Home – The Wise Democracy Project 2017-04-22T16:00:37+00:00
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Hello, lover of democracy.  Welcome to an exploration
of how we can make democracy more wise…


The Wise Democracy Project
exists to help us envision
and co-create a deeply participatory culture
that generates policies and activities
that support the longterm quality of life.


The Wise Democracy Pattern Language highlights dynamic factors and design principles which can make an activity, organization or community more democratic and wise.

Based on hundreds of real-life innovations, this evolving database of wise democracy “patterns” helps us understand, re-imagine and transform the ways we manage our shared world.

The Evolution of 3D Wise Democracy

This brief animated diagram illustrates the progressive integration of power, participation and wisdom.

Film duration is 80 seconds. / To read more view 3D Wise Democracy

Check out


this project is based on.



We assume that our societies need – and that visitors to this site want – a wiser democracy – that is, a participatory system for generating collective wisdom to guide ourselves in meeting 21st century challenges.  We also assume that to the extent we don’t have a wise democracy – given what’s unfolding in our world – we will be in very big trouble, individually and collectively.



We assume that to the extent we can identify and understand the factors that would make a society both democratic and collectively wise, we can look over existing initiatives and innovations and choose and improve what could help us create a wise democracy, as well as creating new initiatives to also serve that purpose.



We assume that something this big cannot be achieved by any one person, group or network.  It will need to be taken up as a passionate calling and commitment by widely diverse people, groups, and networks all guided by understandings like those noted in Assumption 2 and reworking those understandings together as they learn together from experience.

Image Credit: pixel2013 / shnomoe / geralt – Pixabay

Check out


A WISE DEMOCRACY PATTERN LANGUAGE is a set of things to keep in mind while developing a wisely self-managed activity, group, organization, community, network, or society.

A PATTERN is a design element or principle that promotes vitality and wholesomeness in a specific realm of human activity and that can show up in many different forms. For more on this definition see link.

A PATTERN LANGUAGE is an interrelated set of design guidelines created to help people working in its specific domain to contribute in life-serving ways. For more on this definition see link.

DEMOCRACY is self-governance, especially collective decision-making and action of, by and for those affected or “the people” generally. For more on this definition see link.

A WISE DEMOCRACY is a form of participatory self-governance that routinely creates and implements wise guidance in its public affairs. For more on this definition see link.

COLLECTIVE WISDOM is ongoing collective responsiveness to shared challenges and opportunities that takes into account what needs to be taken into account for long-term broad benefit. For more on this definition, see link.

Different Portals into
Wise Democracy Theory and
Its Pattern Language

Image Credit: Boondocks – Pixabay

Image credit: By courtesy of Kevin M Hoffman


Since you are reading this, we assume that you are interested in the idea of a wise democracy – or at least that you will likely become interested once you recognize the very real possibilities and the reasoning behind them.  We welcome you to that exploration and invite your participation in its continued evolution.

We are offering the Wise Democracy Project and its primary tool – the Wise Democracy Pattern Language – as a stimulant for a larger ongoing collective inquiry and collaboration. Our aim is to establish a learning community of practice to (a) further develop the pattern language, (b) use it in many ways which we then share and discuss, and (c) periodically revise our collective knowledge here as times, challenges and contexts change.

As you explore this site and the pattern language cards, we encourage you to use the comment section at the bottom of most pages to share your responses, resources, edits, new pattern ideas, and anything else that you think we or other site visitors may find interesting.  We will be responding to and incorporating this input into the structure of the site as relevant, discussing the issues as we go.  We expect to work with committed collaborators to create a version 2.0 of the pattern language in a few years when resources and interest make it needed and possible.

We offer a monthly newsletter covering

  • wise democracy theory
  • experiments, resources and best practices,
  • pattern developments
  • uses of the Wise Democracy Pattern Language, and
  • onsite and online events

We also offer events for project participants and others interested in the wise democracy vision and knowledge-base.

Over time we will be developing additional opportunities and forums for learning, networking and participating in this effort.


Tom Atlee offers a fresh, and penetrating perspective — connecting our understanding of evolution, consciousness, and activism into a new and compelling synthesis for making a difference in today’s challenged world. – Juanita Brown and David Isaacs

Tom Atlee shows us how we can harness our collective wisdom to discern the way forward in these complex and challenging times.  Inspiring and highly recommended! – William Ury, co-author, GETTING TO YES and author, THE THIRD SIDE

What Tom Atlee is writing about is just about the most important thing that’s happening at the beginning of the 21st century. – Paul H. Ray, Ph.D., co-author of The Cultural Creatives

Tom Atlee helps us envision, in amazing detail, how we can shape democracy we believe in because we are creating it together. – Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet and EcoMind

Integrating even a portion of what Tom Atlee shares on Wise Democracy, will greatly improve our ability to realize our highest aspirations and potential. I suggest reading a pattern daily for reflection and experimenting. – Steve Waddell, PhD, MBA


  1. Ruben Nelson March 20, 2017 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    This is a timely and much needed initiative. Great start.
    Thank you.

  2. Lion Goodman March 20, 2017 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    Tom: This is great work – thank you for your immense contribution to the conversation about democratizing the world. Are you familiar with MiVote.org and Richard Hames, founder of Centre for the Future in Melbourne? His work has the same aim – to change the face of democracy and making government and governance a truly global force, rather than force used by elites to maintain power. I assume you know him – if you don’t, be sure and check out his work.

  3. Jason Diceman March 20, 2017 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    Beautiful new site, Tom. Thank you for your ongoing contributions to the field of participatory democracy.

  4. Joel Levey March 20, 2017 at 11:24 pm - Reply

    What at timely and inspiring gift you are offering to us all and to our world at this critical time. Heartfelt thanks Tom!!

  5. Anonymous March 21, 2017 at 6:04 am - Reply

    Wonderful website! My deepest hanks, Tom, for your inspiring contributions and heartfelt wisdom to the great conversation that humanity and Nature are engaged in.

  6. Susan Michael March 21, 2017 at 8:53 am - Reply

    The website is beautifully designed and contains such timely wisdom.
    You continue to inspire and reach for greater heights! I am ever hopeful that your work takes hold.
    I am always looking for ways to utilize your wisdom where I can.

  7. Pedro March 21, 2017 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    It’s time to fix Democracy.
    Check blockchain based Flux framework.


    • tomatlee April 3, 2017 at 8:27 am - Reply

      Interesting, Pedro. While the wise democracy perspective is more about deliberation and other factors than voting, we’re exploring how to talk about voting (e.g., the proposed pattern Wholesome Choicefulness at http://www.wd-pl.com/patterns-under-development/). I’m really interested in understanding leading-edge voting systems. From what little I got from your video, I’m wondering about its similarities and differences when compared to Argentina’s DemocracyOS and Net Party https://www.wired.com/2014/05/democracy-os/. I’d love to read your comparison(s). – Tom

  8. Kerry Lindsey March 26, 2017 at 7:21 am - Reply

    Love it!

  9. Julioadoto March 27, 2017 at 5:17 am - Reply

    Проверка нового мода и базы
    Mods by SwS

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