Loops for Wisdom

Loops for Wisdom: how to bridge the wisdom gaps in the life of citizens, governments and societies

How can an organization or a society become wiser? This paper by Demos Helsinki Fellow Geoff Mulgan shares some answers with a framework that cuts across different disciplines, including philosophy, psychology, computer science and organisational design. It shows how the framework can be used in practical ways by schools, universities, companies, NGOs and governments at different levels—as a tool for design, for training and learning, and for the organization of governance.

The aim is to take wisdom down from the mountain top – to make it more integrated into daily life – as we come out of the pandemic and face up to the big systemic challenges of the decades ahead.

To integrate wisdom in society, the paper puts forward practical recommendations, such as:

  • Leveraging collective intelligence when solving problems
  • Integrating many models of thinking and generalist abilities
  • Making explicit predictions and then adapting 
  • Paying attention to expertise and enriching it with practical knowledge
  • Facilitating and setting up clear processes for reflection
  • Having good meetings

The paper was accompanied by an online event, held on May 5th, where we discussed the many ways wisdom is relevant, as we embark upon a journey to re-orient our societies, and to prepare for future crises.