Our May 2017 Wise Democracy Online Dialogue
May 16, 2017 • 10am Pacific Time

Don't miss our next free teleconference gathering with Tom Atlee for people interested in upgrading our democratic systems. This two hour call will start at 10am Pacific Time on Tuesday May 16th.  

We're happy to offer this opportunity for you to connect with people from around the world. If you are involved in a democracy-enhancing project or are interested in democratic transformation, you will be able to briefly share your experiences, questions and challenges in a facilitated conversation. We're anticipating that those on the call will learn a lot from each other and possibly even make some useful connections. Tom will explore people's experiences, inquiries and challenges, using the Wise Democracy Pattern Language and its associated website.

This second call in our series of free monthly events will be limited to just 16 participants on a first come, first served basis. Reserve your spot via Eventbrite here. (If you are late, make a reservation anyway. We'll put you on a waiting list and, if enough additional people want to participate, we'll organize a second call.) Instructions for attending will be emailed to you an hour before start time. You may wish to download the software before then.

To free Tom up to better engage with participants on the call, it will be facilitated by Andy Paice, a Wise Democracy enthusiast from London, UK (see below). After the call is formally concluded, Tom and Andy will remain on Zoom for a while to explore people's experience of the call, any thoughts for improving it, and whatever else folks would like to talk about.  You can also always contact us through or the comment section at the bottom of every page of the Wise Democracy Project website.

My adventure into wise democracy and its remarkable pattern language…

by Andy Paice


Like many of you who are reading this newsletter I’m a campaigner, facilitator and activist for a radically different vision of what this word democracy could mean. I live in London, UK where I’m involved in a number of projects that seek to create a more collaborative, participative and enlivened culture.

I was first introduced to the Wise Democracy Pattern Language website when I attended the Co-Intelligence Institute’s Ways to a Wiser Democracy online pilot course last year. In November Tom Atlee gave us a sneak preview of the yet to be launched site. My initial response in browsing the site and checking out the various patterns was: “Wow, this is a resource of awesome complexity and beauty.”

I then set the website and its potential usefulness onto a mental shelf... and it wasn’t until this February that I returned to the patterns for inspiration in a very practical situation....

I’ve been acting as a facilitator for a small group in the UK called Assemblies for Democracy and our main campaign is to push for a Citizen-led Constitutional Convention. Interpersonal conflicts had arisen within the group that had led to a breakdown in our ability to make any progress on our agreed aims. After an influential member quit the group we decided it would be important to review our internal processes and culture.

I took on the task of facilitating a session on “How do we create a culture between us that we’d like to see UK citizens have in a convention?” To prepare the group for the session I decided to share the link to the (still to be launched) website and in particular to have them look at the pattern category of Group Dynamics and Practices. When it came to the session, the All Concerns Addressed, Feeling Heard, and Story Sharing patterns turned out to be particularly useful.


The liberating energy of reframing objections as concerns motivated by care and starting to create a culture of storytelling has given our very politically minded group more of a human flavour. It’s very handy for groups to have somewhere to go where these elements are explicitly stated!

On a more personal note I feel like the more I delve into the pattern language the more it develops my democratic intelligence and vocabulary. Concepts like Capacitance “the ability to tolerate disturbance without attempting premature resolution” make skills and experiences I’ve known at an intuitive level into something much more explicit. There are also patterns that introduce me to political concepts that I have simply been ignorant of until now like Subsidiarity, and others that expand pre-existing notions like Power into larger spectrums, e.g. Multi-Modal Power.

In a call with Tom recently as he was talking me through the website and patterns, I felt like I was reconfiguring my brain. I told him it was like a “psychedelic experience!” The more you journey deeply into the patterns and their interconnections, the more you have a sense of a whole coherent big picture, a new DNA of Democracy waiting to be born.

My sense is that if there are enough of us wanting to play in this space, we could further develop the pattern language, deepen the collective knowledge and wisdom in this field and make it easier to build the systems and institutions of this new relational paradigm of democracy. If you are game to explore what a Community of Practice around this resource might look like, or if you’d like to be a part of that, then by all means contact me here!

Pattern of the Month

Story Sharing


  • What would happen if all the amazing people associated with the Wise Democracy Project heard each other's stories?  
  • What would happen if we all had access to what we've all learned in our many years of life and work? 
  • What would happen if we realized our links of common vision, common values, common ground?  
  • What if we lived into new stories that we created together?

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Help us raise awareness of the much needed wiser ways of doing democracy. Follow, post and share patterns, news and innovations on the Wise Democracy Twitter account where we will soon be posting patterns daily and the WDPL Facebook page where we can discuss and learn together.

We look forward to seeing you there! 

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