Deep Democracy (Level 1) – Online

Facilitate a dialogue and uncover the wisdom of the group. Deep Democracy is a practical facilitation method to start dialogue and discussion where we actively search for the wisdom of the minority.
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Date & Time:



Online via zoom


Euro 550 (VAT exempted) for individuals

Euro 650 (VAT exempted) for organizations.


Lisette Gast

Monique Janmaat

Deep Democracy is a practical facilitation method to start dialogue and discussion where we actively search for the wisdom of the minority. Alternative voices are being heard, explored and are part of decision-making. The effect is that decisions are widely supported and optimally make use of the potential of the group. This new view on decision-making and group dynamics enables real participation and co-creation.

We have accredited Deep Democracy instructors and facilitators. They offer training courses on the accredited level 1 and level 2, and on CoResolve. Besides, we give tailormade Deep Democracy workshops, and we design and facilitate Deep Democracy interventions for teams and organizations.

When is it applicable?
Deep Democracy is a practical facilitation method for everybody who works with groups or individuals: leaders, managers, facilitators, teachers and trainers. The method is powerful in one-on-one conversations, and in small and large group dialogues. The starting point is diversity in the broadest sense of the word.

Differences, disagreements and conflicts are explored together in respectful and constructive ways. This leads to stronger decisions that are supported by everyone. It is a useful approach for everyone who wants to make maximal use of the potential of a group. Through Deep Democracy’s conversational models and guiding techniques, nobody is left out, diversity is considered a given and the wisdom of the minority is used in decision-making.

Look for the wisdom of the minority and take better decisions with groups.

How does it work?
Deep Democracy makes group dynamics visible and allows you to facilitate and intervene appropriately. The focus in not on the individual, but on the group as a whole. The group has a group conscious and a group unconscious. The latter holds the potential and wisdom of the group. We want to reach this by creating a safe environment where all things that need to be said can be said. This ensures that the group conscious grows and that we gain more information about what goes on in the unconscious of the group.

If it is not safe enough to speak in a group, we will not be able to get optimal information. If people do not feel heard or feel ignored, this can lead to resistance. We say ‘yes’ to a decision but act like ‘no’. Or we delay the cooperation. This resistance is not efficient for the group. Deep Democracy helps people to become aware of resistance behaviour and address it. They will feel heard and their minority perspective is valued.

The Lewis method of Deep Democracy has five practical steps. These facilitation steps make it possible to work with the rational as well as emotional aspects of the decision-making process in a group. The basic model comes down to the following four steps:

  1. Gather all the views and perspectives.
  2. Actively look for the alternative/odd views.
  3. Spread the alternative views.
  4. Make a decision and add the wisdom of the minority to the majority decision.

During post-apartheid, Myrna and Greg (†) Lewis were asked by one of South Africa’s main electricity companies to transform a department with a racist hierarchy to a department where people work together on an equal level. Myrna and Greg soon found out that the problem was too big to be solved by external advisors alone. They decided to make people aware of the emotions that came with the racist decision-making, and they gave people the tools to solve conflicts at work. In three years, Myrna and Greg trained 1,000 employees of the company. This method is now used in more than twenty countries across the world in various sectors: business, politics, health care, education, non-profit and the family and private sphere (therapeutic applications).


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