2017: Imagine Whidbey Island

May 24, 2007

Vicki Robin recently wrote a FABULOUS imagineering piece on the future of her home: Whidbey Island. While she won’t be able to join us for the conference, her story seemed too good to miss!

Here’s a link and a taste:

Today, April 14, 2017, is the tenth anniversary of the first nationwide day of action on Global Warming. There were, as I recall, thousands of local actions – including South Whidbey. And I want to celebrate with all of you – and say, THANK YOU. My borrowed grandson Toby is typing this for me (fingers too stiff these days which is tough for a writer) but it’s all my own words.

If you could see us now, you’d be so amazed – and proud – of what you did after the jolt of four blackouts in the winter of 2006 woke us up. Of course, Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth that played that fall at the Clyde also helped throw a big bucket of cold water on our old dreams of endless growth.

You sure got busy, and we get the benefit. Let me give you a snapshot of island life, 2017. Now some of it may seem like bad news to you, but really, it’s great!

Starting with those blackouts, people dusted off the old disaster plans from Y2K days and got us all in 20-household neighbor to neighbor clusters. We owe a big debt to the churches that adopted the motto “neighborliness is next to godliness” – whew, they were so organized and so giving. At first we called it “emergency preparedness” but there have been so many emergencies that we’re beyond prepared – we’re just taking care of one another every day. We share tools and recipes and elder-care and bicycles and game nights and book clubs. Each neighborhood has a name (mine’s called Winphia after my dear departed cat and my neighbor’s dog) and we compete on sports days. Lots have bands and singing groups. Mine, of course, is the best. But I digress.

Read on:


An imagineering story of "co-intelligent" local politics

March 6, 2007

My Co-Intelligence Institute website is filled with theory about what “wise democracy” — collectively wise and co-intelligent politics and governance — would look like. I love working on theory…

But eleven years ago some friends challenged me to write a story of exactly how it would work.

Of course, wise democracy could work in many different ways, and I don’t think of myself as a great story writer, but this vision suddenly came to me and I described it.

Pat & Pat is an imagineering view from 2020 — a futuristic, down-home story about a new, co-intelligent politics. It tells how Patrick and Patricia McFallow become co-mayors of Story City, Iowa, in 2016. During their four-year mayorship they engage thousands of citizens in powerful, empowering conversations about what they want their community to be like and how they can change it. Of course, the community starts changing, brilliantly and fast….

Even though it doesn’t cover the idea of citizen deliberative councils, which surfaced in 2003, I still love it. Some day I’ll revise it, but for now, here it is….