What’s between individual and collective intelligence?

Commenting on The emergence of CI, an online experiment, Charles Savage asked a powerful question that, I believe, deserves a lot of attention from all who don’t only want to theorize about CI but experience it live, vibrant, and tangible. He wrote:
>I have one questions, is there something between:
>Individual Intelligence
>?????
>Collective Intelligence
> Is it not possible to have a “collective intelligence” context where the “individual intelligence” comes alive?
Charles, thank you for inquiring into the very heart of what I find the most exciting about Collective Intelligence as theory AND practice. In my experience, individual intelligences come alive and shine best, indeed, in the context of a collective intelligence. Autonomy and community are not only not opposite but one doesn’t really exist without the other.
> In other words, how it is possible to have a dynamic interaction so that as individuals value the intelligence (and emotions) of the other, the collective intelligence emerges?


I don’t think that individuals valuing the intelligence (and emotions) of the other, will necessarily give rise to collective intelligence if there’s not something else present too. The key of that “something” is: humility, a willingness to let go of, or at least to suspend personal judgments, and recognize the shared pool of intelligence as potentially higher value, capable to absorb more complexity than my fixed ideas.
Without that, people may be mutually stroking one another’s ego, even get some nice emotional charges from it but CI won’t emerge.
David Bohm’s “Dialogue” and Andrew Cohen’s “Enlightened Communications ” are good examples of ways to facilitate the emergence of a new, higher quality intelligence from beyond-ego interactions. I was lucky to meet Bohm in the 80’s, and currently, my experience and understanding of the intersubjective consciousness are ripening each time when I participate in one of the experiential discussions inspired by Andrew’s work.
In this blog, you can find more entries about intersubjective consciousness here.

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3 Responses to What’s between individual and collective intelligence?

  1. Dear George,
    I would be interested in understanding the difference you see between ‘Dialogue’ and ‘Conversation’. You seem to refer more to ‘conversations’ whereas David Bohm focuses on ‘dialogue’ (exploring these questions here at http://www.thetransitioner.org/wiki/tiki-index.php?page=Dialogue )
    Love,
    Jean-François

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  2. George Por says:

    Dialogue is a form of group interaction in which participants recognize that the most valuable meaning is not what they convey to one another but the one that they allow to emerge from their generous listening and egoless presence.
    I don’t try to define conversations because of the great variety of its types, e.g. learning conversations, creative abrasion, strategic explorations, collaborative inquiries, etc.

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  3. Roger Eaton says:

    While of course it is a grand thing to open up to the thoughts of a group, and understand one’s own “fixed ideas” as of potentially lower value, but it’s grand, too, not to give up on original ideas that find slow acceptance simply because the group’s intellectual framework is too inflexible to see the value of the novel. It is always good to listen, but if you are not convinced, well, it isn’t necessarily you that have it the wrong way about, even if you are way outnumbered.

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