The Power of Collective Wisdom: And the Trap of Collective Folly. Alan Briskin, Sheryl Erickson, Tom Callanan, John Ott. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

The Power of Collective Wisdom: And the Trap of Collective Folly Book Cover The Power of Collective Wisdom: And the Trap of Collective Folly
Alan Briskin, Sheryl Erickson, Tom Callanan, John Ott
Berrett-Koehler Publishers
October 1, 2009

Based on nine years of research, The Power of Collective Wisdom shows how we can reliably tap into the extraordinary cocreative potential that exists whenever human beings gathered together.

Stories and historical examples illustrate how collective wisdom has emerged in the range of cultures, settings, and traditions, and the authors offer a set of practices to help readers realize the key lessons of the book. Equally important, they describe how to recognize the pitfalls of polarization or false agreement that lead to collective folly. Ultimately, this book emerges from a deep conviction that we all have a stake in each other and that what binds us together can be greater than what drives us apart.

Alan Briskin is author of the award-winning book The Stirring of Soul in the Workplace and co-author of Daily Miracles, which are in the American Journal of Nursing‘s Book of the Year Award in the category of Public Interest and Creative Works. He is co-author of Bringing Your Soul to Work: An Everyday Practice. Ellen is a pioneer in the field of organizational learning and cofounder of the collective wisdom initiative.

Sheryl Erickson has been principal investigator for the Collective Wisdom Initiative since 2000, seeking to articulate a field of study and practice now identified as that of collective wisdom.

John Ott has designed and led successful collective change efforts for almost thirty years he has worked with cities, counties, and large human services systems, designing and leading participatory budget processes to resolve gaping deficient deficits. He designed and led the initial community change processes at the heart of Smart Start, a statewide initiative in North Carolina designed to ensure that every child begins kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed.

Tom Callanan is a Senior advisor and former program officer at the Fetzer Institute, where he helped to cofound the Collective Wisdom Initiative (CWI) in 2000. During his time as program officer, CWI informed the project in his portfolio with the notion that it’s possible to convene groups to create greater impact than could be accomplished by anyone alone. Through his work with the Institute, Tom has helped to establish a number of internationally recognized initiatives.