A “HOLUTION” to the Human Predicament

Jim Rough | February 3, 2022 | Leave a Comment

On the night of May 9, 1993, I experienced a life-transforming insight into our society. I “saw” how our system is causing the “Monster Problems” we face — that is, impossible-to-solve, urgent issues like climate change, the threat of nuclear holocaust, the L-distribution of wealth, etc. And I “got it” that there is a simple accessible way to “solve” all of these Monster Issues through an adjustment to the underlying structure of our system. 

This approach promises to un-block stuck solutions, spark breakthroughs, and transform the underlying system so it stops causing these monsters in the first place. Because this more powerful type of solution acts “holistically” on all issues, solutions, and people, we call it a “Holution.”

So when people ask “How can we solve climate change?” …. My answer is “we haven’t started thinking yet.” Our system directs us to think toward individualistic solutions like education, enhanced communication, influencing elected officials, or changing the culture, leaving the system alone. But our system is the problem. It is set up as a competition among special interests, with no provision for the public interest. 

What is a Problem? What is a Solution?


When people face Monster Problems they often express themselves beginning with three words – for example, “we need to” … get rid of corruption, enact a carbon tax, stop greenhouse gas emissions, etc. But there is no “we” to make these changes. 

The Holution discussed here is based on a set of eight actions, that can facilitate all people to come together as “We the People”, where we co-create shared understandings of the problem, what we want, and a strategy going forward. The key to facilitating this new powerful actor “We the People” into being, is our ability to reliably facilitate people into a creative collaborative conversation, a “choice-creating” conversation as distinguished from problem-solving, dialogue, deliberation, negotiation, brainstorming, or decision-making.

The Holution – 8 accessible steps:

1. “Democracy Doulas” – People who “get it” gather to make it happen

2. Monster Problem – Choose one Monser as the first issue to address

3. Random Selection – 8 to 16 people are brought together as a symbol of all

4. Dynamic Facilitation – In two or three days, this random group (“Wisdom Council”) achieves a unified perspective (for example, truth, vision, and strategy)

5. Global Ceremony – The Wisdom Council presents its conclusions and the story of how it achieved unity to a face-to-face and online audience

6. Small groups meet and respond – All are invited to the conversation in person and online, live and asynchronously, formally, and informally

7. Ongoing – A new Wisdom Council gathers every two months or so. This process facilitates all to identify with the new “We the People” perspective

8. Education – This magical-seeming process has a legitimate basis that people should grow to understand


You might ask, “Is it really possible to turn around the entire supertanker of the world economy in the short term?” … No, not if we are going to rely on our existing system, what we call “democracy” and “capitalism.” These enforce a competitive dynamic and provide no collective thinking capability. But with a Holution that can facilitate all the people to think and work together, the answer is “Yes, we can.”

The Holution to climate change is the “Wisdom Council Process”. These eight simple actions can be implemented globally by just a few of us. It is not a solution. These steps merely facilitate us all to start thinking together at a high level so “miracles” can start happening and the Monster Problems can start going away. 

What is a Monster Problem? What is a Holution?


Let’s look at three miracles likely to occur: 

1) “All” the people of the world will come together, face the Monster Problems and achieve shared understandings about what is going on, what “We” want, and what to do. This has never happened before. It’s a miracle! But it’s a necessary miracle to solve climate change.

2) We start thinking together in the spirit of “choice-creating,” which is the kind of heartfelt creativity where breakthrough progress is the natural result. That’s a miracle too, likely to impact all issues – for example, war, poverty, and the global response to Covid-19.

3) The new “We the People” conversation will be ongoing. So it is an additive change to the structure of our underlying system. In the new system, “We the People” provide responsible leadership to governments, the economy, and the culture. Another miracle!

This Holution is neither top-down nor bottom-up. It is facilitative, like in a meeting when the facilitator is listening and writing on chart pads. And everyone in the room starts thinking together in a richer-than-normal way. This same thing needs to happen on a planetary scale. Fortunately, the Wisdom Council Process makes this possible. It uses a series of randomly selected people in small groups who are especially facilitated to face a Monster Issue in the spirit of choice-creating. The group reaches shared conclusions and then tells the story of how they arrived at their conclusions back to a global audience … Surprise! Mostly everyone in the audience resonates, basically saying, “Yes, I think so too.”

So, here’s a quick way to skip the usual emotional debates and generate whole-system unity on Monster Issues. And to do it regularly with new groups, creating an added “We the People” conversation that includes experts, corporate leaders, celebrities, religious figures, politicians, and the rest of us. Except now we are all listening to one another, respecting differences and co-creating shared perspectives.

The Wisdom Council Process is already proven to work at a large scale. For example, two states of Austria have adopted it into their state constitutions. And a national experiment on the issue of climate change is being held in the first part of 2022. Fortunately, this Holution need not be set in motion by some global government that doesn’t exist. Ordinary people with in-depth understanding and adequate resources can do it. 

Future blog articles will flesh out how this Holution can work globally to achieve necessary miracles. Some questions to be addressed in future articles include:

What is our current System and how does it generate the Monster Problems? What is the desired global system and how do we spark it into being? What are the eight action steps of the Holution? What are the piecemeal benefits of each action step? What is choice-creating and how is it the “magic sauce” to all this? How is it possible for just a few well-funded normal people to spark such an immense transformation?

How can we expect that these simple steps will transform capitalism to work in the public interest? Or democracy to shift from partisan battling to collaborative problem-solving? What are the implications of choice-creating to such diverse fields as:







Work-life balance



Meaning-in-life etc. 

What examples are there? What is our experience so far with the Wisdom Council Process? Where has it been tried on a large scale? What are the projected benefits of implementing this strategy at the global (and national) scale? Is there any downside to this? Can this strategy help us to heal “the human predicament”?

If you are curious about answers to these questions but don’t want to wait for future blog articles, please consult the website for our nonprofit organization, The Center for Wise Democracy. In particular, you might check out  “How to really solve climate change” there. Or the free 5-part video seminar: “Essential Wisdom for Solving Society’s Biggest Problems.”

Let me remind the reader that the natural reaction to any breakthrough is to resist and dismiss it. That’s been the bulk of our experience since May 9, 1993. But as Monster Issues grow and people are increasingly afraid, there is new interest in out-of-the-box solutions. Let me suggest a more appropriate response to this sharing: Adopt the attitude of curiosity, explore this idea further, and then hopefully a realization will come. “Holy heck! This has to happen! How can I help?”

Jim Rough is a social innovator, Director, and co-Founder of the Center for Wise Democracy . He is a speaker, seminar leader, and author of the book, “Society’s Breakthrough! Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People” (2002). As a business consultant, Jim developed “Dynamic Facilitation” and “The Wisdom Council Process,” which are widely used internationally. He and others teach seminars on these methods. His recent video seminar, “Essential Wisdom for Solving Society’s Biggest Problems” offers a holistic strategy for sparking national and global transformation.

His formal education includes a BA degree in Physics from Occidental College, plus a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Business from Columbia University.

The MAHB Blog is a venture of the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere. Questions should be directed to joan@mahbonline.org

The views and opinions expressed through the MAHB Website are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect an official position of the MAHB. The MAHB aims to share a range of perspectives and welcomes the discussions that they prompt.