You can explore and study the patterns using the several portals provided on the Patterns Overview page https://www.wd-pl.com/patterns/, starting perhaps with Starter List of six basic patterns… or the Category Questions (and their associated patterns)… or the alphabetical list displaying (and linking to) the whole set…
You can subscribe to the Wise Democracy Project Newsletter https://wd-pl.com/newsletters/, where you can also read previous issues. In the newsletters you’ll find project news, interesting articles, and announcements of upcoming events, including occasional videoconference dialogues and webinars with Tom Atlee and other wise democracy experts and change agents. You can also look for events on the Events page https://www.wd-pl.com/events/.
You can get one or more wise democracy card decks for your own use, either by freely downloading (and perhaps printing) the PDFs or ordering the beautiful printed and boxed card decks for yourself and/or to share with friends and associates. https://www.wd-pl.com/get-your-deck/. You can then do individual and group exercises with the cards – to learn or apply the patterns – using the approaches described in the next FAQ.
You can offer your thoughts, suggestions and resources as comments on Wise Democracy Project webpages, including the pages of specific patterns (where we’d love to see your suggestions for more “Resources and Examples”! If you would like to offer suggestions about improving our boxed card deck, send them to email@example.com.
Through all these means, you can connect with others in the informal wise democracy pattern language “community of practice” https://www.wd-pl.com/community-of-practice/ among whom you can share ideas, applications, and learning experiences for mutual benefit and enhanced impact.
You’ll find an extensive list of possible exercises on the “Activities and Exercises” page https://www.wd-pl.com/activities/. Most of the exercises involve dealing the cards of a deck out to your group members and then asking them a question (like “What should we focus on in designing our upcoming conference/initiative/action?”) and having group members read out cards that they feel answer the question, followed perhaps by group discussion. Some exercises involve exploring the “related patterns”. Many variations of this approach are suggested and possible, as well as possible follow-up activities. The cards can be used for educational, strategic, analytic, review, and organizing purposes.
We also provide several levels of questions to guide your pattern explorations:
Seven overall wise democracy Category Questions https://www.wd-pl.com/category-questions/ accompanied by the patterns that address them. You can also explore how certain patterns address more than one of these questions.
Individual pattern questions. On each individual pattern’s page, there is a drop-down menu under its related patterns list that opens into several questions you can use to explore that pattern – or that may inspire you to think of other questions regarding that pattern.
Have the patterns been categorized or presented in any other ways?
Instructions on how to do such analysis with an existing practice, innovation, system or project that interests you can be found on https://www.wd-pl.com/activities/ in the Practical Applications section entitled “Analytic Approach”.
Is there more theory on wise democracy that I could learn from?
There is extensive theory given in the materials linked on the 3D Democracy Overview page https://www.wd-pl.com/1873-2/ – mostly categorized under the three dimensions of democracy visualized in the Venn Diagram, exploring the nature of power, the nature of participation and the nature of wisdom through the wise democracy lens.
At the bottom of the main Venn Diagram page https://www.wd-pl.com/4621-2/, you’ll find a short essay “4 Guidelines for a 3D Wise Democracy” which provides essential companion theory to the Venn Diagram, exploring dynamics of the ongoing practice of collective wisdom in the real world.
An extensive Glossary is located at https://www.wd-pl.com/glossary/. Quite in addition to its use as a reference, you can garner considerable theoretical understanding by browsing and reflecting on the many definitions there.
If you are interested in the theory of pattern languages, per se, and in some others that relate to wise democracy, check out the materials provided on the “Background” menu https://www.wd-pl.com/overview-background/.
What standards guided the creation and articulation of these patterns?
When considering a new wise democracy pattern, we always ask: Does it articulate a design principle we need to keep in mind when seeking to further collective wisdom in groups, communities, and societies? Does it enable many different possible manifestations and applications? Does it further wise democracy’s prime directive and reflect the project’s holistic approach? Does it help develop people’s understanding and skills, particularly if they are engaged in transformational change efforts? For more on our approach, visit https://www.wd-pl.com/standards-2/.
Are there limitations to keep in mind when using this pattern language?
The main limitation involves the limitations of our WDPL’s originator, Tom Atlee, an older white American intellectual whose life mission has been focused on (but not totally limited to) group processes and their applications to large populations. His perspective informs the choice of – and his descriptions of – the patterns in this set. Recognizing this inevitable bias, he has called for the formation of a “community of practice” https://www.wd-pl.com/community-of-practice/ to delve into the patterns and their relationship to the prime directive (which largely defines the logic of wise democracy) and, once grounded in that, to co-create the many other patterns that could contribute needed aspects of wise democracy about which Tom has had little knowledge, experience or awareness.