Co-intelligence (p.176)

In every situation latent possibilities are waiting to come into being. In dreamy visionary states we get glimpses of these possibilities; when these visionary images land in us, they can work through us and take form in our actions. The same vision can catch several people and bring them together in a community of shared purpose. In this view, a visionary impulse is not something we invent; it is something we serve.

While this concept of guiding visionary signals fits comfortably in both spiritual and systems perspectives, it clashes with the ultra-individualistic worldview of the industrialized world. In this model, thinking and intelligence are located within individuals; if someone comes up with a good idea, that idea is regarded as their property. When the ownership of ideas is privatized, innovations that could help our world are often kept secret until they can be exploited for personal or corporate benefit. What would happen to a brain if separate groups of neurons took this approach?

Thinking happens through brain cells rather than within them, and intelligence is an emergent property of cells working together as a larger whole. Viewing ourselves as similar to brain cells opens us up an entirely new way of thinking about intelligence. Co-intelligence is defined by the Co-Intelligence Institute as “accessing the wisdom of the whole on behalf of the whole.” If we think of ourselves as part of the team of life on Earth, could we access the wisdom of our world for the benefit of all?