These patterns are being seriously considered for Version 2.0 of the Wise Democracy Pattern Language.  Since they were developed after the initial 70 patterns were woven together into a coherent whole, they are not fully integrated into the set.  They will be offered as an addendum with any list of wise democracy patterns, without a picture or number.  Further proposed patterns will be put here as they are developed by WD-PL colleagues and are approved as serving the design of wise democracy.

To the extent we don’t know what we’re doing, we lose power to make a difference. Coherent group activity becomes as possible and powerful as we share a clear intention. So evoke that goal, purpose, or vision – or those values, priorities, issues or opportunities we are all passionate about.

Related:  Exuberance, Generating Shared Orientation, Integrity and Authenticity, Multi-Modal Power, Possibility Thinking, Visionary Attractors, Well Utilized Life Energy

Democracy ideally means people affected by decisions can play meaningful roles in decision-making and those closest to situations can take meaningful actions to address them.  So help networked stakeholders who already play roles in their shared areas of concern – and hold important pieces of the picture – govern them more collaboratively and responsibly.

Related:  All Concerns Addressed, Citizen/Stakeholder Balance, (Distributed Intelligence), Generating Shared Orientation, Generative Interactions, Multiple Perspective View, Partnership Culture, (Rich Feedback Dynamics), Self-Organization, Synergy Between Part and Whole, Systems Thinking, Using Diversity and Disturbance Creatively, Well-Utilized Life Energy, Whole System in the Conversation.

There are many dimensions to any circumstance, each with implications for action.  We can’t know them all, but we can always seek fuller understanding.  So be open to and try to grasp as many dimensions and angles as possible rather than defaulting prematurely into one habitual or dominant framing.

Related:  Systems thinking, Multi-modal intelligence, Multi-perspective view, Deep Time Stewardship, All Concerns Addressed, Appreciative Thinking, Big Empathy, Context Awareness, Diversity, Full Cost Accounting, Full Spectrum Information, Healthy Polarity Dynamics, Powerful Questions, Rich Feedback Dynamics, Story sharing, Universal intelligence, Whole System in the Conversation, Wise use of Uncertainty, Working through Feelings…

Examples and Resources:  Evolutionary perspective, Systems thinking (feedback, Donella Meadows leverage points), Cynefin framework, Framing the problem, Observer/observed issues, Group Dynamics, Culture, Story (scenarios, narratives), Multiple viewpoints, Wilber’s Integral AQAL, Needs/values

When collective life is working well, let it function automatically.  When it stops working well, use wise democracy patterns to help it function well again.  Use consciousness to spot needed change (disturbance) and to guide co-creation of new habits and cultures, which then become automatic.

Related:  Communal Intelligence, Competent Popular Oversight of Governance, Context Awareness, Deliberation, Full-Spectrum Information, Life-Enhancing Enoughness, Quality of Life Indicators, Rich Feedback Dynamics, Self-organization, Using Diversity and Disturbance Creatively

Examples and resources: Circle Forward’s Consent approach

Life involves ongoing movement towards wholeness, vitality and functionality.  Illness, degradation and dysfunction evoke energies for healing, transformation or the birth of something new. So as agents of regeneration rebuild depleted soil, disperse concentrated power, restore damaged communities and ecosystems, sequester carbon, correct falsehoods, free up time for renewal…

Related:  Caring into Quality, Enough Time, Full Cost Accounting, Generative Interaction, Multi-Modal Power, Nature First, Partnership Culture, Self-Organization, Synergy Between Part and Whole, Systems Thinking, Well-Utilized Life Energy, Wholesome Life Learning

Examples and resources: Regenerative industry (Interface Carpet Company), Regenerative finance – Common bound, Restorative Justice, Redesigning Economics based on Ecology .

While managerial responsibility often involves power-over – risking corruption and resistance – it can serve efficient organizational operation.  Mindful voluntary delegation of power upward, downward, or among peers allows for effective distribution of roles with minimal risk.  So consciously delegate well-delineated power to qualified people for specific functions or situations with appropriate answerability and term.

Related: Competent Popular Oversight of Governance, Distributed Intelligence, Expertise on Tap (Not on Top), Multi-Modal Power, Partnership Culture, Prudent Use of Power-Over, Rich Feedback Dynamics, Self-Organization, Subsidiarity, Synergy Between Part and Whole

Examples and resources: Holacracy / Sociocracy, Liquid Democracy, Teal organizations, Circle Forward’s Consent approach

People can agree on principles – stated in noncontroversial language to ground a decision that works for them all – even in the midst of disagreements on positions or preferred strategies. So go as deep – and only as deep – as necessary to evoke the realization “Of course we all want this!” to build trust and togetherness.

Related: All Concerns Addressed, Generating Shared Orientation, Grounding in Fundamental Needs, Well-Utilized Life Energy

Examples and resources: Nonviolent Communication, Convergent Facilitation, Consensus Process, Principled Negotiation

Circles support peerness, listening and engaged turn-taking around an often evocative shared center.  Cycles return to their beginnings, usually newly and sometimes repeating into spirals of further development or deepening.  So include circular forms in conversations, meetings, councils, communities, networks, organizations and iterative processes to support peer reflection and inclusive action.

Related:  Checks on Extreme Inequality, Distributed Intelligence, Feeling Heard, Generative Interaction, Iteration, Partnership Culture 

There is power in expressing preferences and making choices.  There is also power in creating the options we choose among, in knowing why we choose, in having the capacity to choose and good means for choosing, and in having information and conversations where wise choices become obvious. So support the fullness of informed conscious choice in individual and collective lives.

Related:  Capacitance, Constraints on Concentrated Power, Deliberation, Generative Interaction, Full Spectrum Information, Integrity and Authenticity, Proposals Emergent, Self-Organization

Examples and resources: Preference voting, Disagreement voting, Proportional representation, Choice-creating conversation, Circle Forward’s Consent approach

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Another version:


Choice is fundamental to freedom and democracy, but is too often manipulated, constrained, meaningless, ignorant, or overwhelming.  So help people practice democratic choice not as facile choosing among unworthy options defined elsewhere, but as a powerful co-creative discovery of how to realistically meet their significant needs in ways benign for other lives involved.

Given our limited capacity to predict and control the future in complex systems, we take our planning with a grain of salt. We focus more on trying out various possibilities – in our imaginations, in cautious real-world tests, with next-step thinking, through development of resilience, and with ongoing conscientious review.

Related:  Deep time stewardship, Safety first then challenge

Examples: Individual and collective scenario exploration, prophetic imagination, science fiction, backcasting, rapid prototyping, action learning, situational leadership, precautionary principle.

The outcomes of much human activity are shared – for better and worse – although often in unbalanced ways, generating unfair harms, senses of entitlement, and denials of the fruits of contribution. Justice is balance.  So support fair distribution of individual and collective benefits and hardships in the context of the other patterns in this set.

Related Patterns:  All Concerns Addressed, Caring into Quality, Commons, Checks on Extreme Inequality, Big Empathy, Full Cost Accounting, Generating Shared Orientation, Grounding in Fundamental needs, Life-Enhancing Enoughness, Multi-Modal Power, Nurturing Social Capital, Partnership Culture, Safety First Then Challenge, Well-Utilized Life Energy

Separateness, though often functional, is fundamentally an illusion.  Reality is interconnected and whole, and so are we.  So think and relate outside of boxes and silos, bridge polarities and issues, make boundaries conditional and permeable.  Reach into otherness and either/or to fathom, develop, and partake in the connections and co-creativity you discover.

Lifeless knowledge has little to offer our individual and collective wellbeing.  So nurture deep realization of important truths, and vitalize communities and activities with the arts – especially performing arts – that draw people into energies and understandings that make sense of their lives and move them to wise action.

Related:  Wholesome Life Learning, Exuberance, Multi-Modal Intelligence, Caring into Quality, Generative Interactions, Integrity and Authenticity, Powerful Questions, Story Sharing, Systems Thinking, Universal Intelligence, Using Diversity and Disturbance Creatively, Wise Use of Uncertainty


Like gravitational fields, fields of aliveness arise from and shape the entities and activities in their range of influence.  We can sense, interact with, and influence them.  So notice how the life in and around you manifests invisible structures, forces, voices, stories, habits, etc., and help them shift towards wholeness.

Related:  Capacitance, Context Awareness, Multi-Modal Intelligence, Multiple Perspective View, Possibility Thinking, Power of Listening, Rich Feedback Dynamics, Synergy between Part and Whole, Universal Participation, Using Diversity and Disturbance Creatively, Wise Use of Uncertainty, Working Through Feelings


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