NETWORK OF CIRCLES - NEW ARCHETYPE FOR COLLECTIVE SELF-GOVERNANCE

January 9, 2009

All over the world, and bursting forth today from its underground co-creative crucible into clear public discussion, there is a dawning excitement everywhere regarding the creative power and wisdom of collective human genius.

The election of Obama seems to have sparked the vision or wild hope that something almost divine or magical may be in the air. We have prayed, we have read and studied, we have gathered together in small groups everywhere, we have been unfolding and discovering the collective wisdom and intelligence of community. In a world that is badly fractured and divided by the crunching intersection of old ideas and assumptions, a new and resonant integral model is being born in a million local conversations.

And Obama seems to understand this. Has he been trained in the research on dialogue and community? How is it that he seems so deeply in tune with the keys to building shared understanding and community in a context of great diversity? Millions of people in the USA could sense this great skill and instinct, and responded powerfully to this new call to shared understanding and trust that Obama seems to embody.

In his outreach to the world, as he speaks to us in person, he seems to balance this broad calling with great artistry and diplomatic skill, somehow knowing he is “speaking to the whole”. And through his internet outreach, he has convened millions of people all over America, into a single online context that could grow in ways that absolutely support these emerging highest ideals. Like a national “meetup.com” network, Obama’s web network is ready to organize ten-thousand local groups around the USA that could come together through this highest ideal of co-creative intelligence.

This is an astonishing possibility, amazing not only for its breadth of inclusion and its profound sensitivity to the call for community arising all over the world, but also because of its deep organic elegance of design, its primal simplicity, its natural attunement with the form of “being” itself.

We can combine network design with deep wisdom, with the most profound calls to holism and to all that is good in human nature. We can convene the collective genius of our society – here in the USA, and indeed, around the world – through an emerging network process that grows like a vine, that interconnects the good everywhere, that has no central organizing authority, and simply unfolds as an expression of an organic and deeply mystical ontology that resonates like the dream of every religion coming true.

Are we indeed at some “tipping point”? Are we ready to move past our collective confusion and sense of overwhelm and frustration, and into a new era of accelerating harmony and resonance and vibrant creativity? There is a gathering force out there that says yes. That gathering force is saying yes we can…


"Stay at the centre of the circle and let all things take their course." Lao-Tzu
Revelations: The Wisdom of the Ages - Paul Roland

Written for Kosmos Journal

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Comment by Lee-Anne on January 11, 2009 at 1:56am
Blessed are the peacemakers. Humanity dreams, humanity wakes and peace is here now. Thank you for your wisdom, your peace and the incredibly awakening image of the Sun Goddess. And, I echo, WOW!!!
Comment by Bruce Schuman on January 10, 2009 at 4:39pm
From Tom Atlee, Co-Intelligence Institute

********

President 3.0


An Open Letter to Newsweek, Google, and others
envisioning a new era of citizen engagement in government

ref: "President 2.0" in Newsweek Dec 1, 2008


Many people are waking up to how digital technology is generating new possibilities for citizen engagement in governance. And some also recognize the additional potential offered by our rapidly developing "social technologies" -- new ways for citizens to come together face-to-face for conversation and action.

While the Internet does make mass citizen participation possible, its ability to generate COLLECTIVELY INTELLIGENT citizen guidance for policy-makers is limited. Generating true public policy wisdom requires high-quality, informed face-to-face dialogue and deliberation -- diverse citizens creatively exploring, comparing and weighing options together towards a coherent decision about a public issue.

But how do we get deliberative coherence from a population of millions? The revolutionary answer is... the same way we do with juries and public opinion polls: convene a randomly selected microcosm of the whole country: a small group -- a dozen to several hundred people -- whose members approximate the actual diversity of our nation. (This approach can also work at state and local levels, but the focus here is the whole nation.)

President Obama could convene tried-and-true, jury-style citizen deliberative councils like (1) British Columbia's remarkable 2004 Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform, (2) the official Consensus Conferences used by Denmark's Parliament to evaluate new technologies, or (3) the internationally popular Citizens Juries created by the United States' own Jefferson Center. These randomly selected microcosm groups get balanced briefings about the issue they're considering. They take testimony from -- and cross-examine -- diverse expert witnesses. Then they deliberate to make recommendations they publicly announce to policy-makers, media and the citizenry.

These leading-edge "policy juries" could be used to generate collectively intelligent recommendations on any issue, grounded in the knowledge of diverse experts and the values and experience of diverse citizens. President Obama could go three innovative steps further and (a) provide a public record of their briefings, hearings, and deliberations, available online; (b) have them do web research as part of their deliberative agendas and (c) submit their findings to online public forums and on-the-ground community gatherings across the country, where they can be debated and compared with other policy proposals. This would engage the whole nation with the best efforts of these potent citizen deliberative councils.

By stepping out of partisan politics into a "politics of the whole" in this powerful way -- by taking the unifying spirit of his campaign to the next level -- President Obama would in effect be creating a "President 3.0". Rather than simply using the Internet to further individual expression and interest-group activism -- the usual political uses of Web 2.0 -- he would actually be developing the public wisdom and collective intelligence capacity of our whole country.

But he and we will need to keep in mind an important dynamic: When Google CEO Eric Schmidt says, "A community will always make a better decision than an individual," he is unfortunately overlooking the proven -- and widely recognized -- phenomenon of "groupthink". The truth is that there are conditions where collective activity generates collective intelligence and others in which such activity generates collective stupidity. Much knowledge exists about the different conditions that predictably lead us into one state or the other. We need to get smart about using that knowledge.

So how would all this come about? Clearly, President Obama could spearhead this revolution in our politics and governance. But if the President doesn't want to innovate Governance 3.0, Google or any of dozens of other thoughtful, well-resourced groups and individuals or emerging grassroots networks could do it. There's nothing stopping us but our own bias towards partisanship. It's time -- high time -- we got over that. There's a sane, healthy future just waiting for us to gather our collective wits into collective wisdom, using our diversity creatively.

During his campaign, Obama opened the door to that future. Citizen deliberative councils offer a very powerful way for all of us to walk through it together.

Tom Atlee
The Co-Intelligence Institute
http://www.co-intelligence.org
Author: THE TAO OF DEMOCRACY: USING CO-INTELLIGENCE
TO CREATE A WORLD THAT WORKS FOR ALL
Comment by Bruce Schuman on January 10, 2009 at 3:30pm
Thank you.

The ideas of Thich Nhat Hanh have been a shaping influence on my own understanding -- particularly one idea, where he said "The coming Buddha is the Sangha".

That idea, I would say, can be "translated into any religion" -- it's not just a Buddhist idea. It means -- that the emerging "Messiah" energy -- arises in and through and is guided by -- community (Sangha=community)
.
It is the common heart, the oneness that interconnects us all, that validates us all.

We are still discovering this truth -- but millions of people are awakening to it -- and in my eyes, much of the teeming art found all over this iPeace site is an expression of this idea. The divine force awakens in each individual, and interconnects everyone. It is the "spirit of namaste" multiplied a billion times...

The idea is so simple, and yet so sophisticated. We are only beginning to discover this idea as a kind of "networking principle". It's a connection between people, between hearts -- between minds...

I like this image -- of the Sun Goddess, holding all and everything within the embrace of her circle.

This diagram, is a key to this emerging form, a kind of "master design principle" we are uncovering -- as the energy of this universal goddess interconnects us all within the embrace of her brilliance and safety.



IM asks -- how can we speed this up even more...

I laugh, because I am pushing as absolutely hard as I can go -- as many are -- but I think the real answer is found in that quote I put at the bottom of this blog post....

"Stay at the centre of the circle and let all things take their course." Lao-Tzu

The center of the circle -- is found within each individual -- and it is the connecting point through which the energy of the divine force passes, linking us all. Yes, this is a high mystery -- but it is also very simple and natural and organic. How can this energy rise within a context like Gaza? I think the guidance is -- stay steady, stay centered, show up, keeping loving, keep connecting -- keep typing.... :)
Comment by im on January 10, 2009 at 11:25am
Yes, we are living it - the CHANGES!

The Third Modernity;
How ordinary people are tranforming the world.

French Social-antropoligist: Alain de Vulpian.
Not here to promote the book...kind of interesting to read the ref. on the web!

What is of interest to notice is that the foreword is written by Arie de Geus, who develop the Scenarion Model for Royal Dutch Shell at its time. Shell is also running the dialogue forums on the internet:
Shell Dialogues.

Energy - oil - gass - wind - sun .....energy that can sustain our living on Earth as we know it right not.
The fight on the oil (black goldt) and water (the blue gold) .....fight for access and rights to resources.
Let us hope that the green revolution in the US with the Obama spirit - YES, we can - create 5 million new jobs as part of the new lifestyle of health and sustainability. It is very much US west ....however, academic circles linked to big corporations are also part of the change.

Arie de Geus are also connected to dialogue process like: World CAfe
"As a process, the World Café can evoke and make visible the collective intelligence of any group, thus increasing people’s capacity for effective action in pursuit of common aims."

YES, Obama has connections to all these theories, tools, people, companies, leaders......and the spirit of YES, we have to do something!

The tipping point is crossed!

BUT, it is still not enough ....if we look at the conflicts in the world....and people living outside these circles of supportive spirit of yes, we can.... do something to improve life on Earth.

My question is: how can we speed up even more .....most important in this contect how to heal the concflict in Isreal - Palestine.... HOW??? how do we meet this challenge......?
How will the new foreign policy from US influence the world?
What can Madam Clinton do?

What can iPeace do together with other networks......can it be possible to think that the ordinary people around the world will DEMAND peace! ...???? ....

David, I do not know you .....I only express what is on my mind as as I read your blog.....knowing that you have started iPEACE.....YES, you can! Any wild ideas that you have.....the spirit to heal and transform is NOW.

with humble input,
inger-mette

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