Collective Wisdom

Three weeks ago in May, I had a chance to join The Presidio Dialogues for a very refreshing conversation on “Thinking Together: When Everyone is Smarter than Anyone.” Two case studies mentioned that night caught my attention: Juanita Brown’s The World CafĂ© (an approach to large-group collaborative dialogue) and Bob Horn’s Mess Maps (download the Multnomah County, Oregon example on “Public mental health”, PDF, 367kb to get an idea what mess maps are about). They both tie very nicely into what James Surowiecki describes in his book, The Wisdom of Crowds (ISBN: 0-385-50386-5):

“[...] under the right circumstances, groups are remarkably intelligent, and are often smarter than the smartest people in them. Groups do not need to be dominated by exceptionally intelligent people in order to be smart. Even if most of the people within a group are not especially well-informed or rational, it can still reach a collectively wise decision.”

I hope to hear more on how to tap into a group’s “collective wisdom” next week in New York and Minneapolis.

2 Responses to “Collective Wisdom”

  1. Planblog » Blog Archive » TheWikiBook project Says:

    [...] C 2005: Event coverage TheWikiBook project I met Tom Portante at The Presidio Dialogues a few weeks ago. He just announced he will be writing a book on Wikis. [...]

  2. Planblog » Blog Archive » confab.yahoo — Prediction Markets: Tapping the Wisdom of Crowds Says:

    [...] Wisdom of Crowds, will be moderating a panel of prominent prediction market experts. Ah, collective wisdom… Looks like it will be packed. This entry was posted [...]