Center for Wise Democracy Mission:

We develop social innovations by which a few people can facilitate large systems of people to transform themselves to “Wise Democracy.”

Jim Rough, founder, Center for Wise Democracy


” ​You’ve heard it said that when seeking to change a system you can approach it from “Top-down”(e.g. influencing decision-makers) or from “Bottom-up (e.g. building networks of people).” At the Center for Wise Democracy we offer a third possibility: a way to facilitate the system to transform itself. We offer a set of social innovations that make this possible, including “Dynamic Facilitation,” “choice-creating,” the “Wisdom Council Process” and “The ToBe Project.” This is a holistic change strategy where “the people” …

  1. face and solve impossible-seeming problems (e.g. climate change);
  2. talk, think and choose actions the spirit of “choice-creating” … vs. “decision-making;” 
  3. come together in unity … as “We the People” (all of us together);
  4. eventually function as a “Wise Democracy,” where “We the People” are ultimately in charge.

Good news! These tools and this approach are safe and proven to work. It’s just a matter of adding the missing conversation … where we all step back and ask ourselves basic questions, like “how are things going?” “Are we getting what we want?” etc. The Wisdom Council Process can facilitate us to do this. This social innovation has been used state-wide in Austria for instance, to create a whole-system strategy for dealing with the plight of Syrian refugees. This tool and this strategy can be applied to all levels of society–globallynationally and locally:

1) The global level  Here’s a way we, a few of us, can facilitate “all” the people to join into one creative conversation where “the people” face monster issues like climate change and come to a shared perspective. As more Wisdom Councils occur and more people pay attention it becomes apparent that this is actually a new form of global governance and economics. 

2) The national level in the U.S. (and other countries)   Here’s how we, a few of us, can facilitate “the people” to get involved in a new kind of public conversation where we transcend the partisan divide, create shared vision and provide responsible leadership to elected officials. (See a video of how this might begin through a reality TV show …

3) The local level (i.e. cities, states and communities) …  Here’s a way that government leaders or a few activists can spark the people to come together in a new kind of community conversation, where all face and solve HOT issues together. Over time the process builds trust, new capabilities for change and a greater spirit of community. 

This strategy is just common sense. We currently operate within a competition-based system designed centuries ago. This leaves all that alone but added a way to call “time out” so that all the people can step back for a moment to consider what’s happening, figure out what they want, and how to get there. And then “time in”, and back to resume normal life. Only now everyone knows what’s really going on … not just individually, but collectively too. Now, for instance, rather than just a war among “special interests,” we also know what is the “public interest.” It sets up a new kind of social movement, one that is trans-partisan … one that politicians cannot ignore.”

This is the Mission statement of Center for Wise Democracy