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No Yin
Without Yang
Community needs civic intelligence to be complete
Douglas Schuler
douglas@publicsphereproject.org
The ...
Disclaimers
1. I like the title
2. Unfortunately it’s not totally relevant for the
argument I’m making
3. I almost always ...
Contents
No Yin Without Yang
What is Civic Intelligence?
Framework for Civic Intelligence
Civic Intelligence Examples
Civi...
No Yin
Without Yang
No Yin Without Yang!
What is Civic Intelligence?
Framework for Civic Intelligence
Civic Intelligence E...
“Community”*
Happy Feelings!
Bowling together
Who’s in? Who’s out?
Not knowledge-based
Not problem-solving
Hobbiton?
* The...
“Intelligence”*
Mechanical
Fast
Accurate
Logical
Solutionist
Non-emotional
Disassociated
Theoretical
Mr. Spock?
* The ster...
We need more than “community”
and/or “intelligence”
We (in my opinion) need civic intelligence — and it’s not
the sum tota...
What is Civic
Intelligence?
No Yin Without Yang
What is Civic Intelligence?!
Framework for Civic Intelligence
Civic Intell...
An outlandish supposition…
SUPPOSE that humankind had the capability to
address its own problems effectively and equitably...
Civic Intelligence is How I
Begin to Address the Question
• Civic intelligence is the ability of people to solve its
probl...
!
Civic intelligence — like all forms of intelligence — is contextual. It will vary
according to the people who employ it ...
We need a “frame” that can help orient our activity, provide some
meaning, and suggest integration — or confrontation — wi...
Civic Intelligence is not a Brand New Topic
Civic Capacity (Harry Boyte, Xavier Briggs)
Social Intelligence, Community Inq...
civic
intelligence
capabilities
Knowledge
Relational Capital
Organizational Capital
Financial and Material Resources
Attit...
Civic Intelligence
Knowledge
Attitude &
aspirations
Civic purpose
Emotions and
empathy
Values
Enthusiasm & self-
efficacy
R...
Framework
Framework instantiation, how it is
particularized for this focus; evidence for
the inclusion of at least some of...
Civic
Intelligence
Examples
No Yin Without Yang
What is Civic Intelligence?
Framework for Civic Intelligence
Civic Intelli...
Indicators
Citizens are often bystanders in their own lives.
Research, even that which is putatively conducted in
their be...
Back to the Roots
"There are unanticipated benefits to collective and individual well-being with the
reconnection to the na...
Meaningful
Maps
Like many patterns, this
“works” several ways —
developing the maps
educates the developers;
using the map...
By acting as though the future will never arrive and things never change, we are
subconsciously creating the future with t...
CIRAL (an educational project)
CIRAL is the Civic Intelligence Research and Action Lab at The Evergreen State
College. It’...
CIRAL
examples…
Disabled Veteran Village
To provide safe and stable housing and resources for
low-income disabled veterans...
Civic
Ignorance
No Yin Without Yang
What is Civic Intelligence?
Framework for Civic Intelligence
Civic Intelligence Exampl...
When to rule out civic intelligence
candidates (or at least be skeptical)
✤ advocates use of violence (e.g. killing or for...
Obstacles to Civic Intelligence
✤ inability to get ideas on the public agenda!
✤ inability to reason together; Inability t...
Barriers to civic intelligence*
• The magnitude of the problems we face (that are extremely complex,
intransigent, durable...
Civic Ignorance in the US
The upper class think that they alone are responsible for their
wealth
We put huge numbers of ou...
Laundry
Lists
No Yin Without Yang
What is Civic Intelligence?
Framework for Civic Intelligence
Civic Intelligence Examples...
Nine proxy measures*
Responsive government
Knowledge about the environment — natural and otherwise
Social (political, educ...
Elements of civic
intelligence development!
1. Critique or question the status quo — even if the critique
or question is fl...
Civic Intelligence in
Practice
• Full spectrum
• builds across boundaries (Yad Be Yad school!)
• wish for more wishes — it...
How we coordinate and
leverage our work is immensely
important for civic intelligence
• Shared principles or manifestos
• ...
Last Word(s)
No Yin Without Yang
What is Civic Intelligence?
Framework for Civic Intelligence
Civic Intelligence Examples
...
Civic Intelligence can provide a
conceptual foundation for our
work.
How the academic system
operates is immensely importa...
Civic!
Intelli-!
gence
Don’t use only as directed.
Results will vary.
Positive outcome not guaranteed.
If result is not sa...
Thank you!
37
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No Yin Without Yang: Community Needs Civic Intelligence to be Complete

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This was presented at the Community Now conference at the Jewish Museum in Berlin in February 2015. http://community-infrastructuring.org/wp-content/uploads/Community_Now_Program.pdf

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No Yin Without Yang: Community Needs Civic Intelligence to be Complete

  1. 1. No Yin Without Yang Community needs civic intelligence to be complete Douglas Schuler douglas@publicsphereproject.org The Evergreen State College The Public Sphere Project
  2. 2. Disclaimers 1. I like the title 2. Unfortunately it’s not totally relevant for the argument I’m making 3. I almost always add disclaimers to my presentations
  3. 3. Contents No Yin Without Yang What is Civic Intelligence? Framework for Civic Intelligence Civic Intelligence Examples Civic Ignorance Laundry Lists Last Word(s)
  4. 4. No Yin Without Yang No Yin Without Yang! What is Civic Intelligence? Framework for Civic Intelligence Civic Intelligence Examples Civic Ignorance Laundry Lists Last Word(s)
  5. 5. “Community”* Happy Feelings! Bowling together Who’s in? Who’s out? Not knowledge-based Not problem-solving Hobbiton? * The stereotype
  6. 6. “Intelligence”* Mechanical Fast Accurate Logical Solutionist Non-emotional Disassociated Theoretical Mr. Spock? * The stereotype
  7. 7. We need more than “community” and/or “intelligence” We (in my opinion) need civic intelligence — and it’s not the sum total (the yin and yang) of community + intelligence. The concept of civic intelligence can help situate our work within both the thought and the action worlds. The concept can help us hypothesize why we’re doing what we’re doing and help structure what we’re doing. It can also help with understanding how it plays out in the “real world” and think about how we are working — or not working — together.
  8. 8. What is Civic Intelligence? No Yin Without Yang What is Civic Intelligence?! Framework for Civic Intelligence Civic Intelligence Examples Civic Ignorance Laundry Lists Last Word(s)
  9. 9. An outlandish supposition… SUPPOSE that humankind had the capability to address its own problems effectively and equitably. If that were true, we could make neighborhoods safer and governments more responsible, create good jobs for everybody, address global warming, and even stop or limit war. We'll call that elusive and potentially useful capability civic intelligence. (And it’s not binary — it’s not something that a group has or doesn’t have.)
  10. 10. Civic Intelligence is How I Begin to Address the Question • Civic intelligence is the ability of people to solve its problems equitably and effectively through working together.! • It encompasses both research and action! • If it didn’t exist, it would be necessary to invent it.! • It exists to some degree in all individual and groups but it could always be stronger!
  11. 11. ! Civic intelligence — like all forms of intelligence — is contextual. It will vary according to the people who employ it and the situations they are in. ! ! Civic intelligence acknowledges that people have brains, motivation, emotions and that people (and situations) and people vary and change. It does not assert or assume that people are inert.! ! It also asserts that people have the right to be involved in the creation of their own worlds.! ! The idea is to help make people more intellectually and materially engaged in addressing the problems that we face. More Observations about Civic Intelligence... Civic intelligence can be improved.
  12. 12. We need a “frame” that can help orient our activity, provide some meaning, and suggest integration — or confrontation — with other institutions and organizations. Why Conceptualize Civic Intelligence? Urgent changes are needed now. And we need to be able to think together effectively. We need a “frame” that is neither left nor right. One that is open enough to suggest / tolerate a multitude of approaches. One that necessarily combines thinking and acting. "... what is not named remains unnoticed or, in any event, impervious to cognitive development." — Giovanni Sartori
  13. 13. Civic Intelligence is not a Brand New Topic Civic Capacity (Harry Boyte, Xavier Briggs) Social Intelligence, Community Inquiry (John Dewey)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Public Work Politics (Center for Democracy & Citizenship) Civic Innovation (Carmen Sirianni & Lew Friedman) Open Source Intelligence (Robert Steele) World Brain (H.G.Wells) Civic Community (Jane Addams) Civilizational Competence (Piotr Sztompka) Social Learning (many authors) + Social Enterprise / Entrepreneurism / Innovation, etc. Collective Impact (HanleyBrown, Kania, & Kramer)
  14. 14. civic intelligence capabilities Knowledge Relational Capital Organizational Capital Financial and Material Resources Attitudes and Aspirations {
  15. 15. Civic Intelligence Knowledge Attitude & aspirations Civic purpose Emotions and empathy Values Enthusiasm & self- efficacy Responsibility Financial assets Information & communication technology Tools & equipment Social imagination Land, space, & buildings Updated: January 12, 2015 Financial & material resources Facts, laws, data, etc. Access to knowledge Skills or "applied knowledge" Learning and meta-cognition Searching & monitoring Salient knowledge Courage Theory Social critique Computer models, simulations, apps Other resources Organizational capital Organizational structure Access to resources Diversity Personnel Creativity Leadership Work practices, processes, & habits Decision- making Focus, timing, & coordination Social networks Reputation Norms Opportunities Issue & cultural fit Relational / social capital Solidarity Planning, acting, evaluating Timing Team Development Time Self-knowledge Humility Civic Intelligence Knowledge Attitude & aspirations Civic purpose Emotions and empathy Values Enthusiasm & self- efficacy Responsibility Financial assets Information & communication technology Tools & equipment Social imagination Land, space, & buildings Updated: February 2, 2015 Financial & material resources Facts, laws, data, etc. Access to knowledge Skills or "applied knowledge" Learning and meta-cognition Searching & monitoring Salient knowledge Courage Theory Social critique Computer models, simulations, apps Other resources Organizational capital Organizational structure Access to resources Diversity Personnel Creativity Leadership Work practices, processes, & habits Decision- making Focus, timing, & coordination Social networks Reputation Norms Opportunities Issue & cultural fit Relational / social capital Solidarity Planning, acting, evaluating Timing Team Development Time Self-knowledge Humility Humor Community inquiry Social critique Civic purpose
  16. 16. Framework Framework instantiation, how it is particularized for this focus; evidence for the inclusion of at least some of the individual capacities — humility in particular Framework is not standalone .. part of process Guidelines for safe use
  17. 17. Civic Intelligence Examples No Yin Without Yang What is Civic Intelligence? Framework for Civic Intelligence Civic Intelligence Examples! Civic Ignorance Laundry Lists Last Word(s)
  18. 18. Indicators Citizens are often bystanders in their own lives. Research, even that which is putatively conducted in their behalf, is often irrelevant or even damaging to the livelihoods of "ordinary" people and marginalized groups alike. Since it is intended to promote academic aims, such as publication in an academic journal, rather than community goals the idea of actual benefit based on the results of the research often takes a back seat. This lack of genuine community involvement or connection helps lead to the self- perpetuating cycle of citizen disempowerment. Citizens need to construct community and civic indicators, publish them, discuss them, measure them, publicize them and develop policy and projects that address them. Indicator projects seems to be best coordinated through organizations and groups. Written by Douglas Schuler
  19. 19. Back to the Roots "There are unanticipated benefits to collective and individual well-being with the reconnection to the natural world" (Barlett). Thinking holistically we can imagine and create new opportunities for reconnecting with our roots that have unxpected benefits: "a community garden in New York City may replace an abandoned lot and come to be a social focus for many who live nearby." Barlett again, "Community gardens not only provide nutritious food and conviviality with neighbors, but can build a different sense of self through a new awareness of growing cycles, weather and human agency." Although Back to the Roots will mean different things in different contexts, using the pattern has the potential to suggest deep and sustaining insights. Written by Douglas Schuler
  20. 20. Meaningful Maps Like many patterns, this “works” several ways — developing the maps educates the developers; using the maps educates the users. Written by Andy Dearden and Scot Fletcher Local charities team up to feed kids on weekends
  21. 21. By acting as though the future will never arrive and things never change, we are subconsciously creating the future with the seeds that we are sowing today. Whether by actively embracing the conventional "wisdom" that has created these socially and environmentally precarious times or by succumbing to the dictates of habit, instinct or necessity, humankind seems to sleepwalking into the future. Indeed it is quite plausible that we are creating the ideal conditions today for unspeakable disasters tomorrow. The purpose of this pattern is to get people actively engaged envisioning better futures and making plans on how to get there. Through "rehearsing for the future" we hope to create a wealth of possible scenarios that could become the positive "self-fulfilling prophecies" of tomorrow, rather than the self-defeating scenarios that seem to rule today. Future Design Written by Douglas Schuler
  22. 22. CIRAL (an educational project) CIRAL is the Civic Intelligence Research and Action Lab at The Evergreen State College. It’s now in its 4th year. ! Students in the lab work collaboratively (in small groups we call “clusters”) on projects that they develop more-or-less themselves. The projects must use, demonstrate, and cultivate civic intelligence. The projects can stretch over several quarters. ! The students run the weekly meetings and publish a weekly “Fresh Sheet” ! While it might not work for all students, many of my students think it’s fantastic — and it does help them get jobs! ! Clusters in theory can be quite open (one year a fellow faculty colleague joined one!) ! Possible articulation! • Forming informal clusters in our community / network • Our students can work with your students? • Cluster idea applicable here? ! !
  23. 23. CIRAL examples… Disabled Veteran Village To provide safe and stable housing and resources for low-income disabled veterans who are committed to returning to employment and/or independent living.
  24. 24. Civic Ignorance No Yin Without Yang What is Civic Intelligence? Framework for Civic Intelligence Civic Intelligence Examples Civic Ignorance! Laundry Lists Last Word(s)
  25. 25. When to rule out civic intelligence candidates (or at least be skeptical) ✤ advocates use of violence (e.g. killing or forceful deportation of “infidels”, “foreigners”, or “terrorists”)! ✤ has relatively insignificant effect on the public good (e.g. stamp collecting; helping a corporation improve the taste of its soup)! ✤ sole focus on undefinables such as dignity, liberty, purity, or decency without thinking about how it would be measured or what the consequences or tactics of such a quest might be pursued.! ✤ absolute authority or certainty of something (e.g. literal truth of bible, constitution, “free market”, real Americans, sect leaders — religious, political, etc.) other values; ! ✤ institutionalization of inequality, abuse, or oppression! ✤ return to some “golden age”! ✤ inevitability or fate! ✤ exclusivity, is xenophobic, anti-immigrant, sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. ! ✤ a one-time occurrence, a trivial, generally non-cognitive action — a button click, a donation
  26. 26. Obstacles to Civic Intelligence ✤ inability to get ideas on the public agenda! ✤ inability to reason together; Inability to discuss across national (and other) boundaries ! ✤ fatalism, feeling of impotence, boredom, debilitating ideologies! ✤ inequality, influence of money in media and politics! ✤ media monopolies! ✤ oppression and censorship! ✤ lack of intelligence, skills, motivation of citizens! ✤ intentional promotion of civic ignorance
  27. 27. Barriers to civic intelligence* • The magnitude of the problems we face (that are extremely complex, intransigent, durable, reliable, seemingly impervious to reform and eternal) • Personal and social impairments (including lack of knowledge, time, interest, social networks aren’t interested) • Institutional impairments (silos, opacity, corruption, bureaucracy, lack of purpose (or wrong one)) • Professional disassemblers (who intentionally sow ignorance) • Confidence in our inability to take care of ourselves — note the various ways that this is demonstrated. * Of course it isn’t just about overcoming our barriers.
  28. 28. Civic Ignorance in the US The upper class think that they alone are responsible for their wealth We put huge numbers of our population in prison (which is more costly than the prevention and substitutes) We currently have the largest gap between rich and poor in at least 100 years. The computer revolution rewarded the people that got there first? Treatment of native Americans and African Americans Monroe Doctrine The Koch brothers are attempting to buy the next election — by spending nearly 900 million dollars. We have a lot — but we don’t have all!
  29. 29. Laundry Lists No Yin Without Yang What is Civic Intelligence? Framework for Civic Intelligence Civic Intelligence Examples Civic Ignorance Laundry Lists! Last Word(s)
  30. 30. Nine proxy measures* Responsive government Knowledge about the environment — natural and otherwise Social (political, educational, cultural) engagement Social capital Health and well-being Opportunities — economic and other Relative equality of inhabitants Transparency/lack of corruption Good neighbor (doesn’t take more than it needs; or export its problems...) ! * Proposed How could we begin to assess the civic intelligence of a city, e.g.?
  31. 31. Elements of civic intelligence development! 1. Critique or question the status quo — even if the critique or question is flawed — and don't stop this process after identifying some preliminary hypotheses 2. Learning — necessary at all stages of the process; without this we are immobilized 3. Transparency — people need to understand how things work 4. Inclusiveness — we need not to just hear the unheard voices, they must be integrated into the decision-making
  32. 32. Civic Intelligence in Practice • Full spectrum • builds across boundaries (Yad Be Yad school!) • wish for more wishes — it’s built in! • build new — and unlikely — coalitions • identify, question, and transcend existing (often implicit and invisible) barriers • keep pushing! One “solution” yields new “problems” • build on existing resources (including ones that other people didn’t think were resources) • build capacity (more civic intelligence) while solving problems [don’t exhaust everything and everybody!)
  33. 33. How we coordinate and leverage our work is immensely important for civic intelligence • Shared principles or manifestos • Work supports each other (e.g. theory and practice; life cycle) • Work within given framework • Uses similar concepts, framework • commitment to each other • meet together, talk together • data interchange, API, taxonomy, ontology • group project(s) • group research agenda • explicit commitment to civic intelligence (conceptual infrastructure) • educational system metacognition Some possible approaches include:
  34. 34. Last Word(s) No Yin Without Yang What is Civic Intelligence? Framework for Civic Intelligence Civic Intelligence Examples Civic Ignorance Laundry Lists Last Word(s)
  35. 35. Civic Intelligence can provide a conceptual foundation for our work. How the academic system operates is immensely important It is our concern — and our business.
  36. 36. Civic! Intelli-! gence Don’t use only as directed. Results will vary. Positive outcome not guaranteed. If result is not satisfactory, review and modify plan and try again.
  37. 37. Thank you! 37

This was presented at the Community Now conference at the Jewish Museum in Berlin in February 2015. http://community-infrastructuring.org/wp-content/uploads/Community_Now_Program.pdf

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