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How Do We Locate the Smart City?


The first GPS locator we look at we could call the Smart City Locator. It tracks the logic of cities using Logic Models – based on Strategic Rational thinking. It depends on scientific and methodical Inquiry – Research and Development in other words.

Smart City Locator

Smart City Locator

It collects BIG DATA. It uses the Inquiry intelligence to notice patterns in the BIG DATA, design maps, select Vital Signs Monitors and Navigate the city’s neural networks for effectiveness and efficiency. The Strategy Locator can ultimately align connections and create a Meshwork of city operations that are Smart and responsively intelligent.

The Smart City Locator is produced originally by the Diversity Generator/ Business Innovators of the Human Hive and when its efficacy has been proven becomes the favorite functions used by the Resource Allocators/Civic Managers and Citizens who manage the internal functioning of the Human Hive – how are we doing in accumulating our 20 kg of honey per year (i.e. reaching our sustainability targets)?

It is also the locator used by Forager-Producers/Citizens to mark the implicit value exchange of their efforts – Do I have the basics of life? Do I have a job? Are the stores open? Do the buses run on time?

(This blog is one of a series on Waking Up the Human Hive Beyond the Smart, Resilient City to the Integral City – thinking notes for a keynote speech at IDG’s IT Smart Cities Conference, September 23, 2015, Amersfoort, NL.)

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What better way to celebrate Canada Day than to flash the fireworks of July 1 onto the 4 Quadrants of Canada’s cohort of Integral Leaders?

©2014 Aboriginal Nations Education, Greater Victoria School Board, BC, Canada Artist Jamin Zurowski Bear/UL. Wolf /LL. Raven/UR. Salmon/LR.   This Totem is a Gift used with permission on this Canada Issue. Please do reproduce without © Permission.

©2014 Aboriginal Nations Education, Greater Victoria School Board, BC, Canada
Artist Jamin Zurowski
Bear/UL. Wolf /LL. Raven/UR. Salmon/LR.
This Totem is a Gift used with permission on this Canada Issue. Please do reproduce without © Permission.

A whole Quadrivium of Integral Leaders were featured in the Integral Leadership Review – Canada Issue at the beginning of 2015. But the plenitude of contributors and the depth of their insights deserves a special reminder today.

Click here to read the Profiles of all the Authors of the Canada Issue – Integral Leadership Review

Here is the Table of Contents in the Canada Issue – with links to all the contributions – including the original 4 Quadrant aboriginal Totem artwork of the Cover (with poetry, thought pieces, research reports, organizational histories, pedagocial principles for teaching leaders, environmental and sustainability insights, inspiring quotations, in-depth interviews … and more):

Cover

1/15 – Cover

Editor

2/15 – Cover

Editor

Leading Comments

1/15 – A Totem for Curating a Story of Leadership in Canada

Marilyn Hamilton

2/15 – From Totem Guides and Lock Masters to World Legacy Light

Marilyn Hamilton

 

Leadership Quote

1/15 – Marshall McLuhan 

2/15 – Adrienne Clarkson, 26th Governor General of Canada (1999-2005)

Lead Poem

1/15 – Lead Poem

Tim Merry

Leadership Coaching Tips

1/15 – Leading Generative Change

Tam Lundy

2/15 – It’s not just what you do, but also how you think!

Natasha Mantler

Fresh Perspective

1/15 – Integral Coaching Canada with Laura Divine and Joanne Hunt

Marilyn Hamilton

2/15 – Dialogic Development: a Conversation with Gervase Bushe

Russ Volckmann

Leading Self

1/15 – Inching Towards Leaderless Leading

Edith Friesen

1/15 – Re-membering My Inherent Wilderness

Beth Sanders

Leading Others

1/15 – Is True Integral Leadership Possible?

Linda Shore

2/15 – Deep Presencing: Illuminating New Territory at the Bottom of the U

Leading Organizations

1/15 – Building Water Leaders and Waterpreneurs

Julia Fortier and Karen Kun

1/15 – Giving birth to Authentic Leadership in Action

Michael Chender

Leading Cultures

1/15 – A Circle of Aiijaakag, a Circle of Maangag: Integral Theory and Indigenous Leadership

Janice Simcoe

Leading World

1/15 – Integral Transformation of Value Chains: One Sky’s Integral Leadership Program in the Brazil Nut Value Chain in Peru and Bolivia

Gail Hochachka

2/15 – How ARE We To Go On Together? Our Evolutionary Crossroads

Brian and Mary Nattrass

Continuous LearningContinuous Learning

1/15 – Integral Dispositions and Transdisciplinary Knowledge Creation

Sue L. T. McGregor

1/15 – The Long and Winding Road: Leadership and Learning Principles That Transform

Brigitte Harris and Niels Agger-Gupta

2/15 – From Practice to Praxis – as Transformative Education: Leading at the Integral/Professional Interface?

Ian Wight

2/15 – Will the Next Buddha be a Sangha? Responding to the Call to Influence the Future of Collaboration

Rebecca Ejo Colwell

Book Reviews

1/15 – The Pulse of Possibility – A Retrospective Review of the Work of Bruce Sanguin

Trevor Malkinson

2/15 – (Re)Joining the Conversation: Commenting on Integral Voices on Sex, Gender, and Sexuality: Critical Inquiries

Diana Claire Douglas

Column

1/15 – Integral Design Leadership: Healthcare Design as Extraordinary Service: An Interview with Peter Jones

Lisa Norton

Poetry Gallery

1/15 – 1. Forgotten Places

Tim Merry

1/15 – 2. What’s It Gonna Take to Stay Awake?

Tim Merry

1/15 – 3. Thank You

Tim Merry

1/15 – 4. Build the Arks (King Kong Song)

Tim Merry

2/15 – 1. The Mother

Tim Merry

2/15 – 2. Human Family Tree

Tim Merry

2/15 – 3. Superman

Tim Merry

2/15 – 4. Switch it on

Tim Merry

Notes from the Field

1/15 – Integral City Development in the Russian City of Izhevsk

Eugene Pustoshkin

 

 

We wish you a Happy Canada Day of Reading and Inspiration – with Gratitude to  all the Integral Leaders in Canada.

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Have you noticed that news reports of war or “rumours of war” like to point at countries that are on the cusp of disruption or hostility because it is the traditional “big news” story on the global stage? Nevertheless, as I observe the situations of emerging hostility between nations, I see a pattern where cities are the flash points of anger, fear and concern within nations – and if these dissonances are not addressed – become the potential trigger points for inflaming the rest of the country – making it dysfunctional because of internal dis-ease and thus exposed to many kinds of external threats.

Mosul Irag Under Siege, June 11, 2014, news.nationalpost.com

Mosul Irag Under Siege, June 11, 2014, news.nationalpost.com

Searching for the science of cities, when I first published Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive, in 2008, I pointed to Living Systems as a source and framework that gives us lenses to understand the behaviours of cities as living systems. Biologist Jared Diamond had outlined the long view of what makes societies survive or Collapse and Buzz Holling and colleagues had proposed how resilience emerges in all living systems through a natural Panarchy cycle of four stages of change.

Fast forward six years and we can add to these sciences a contribution from physics via Geoffrey West’s proposition that cities concentrate material wealth that generates real economies of scale in energetic functions, as well as amplifies creative capacities (both outcomes demonstrating a non-linear order of about 15% reduction or increase respectively).

All of this science is only comprehensible through a metaview of human systems, offered by an integral perspective. With an integral framing the scientific constructs can be interpreted through the four lenses (quadrants) of human intention (UL), behavior (UR), cultures (LL) and organizing structures (LR).  Within each of these quadrants, individual lines of intelligence have been identified, maturing at different rates (or not at all) as inherited propensities and life conditions exert their influence. Moreover the integral perspective offers us a lineage of human evolution (that is also reflected in individual development) where the whole person (as well as his/her quadrants and lines)  embraces increasing circles of care and compassion, growing capacities from egocentric to ethnocentric to world centric to kosmocentric – and thereby producing the waves of human development we call traditional, modern, postmodern and integral.

The elegance of the integral framing of the human condition is that it is fractal and can be applied at all levels of scale from individuals, to families, teams, organizations, communities, cities, (nations) and eco-regions. Because of its fractal nature, this model then offers us not only a map for humans to track their developmental capacities but also to recognize the zones of greatest probable dissonance. For it is precisely between the quadrants, circles of care and scales of human enterprise that eruptions are most likely to occur. In these zones, the realities of human existence rub against each other like tectonic plates causing volcanic eruptions of angry worldviews (think of the Middle East), earthquakes of lost territory and despair (remember Rwanda) and tsunamis of overwhelming forces (consider colonizers of all stripes).

Returning to Diamond’s Collapse proposition where the key elements that impact a society’s survival include: climate, geography, internal culture, friendly neighbours/trading partners and hostile neighbours/trading partners, I would propose that precisely these elements are the deciding factors on whether a city survives or collapses. They are the underlying factors that enable the phenomenon that West points to – that cities outlive organizations. I would also propose the corollary, that cities outlive countries and nations – and their association as voluntarily formed federations of concentrated urban life and resources, within nations, gives them particular power that is seldom recognized by their own nations until they trigger national instabilities.

The almost universal ignorance by nations that they are only as strong as their weakest cities has been sustained by the great success of cities themselves. As social holons (where a collective centre of gravity of developmental stages represented by many entities emerges from the interaction of individuals and their organizations), cities have mirrored the smaller scales of individual human development, maturing through stages of ego-self-centredness to ethno-nation-centredness. They have done so within the context of Jared’s climate, geography, friendly/hostile national relationships and most especially from their own internal city cultures. And those (few) cities who have negotiated Diamond’s elements most effectively, have now entered a stage of world-centredness that has been enabled by the technologies produced by modernity. (We can look at the world’s “best” city lists for candidates of this stage of emergence – they often include New York, London, Seoul, Vancouver, Zürich – but all of these cities still exhibit very Modern awareness of their world-centricity, with a willingness to demonstrate post-modern sensibilities when responding to emergencies in “sister cities” (like Hurricane Sandy)).)These technologies have built global bridges that link many lines of development between and within cities – but those technologies are sadly lacking any capacity for awareness of what makes individual cities whole and well, or an awareness of how cities contribute not just to national prosperity but to global sustainability and resilience.

The digital communication technologies especially have impacted the very qualities of the interstitial zones where quadrants, lines, levels and scales rub against each other. In the traditional pre-modern era(s) those boundaries were usually fixed and closed, monitored by rigid agreements, treaties, militaries and border patrols on the global map. But modern technology has unceremoniously (and generally without asking permission) transformed those boundaries into porous, uncertain and unstable membranes that challenge the functionality of the systems they contain. Nations are especially susceptible to these boundary breaches (aka challenges) – not so much by the incursion of hostile external neighbours (as in traditional times) – but because of the disintegration of inner cultural certainties. Within the densest centres of human settlement, all the assumptions that were the city’s former status quo have been disrupted by the in-migration of multiple cultures from rural areas and other countries of the world. (In the developed world, cities hold 90% of the population, while the global average for cities as core population centres now exceeds 50% of the population being in cities).

To a nation, cities are like organs of a living system. Traditionally cities are connected most tightly internally (like organ systems) – where the city mirrors, manages and adapts to the smaller scales of human systems within it. They then are most connected with their trading partners who supply the resources (that West has identified) which build its infrastructures, feed its energy and enable creativity. Traditionally those linkages came from other cities within the same nation (or a mother nation or “trade friendly nation-neighbour”) but now we are in an era where cities (in democratic countries) are totally unconstrained to resource themselves from anywhere in the world – including from countries whom their own nation considers hostile.

Thus we live at a time when cities have great power to undermine the stability of nations (from which cities have gained much of their cultural and systemic life conditions), but national governance systems have largely shortchanged the capacity of cities to govern themselves to optimize their wellbeing. The tensions are becoming intolerable – and nations need to wake up to the strange possibility that cities may hold the upper hand in the survival game.

But before we are too hasty to lay blame at the foot of only one social entity, we must now re-visit the science of resilience and understand how it provides the context for all living systems to live sustainably on the planetary system as a whole.

While our United Nations have struggled for more than half a century for nations to negotiate their ethno-centric differences, it still struggles to present (let alone gain) any kind of unified approach to global wellbeing. The human species still battles within itself for ownership/control rights to resources that within a living system context must (if the continued life of the living system is our ultimate value) be superseded by responsibilities to life on the whole planet, which supports all life.

In an attempt to call forth such a world centric perspective, Integral City has aligned the intelligences that cities need in order to live in service to global wellbeing, into a compass that points to the requisite but flexibly resonant Contexts, as well as Individual, Collective, Strategic and Evolutionary capacities.

Paradoxically, in the world today cities need to be freed by nations to optimize life within each city (as a unique human system), while cities need to take the responsibility to serve global sustainability and resilience.

If nations wait too long to do this, inevitably the pressures that build up within their cities will become the trigger points that cause the tipping points for the very wellbeing of the nations themselves.

We have arrived at the stage of human evolution where, both individuals and nations need to “Ask not what your city can do for you. Ask what you can do for your city … and the planet of cities.”

Integral City Russian Translation

Integral City Russian Translation

Note: This is the first article that I have contributed to Eros and Kosmos, a new Integral Blog published in Russian by Eugene Pustoshkin, translator of the Russian edition of Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive. Readers who would like to read the Russian version will find it here.

 

References:

Beck, D. (2002). Spiral Dynamics in the Integral Age. Paper presented at the Spiral Dynamics integral, Level 1.

De Landa, M. (1997). A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History. New York: Zone Books.

De Landa, M. (2006). A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity. London: Continuum.

Diamond, J. (2005). Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed (first ed.). New York: Penguin Group.

Gunderson, L. C., & Holling, C. S. (Eds.). (2002). Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems Washington, DC: Island Press.

Hamilton, M. (2008). Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive. Gabriola Island BC: New Society Publishers.

Jacobs, J. (1994). Systems of Survival   New York: First Vintage Books Edition.

Jacobs, J. (2001). The Nature of Economies. New York: First Vintage Books Edition.

Sahtouris, E. (2010). Celebrating Crisis: Towards a Culture of Cooperation A New Renaissance:Transforming Science, Spirit & Society, . London: Floris Books.

Wilber, K. (1995). Sex, Ecology and Spirituality: the spirit of evolution. Boston: Shambhala Publications Inc.

Wilber, K. (2000). A Theory of Everything. Boston: Shambhala Publications Inc.

 

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A new integral paradigm for the city arose from both practise and engagement with many of the cities I have lived in (including Toronto) and from my study and application of the Integral Model.

Toronto: Site of Meeting of the Minds 2013

Toronto: Site of Meeting of the Minds 2013

Designing Integral Vital Signs Model

A precept of the Integral Model is its definition of “holon”. A holon is both a whole system in its own right, while at the same time being part of a larger whole system. Such is the natural “order” of complex living systems – cells, organelles, organs, individuals, teams, organizations, communities, cities, nation/states – all of which have been well studied by interdisciplinary research teams in Panarchy and Living Systems (Gunderson & Holling, 2002; Miller, 1978). Wilber (1995) coined such a set of nested holons, a “holarchy”.

In addition, what Wilber’s Integral Model added to the quantitative picture of the outer life of human systems, was the qualitative picture of the inner life of human systems – namely, consciousness and culture.

It was thus my conclusion, that in order for monitors and metrics of city wellbeing to be truly integral, they must integrate metrics from the four quadrants (as identified in my earlier blog).

Furthermore, as many complexity-oriented practitioners have noted, the city is a composite of many different scales that co-exist and dynamically impact one another. So it is a challenge to present a model that captures the complexity of the four quadrants, holons and measures of wellbeing[1].

The schematic that presented as a starting point for this exploration has become what I call Map 2 in my book (Hamilton, 2008). In this holarchy, the nest of holons begins with the individual resident of the city, and locates him/her in all the other holons to which they are a member.

Integral City Map 2: The Nested Holarchy of City Systems

Integral City Map 2: The Nested Holarchy of City Systems

In this way, each holarchy starts with an individual represented by his/her inner and outer realities (representing Upper Left and Upper Right quadrants); then is nested in a series of collective holons, to which the individual (simultaneously) belongs. Each collective is essentially a different scale of human system that represents a different set of collective contexts for individual reality (but each represents a version of Lower Left and Lower Right quadrants). A simple way to see this is that Janet (our individual holon) belongs to the Family Smith, baseball team A, workplace Task Force B, school class C, health district D, community E, and city F.

Prototyping

In experimenting with the relevance of this Integral Holarchy, I have found that it offers very useful organizing principles for a set of vital signs monitors for the city. The Integral frame prompts us to look for metrics from every quadrant (qualitative and quantitative data for individuals and collectives). The Holarchy frame prompts us to seek data from every scale. And the wellbeing target frame suggests we find data that can be defined by targets measured in terms of a traffic light system (e.g. Blue = exceeds target; Green = on target; Yellow = off target; Orange = health threat zone; Red = health danger zone).

Luckily in our modern data producing era, data is not something that we are short of. Our governments, agencies and organizations are veritable data producing machines. Rather what we lack is effective data mining and interpreting frameworks that can detect the patterns that can inform us. Thus, with little effort, we can identify data sources in the city, and with an Integral Vital Signs Monitor frame we now have tools to make sense of what that data is telling us about wellbeing.

Although it may well take more political will to release that data for monitoring purposes, it is entirely possible to prototype wellbeing monitors for the city. I have done this for a series of research projects that has produced a template for organizing the data (as posted on the Integral City website here ). And thanks to partners, Gaiasoft, I have been able to model the prototype as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Integral Vital Signs Monitor

Figure 1: Integral Vital Signs Monitor

The value of this prototype is that it shows us how we can make new sense out of the human systems that make up our cities. Moreover it calls the many owners of our data to come to the same table and not only share what information they have accumulated, but to contribute to a whole new paradigm for monitoring city wellbeing.  These data providers can now realize that they co-own insights, that open in an entirely new way the interconnections amongst the supply chains in the city and enable a meshwork to emerge. (A “meshwork” weaves together the best of two operating systems — one that self-organizes, and one that replicates hierarchical structures. The resulting meshwork creates and aligns complex responsive structures and systems that flex and flow.) And for the first time we may be able to appreciate that our supply chains connect and impact our inner lives of consciousness and cultures as much as our outer lives of biology and infrastructure. That is the beginning of being able to design a monitoring systems that appreciates and enables the city to see itself as a whole living system.

And what is more, it may contribute and expand to standards that are emerging in an ISO Standard for cities.

References

Gunderson, L. C., & Holling, C. S. (Eds.). (2002). Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems Washington, DC: Island Press.

Hamilton, M. (2008). Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive. Gabriola Island BC: New Society Publishers.

Miller, J. G. (1978). Living Systems. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company.

Wilber, K. (1995). Sex, Ecology and Spirituality: the spirit of evolution. Boston: Shambhala Publications Inc.

Appendix A: Example of Prototyping Template


[1] For the sake of this blog, I am assuming that measures of wellbeing are identifiable and can be defined in terms of desired targets. The assumptions related to this have been documented in my book “Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive”.

Note: In my earlier blog introducing the Meeting of the Minds 2013 Conference, I explained a Brief History of Integral City. Part of that city background was my experience and accreditation, in accounting as well as human systems. Thus, my praxis of the city soon lead me to consider how to notice wellbeing in the city and what metrics might be appropriate to monitor it.

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Systems thinking is fundamental to understanding systems. So to understand systems, let’s start with exploring, what are systems? (1)

TED_city21, copyright TED

Systems are evolutionary structures. They are characterized by boundaries that contain system elements. Those elements have evolved across deep time, from the Big Bang until now. The basic evolutionary strata that we can point to on our planet can be classified as A – B – C (2).  Explaining this backwards …

C is for Cosmosphere – containing Universe, Earth and Matter . We study this with Astronomy, Cosmology, Math, Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Hydrology, Meterology

B is for Biological Systems – containing the living environment and life. We study these with Microbiology, Biology, Botany, Zoology

A is for Anthropocentric Systems – or human systems. We study these with Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, etc.

As humans we are the most complex systems and we not only depend on all the ABC systems but we ARE those systems. We are in effect Awake Bhangara-dancing Cosmic-dust.

An interesting characteristic of systems, is when you combine two different systems a surprising result can happen that is not necessarily evident from looking at the two original systems separately. For instance if you look at Hydrogen and Oxygen as two separate elements, you would not predict that combining them as H2O would produce water – with qualities that neither Hydrogen nor Oxygen possess on their own. ( We call this propensity of systems for unexpected outcomes – emergence.)

The B & A Systems contain the living systems. They are wholes that not only have boundaries, but the elements they contain co-exist within the boundary symbiotically – that is the existence of each element is dependent on the co-existence  and adaptability with other elements.

Systems are considered alive if they can do three things. They …

  1. Can sustain themselves.
  2. Connect with their environment (or adapt).
  3. Reproduce.

When we consider how all these A-B-C systems have evolved together we can see that they make the world sustainable – as we know and need it to be.  Geology, Energy, Water, Climate, Food, Bio-genetic Ecology and Human Systems are all necessary to sustain our life and all other life on the planet.

And when we consider how these systems impact on one another we can see the major Threats that our global systems face today. Because human systems have become so successful, we are impacting on Ecology, Food Systems, Climate, Water, Energy and Geology in ways that are eroding these system as non-renewable resources or if they are renewable living systems, we are eroding their capacity to adapt and regenerate themselves.

Living systems evolve in complex hierarchies – which means as they evolve, they become more complex as they contain more and more systems.

Basic systems start with atoms, that make up molecules, that make up cells, that make up organelles, that make up organs, that make up organ systems, that make up bodies, that make up ecologies.

As a whole living system, the human body-mind is the system we are most familiar with.

But even our individual human systems belong to larger human systems: like families, teams, organizations, neighbourhoods, communities and cities.

Interestingly each of these systems is made up of other systems and we say they exist at different scales – that is they retain similar patterns, but each system is larger than the ones that make it up. And the larger it is the greater is its sphere of influence. The concept of scale lets us zoom in and zoom out to see systems with the same patterns at different magnifications and how they impact themselves, each other and their place on this planet.

My great interest is in the most complex human system that we have yet created – the city – because it contains all these systems co-existing in dynamic relationship. I call it the human hive.

In fact I believe we are in an era when even cities are being superseded by yet a larger system – that I call the planet of cities.

In human systems we need to consider not only what makes up our bodies physically – but also what makes up our minds consciously – and how we relate to others in group cultural systems and to the environmental and built systems.

So this brings us back to Systems Thinking. When we can SEE systems – i.e. recognize a whole with a boundary containing elements – we are starting to think in the basics of systems thinking. When we can see how different systems are interconnected, we are progressing our systems thinking to a more complex level. When we use our consciousness to design NEW systems we are demonstrating our evolutionary human capacity to use emergence and adapt through being innovative and creative.

As we design new systems, we eventually produce systems of systems – like say controlling water, by carrying it in water vessels, then irrigation channels, then viaducts, then water canals and locks; then building reservoirs and dams; and then creating plumbing systems; and- dare I say it? – bottling water.

But the challenge of systems thinking is not just to see one system in isolation of other systems – but to see the whole trajectory of ABC systems as an evolutionary supra-system. Then our thinking must consider the consequences of our innovations, designs and creations. True systems thinking embraces our responsibility for initiating change that impacts all earth systems – taking responsibility not only for our intended consequences – but the unintended ones.

One of the great values of Systems Thinking is that it is critical to being able to shift our perspectives so we can be effective change agents in the world. Systems Thinking enables and supports us to see (and respect) ourselves as whole living systems, in relationship to other whole living systems, within the larger context of environmental systems and ultimately the earth as a whole planetary system.

Thinking in systems impacts how we can shift perspectives and thus how we are able to adapt and innovate, design and lead and grow and expand our capacity for caring for the living systems we are, that we relate to and that we co-create.

This is fundamental to what I call the Master Code of the Human Hive: Take care of yourself, Take care of each other, Take care of this place … so that we can take care of this planet.

Endnotes:

(1) This was presented to Waterlution Toronto, Learning Lab Journey ” Exploring Complexity & Innovative Leadership Around Water & Energy in Ontario”. January 26, 2013. See also Guiding Step 4: Systems Thinking Helps Shift Perspectives

(2) Concept from Dr. Brian Eddy

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This blog is the second prologue for a keynote at the FreshOutlook Feb. 27, 2012 Building SustainABLE Communities Conference.

Evolutionary Intelligence is the capacity to transcend and include the intelligences we currently demonstrate, in order to allow new intelligences to emerge.

Evolutionary Intelligence is an impulse present at the centre of our Integral City compass, that springs from our evolutionary history and impels us to reach forward into our evolutionary future. It assumes that life conditions will continue to change and the human species will change and adapt and evolve with such changes.

In framing evolution, Integral City draws on an integral geological map developed by Eddy (2003) which embraces three meta-spheres: the Cosmosphere that spans the universe; the Biosphere that includes the living global environment; and the Anthroposphere that embraces the human condition. Eddy’s map effectively integrates the human condition within the three spheres as massively entangled at all scales and times.

The Anthroposphere in the Integral City (Hamilton, 2008) is captured in the Integral City Compass with its five sets of capacities, twelve intelligences and thirty-six principles.

It is only by meshworking intelligences in the human hive in an evolutionary way that we will survive long enough as a species, to grow the capacities of collaboration, community, and urbanization beyond any context the human system has ever evolved.

In fact applying evolutionary strategic design will not just be useful for selecting appropriate approaches for sustainability for cities in the developed and developing worlds but it will be the necessary paradigm for all cities with a plurality of cultures to integrate their many worlds into a workable evolutionary operating system.

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This blog is a first prologue for a keynote at the FreshOutlook Feb. 27, 2012 Building SustainABLE Communities Conference.

Meshworking is an intelligence of the human hive (Hamilton, 2008) that creates a “meshwork” by weaving together the best of two operating systems — one that self-organizes, and one that replicates hierarchical structures.

From an Integral City perspective this operating system connects all four quadrants and recalibrates the levels of development (Hamilton, 1999). The resulting meshwork creates and aligns complex responsive interior and exterior structures and systems in the human hive that flex and flow.

Meshworking intelligences are triggered in the mind/brain (and the “hive-mind”) by dissonance (i.e. constraints) in the environment. The hive-mind/ brain is capable of re-organizing itself and releasing new potentials in the human hive. This allows for the emergence of new meaning making, worldviews, values systems and new capacities. At the same time meshworking intelligence utilizes hierarchical structures and capacities to create sorting and selecting mechanisms that allow the humans in the hive to make survival choices. As structural capacities emerge, new values systems emerge as well, creating a level of complexity that develops where both our individual (and hive) minds and brains can meshwork hierarchies and make hierarchies out of meshworks.

Meshworking intelligence uses imagination, courage and powers of attraction. It articulates designs from the meshing of the diversities in people and thereby releases and reorganizes new intelligences that are currently locked and blocked in silos of sameness.

Meshworking catalyzes a shift in the human hive system, so that new capacities emerge and the city system reorganizes itself into something more internally resonant and externally coherent with life conditions. When this occurs a new level of capacity emerges in the complex hierarchy of city systems and we can solve problems that we never could before.

(excerpt from: Hamilton, M. (2010). Meshworking Integral Intelligences for Resilient Environments; Enabling Order and Creativity in the Human Hive. Paper presented at the Enacting an Integral Future Conference.

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