Venn diagrams use overlapping circles that illustrate relationships between various elements or factors being considered. In this project we use a 3-part Venn diagram to make sense of the dynamics of wise democracy and of the diversity of patterns offered on this site to help us develop such a democracy.
The Venn diagram linked on this page depicts overlapping circles representing power, participation, and wisdom. These factors – which we think of as the three dimensions of wise democracy – don’t overlap much today: Power is seldom very participatory or wise. Participative activities are seldom empowered and are not always wise. And what wisdom we have is seldom participatory or powerful.
The wise democracy vision calls on us to develop approaches that help all three of these dimensions be present at the same time – that is, to develop their areas of overlap in the Venn diagram. Ultimately we can envision a time when most power is participatory and wise, most participation is wise and powerful, and we flourish in an abundance of participatory wisdom generating powerful, long-term, broad benefits in the world.
So this Venn diagram has a visionary function, inviting us to imagine how power, participation and wisdom evolve to become manifestations of the same thing. A concise presentation of that process can be found in “The Wise Democracy Model – a Brief Portrayal” available below this introductory essay. A more detailed description can be found HERE. And you can watch a 30-second animated visualization of this idea in the video also below this introductory description. (To read more about the nature of power, participation, and wisdom in a wise democracy, see the essays HERE.)
The Venn diagram also provides a framework within which to place the wise democracy patterns in relation to each other and to power, participation, and wisdom. That map is represented in the “Patterns in the Venn Diagram” graphic immediately below this and more fully detailed in its pdf download HERE.
Note that when we created the Venn Diagram pattern map below, we used the 70 patterns from our first version of the wise democracy pattern language. Although the 96 current v.2.0 patterns have not yet been mapped onto the Venn Diagram, about 80% of the patterns are the same in both versions of the pattern language. So we consider this first Venn Diagram pattern map still fundamentally valid. When we first created it, we distributed the 70 v.1.0 patterns into areas of the Venn diagram that seemed appropriate to us. However, these placements are intended to be provocative and evocative, not conclusive. There are usually valid arguments for placing a given pattern in a different spot. We hope their current arrangement will feed our collective inquiry and perhaps inspire new patterns that will fill out some of the less populated areas of the diagram.
Image-Credit: Iaroslav Neliubov– Shutterstock