Timothy Mansfield’s contribution

This post below came as a reply to my Collective Intelligence thread and as it’s such a great informative piece of writing I want to share it as a blog post to open up the conversation some more.


Contributed by Timothy Mansfield,
Sydney, AustraliaVideo: Thomas Malone on the Success Factors for Collective Intelligence
“If it’s not just putting a bunch of smart people in a group that makes the group smart, what is it? We looked at bunch of factors you might have thought would affect it: things like the psychological safety of the group, the personality of the group members, et cetera. Most of the things we thought might have affected it turned out not to have any significant effect. But we did find three factors that were significantly correlated with the collective intelligence of the group.The first was the average social perceptiveness of the group members. We measured social perceptiveness in this case using a test developed essentially to measure autism. It’s called the “Reading the Mind and the Eyes Test”. It works by letting people look at pictures of other people’s eyes and try to guess what emotions those people are feeling. People who are good at that work well in groups. When you have a group with a bunch of people like that, the group as a whole is more intelligent.

The second factor we found was the evenness of conversational turn taking. In other words, groups where one person dominated the conversation were, on average, less intelligent than groups where the speaking was more evenly distributed among the different group members.

Finally, and most surprisingly to us, we found that the collective intelligence of the group was significantly correlated with the percentage of women in the group. More women were correlated with a more intelligent group. Interestingly, this last result is not just a diversity result. It’s not just saying that you need groups with some men and some women. It looks like that it’s a more or less linear trend. That is, more women are better all the way up to all women. It is also important to realize that this gender effect is largely statistically mediated by the social perceptiveness effect. In other words, it was known before we did our work that women on average scored higher on this measure of social perceptiveness than men.

This is the interpretation I personally prefer: it may be that what’s needed to have an intelligent group is just to have a bunch of people in the group who are high on this social perceptiveness measure, whether those people are men or women. In any case, we think it’s an interesting finding, one that we hope to understand better and one that already has some very intriguing implications for how we create groups in many cases in the real world.”

Watch the video viawww.edge.org/conversation/collective-intelligence

Watch the video viawww.edge.org/conversation/collective-intelligence

What does Collective intelligence mean to me / you / us?


Notes from Workshop at Macquarie University, Sydney at the Australasian Facilitators Network (AFN) Conference, 5/6 December.

Purpose – To explore / inquire into accelerating collective intelligence through the use of energy and subtle capacities.

Culture  agreement – Personal stories stay in the room. Suspend judgement and disbelief. Speak from “I”.

Question / inquiry

What does Collective intelligence mean to me / you / us?

In small groups. Individual reflections written on circles:

Multiple intelligences –spiritual, emotional, music, social, visual, spatial, logical, and multiple perspectives.
My ability to be in the story in a non – judgmental and positive way to allow the collective nature of the US to exist and grow and transform.
Sharing, exploring, supporting, gathering.
What we don’t know that we know we are. Unconscious communication that which we cannot measure or see which is energy beyond our practical awareness. Unconscious decision making, universal.
Rupert Sheldrake – morphic field. A flock of birds. Carl Jung’s collective inconscious. Positive: indigenous wisdom, harmony. Negative: entangled. Connecting through vibration.
Distilling z collective intelligence requires a safe space where people can speak and be heard truthfully.
What is possible with this group? Not just positive – collective culture – for good, for ill.
“Safety”. Safe to be me. Safe to be you. Safe to be us.
Co-creation of strengths for a common good or more effective/ workable future.
Exploring the field of the group. Uncover the hidden. Use the “Feel” to access the “field”.
Practical level. Facilitate “Team”. Together, Everyone, Achieves, More. Listening, questioning.
Unconscious attraction. Aware/ unaware. Distinguish groupthink. Ancient wisdom. Collective Wisdom, Collective Folly. Bubbles – financial lemmings.
Tapping into Universal Intelligence  / Energy. Grounding, universal energy. As a facilitator we can be a lightning rod. How do I source the universal energy to keep up my energy levels as a facilitator? How to use without scaring? What is it? Crossovers.
Collective intelligence; metaphysical/ state of dreams; Unconscious attraction; unconscious becomes conscious form of expression and understanding; creating meaning of shared expression; intelligence beyond the human frame; momentum of intention.
*    Synchronicity of unconscious attraction – sharing, growing, learning and empowering. Internet, ancient libraries, pyramids, Carl Jung, Dreams, Breakthroughs, inventions. Philosophy, healing, medicine. Teaching counseling, facilitating. What is your voice? What is your intention? This leads you. Channeling your time, focus and energy. Different voices join together based on shared joint intentions

Questions / inquiry in small groups

What subtle capacities e.g., working with energy, intuition, precognition, psychic abilities, do you have? That others you know have? That you or others use in your groups / organizations? Is it safe to explore this now, in your facilitation and other work?

Courageous connectedness to “be”
Connecting to Alpha state: Emotions Feelings Situations
Stretched – New beginnings
OCEAN Organizational Constellation Effective Analysis of Networks. We all have an inner image of what is happening around us. It can be externalized. Through this we have access to see invisible dynamic.
Energetic healing. Sensing. Intuition. Knowing. Opening the heart. Accessing internal enquiry. Predictive aids, e.g. Runes, cards. Meditation. Hypnosis. Stillness / sanctuary. Higher Self / Guides.
What does it mean to me / us? Subtle energy of collective intelligence
Acceptance Awareness Al sorts Many many kinds of capacities
Finding allowing a space to develop for intelligence to arise
Openness / sensitivity How to cultivate? Kinesthetic vs. auditory vs. visual. Entertain the possibility.
Business networking!
Being “spoken” to by messengers / animals One being open to “answers” from out environment.
Fear This new illogical thing – of your own ability
“The Secret” – I will see it when I believe it!  How can you (train) yourself to develop your subtle capacities?
No judgment – “hocus pokes”

How to use the subtle skills in group context?

“Grounding” – non threatening
Metaphor, language or imagery, story

Books referred to:
Alan Briskin: Collective Wisdom: Collective Folly
Dean Radin: Entangled Minds
Dean Radin: Supernormal

Participants at the workshop were invited to contribute to this blog and keep the inquiry alive.

Collective Intelligence and Subtle Capacities

Dear friends and colleagues,

I have been thinking of starting this blog for a while. Now my daughter Karen Hunter  has been so kind to set it up I will start a conversation or two and trust that readers will add to it.

My commitment is to “whole people co-operating in a sustainable world” and I see this blog as one way of engaging others, particularly group facilitators, in conversations that can enhance the way we work with groups and organisations.

In this conversation I want to bring together two topic areas that can inform one another. These topics are collective intelligence and what I will call subtle capacities or supernormal capacities. (There is a background paper on this site introducing the topic of collective intelligence).

As a group facilitator and facilitator educator, I observe collective intelligence at work. A facilitator works with collective intelligence as a matter of course. We know that the wisdom is in the group and not only the individual. We work to tap into synergy to accelerate and grow a group’s performance. Research is now backing up the claim that collective intelligence is real and not related to the individual intelligence of group members (refer background paper and Anita Woolley http://www.anitawoolley.com

In addition, I have observed people in groups demonstrating subtle capacities of many different kinds. What I am referring to are people’s ability to sense and/or see energy and energy patterns in individuals, groups and in nature (trees, plants, birds and animals). There is also the capacity to envision, dream or imagine the future including “seeing with an inner eye”; knowing what is about to happen (precognition) or what others are thinking, even at a distance; intuitive hunches or “hits” about all kinds of things; and more. Sometimes these capacities are termed psychic or psi. Scientist Dean Radin works in this area at the Institute of Noetic Science (IONS) and his books “Entangled Minds” and “Supernormal” are very imformative http://www.deanradin.com

These capacities seem to be unevenly spread among individuals. Some people have none, one, a few, or many subtle capacities and as already said they come in many forms.

It seems to me that these two areas, subtle capacities and collective intelligence have a lot of promise for group facilitators especially those already working in an holistic way. I am thinking that it could be time to bring this conversation into the mainstream arena, at least among group facilitators.

If some people who have subtle capacities they are willing to share, they could potentially add to the collective intelligence of a group and enhance group outcomes. For this to happen however, facilitators will need to create safe spaces for people to share their subtle information and ensure that this new input is recognised as information (not the whole truth) to be considered alongside other conventional information and data.

At the Australasian Facilitators Network Conference (AFN) at Macquarie University 4-6 December, 2013, I am leading a workshop to discuss this topic.

I will post a summary of our discussion and also encourage those attending the workshop to contribute here on this blog as well.

Thanks for listening,