The Power of Collective Wisdom: And the Trap of Collective Folly

The Power of Collective Wisdom: And the Trap of Collective Folly

Alan Briskin, Sheryl Erickson

Language: English

Pages: 171

ISBN: 1576754456

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Stories and historical examples throughout this work serve to illustrate how collective wisdom is emerging in a range of settings and how, if accessed, this collective knowing can create extraordinary results.

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to believe that failure was a real possibility. At the age of eighty-one and suffering from gout, Benjamin Franklin, a delegate to the convention, rose to speak to the group: The small progress we have made after four or five weeks’ close attendance and continual reasonings with each other, our different sentiments on almost every question… is, methinks, a melancholy proof of the imperfection of human understanding.4 Franklin suggested to the group members that they were seeking wisdom in the

on the labyrinth, sobbing and sobbing and sobbing. This is not what’s expected, or so it might seem. But you’re holding a space for the consciousness of the group, and you’re making sure that people are dealing with it. I’m not going to say, “Excuse me—you’re interrupting the labyrinth walk.” Instead, you go with whatever is, trusting whatever is arising. And whatever mystery is going to live itself out. I think that’s part of the issue about the magic and the mystery of the group—it is that

and barely noticed, how to pay attention to why we are here. Reflecting on her journey, Knuth says simply, “In the beginning was the meeting.… How we meet people determines all else. Do we meet people assuming the best we can about them? Do we meet each person curious about the miracle of a human being that we are about to connect with? Or do we meet a poor person that we are about to help?” She tells a story of Anna, a widow of forty-six who lives on a $2 per month pension from her late

unfolds, we witness the slow collapsing of the space for inquiry and exploration. In the months prior to the launch, Morton Thiokol executives did not alert senior NASA officials about Boisjoly’s concerns, perhaps distracted by other issues, perhaps thinking the data inconclusive, perhaps thinking that the risk of cold temperatures in Florida was not a major concern. When they finally did contact senior NASA officials, it was the day before a launch that had already been delayed four times. NASA

Iroquois, 40–43 Ubuntu (Bantu culture), 149 Umoja (Swahili), 149 Unbroken wholeness, 79–80 Uncertainty, 28, 183 Benjamin Franklin and, 51–53 safety and, 178 Uncertainty principle, 80 Unconscious, Jung and, 77–78, 83 Underwood, Paula, 40–45, 179–181, 184 United Farm Workers, 28–32 Unity, appearance of, 110, 135 Universal consciousness, 76 Universal soul/mind, 103 “Universal will,” humans as vessels of, 102 Unknown gap between what is known and, 33 positive regard for, 61–62, 183

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