What is the collective mind?

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(The Forest Spiral of Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany (Friedensreich Hundertwasser))

In our everyday world we draw on our own experience, observe the physical world around us, take part in the social world, find guidance from our ethical context, delight in our aesthetic experiences and feel in sympathy with close friends and also reflect on the meaning we construct from all of those things. A collective mind appreciates each of those ways of understanding for itself as well as contributing to understanding the whole.

Collective thinking is about using the collective mind of both the individual and society. Developing a collective mind releases immense capabilities of individuals and of societies.

A collective mind considers relationships between parts and wholes, stability and change, individuals and society and rationality and creativity rather than boundaries that divide them. A mind is the action dimension of the physical brain, and is the origin of collective thinking.

A collective mind celebrates and harnesses diversity by:

  • Welcoming the diversity among peoples and their ideas, knowledges and beliefs and, in this way, providing a home for difference
  • Dealing collaboratively with wicked problems
  • Treating apparent opposites as interdependent relationships (for example, parts and whole, stability and change, individuals and society, creativity and rationality)
  • Drawing on all the evidence produced by the multiple ways of understanding (personal, biophysical, social, ethical, aesthetic, sympathetic and reflective)
  • Working within the principles of deep democracy, in which all participants bring their whole selves to the task.


The collective mind is creating a collage, not completing a jigsaw.

Are you interested in finding out more about how the power of a collective mind can achieve transformational change?

Further reading:

Transformational Change Book CoverIn The Human Capacity for Transformational Change, Valerie A. Brown and John A. Harris explore how to harness the power of a collective mind to achieve desired transformational change towards a just and sustainable future.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]