Optimal collective decisions

Converging perspectives to build agreement

Where we differ, seek the best possible balance between contending perspectives with respect to the whole.

Simultaneity -- all interdependent issues at the same time

Ecology, economy, environment, energy -- all these elements are highly interdependent and there are no clear-cut boundaries between them. We must learn to mesh the influence of these "independent" forces as we move forward to build a world that works.

And when we say "a world that works", maybe we don't have to keep adding "works for all", thought that is what we mean. Maybe it will become more obvious go without saying that we cannot continue to support an elite class of super-rich who horde and control the resources of the world in ways that crush the poor.

Collective resonance

It may be true that the best collective decision emerge from a "resonant field" created by the constructive intersection of every contingent point of view, from every "stakeholder" -- or perhaps most accurate, from "everyone who cares".

What we want is for all parties to a dialogue to be guided by and connected to the One, to the Logos, to the Whole, so that their perception serves both themselves and the Whole.

Collective decision-making

Group decision-making (also known as collaborative decision-making) is a situation faced when individuals collectively make a choice from the alternatives before them. The decision is then no longer attributable to any single individual who is a member of the group. This is because all the individuals and social group processes such as social influence contribute to the outcome. The decisions made by groups are often different from those made by individuals. Group polarization is one clear example: groups tend to make decisions that are more extreme than those of its individual members, in the direction of the individual inclinations.

There is much debate as to whether this difference results in decisions that are better or worse. According to the idea of synergy, decisions made collectively tend to be more effective than decisions made by a single individual. However, there are also examples where the decisions made by a group are flawed, such as the Bay of Pigs invasion, the incident on which the groupthink model of group decision-making is based.

Factors that impact other social group behaviours also affect group decisions. For example, groups high in cohesion, in combination with other antecedent conditions (e.g. ideological homogeneity and insulation from dissenting opinions) have been noted to have a negative effect on group decision-making and hence on group effectiveness. Moreover, when individuals make decisions as part of a group, there is a tendency to exhibit a bias towards discussing shared information (i.e. shared information bias), as opposed to unshared information.