Power is energy that gets things done -- or has obvious potential
to do so.
Our most common conceptions of power -- especially social power
-- involve our ability to cause things to happen that we want to
While this is definitely a major facet of power, a holistic, co-intelligence
perspective suggests that there's more to power than that.
What does power look like when we are working not just for what
we want but for what others want as well -- or when we join the
power of the whole to satisfy the needs and aspirations of the whole?
What does power look like when it arises from a question, a story,
a vision, or a heart resonance rather than from force, manipulation,
privilege, or institutionalized authority?
Where can the "powerless" -- those without traditional
resources and established forms of influence - get the power they
need to promote justice and sustainability that includes them?
What are the bright and shadow sides of power when it is centralized
-- AND when it is distributed and decentralized? Sometimes we need
to use concentrated power to address large-scale issues like human
rights, the preservation of oceans, or climate change. But how do
we use it wisely without suffering the corruption that usually accompanies
What are the less-noted forms of power -- power-with, power-from-within,
power-from-among, power-as, whole-system power and, ultimately,
wholesome power -- and how do they relate to the more familiar dynamics
of power-over, the power of influence, control, and domination?
These and other aspects of the co-intelligent perspective on power
are explored in the articles below.
Transforming Power: Impact, Partnership and the Tao of Wholesome
Power - an article in Kosmos
2013) which is an integration of the two articles below, which cover
this topic in greater detail:
Feedback, Social Power, and
the Evolution of Social Systems
What kind of
power, for whom, and for what? - Tom Atlee's review of Moises
The End of Power
the two big Powers (namely, established power and grassroots
We need to reformulate
political power now!
Four Types of
Beyond Power Plays to Collaboration
The Power of Questions
The Power of Story
A Social Power Analysis (with John Atlee)
Cube - a tool for analyzing the visibility, spaces, and scales
of power, developed at the Institute of Development Studies to serve
social change efforts
National Security – Empathy versus Empire
in us and the world
and Democratic Theory
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