The Co-Intelligence Institute RETURN to CII home

Possible Co-Intelligence Institute
Activities / Departments / Staff

Revised September 2000


Many ideas from this list have been integrated with some other ideas into
The Revitalizing Democracy Project
(supported by the Nathan Cummings Foundation)

The Co-Intelligence Institute is still small. The list below attempts to cover a wide range of things the Institute might do. Many of them are being done, at least to some extent, now. To show the extent to which each is being done, the items below are marked with one to five stars (*), where five stars means a major undertaking, with lots of resources and attention, and one star means just a bit of attention to the area. No stars means it is just an idea, a wide-open realm of possibility...

The list below starts with activities within the Institute and then moves on to projects focused outside the Institute.

1) Standard internal administrative functions, like finance, legal, materials, personnel, volunteer coordination, etc. It is here and in (2), (4) and (5) that assistance would be most useful. ***

2) Gathering and compilations -- locating and pulling together in accessible form information about theories, methods, organizations, practitioners, activities, etc., of interest to the CII. Files and libraries would be found in this activity. The gathering is continuing apace. Much more needs to be done to make it available. ***

3) Integration research -- How do the various methods and ideas fit together? What's useful for what in what circumstances, etc.? What synergies exist, or could?  What are the common principles underlying various co-intelligent practices?  Promote experimentation with such integration and with new variants of co-intelligent processes to advance our knowledge of their dynamics and uses. ***

4) Website maintenance. Our website could grow to include vast amounts of integrated materials on co-intelligence, as well as on-line dialogues and networking info, etc.**

5) Knowledge Products & Publications -- The creation and sales of books, newsletters, bulletins, CD-ROMs, tapes, etc. -- including relevant ones from other sources. There are frequent bulletins to our email list and several complete book manuscripts. A major book should be published in 2001, probably using the new print-on-demand technology.**

6) Public and media relations -- includes co-intelligence article/interview placement. There is no outreach effort yet. Several articles have been published because editors attended workshops or saw this website or an email bulletin.*

7) Promotion/Networking: Spread awareness of the co-intelligence vision and methodologies to specific professionals, activists, officals and community groups. ****

8) Speeches, workshops and classes design and delivery. The several small workshops Tom has held (at some organizer's request) have been very well received. A number of Institute supporters are advocating very strongly for more of these.*

9) Generating new ideas relating to co-intelligence. This is well taken care of simply because of the way Tom's mind works, often at 4 a.m... *** Among the current ideas being worked on:

10) Eldership for the Co-Intelligence Institute, itself (in lieu of management, per se). Ideally, a group of people who share passion for the work would be in ongoing conversation about the directions and status of the Institute's work. *

11) The Co-Intelligence Recognition Networking Program: We could contact organizations, individuals and activities engaged in notably co-intelligent work and tell them that we have chosen to publicize their work as co-intelligent (on the Web page and in our publications). We would explain what co-intelligence is and invite them to check out the Web page and our other activities and networks. They could network within our domain, but are not required to do anything. Our recognition of them is a service to those who'd be interested AND it tells all those so recognized that we exist, so it is a good public relations action also. (An interesting outreach idea from 1996!)

12) Co-Intelligent humor and fun department. God knows what they do!!!?? **

Many of the following activities involve building networks or raising major issues in our culture. These items would each probably involve initiating a major conference some time within the first two years of operation and often after that.

13) Organizing local co-intelligence discussion groups, study circles and transformational learning communities and action groups. Much work has been done recently to create communities/networks of activist dynamic facilitators in Eugene, OR, and, to a lesser degree, in the Seattle area and the San Francisco Bay Area. But there is, as yet, no discussion/study groups for co-intelligence, per se. Tom would be very interested in working with anyone creating one in their town. ***

14) Fundraising and the transformation of philanthropy. Not only do we raise money for ourselves, we raise the issue of the role of philanthropy in co-intelligent social transformation and in a wisdom society. Normal philanthropy tends to fund the relief of suffering; it promotes the arts and sciences in ways that don't increase co-intelligence; or it supports adversarial political activity. But many philanthropic organizations recognize our culture is in trouble and are trying to find points of greater leverage. We can help articulate what transformational philanthropy would look like. **

15) Development of co-intelligence as an acknowledged interdisciplinary field. This would involve establishing a presence for co-intelligence in academic conferences and journals, on campuses, and in the world of academic research. So far this has only been done in the website and private correspondence. *

16) Education for co-intelligence, and co-intelligence in education. What do people (especially children) need to be taught or to experience in order to be co-intelligent participants in life and society? And what kinds of education (co-operative, democratic, multi-modal, systemic...) are most co-intelligent? How do we get these being talked about and done in our educational system?

17) Social Dialogue Project and Network. The mind of the society operates through dialogue. High-quality, ubiquitous dialogue about issues of collective import is the societal intelligence learning, thinking and feeling its way toward better options. Increasing the quality and quantity of such dialogue is necessary to build a wisdom culture. This project attempts to build a network of people and institutions involved in generating such dialogue, to make them more cognizant of their role in the society's intelligence and more synergized in their various activities. *

18) Vision propagation and storyfield development (a sub-project of the Social Dialogue Project) -- A story field is a psychosocial field of influence generated by a set of mutually-reinforcing narratives and lived stories (personal, group, cultural, etc.) which shapes the behavior, thoughts and feelings of those within its reach. Progress and Patriarchy are just two of dozens of dysfunctional story fields in our culture that are generated by (and which generate) news stories, songs, movies, novels and lifestyles. We need new story fields. In this project story tellers (novelists, scriptwriters, poets, journalists) are brought together with visionaries and experts in exciting new options to inspire floods of compelling, more co-intelligent stories with which to generate a wisdom-culture story field people can actually live in. *

19) Eldership Network -- An elder is a co-intelligent leader, someone whose primary aim is to help a human system achieve a higher level of dynamic, co-intelligent self-organization. Certain therapists, educators and mediators do this with individuals. Certain facilitators do this with groups. Certain organizational development consultants and executives do this with organizations. Certain community organizers and local politicians do this with communities. If these people (and others like them) saw their work as part of a spectrum of eldering human systems, they'd discover similarities and synergies among their varying expertises. This network is designed to build a coherent community of professionals consciously engaged in transforming society at every level. *

20) Group process specialists. We should have people with many sorts of group process specialty engaged with us, for many reasons. And we should try to network such people together in generative ways: They are essential to the creation of an interdisciplinary field (see 15, above). **

21) Business consulting and training. This is the application of co-intelligence to the world of commerce, organizations and the workplace. Some see this as a primary lever for cultural transformation. This may be so. Regardless, it can be a source of funds to support less profit-oriented activities.

22) Social power transformation. This addresses all points in the society where social power dynamics impede co-intelligence -- such as extreme concentrations of wealth, private control of publicly owned resources (such as airwaves), the distortion of the electoral process, biased media, etc. It applies the principles of democracy broadly to all parts of society and, where possible, tries to replace power-over with power-with and power-from-within. Currently a main focus is the threat that corporate globalization poses for democracy. ***

23) Enhancement of democracy: Promote existing high-leverage processes and political innovations (particularly citizen consensus councils and/or synergistic, repeated use of diverse processes) through research, theoretical work, articles, messages on email and the CII website, and efforts to get publicly-concerned people trained, experienced, and/or enthusiastic regarding these processes and innovations. ****

24) Diversity (and cross-cultural) Outreach and bridging work. Currently we are a primarily white, middle class, American activity. Ultimately this is not healthy and is counter to co-intelligence ideals. We need to mindfully become more inclusive and engage more in the co-intelligent activities of those unlike ourselves. *

25) Outreach to activists and the ideological left and right. Co-intelligence can be translated into left and right terminology and injected into the ideological debate on both sides of the spectrum to stimulate positive evolution and provide those tired of polarization with a better home. This is important because so much energy for cultural transformation is trapped in these polarized camps.

26) Arrange for activists and community workers to get trained in co-intelligent processes like dynamic facilitation, open space, listening circles, etc.***

27) Community and Social Sector Co-Intelligence Network. I believe that ultimately sustainable social transformation must be grounded in community. The social sector is made up of non-governmental, non-profit, and even unofficial and underground activities -- from daddy cooking dinner to consumer co-operatives to The Red Cross to neighborhood groups. Social sector activities working in and for local communities are key to co-intelligent social change. Helping them be more co-intelligent and see their role is vital. ** In particular:

28) Human potential for co-intelligence. What capabilities or characteristics of individuals best support co-intelligence in them and their environments? What can be done to develop those capabilities and characteristics? *

29) E-co-intelligence Network. Bringing the co-intelligence worldview to those trying to improve the relationships between humans and nature -- supporting them and helping them network and succeed. **

30) Organize or support local co-intelligence projects. **

31-36) Open, generative attention. Ideally, I think, 20% of all CII staff (or attention and resources) should be engaged in looking for opportunities to apply and spread co-intelligence. When they find something that works they would either pass it on to someone else or do it themselves (in which case they are replaced with another open, generative staff member.) ***


In these efforts, what is the role