the Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement on the design and facilitation of a six month series of community dialogues co-convened by three of the Portland Neighborhood Association Coalitions. Board member Heather Tischbein has been bringing stakeholders together around environmental issues in Western Colorado and introducing environmentalists to more co-intelligent processes. Tom Atlee participated in a panel on public engagement at the annual League of Oregon Cities conference and then led public officials in a World Cafe about dealing with tight budgets.
5. RICH OFFSHOOTS OF OUR WORK: We work with close associates carrying on major projects inspired by the Institute’s past initiatives. The participatory project to develop a pattern language (design principles) for quality group process and conversation continues at <http://grouppatternlanguage.org/Home>, inspiring the development of new software that can help all such efforts. Healthy Democracy Oregon <http://healthydem.org> will be organizing state-authorized Citizens Juries on three Oregon ballot initiatives in 2010, the results of which will appear in official Voter Information Booklets, as a test of the first-ever Citizen Initiative Review process approved by the legislature and the governor. We explored democratic initiatives with Steven Kull, founder and CEO of Program on International Policy Attitudes and World Public Opinion <http://
www.worldpublicopinion.org>, one of the largest international polling firms, who contacted Tom about his own remarkable visions of creating official networks of citizens for both polling and deliberation, woven into government functioning.
6. THE EVOLUTION OF OTHER NETWORKS: At the Leadership in a Self-Organizing World conference, we brought expanded process consciousness, the evolutionary perspective, and Transition Towns <http://www.transitiontowns.org> leaders together with Open Space practitioners. Tom participated in a leading-edge Transition Towns U.S. gathering to rethink how to best help U.S. communities transition from oil-dependence to low-carbon resilience and vitality,
and to include evolutionary perspectives in Transition Town trainings. We also contributed much to discussions earlier this year in the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation about how to improve public conversations about climate change and health care, and expanding the role of public participation in times of crisis.
Our mix of theory, vision, practice, and free assistance to others is a resource for developments at the leading edge of social change. Please support our work.
Send your tax-deductible donation of any amount — $25, $50, $100, $500 or more — to
The Co-Intelligence Institute
PO Box 493
Eugene, OR 97440
or use your Visa or MasterCard to make an online donation at
Do let me know when you’ve mailed a donation, so I can add it to our tally right away. Including your email address on your check will help me keep track of your gift.
Thanks so much for your support, both moral and financial. We definitely could not do this without you!
Tom Atlee • The Co-Intelligence Institute • PO Box 493 • Eugene, OR
http://www.co-intelligence.org • http://www.democracyinnovations.org
Read THE TAO OF DEMOCRACY • http://www.taoofdemocracy.com
Tom Atlee’s blog http://tom-atlee.posterous.com
Please support our work. • Your donations are fully tax-deductible.