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The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World that Works for All Paperback – January 1, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1932133479 ISBN-10: 193213347X Edition: Revised

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: The Writers' Collective; Revised edition (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193213347X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932133479
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #705,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tom Atlee is founder and president of the Co-Intelligence Institute. He has written and spoken for 20 years on politics, democracy and cultural transformation. Thousands of people every month read his writings at co-intelligence.org and in his email newsletters. His articles have appeared in National Civic Review, Communities, Science of Mind, Noetic Sciences Review and numerous other journals.

More About the Author

I am the founder of the nonprofit Co-Intelligence Institute, author of the books listed here and a lead contributor to COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE: AN INTRODUCTION (edited by Nasreen Taher) and COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE: CREATING A PROSPEROUS WORLD AT PEACE (edited by Mark Tovey). I have published many articles in alternative journals, collaborated on numerous projects and books, been on several nonprofit boards, and occasionally consulted internationally. For more details, see http://www.co-intelligence.org/tomatleebio.html .

Born in 1947, I was raised as a Quaker peace and social justice activist. On the 1986 Great Peace March, a nine-month trek undertaken by four hundred ordinary people, I experienced bottom-up self-organization and palpable collective intelligence for the first time. This watershed experience changed my life into a search for how to evoke these collective capacities in activist groups, communities, and whole societies. Starting in the mid-1990s, my activist instincts led me to apply my discoveries to the creation of wiser forms of democracy and governance. In 2005 I began a study of evolutionary dynamics that could be used to transform social systems. I have also been exploring the emerging and evolving landscape of green, local, humane, self-organizing, co-intelligent economic innovations (see http://co-intelligence.org/Economics.html )

I live simply in a nine-bedroom, consensus-based co-op house in Eugene, Oregon, with a changing population of friends, dogs, cats, chickens, plants, books, and chores. While I spend most of my time glued to my computer, talking passionately with colleagues, or hanging out with my beloved partner, I also enjoy reading, walking, writing poetry, playing twelve-string guitar, watching movies, and learning how to split wood. My daughter, Jennifer Atlee, is a green building professional in New England who loves hiking and can usually think rings around me.

My main blog is http://tom-atlee.posterous.com and my book-related events are listed at http://epw.wikia.com/wiki/Calendar_of_Events .

Customer Reviews

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This book is about collective intelligence for the common good, and it is a very fine book.
Robert David STEELE Vivas
Tom Atlee's work illustrates the positive impact citizen deliberative councils can have where divisive public issues stall as intractable conflict.
Critt Jarvis
A great read, easy to understand and I highly recommend this book to people newly interested in our political system.
Robin E. Goche

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 30, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Edit of 21 Dec 07 to add links and comment.

New comment: Tom Atlee opened a door for me, and because of him I have joined the co-intelligence movement and will be publishing an edited work, COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace, both free in PDF form at OSS.Net/CIB, and on Amazon from mid-February.

I see so many things starting to come together around the world and through books. The Internet has opened the door for a cross-fertilization of knowledge and emotion and concern across all boundaries such as the world has never seen before, and it has made possible a new form of structured collective intelligence such as H.G. Wells (World Brain (Adamantine Classics for the 21st Century)), Howard Bloom (Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century), Pierre Levy (Collective Intelligence: Mankind's Emerging World in Cyberspace), Willis Harman (Global Mind Change: The New Age Revolution in the Way We Think), and I (The New Craft of Intelligence: Personal, Public, & Political--Citizen's Action Handbook for Fighting Terrorism, Genocide, Disease, Toxic Bombs, & Corruption), could never have imagined.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on May 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
Tom Atlee's The Tao Of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence To Create A World That Works For All offers the reader a positive viewpoint on and for creating a democracy founded upon wisdom, citizen participation, a culture of dialogue, and in an harmonious balance that encourages the best in people. A thoughtful and philosophical work written specifically to stave off the impending self-destructive side of current civilization, The Tao Of Democracy is recommended reading for students of Political Science and Philosophy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Retired Reader on February 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The premise of this book is that the intelligence generated by a group of collaborative individuals no matter what their individual cognitive abilities, always will be greater than that of a solitary individual no matter how intelligent. This is `co-intelligence' as understood in this book.

Central to the concept of co-intelligence is the role of open, respectful dialogue that explores rather than confronts different ideas and thinking. In this sort of dialogue no idea is rejected as wrong or lunatic as long as it is relevant to the topic at hand. It is Atlee's firm belief that in this sort of non-confrontational exploration of ideas that must produce in the wisest decision making process and the best solutions to any problem. A group of individuals exercising this approach to problem solving creates a synergy of shared intelligence that must be greater than that of any individual within the group. In support of this concept, Atlee offers some impressive examples of co-intelligence in action. The best example being the so-called Canadian Experiment in which a group of average Canadian citizens, randomly selected to represent the cultural and social diversity of Canada, spent a weekend in intense dialogue over such complex and emotion charged issues as Quebec separatism. Objective and neutral moderators (or facilitators) served to keep the dialogues on track and open to ideas. In the end the group came up with apparently brilliant proposals that could have indeed solved what many Canadians believe intractable problems.

So based on this very persuasive book it appears that the concept of co-intelligence as a function of group synergy is the way to create an informed and intelligent electorate. Yet attractive as this concept is, there are problems to its implementation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robin E. Goche on February 17, 2012
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This book, the Tao of Democracy, was invaluable to me during the 2008 campaign. I was encouraged again and again that there are thoughtful, prayerful, brave, and intelligent people in the world who truly embrace democracy as a way of life not just for financial or political gain. A great read, easy to understand and I highly recommend this book to people newly interested in our political system.
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