Somewhere, on our way to humankind’s awakening…

Somewhere, on our way to humankind’s awakening to its collective wisdom, global heart, and sentience… self-organizing communities of co-creation and practice will master the combination of swarm intelligence ( see also starlings as teachers ) with wildfire learning (see chapter 7 in my Federated Framework for Self-evolving Educational Experience Design on Massive Scale).

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CI as collective consciousness in action (both being and doing)

Yet another definition:

“Mastering collective intelligence is the deliberate exercising of collective consciousness in action (both being & doing) where we can see and recognise the steps, relationships and rational process that is contributing to the power and potential of any group. Collective intelligence is energy and information working together to imagine a future, explore new possibilities, address an issue or solve a problem.” (Zenergy)

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Dysfunctional Collective Intelligence

Below is an excerpt from How to Create a Group Mind | 100 Trillion Connections, by Duncan Work.

“A dysfunctional society, or group mind, is full of emotion-laden biases, fears, animosity, internal hostilities, greed, bitter or violent competitions (winner-take-all), or is simply deeply fragmented and incapable of making good decisions. All of these traits are indicators of very unhealthy group minds – so unhealthy as to be called insane, broken. So broken it doesn’t feel right to call them minds at all.”

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Letting collective intelligence use me for organizing itself

I emailed a tweet I’ve just stumbled upon in my tweetstream to a colleague because I knew it had to do with one of her interests.

We cannot spend all our time on hanging out in the stream but the larger is the circle of friends who care for us, the better are the chances that we can stay informed not only 0.5% but maybe 1% of what we need to know about what is happening in the noosphere.

She responded, “You’re a good sensor, you ….”

That inspired the following message from me, which I decided to share here because I’m curious of what y’all think of it.

light sensor It’s a kind of “organic” sensor that feeds on feedback that moves action…  In other words, I let collective intelligence use me for organizing itself in the following way:

I send the gems I pick up on my surfpath to friends all over the world, to whom one or the other piece I think can be relevant. Then, I use the quality of feedback, the excitement it generates (or not) to refine my filtering-and-forwarding strategy.

I guess it takes a great deal of imagination to make sense out of what I try to express here. I could use if in the comments to this post, you would share whatever it triggers in you.

Posted in Collaborative Sense-Making, Collective Intellect Augments Individual, Shared Attention | Tagged | 23 Comments

The Emergence of Higher We-Spaces

Lánc híd, BudapestThe Emergence of Higher We-Spaces:  steps towards humankind awakening to its collective sentience  |  Lessons from 9 trailblazing practice communities

Introductory section of my presentation invited to the Integral European Conference, Budapest, Hungary, May 8-11, 2014

Introduction: personal and planetary contexts


I am irresistibly drawn to observe and participate in the emergence of situations and communities, where people are capable to sense, think, relate, and act, momentarily or in a sustained way, from a beyond-ego state or stage of consciousness. They exist in a domain that I call “higher We-spaces.” My passion to experience and explore that emergence, from as close as I can, comes from both personal and planetary drivers.

Here is my personal motivation: In the most thrilling moments of my participation in the energy field of a retreat with Thomas Hübl, or the sangha around Diane Musho Hamilton’s work, or an Enlightened Communication circle, I felt a tidal wave of consciousness hitting the room, and the tide was lifting all boats of our individual states of consciousness.

There’s a growing literature of articles, conference presentations, blogposts, and lists of We-space-inducing injunctions and practices, etc., and reading them can help us understand the what, why, and how of what is emerging. The most rewarding direct knowledge comes from the first-person immersion in the experience of its underlying mystical principles that Thomas Hübl wrote in the The Coming Waves[1]. That’s why I feel the call to study, write about, and immerse myself in this subject.

There’s also a planetary context of my fascination with higher We-spaces. Humanity is on a learning expedition, the next leg of which seems to be a sort of global “flow state,” where unprecedented challenges and unprecedented capabilities are facing off. That state is typically described in the psychological terms of motivation and full immersion in experience, which harness one’s emotional energies in the service of learning or performing an act. To overcome our global crises will require all that from the collective psyche, and more.

As a sign of our times, there are numerous variations of the following saying attributed to Einstein, which are spreading over the Net: “No problem can be solved at the same level of consciousness that created it.” So, where are we going to get the higher level collective consciousness required to meet the challenges of our times? A good place to start exploring the paths to the answer to that question, I believe, is the higher We-space experiments currently pursued by various pioneering communities in the integral, evolutionary ecosystem. “For the level of complexity of the organizational and cultural difficulties now facing the human species, nothing short of an awakened We Space will do.”[2]

The human race is just starting to take some baby steps to reach planetary consciousness and collective sentience. We lived the first few 100,000s years crawling, and we are starting to learn standing up and walking. Looked at from that context, the communities, where higher We-spaces manifest, are in the tip of the wave of the shift in consciousness that is sweeping the planet. Can it be that the inter-subjective practices in their groups and events pre-figure an emergent planetary culture?

That’s an epic narrative unfolding in front of our eyes. To enjoy it more, one has to be part of it. Writing and playing out that drama together, we can also influence the pace of the much-needed (and happening) global mind shift. This paper is an invitation to it. Read on, tune in, and sense into what has the most heart and meaning for you…

[to be continued]

[1] The Gateway into the Future: Mysticism for Our Times, by Thomas Hübl, in The Coming Waves: Evolution, Transformation, and Action in an Integral Way, (edited by Dustin DiPerna and H.B. Augustine)

[2] Showing Up: The Power and potential of We, by Andrew Venezia in The Coming Waves: Evolution, Transformation, and Action in an Integral Way, (edited by Dustin DiPerna and H.B. Augustine)

Posted in Multi-community membership, We-Space | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Heard in the Techno-progressive Pub…

Singularity UniversityThe other day, I went to a meeting of London Futurists with the title When linearity met exponential – a summer at Singularity University. As expected, the conversation  was focused on various technological aspects of our future.  Towards the end I raised my hand to introduce a different, techno-communitarian perspective. There were more people who expressed their resonance with my point of view than I thought there will be.

After the end of the formal meeting, we continued the conversation in a nearby pub, and decided to meet again online. Using the message board of the London Futurists’ Meet-up site, I opened the Techno-progressive Pub.

Somebody wrote there:

> I’ve also read a bit about Principia Cybernetica and the Global Brain Project

I replied:

It’s good to know. I presented a paper at the first Global Brain workshop in 2001 on Designing for the Emergence of a Global-scale Collective Intelligence: Invitation to a Research Collaboration.

As you will see, I’m a bit more concerned by liberating the Collective Intelligence (CI) of human communities and institutions than by AI alone or even Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) or friendly AI. That’s because I believe that some of the AI breakthroughs will be used for evil, oppressive purposes (in fact, they already are) and the best antidote or insurance policy is augmenting the CI of the ecosystem of social innovation initiatives.

> The cybernetic-techno-progressive-global-bra­­in antithesis seems to be that humanity and technology will naturally co-evolve or self-organise to ever greater integration and harmony, unless some negative force counteracts that. Can these two worldviews be combined into one synthesis?

I define CI as “the capacity of human communities to evolve towards higher order complexity and harmony, through such innovation mechanisms as variation-feedback-selection, differentiation-integration-transformati­on, and competition-cooperation-coopetition.”­ However, evolution is not linear; huge detours do happen and humankind can become an aborted experience if we don’t pay attention.

Whether singularity will be friendly or unfriendly is less of a question of clashing worldviews, but (differently educated) guessing. For me, the issue of worldviews come up around the choice about what we should invest the most attention/energy/resources. One is betting on AI and AGI, the other is on positively addressing the Einsteinian challenge: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Raising our CI, at every scale, is not the same as, but a critical condition for, augmenting our level of consciousness.

The two worldviews can be combined into one synthesis, but not by a cognitive mash-up, rather in a transcend-and-include way. A CI-focused path would both include AI and AGI, and transcend them, by putting them in service to the need of empowering human communities and institutions to make wiser decisions.

If Effective Altruism is prioritizing projects focused humanity’s long-term future, I’m wondering whether there is anybody in that movement, who would consider providing to support to augmenting humankind’s intelligence that Doug Engelbart so eloquently spoke of, 50 years ago?

Thank you for your reflections and question that triggered mine. Can this be the beginning of a small-scale experiment in our  collective intelligence? :-)

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Return to Eden? Promises and Perils on the Road to an Omnipotent Global Intelligence

New paper by Francis Heylighen. Global Brain Institute


The concept of Singularity envisages a technology-driven explosion in intelligence. This paper argues that the resulting suprahuman intelligence will not be centralized in a single AI system, but distributed across all people and artifacts, as connected via the Internet. This “global brain” will function to tackle all challenges confronting the “global superorganism”. Its capabilities will extend so far beyond our present abilities that they are best conveyed as a pragmatic version of the “divine” attributes: omniscience (knowing everything needed to solve our problems), omnipresence (being available anywhere anytime), omnipotence (being able to provide any product or service at negligible cost) and omnibenevolence (aiming at the greatest happiness for the greatest number).

By extrapolating present trends, technologies and evolutionary mechanisms, the paper shows that these abilities are likely to be realized within the next few decades. The resulting solution to all our individual and societal problems can be seen as a return to the “Garden of Eden”, the idyllic state of abundance and peace that supposedly existed before civilization. In this utopian society, individuals would be supported and challenged by the global brain to maximally develop their abilities, and to continuously create new knowledge. However, side effects of technological innovation are likely to create serious disturbances on the road to this utopia. The most important dangers are cascading
failures facilitated by hyperconnectivity, the spread of psychological parasites that make people lose touch with reality, the loss of human abilities caused by an unnatural, passive lifestyle, and a conservative backlash triggered by too rapid changes. Because of the non-linearity of the system, the precise impact of such disturbances cannot be predicted. However, a range of precautionary measures, including a “global immune system”, may pre-empt the greatest risks, and thus secure our eventual return to Eden.

Full text us downloadable here.


Posted in Academic Research in CI, Global Brain, Technologies That Support CI | Tagged | 1 Comment