Full Seminar Details

Douglas Schuler

Evergreen State College

 Douglas Schuler
Civic Intelligence in Uncertain and Threatening Times
This event took place on Friday 23 June 2017 at 11:30

Civic intelligence is the capacity for individuals and groups to address shared problems equitably and efficiently. The still-evolving theory of civic intelligence suggests a strong hypothesis: That the survival and quality of life of a community, city, nation, or planet depends on the quality of civic intelligence that it can mobilize. We don't often talk about it, but we're doomed without it. Arguably it may be the case that the challenges we face are increasing at the same time that our civic intelligence is declining. If this indeed is the case — and if the trends continue —and if our strong hypothesis is correct then we collectively may expect to see a wide range of disastrous results — that unfortunately are likely to cascade. Efforts to secure the common good are facing significant challenges worldwide. Nationalistic, anti-scientific, anti-intellectual, and anti-democratic values are gaining popularity in political discourse. Promises of international cooperation and democratic principles of inclusion, rational (public) discourse, and collective problem-solving are increasingly threatened. Will the people of the world have adequate civic intelligence to resist these threats and learn to manage its affairs and its ecosystems more prudently? Coordinated resistance in the U.S., U.K, and elsewhere suggest that civic intelligence is alive. It is demonstrated through rallies and marches, citizen mobilization, dialogue, independent media, academic research and reporting, fact checking, challenges to elected officials, and much more. Yet more civic intelligence will be necessary in the coming days, months and years as citizens, civil society and others attempt to challenge and reverse these dangerous trends. In this seminar I'd prefer a fairly conversational approach. I have lots of hypotheses and beliefs about civic intelligence broadly and specifically about current mobilization in the United States and the implosion of my college — which is still taking place (Google it!). I'm also happy to explore the ones that naturally come about through a conversation that proceeds naturally from the ideas and interests of the people in the room. Also, if there is enough interest, we can also conduct a design game / workshop that uses the "patterns" from my book, "Liberating Voices: A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution.”

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