Center for Wise Democracy

February 12, 2020 Alanna Scott, Participedia Team
June 27, 2019 Lucy J Parry, Participedia Team
June 23, 2019 Lucy J Parry, Participedia Team
September 16, 2017 mgoetsch
November 10, 2016 mgoetsch

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Mission and Purpose

The intention of the Center for Wise Democracy is to engage citizens in a new level of problem-solving, where they become more informed and more proactive, overcome much partisan divide and distrust of government, and help generate breakthrough progress on key issues. The sustainable, safe strategy for achieving these results is to implement regular Wisdom Councils among the citizenry as well as to establish Dynamic Facilitation and Wisdom Councils as a regular process within government and civic organizations. This is a new breakthrough approach currently being already applied in a few places in Europe, which was developed by Jim Rough, a founding member of the Center for Wise Democracy. It is safe, inexpensive, and proven to work.

Origins and Development

In 2002, Jim and Jean Rough, together with DeAnna Martin, founded the Center for Wise Democracy. Their intention was to encourage experiments with the Wisdom Council. In November 2003 after a radio interview three listeners from the Rogue Valley of Oregon called to express interest in trying a Wisdom Council in their area.

With the help of democracy pioneers like Tom Atlee (Author of The Tao of Democracy), Adin Rogovin (Board member of the Co-Intelligence Institute), Joseph McCormick(founder of Reuniting America), and Elliot Shuford (Board member of Healthy Democracy Oregon), a Wisdom Council experiment was set up. The experiment worked far more powerfully than anybody could explain. From its origin in the United States of America the Wisdom Council Process started to spread over the Atlantic.

Organizational Structure, Membership, and Funding

The Center for Wise Democracy relies on donations and revenues from supporting Wisdom Councils.

Specializations, Methods and Tools

Dynamic Facilitation

Jim Rough invented Dynamic Facilitation in the early 1980s. Dynamic Facilitation is designed to help a group achieve unity. Dynamic Facilitation is particularly suitable for solving conflicted or impossible seeming issues. It inevitably reveals the real problem and comes up with unanimous solutions.

Wisdom Council Process

The Wisdom Council process is an ongoing application of Dynamic facilitation. It can function at various levels (neighborhood, city, county, state, national, international...). It helps diverse people appreciate one another, feel empowered and reach unified conclusions.

The Wisdom Council process includes a wide diversity of citizens including the mainstream, and not just the “usual suspects.” It is based on Dynamic Facilitation (DF), a way to reliably generate unity around win/win solutions to seemingly impossible problems. DF can be used by organizations for strategic planning, conflict resolution and team building. And it is the core of the Wisdom Council process, the “magic sauce,” which provides for magical seeming results. Our vision is to set in motion a development process that will yield a cadre of trained Dynamic Facilitators to support a prosperous future full of with wise democracy

Choice Creating

Choice creating often arises naturally in a crisis. Then, people immediately recognize the seriousness of the situation and pull together, each contributing to a solution that works for all.

Major Projects and Events

Analysis and Lessons Learned


See Also


External Links