Co-Intelligence Institute

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Co-Intelligence Institute



Tom Atlee:

"Since 1996 the Co-Intelligence Institute has been developing theory and vision to promote what we call "wise democracy".

Much of our work has involved collecting and curating hundreds of existing techniques and resources that could be used to further that goal, weaving them into practical (r)evolutionary systemic possibilities.

Very few people involved with those techniques and resources explicitly see their work in terms of "collective intelligence", "wise democracy" or "public wisdom".

So, through our work,

  • we clarify the role that each approach could have in generating collective intelligence and public wisdom;
  • we articulate improvements that could enhance the capacity of specific approaches (individually and together) to generate collective intelligence and public wisdom;
  • we envision and promote aspects of a wise democracy for which there are no satisfactory methods or initiatives currently (e.g., a Deliberapedia through which partisans could collectively present arguments and evidence for all the different approaches to public issues, a resource useful for citizens and public officials in their deliberations);
  • we promote visions and resources for public wisdom, wise democracy, collective intelligence, the "new economy", participatory sustainability, and other associated possibilities in both online and in in-person forums; and
  • we catalyze, convene, facilitate and/or network conversations and connections among people and groups whom we feel embody, foreshadow or could further these social innovations (e.g.,the Occupy movement; Oregon's Citizen Initiative Review [1]).


Some Definitions

Collective intelligence, co-intelligence, groupthink, cognitive bias

"Tom Atlee is founder of The Co-Intelligence Institute coined the term co-intelligence, which he usually defines as meaning what intelligence looks like when we take seriously the wholeness, co-creativity and interconnectedness of life. Collective intelligence is only one manifestation of co-intelligence. Others include multi-modal intelligence, collaborative intelligence, wisdom, resonant intelligence and universal intelligence."

Groupthink is a term coined by psychologist Irving Janis in 1972 to describe one process by which a group can make bad or irrational decisions. In a groupthink situation, each member of the group attempts to conform his or her opinions to what they believe to be the consensus of the group. This results in a situation in which the group ultimately agrees on an action which each member might normally consider to be unwise.

..... " and individual cognitive bias Cognitive bias is any of a wide range of observer effects identified in cognitive science, including very basic statistical and memory errors that are common to all human beings (first identified by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman) and drastically skew the reliability of anecdotal and legal evidence. They also significantly affect the scientific method which is deliberately designed to minimize such bias from any one observer. (

More Information

Material about our work is publicly available in our websites


and our three books on wise democracy: