Participatory Democracy

Citizen WISDOM COUNCIL by random selection

Center for Wise Democracy 501(c)3 brings a model of ‘We the People’ participatory democracy; Dynamic Facilitation and the Wisdom Council Process [DF/WCP], which has a proven track record in business, industry, organizations and government.

In Europe, in Austria, the state of Vorarlberg has instituted the Wisdom Council Process aka Citizens Council as a Constitutional Amendment, it having proven its efficacy through more than a decade. The originating impetus for this model in Vorarlberg civic affairs was our U.S. Center for Wise Democracy and its co-founder, Jim Rough.

Axiom News, generative journalism, article on Wisdom Councils in Europe

Jim Rough published his book in 2002; ‘Society’s Breakthrough; Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People’

It speaks to this model of DF and the Wisdom Council. It was picked up by Vorarlberg’s ‘Office of Future-related Issues’, which had been tasked with identifying participatory democracy models around the world. They found Dynamic Facilitation and the Wisdom Council. They found Jim Rough. 

The Wisdom Council, convened from a random selection and using this model of Dynamic Facilitation, had proven again and again to be a true voice of ‘We the People’. The ‘operating system’ of the Wisdom Council Process is DYNAMIC FACILITATION.

“In order to form a more perfect Union..”

The social and political benefits of establishing the Wisdom Council Process in a region or municipality:

  • make breakthrough progress on “impossible issues;
  • build a new public conversation and sense of unity;
  • transform the system toward true democracy, with “We the People” asserting its rightful and wise authority
“We the People…”

“Most people experience politics as an adversarial process. Many people have never had an experience of being in a creative political conversation, where people seek win/win solutions, that may go beyond the ideas offered by politicians. The Wisdom Council shows people that creative political conversations are possible by including them in one.”
Rogue Valley Wisdom Council,
Ashland, Oregon

A Wisdom Council is always by random selection, convened and disbanded as a one-off We The People citizen’s Wisdom Council. The Wisdom Council Process works as a truly participatory democracy process because it is ongoing, convened and reconvened random citizens, with shifts and breakthroughs that are shared and and brought into conversation with the broader community.

Outcome: an ever better informed citizenry

“What I keep coming back to with this process is the tenderness. This delicate handling of issues cannot, in the end, fail. Tenderness while dealing with and participating in controversy will, in due time, create healthy answers.” –CB