Our elite class system is the predominant political and social force in our country at this time. And it has been that way since the beginning of not only our country but virtually all Western societies.
In spite of this America is rich in democratic practices, attitudes, dispositions, organizations, systems, traditions, and committed people. In order to grow our democracy we must use and develop all of these resources as well as create more powerful ones.
In this section we list significant organizations and people who are behind growing our democracy, not just fixing what we have. Our list has four categories: Culture, Group Dynamics, Organizing, and Practice.
We see these as the four key elements in building a long-term democracy movement driven by everyday people in all of our diversity. These four categories are also the primary areas of concentration in our Growing Democracy Learning Labs.
We have begun this list in September 2023, and will add to it continuously. Please contact us if there are people or organizations you think belong on our lists, and tell us why.
Thank you and enjoy your explorations of our resources.
We are a biocultural species without comparison among all the others. As a result, the dynamic of culture drives our politics, not ideologies.
We are also a deeply cooperative and prosocial species as well as a free-loading, dominative, and violent one. This inherent, over-arching conflict within our biocultural being presents us with the fundamental problems of social life.
How we shape the culture that shapes us determines the balance of power between our prosocial and dominative patterns of living and relating. In other words, we have to shape the playing field as well as ourselves in order for one or the other to be the dominant force. Doing that is the calling of the Growing Democracy Project.
They describe themselves as a “collaboration consultancy that helps organizations tap their full potential and guides multi-stakeholder groups to alignment.”
They work from a big picture of “a world full of groups and organizations whose collaborative culture and awareness of shared purpose infuses everything they do. Their grounding in purpose drives them to align practices with values, prioritize effectiveness and resource-efficiency, and stretch to reach decisions that serve their mission. Their collaborative way of working means they co-create outcomes that attend to what’s important for everyone involved.”
We have worked with two of their members, and this is why we are listing them as an important resource.
The Institute’s mission is to advance the evolution of consciousness and culture in America. Our work focuses on overcoming the hyper-partisan polarization that threatens American democracy.
Toward this end, we’re advancing a new approach to politics—a synthetic political position that includes the best and rejects the worst of all sides. We advocate a developmental political perspective, which offers a way forward beyond the culture war. This developmental perspective demonstrates how hyper-polarization is the result of cultural growth, and how it can thus be overcome through further cultural growth. The inclusive social development we’re working for accordingly represents a new kind of cultural and political higher ground.
The science of ProSocial World is centered on studying and stewarding positive cultural evolution in any group on Earth.
ProSocial helps foster collaboration within and between groups at multiple scales – emulating the cooperation of a multicellular super-organism.
Our science-based approach…can be applied to all topic areas (e.g., health, education, business, sustainability, spirituality...) and all scales from small groups to large networks and organizations, to the whole planet.
Modern evolutionary science tells us that…transformative change does not happen through force, but by changing contexts to reinforce certain behaviors and cultural traits over others.
The science of ProSocial is focused on understanding and fostering social contexts in which individual and group interests are aligned, such that cooperative behaviors are reinforced more than selfish behaviors. These prosocial groups act more like a single organism, rather than a collection of individuals.