Jim Rough is an expert in Wise Democracy. He originated the technique called dynamic facilitation which he now uses with Wisdom Councils in a social process designed to empower large systems of people. In this interview Jim describes how the quality of conversation which really counts along with the people who have that conversation. Dynamic facilitation takes people beyond the traditional debate, dialogue and deliberation into a choice-creating conversation which generates new potential outcomes. The groups work best when drawn randomly from the population. On first inspection that may sound strange because our tradition is to choose experts, representatives and those who have a particular strong opinion or interest group. With years of experience in facilitating the democratic process, Jim has found that there is a deep wisdom which emerges from randomly chosen group taking the mainstream interest and seeking to serve the whole. He finds that a consensus emerges which is often transformational and inspiring to the wider community. He has taught people globally to use this technique any give some examples of work is working well, particularly in Austria.
We tend to take democracy for granted is as if it is something which we have already achieved. Jim points out that democracy is something which needs constant evolution, requiring ongoing attention and adaptation to our needs and situation. He makes a powerful call for integrating the dynamic facilitation and wisdom Council process into our existing structures so as to help raise our game to meet the substantial challenges which we face.
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