Crowd Wisdom Principles

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Proposed by scenarioguy:

"1. The wisdom of crowds is best evoked when we get beyond the pros and cons of any single policy alternative and consider the complex systems within which any policy must co-exist.

2. The wisdom of crowds is energized when the future is the canvas for co-creative thinking.

3. The wisdom of crowds is best channeled by combining rich objective data with informal and imaginative processes.

4. The wisdom of crowds is best expressed in stories about tomorrow, sometimes called scenarios. 5. The wisdom of crowds can be tapped through voting, but only after concrete and divergent visions have been expressed.

6. The wisdom of crowds provides the best lens for identifying truly alternative and actionable options.

Working Assumptions

1. Learning how complex the world is can be hard work. The general population is quite capable of learning to think systematically if they are supported by safe, information rich, informal processes that incorporate indirect learning as a side effect of engaging activities.

2. Stories are a key to both cognitive and emotional engagement. For most people, the ability to hold complex ideas in memory depends on whether those ideas are woven into a narrative that is compelling; one that is driven by recognizable characters and that has an internal logic and consistency.

3. Voting on a partial or incomplete story can be a helpful precursor to voting a policy alternative up or down. For example, participants can be asked “Do you think a particular event could happen, would it matter if it did, and under which version of the future is this event more likely to happen?” Answers to these questions spark discussion of possibilities without closing off alternatives.

4. Stories can be finer grained and more nuanced than policies. At the same time, they are ‘just stories.’ They don’t carry the weight and political consequences of a policy vote." (

More details on the proposal at