Providing uninhibited access to the collective human intelligence

What is Collective Intelligence?

Collective Intelligence (CI) is shared group intelligence that emerges from the collaboration, collective intentions and behaviors of a group. It can be viewed as an emergent property from synergies that are generated from individuals sharing a collective space. In our Quantum Innovation Circles (QIC), we create a safe environment where everyone’s voice is heard and valued enhancing feelings of engagement and inclusion. We know that each individual perceives reality, and consequently truth, differently. Each individualis free to do their part and thrive while maintaining cohesion and resonance with the group or collective intentions and goals.It is like the 12 blind people who are touching an elephant. It is only when they share with the community their individual experience that the elephant in the room emerges. The theory in tapping into the collective intelligence is that each individual holds a valuable piece of the puzzle.

Collective intelligence strongly contributes to the shift of knowledge and power from the individual to the collective. Great examples of this phenomenon can be seen in open source platforms such as Word Press or Wikipedia.

The evolution of Collective Intelligence can be tracked to 1 Billion years ago with the evolution of bacteria. It is in essence a bio-inspired approach. Consider that ant societies exhibit more intelligence in terms of technology than any other animal on the planet except for humans. Ants as a colony also work as a collective “super mind”. Ants can compare areas and solve complex problems by using information gained by each member of the colony to find the best nesting site or to find food. (Reference: “Ant Colony – ASU – Ask a Biologist” 16 April 2010).

The advancement in computer and communication technologies has accelerated the ability to tap into the collective intelligence of billions of users. Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud computing and Big Data Analytics are the technological approaches used to capitalize on Mega Data, information and global trends allowing for greater future prediction models.

The focus in this article is tapping into Human Collective Intelligence (HCI) using our innate human abilities. Anyone who has watched a championship sports team or experienced an amazing concert knows that there are times when their performance is “out of this world”. Everything is in the right place, at the right time or “in sync”. In fact, all of the team members are communicating on an unseen energetic level in coherence. They instinctively know there is a “team energy” or a collective intelligence that enables them to excel.

Social Coherence

Social coherence as published by the Heart Math Institute (HMI) – Science of the Heart research paper, relates to groups or larger organizations in which a network of relationships exists among individuals who share common interests and objectives. Social coherence is experienced as alignment of intentions, behaviors and relationships that allows for exponential efficient flow of energy and communication required for optimal collective performance. The group’s energy is globally organized and regulated by the group as a whole. Each individual is free to do their part and thrive while maintaining cohesion and resonance with the group or collective intentions and goals.

A growing body of evidence suggests that an energetic field is formed between individuals in groups. Communication among all the group members occurs simultaneously and there is a literal group “field” that connects all the members.

Sociologist Raymond Bradley, in collaboration with eminent brain researcher, neurosurgeon and neuroscientist Dr. Karl Pribram, developed a general theory of social communication to explain the patterns of social organization common to most groups (Reference: Communication and stability in social collectives). It is independent of size, culture, degree of formal organization, length of existence or member characteristics. They found that most groups have a global organization and coherent network of emotional energetic relationships interconnecting virtually all members into a single multilevel hierarchy.

Biomagnetic communications between people

HMI researchers have found a direct relationship between the heart-rhythm patterns and the spectral information encoded in the frequency spectra of the magnetic field radiated by the heart. Thus, information about a person’s emotional state is encoded in the heart’s magnetic field and is communicated throughout the body and into the external environment.  The interaction between two human beings is a very sophisticated dance that involves an influential electromagnetic or “energetic” communication system which operates just below our conscious level of awareness. When people are engaged in deep conversation, they begin to fall into a subtle dance, synchronizing their movements and postures, vocal pitch, speaking rates and length of pauses between responses,and, as we are now discovering, important aspects of their physiology also can become linked and synchronized. (Reference: Science of the Heart Volume 2: Exploring the Role of the Heart in Human Performance By the HeartMath Institute Research Staff)

Energetic communication

The magnetic fields produced by the heart are involved in energetic communication, which is referred to as cardio-electromagnetic communication.The heart is the most powerful source of electromagnetic energy in the human body, producing the largest rhythmic electromagnetic field of any of the body’s organs. The heart’s electrical field is about 60 times greater in amplitude than the electrical activity generated by the brain. This field, measured in the form of an electrocardiogram (ECG), can be detected anywhere on the surface of the body. Furthermore, the magnetic field produced by the heart is more than 100 times greater in strength than the field generated by the brain and can be detected up to 3 feet away from the body, in all directions, using SQUID-based magnetometers. (Reference: Science of the Heart Volume 2: Exploring the Role of the Heart in Human Performance By the HeartMath Institute Research Staff)

The Diversity of Truths

We know that each individual perceives reality, and consequently truth, differently. Each individual has developed numerous biases based upon their unique life experiences, cultural background, geography, languages spoken, and many more. It is no wonder that when an individual believes their unique perspective is the only truth, we find endless conflict with each other. Our perception of reality greatly determines our experience of life.

When it comes to HCI, bringing together the many different perceptions of reality can be a gift or become a barrier to creation with the group’s collective intelligence. Experiments with group collective intelligence demonstrate that the IQ of the group is enhanced exponentially when there are more diverse people in the group. Diversity appears to have an amplifying effect on the IQ of the team. Less diverse groups tend to be at a lower group IQ than diverse ones.

The enemies of HCI

  1. Specialization–as scientific thinking became more dominant and information multiplied, fragmentation began to occur within our knowledge systems. Increased specialization meant that fewer people were capable of seeing the big picture, of feeing and intuiting the aesthetic of the system as a whole.
  2. Competition–often times, the rewards and recognition system within an organization creates an environment where people feel the need to compete with other employees stifling open sharing of information. At a company level, competition leads to the guarding of intellectual property and to the silos created within companies, industries and countries.
  3. Power and Control– the natural need for people, organizations, corporations to control and be in power of other people leads to the misuse of collective data for their own benefit, control and often abuse of power.

Collective Intelligence is not limited to Humans

We tend to think of collective intelligence when it comes to people. Consider that all life around us including animals, trees and nature have great universal intelligence. We often use the intelligence of dogs to help with rescue missions. We have learned from the honey bee efficient structures such as the hexagonal cells we use in aerospace materials. We can use the Collective Intelligence of all life to inform that which we are creating.

How to tap into Collective Intelligence?

There are numerous methods of connecting to the Collective Intelligence and they come in many recipes. In our Quantum Innovation Circle prototyping, we discovered that these 3 elements are critical to tap into a collective intelligence field:

  1. Creating an open mind space

The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend”~ Henri Bergson

Keeping an open mind is one of the most difficult things to practice and is critical for the success of the Innovation Circle. It means you are open to everyone and everything that comes your way, allowing yourself to embrace different possibilities, opportunities, people, views, suggestions and interests. You need to be unprejudiced, without stubbornness and flexible at all times.

When you open your mind, you free yourself from having to be in complete control of your thoughts. You allow yourself to experience new ideas and thoughts and you challenge your current beliefs. Opening up your mind to new ideas allows you the opportunity to change what you think and how you view the world. You permit yourself to admit that you don’t know everything and that there are possibilities you may not have considered. With an open mind you can learn about new things and you can use the new ideas to build on the old ideas.It means believing that whatever truth you find might always have more to it than you realize. This understanding creates an underlying sense of openness and transparency which is critical for an inclusive culture.

  1. Spontaneous playin the NOW moment

A common part of evolution among all species is play. It is through play that we learn the basic skills of life, interacting with the world, exploring who we are and experiencing reality. In a spontaneous way, we allow ourselves to be influenced and guided by the collective field around us. As children, we tend to play a lot and through this play experience exponential growth. As adults, we tend to play less or in some cases not at all. Tapping into collective intelligence includes a lot of play time. When a group of people are having fun playing together, the unknown emerges without thinking about it, planning it, or anticipation.

As Eckhart Tolle, author of the “Power of Now”, says: “awareness and presence always happen in the now.” If you are tryingto make something happen, then you are creating resistance to what is alive in the flow. It is the removing of all resistance that allows evolutionary energy to unfold.

  1. Beyond Thinking

We are so addicted to the water we swim in with our own perceived biases that it can be difficult to be open to a new way of thinking and accepting of other perspectives. When you bring your set of limiting beliefs, ideas of truths, stories and perceptions as your baggage, you may limit your access to the new.

What’s beyond thinking is experiencing it with curiosity and openness. The experience of life and its challenges is the navigation system that allows us to tap into new experiences. It’s like walking.  Each step leads you to the next step. If you keep stepping forward, you allow the intelligence of life to lead you in the direction in which you are called to move.

Accessing Collective Intelligence in Quantum Innovation Circles

Nature is organizing all life in a natural symbiotic way. When we congregate in Quantum Innovation Circles (QICs) and do not engage in controlling behaviors that come from individual agendas, we can relax into the self-organizing nature of the universe to work through us. Tapping into the Collective Intelligence in a QIC is easier than the thinking mind perceives it to be. It is a natural ability we all have that is often prevented by the busy thinking mind. Watch children play to witness the self-organizing universe at work. By creating a safe experience in the QIC, incorporating natural elements where all human beings thrive, such as when having fun at play, previously unseen creations can come to life.

Carl Yung said: “one who looks outside dreams, one who looks inside awakes.”

As humans, we can choose to live our lives in separation from each other, competing for resources, power, and individual success effectively consuming all that is in our path as parasites. Or we can live like the bees, in harmonious communities, in symbiotic relationship and creating as ONE. Collective Intelligence can be the key to awaken us all as we are all one. To awaken one’s true self, one must awaken all beings. Collectively we can do that. Join us to explore the possible in QICs!


Steven Ringelstein & Gail Taylor-Smith