09-02-16 Collective Intelligence, Conscious Evolution of a Sustainable World – A Second Conversation with Tom Atlee
The term “co-intelligence” refers to a shared, integrated form of intelligence that we find in and around us when we’re most vibrantly alive. It is also found in cultures that sustain themselves harmoniously with nature and neighbor. Co-intelligence shows up whenever we pool our personal intelligences to produce results that are more insightful and powerful than the sum of our individual perspectives.
Tom Atlee is founder, co-director, and research director of the non-profit Co-Intelligence Institute. His work focused on developing a society’s capacity to function as a wise democracy. Especially he explores the dynamics of Conscious evolution of social systems. His social change vision is based on wholeness and recognizes the value of diversity, unity, relationship, context, uniqueness and the spirit inside each of us and the world.
In this intelligent and stimulating conversation, we will explore some of the ways we might, with collective intelligence, respond wisely to the challenges coming our way in the economic collapse our culture seems committed to. We will explore some of the ways we can use the elements of the crumbling system to evolve a new one that can serve humanity better. Individual and collective intelligence must evolve together, Tom points out – otherwise we could end up with another system like the present one that punishes diversity.
Ten thousand years ago human beings evolved a set economic, communication, and governance structures that have not changed. But the world has changed dramatically (e.g., we live in cities of thousands and millions instead of scattered tribes of hundreds). The systems that were good for responding to the news that Mary fell into the well are grossly inadequate to respond to challenges like global climate change and the accumulation of toxic wastes in our environment and in our bodies.
Conscious, as Tom points out, creates social systems, and social systems create consciousness – so we need to discover what changes need to be made in our consciousness in order to evolve the systems we need. To deal with the problem of sick children, a medical team is only part of the answer – we need to deal with the poverty, war, and pollution that are part of the system that is creating them. Instead, we sit riveted as Siamese twins are flown to the US to be separated – and leave untouched the toxic wastes flowing into their community creating ongoing deformities. Collective Stupidity!
Public wisdom is what we need, and it comes from diverse views in conversation (as opposed to our current Congressional food fights). We need access to the full spectrum of information – this is the key to Collective Intelligence. Our individual uniqueness is needed to enhance the collective, and the collective to enhance the individual. How different from the stupidity of our current culture of groupthink!
Check out this illuminating and inspiring conversation. There is a growing community, local and online, of people who recognize that we need to be building for the future. Learn more here and at the Co-intelligence Institute website, which offers more than 1000 pages of fascinating free resources.