Co-intelligence can be defined as
the ability to use wholeness, interconnectedness and co-creativity to collaboratively guide the evolving coherence of life and understanding towards greater wholeness, interconnectedness and co-creativity.
If we took wholeness seriously…
We’d include more of what was involved — and more of who was involved — in any situation we were dealing with. We’d try to consider anything that might be relevant, and we’d make sure all stakeholders were involved. Ideally, we’d include anything and anyone related to the situation — as much as we could tolerate. Of course we all have our limits, but we’d continually stretch our ability to embrace more and more reality — more and more viewpoints and approaches and diversity and nuance and complexity. We’d want to get a sense of the whole picture — or as close to it as we could get. The experiment in Canada — in which a dozen extremely diverse citizens thrashed out a powerful consensus vision for their country — is a good example of this.
Our feeling and thinking would be broad and deep — about the long term, about system dynamics, about the oneness of humanity and nature. And we would, whenever possible, move beyond “either/or logic” and “win/lose conflicts” to explore the larger picture painted by “both/and logic” and “win/win possibilities.” This long-term, integrative, healing impulse is exemplified in the Native American search for solutions that benefit the seventh generation after them.
We’d explore the role of circumstances, environment, culture and other contexts as factors influencing outcomes. We’d recognize that taking things out of context is one of the best ways to miss the whole point. We see this in our criminal justice system, in which the community takes little or no responsibility for the misdeeds of its members, removing them to isolated cells instead of healing the damaged community with reparations and mutual efforts to help the damage never happen again (as is done in many tribal communities).
We would ground our ideals in wholeness. For example, since the words health, healing, wholesomeness, integrity and holiness (sacredness) all refer to wholeness, we would give these values high priority in our personal, economic and community life. The work of people like Gandhi and Rudolph Steiner embody this effort to nurture wholeness at and among every level of life. They provided paths to develop whole people who could sustain healthy communities together, with a sense of sacredness, in harmony with nature.
If we took interconnectedness seriously…
We would seek to understand the relationship between people, things, life forms, fields of study, approaches, etc. — considering the relationships between them as important or more important than their individual characteristics. We would use that understanding to establish peer, synergistic relationships wherever we could. More often than not, we’d find that healthy relationships were the solution; and where they weren’t, they were powerful resources for finding the solution. Individual solutions for addiction, for example, do not succeed as well as solutions that utilize the peer support of recovering addicts collectively.
We would realize the power of shared realities, shared stories, shared experience and the sort of communication systems that support such sharing. One of the most powerful techniques for creating bridges between ideological enemies is to have each person share the story of how they came to believe what they believe. Common humanity almost always shines through the differences.
We would appreciate (and use) webs of relationship and system dynamics as major factors in whatever happens, and not focus on trying to control (or blame) individual people, situations, problems, etc. Family systems therapists work from this perspective, attending to a family’s patterns of interaction.
If we took co-creativity seriously…
We would realize that we all have roles in whatever happens. We would try to make our roles more conscious and positive by working together to understand and shape our individual and collective lives. This factor showed up in an experiment demonstrating that groups of female executives were better at solving hypothetical wilderness survival problems than groups of male executives.