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From The Vaults

Does Humanity Have The Intelligence Needed To Survive?

The intelligence that humanity must develop, if it is to survive, is not math intelligence, or science intelligence. It is civic intelligence.

Douglas Schuler, a professor at college in Washington State, says that “civic intelligence is a little known term for an important concept.” “Civic intelligence,” Schuler says, “is directed towards the collective good.” He defines civic intelligence as “the capacity of collectivities – from small informal groups to humanity as a whole – to equitably and effectively address important shared problems.”

It makes sense that if humanity does cannot develop the capacity to come together and solve problems —we are doomed. We are lacking that capacity right now.

A political body can be full of “intelligent” people — according to their IQ scores and academic accomplishments — yet, as a body have little or no “capacity to equitably and effectively address important shared problems.” Our US Congress is full of intelligent people, but Congress, as a group, has little “civic intelligence.”

If we are to transform our US Congress so that it is known for its civic intelligence, a place to start is at the local level, at the grassroots. Our challenge as local communities is to create grassroots structures where civic intelligence can thrive. If civic intelligence would pervade our local communities, it would soon impact who we would elect to public offices.

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