LARGE-SCALE APPLICATIONS OF DYNAMIC FACILITATION
Dynamic Facilitation elicits systems thinking and self-organizing capability within small groups. As it has evolved over the years, it has become clear that Dynamic Facilitation has potential to transform systems, not just those who participate in the process.
Background on the Development of the Wisdom Council & Creative Insight Council
Since the 1990’s, participants in Dynamic Facilitation seminars have practiced the process on real issues they have in common. Practice groups often choose big, societal issues like homelessness, war, and our education system. The breakthroughs they experience most often point to our “system” as being the root cause of these issues - the way we have structured our system amplifies the worst in all of us rather than the best. And, if we could figure out how to have a “time out” outside of our system, engage in creative thinking, where we are trying to figure out what’s best for all of us, and reach shared conclusions, we could co-create the systems we are in to bring out the best in us and serve all of life. These insights sparked Jim Rough to envision the Wisdom Council as a large-scale application of Dynamic Facilitation in 1993. He subsequently wrote a book about the process and how it could be implemented at the national level to transform our democracy in the U.S.
As people began implementing Wisdom Councils in their organizations and communities, we realized that the principles of a pure Wisdom Council often make it harder to get it started and that there are many benefits to doing some form of the process where we might need to adapt the principles in order to implement it in the short-term. This birthed the Creative Insight Council: a modified form of the Wisdom Council that allows for large-scale system involvement on a pre-determined issue.
To date, Wisdom Councils have been used in organizations, schools, cities, neighborhoods, and states to create adaptable, self-governing systems. Creative Insight Councils have also been used within organizations and cities to address specific issues with employee or public involvement.
- See descriptions of the Wisdom Council and Creative Insight Council to understand how they work and how they can benefit the systems you are in.
- Read Jim’s article about how to become a “Circle Organization” which describes how these large-scale applications can transform the culture of your business.
- Find out where Wisdom Councils have been implemented. Check out both organizational and community applications.
- Connect with the Center for Wise Democracy or read Jim’s book Society’s Breakthrough to be inspired to take these innovations into your city, state, or nation.