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Co-Intelligent Political and Democratic Theory

From the co-intelligence perspective, democratic politics is primarily a means through which human groups, communities and societies co-create their future together.

Co-intelligent politics involves and addresses the health and capacity of whole human systems. It operates at a more holistic level than isolated citizens, adversarial interest groups or individual issues.

Co-intelligent democratic politics exercises, utilizes and enhances the capacity of "We, The People" to generate the very real wisdom we need to make it through the 21st century and evolve to higher forms of civilization. Ideally, it provides forms through which the whole and all its parts can access the wisdom of the whole and all its parts for the benefit of the whole and all its parts.

It seeks to institutionalize that capacity so that it is exercised competently and repeatedly at all levels and in all sectors of society.

In order to understand the potential and practice of co-intelligent politics and "wise democracy," it is necessary to understand a number of processes and innovations (both existing and envisioned), for which links are provided in the articles below.

Perspectives on Democracy

Deep Democracy and Community Wisdom

A Call to Move Beyond Public Opinion to Public Judgment

Empowered Dialogue Can Bring Wisdom to Democracy

Using Citizen Deliberative Councils to Make Democracy More Potent and Awake

The Common Ground of Peace and Democracy

Building a Wise Democracy as Crises Emerge

The Evolutionary Role of Citizen Deliberation

Feedback, Social Power, and the Evolution of Social Systems

Democracy and the evolution of societal intelligence

The Challenge of Technology in a Democracy

Co-Intelligence and the Holistic Politics of Community Self-Organization

Thinking Holistically beyond Politics and Governance

Transformational Politics

Beyond positions: a politics of civic co-creativity


Can Political Will become Collectively Wise?

A Public Pledge to hear the People's Common Sense

2001 Innovations in Democracy Draft Platform

Direct Democracy

For programmatic proposals for wiser democracy and deliberative democracy see Wise Democracy Program proposals

For detailed information about this vision of democracy, see Tom Atlee's books The Tao of Democracy and Empowering Public Wisdom

For an annotated list of political articles see:
Co-Intelligence, Democracy and Holistic Politics: The CIPolitics Home Page

For more ideas and resources regarding wise democracy, see

Some of Tom Atlee's commentaries on governance, politics, and our collective situation, from a co-intelligence perspective.

Pat & Pat, a view from 2020 (fiction by Tom Atlee, 1996) a futuristic, down-home story about a new, co-intelligent politics. It tells how Patrick and Patricia McFallow become co-mayors of Story City, Iowa, in 2016. During their four-year mayorship they engage thousands of citizens in powerful, empowering conversations about what they want their community to be like and how they can change it. Of course, the community starts changing, brilliantly and fast.


See related articles about





Collective Intelligence

Conscious Evolutionary Agentry

Process and Participation

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