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Functions that Make Up Community Intelligence

A companion document to
"Approaches to Community Engagement and the Generation of Community Wisdom"
"A map of Community Intelligence and some of its important constituents"


For descriptions of most processes listed here, click here.

Community intelligence is the capacity of a community (or other collective)

  • to understand the conditions in and around it – and its relation to those conditions;
  • to initiate and respond in creative, coherent, appropriate ways in the context of those conditions; and
  • to learn from its successes, failures, internal diversity and dissonance, and outsiders.

High levels of community intelligence are indicated by a vibrant sustainable community in which a high quality of life is enjoyed by its inhabitants, even in the face of changing conditions.


Functions that make up community intelligence
and processes that support them

Community Information
increasing collective awareness
     Briefings, news media (especially civic journalism), websites, educations activities and campaigns, etc.

Community Conversation sharing and learning together
     Conversation Cafes, Salons, World Cafés, conferences of all types, appealing public hang-out spaces
(parks, meeting rooms, etc.)

Community Healing resolving conflict and polarization, and building relationship
Mediation, Commons Cafes, multi-cultural programs, Nonviolent Communication, Public Conversations Project,
     Intergroup Dialogue, Open Forums, Let's Talk America, etc.

Community Engagementworking together toward shared goals
     Study Circles, Open Space Technology, Future Search Conferences, Community Vision programs,
     Community-based Watershed Management Councils, Neighborhood Councils, Holistic Management

Public Judgment citizens advising, shaping or being governance
     Citizen Deliberative Councils, 21st Century Town Meeting, Deliberative Polling, Consensus Councils,
      Participatory Budget, etc.

Community Reflection time out together to view the Big Picture
     Wisdom Councils, Canada’s Maclean’s Experiment, Listening Circles, World Cafés, Dynamic Facilitation

Community Discovery the community seeing and understanding itself
     Listening Projects, Asset-Based Community Development, Appreciative Inquiry, Community Quality of Life Indicators

Community Celebration the community openly relishing its unique identity
     Fairs, parades, holidays, essay and poster contests, local history activities


For more multi-process info see and

This document is also downloadable as a Word document

For more community resources, click here.



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