Deep Democracy

Minority wisdom. Conflict. Decision-making.

Jitske Kramer


Imagine that at the start of a strategic process, we didn’t say ‘I hope we can quickly reach an agreement.’ But instead: ‘how amazing it is to be here together with so many people, with so many different views, opinions and networks. With such diversity. Let’s use our collective wisdom, backgrounds and knowledge to the best of our abilities.’ What great things we might achieve together... But how to do this? How do we ensure that it is not always the same few people who talk during a management meeting? How do we ensure that all points of view are fully covered? That the larger whole is more important than individual egos? A keynote speech on the ‘wisdom of the minority’, with a special method that originated in post-apartheid South Africa. About sabotage, autocratic decisions, kings and sharks. Often painfully relatable and insightful.

Deep Democracy is a vision and method developed by Myrna Lewis, which leads to comprehensive decisions that enhance the decisiveness in a team or organization. By not avoiding differences and conflicting opinions but rather by involving them, we can make the undercurrent in groups visible and manageable. And then a decision-making process can be established with an eye for and appreciation of differing opinions. Without compromising and without glossing over conflicts. By incorporating the wisdom of the minority in a decision, fewer people will offer resistance and it will strengthen the quality of decisions. Obtaining a deep democratic mandate for your leadership will enable you to shift more quickly.

Keynote or master class based on the bestseller: Deep Democracy by Jitske Kramer.

Book a keynote or master class


Jitske Kramer shows you the basic principles of Deep Democracy. Then you can choose between various different content highlights. During the intake session over the phone, we coordinate the needs and possibilities within the available time. This can include the following:

  • Sabotage behavior, displayed when people feel that they cannot say what should actually be said.
  • The steps for reaching a deep democratic decision, whereby the wisdom of the minority is included in the decision. Without compromising.
  • Differences in the effect of autocratic leadership and of deep democratic leadership on the group dynamic.
  • Healthy arguing. Explaining the conversation that didn’t take place. A conversation model to ensure that we also discuss the uncomfortable issues. This is also called shooting arrows.
  • Side notes for self-organization, self-management and shared leadership.
  • The power and necessity of neutrality when facilitating contradictions and conflicts.


During a masterclass there is more time for questions and how to translate the topics to your organization. We start with a lecture and then get to work with one or more of the Deep Democracy types of dialogue: check-in, standing conversation, steps 1- 4 of decision-making. The dialogue can be between the directors/board and the organization and concerns the contents of the lecture as well as the development of a vision, setting a new strategic course, core values, and major strategic decisions... We facilitate courageous decisions within the confines of the boardroom as well as in a larger group. We discuss what angle to choose during the intake session.


If you want to learn to apply the Deep Democracy method yourself or with your team, consider our training sessions. For more information, (Dutch only).

Jitske Kramer travels all over the world to learn from traditional healers, leaders, surprising innovators and random passers-by. She looks at the world and at organizations through the eyes of an anthropologist. Cultural anthropology is the discipline that asks what it means to be a human among humans in organizations and beyond. She is the founder of Human Dimensions, much sought-after speaker and author of Deep Democracy, Wow! What a Difference, Jam Cultures and co-author of The Corporate Tribe (2016 Management Book of the Year) and Building Tribes.

About us

HumanDimensions looks at companies and organizations through the eyes of an anthropologist. We look at how people shape cultures, and how cultures shape people. We travel the world looking for ways to build strong tribes, that are diversity-friendly and ready for change. And we bring our findings to the world of organization and cooperation through our excellent keynote speeches, master classes and training courses. Deep Democracy. Inclusion. Diversity. Organizational culture. Leadership.

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