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Posts Tagged ‘civil society’


When we place all the locators of our GPS compass in the service of our cities, we have the very real opportunity of re-calibrating our intentions, expectations and outcomes for cities.

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Working together as 4 Voices of the City, we have the intelligence to go beyond the Smart City beloved of Civic Managers and Citizens, beyond the Resilient City beloved of Business and Civil Society into the Knowing Field of the Integral City – beloved by the interdependent Meshwork of 4 City Voices in the Integral City.

Happiness as Evidence of Success

Now we can ask, how can we use the Integral City compass for aligning performance that produces well being and re-calibrating our intentions, expectations and outcomes for cities?  Where is the evidence or the sweet spot that aligns Smart, Resilient and Integral intelligence’s for optimum living in the Human Hive? What is the equivalent target of 20kg of honey to measure well being in our cities?

As simple or as trite as it may sound – I think our friends the honey bees suggest an obvious location for such evidence. Remember they used a very practical measure to trigger change – namely, their pheromones that measure depression. In humans we can also measure that – when it is in a positive state, we call it happiness. And Happiness Studies have become early evidence for the wellbeing of individuals, cities, cultures and nations. (GNH, Dalai Lama, Happy Citybook, Happiness Studies, etc.). This kind of happiness is not merely ego or self-centered, nor is it ethno or regional centered, nor even merely place or planet-centered. Instead this indicator integrates all the scales of possible happiness that arise when our decision sets are aligned. This happens when we live the Master Code – choosing to take care of our selves, each other, our cities/places and the planet all at once – simultaneously.

Integral City International Faces

I suggest to you that the bees have modeled for us the great value of why happiness is the ultimate feedback loop for re-calibrating our cities because it ultimately measures the relationship between Caring Capacity and Carrying Capacity. We must learn to notice when our BEEings are depressed and what we must do to steward all life in our eco-regions and planet. We must listen and respond to the Evolutionary Intelligence at the center of our compass which has offered a path of Caring Capacity (a gold dot to locate us on our GPS maps??) and by now also offered many means to move the path of Carrying Capacity beyond traditional cities to Smart Cities to Resilient Cities. Out beyond all these there is a Knowing Field where you will find the Integral City.

In closing this blog series, I would ask Smart City and Resilient City experts – what roles can you play as Civic Managers and Business Innovators, as Citizens and Civil Societies to build on the potential of Smart and Resilient Cities and working together co-create the Knowing Field of the Integral City? This time in our history is an opportunity to discover that Care lives in the center of that Knowing Field.

I believe, that together we can co-create the next generation of IT – the Integral Technology that will enable us to implement the Master Code. – This Evolutionary Intelligence of Care that is so needed by our Planet of Cities.

I invite you to dance towards that Knowing Field so that our Human Hives can add the distinctive capacity of Care so that Earth’ cities can work together to create an Integral Ecology.  By aligning our Caring Capacities we will naturally expand the Carrying Capacity of our cities.  We may also  take the critical next steps to avoid the human version of Colony Collapse Disorder that our dancing cousins the bees have warned us about. I will meet you on the dance floor!

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Building on the Russian translation of Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive Team ARGO team in Izhevsk, Russia created Russia’s first citizen initiated and produced urban conference. Accomplishing “lift-off” in the first half of 2014 and subsequent dissemination of the best practices through 360 degree communications, Team ARGO are the natural winners of the Meshworkers of the Year Award, 2014.

Team ARGO: Meshworker of the Year 2014

Team ARGO: Meshworker of the Year 2014

The practice of Meshworking is usually considered to be an advanced alignment of stakeholders, objectives, goals and activities in service to a superordinate goal.

Meshworking intelligence creates a “meshwork” by weaving 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.

ARGO – which stands for “Association of City Development” – is located in Izhevsk, Udmurtia, Russia. It started with a team of energized and visionary entrepreneurs, administrators, business executives and citizens that together define the vision for the city, key issues to be tackled and runs a broad variety of projects to develop the city on various levels – values, ideas, people, technologies, systems, infrastructure and resources.

The story of UrbanFest began a year ago when ARGO received the National Award “Silver Archer” as the best project for the development and promotion of the territories in Russia.  Lev Gordon, one of ARGO’s founders invited all the participants at the ceremony to Izhevsk to UrbanFest, the first festival of living cities.

The Silver Archer Award was the first recognition ARGO – as a social technology for the organization of integral urban development. This technology could and should be replicated. And for this ARGO created a vehicle for future development today.

Lev Gordon & Team ARGO Receiving Silver Archer 2014

Lev Gordon on behalf of Team ARGO Receiving Silver Archer 2014

In addition, Izhevsk city has come to see that the “technology of urban development” may be a key export product of the city, giving it a core brand. So they set out to create a branding vehicle.

At the same time, ARGO found many informal urban teams in Russia and discovered that their number was growing. They had a lot of interesting practices, which could also be replicated. Thus, from the initial exporting technology, Izhevsk has become interested in importing Best Practices that could become “components” of the final urban development product. Furthermore, with the idea of combining urban teams in a kind of “think tank”, the participation of experts will help to improve individual urban practices and technology in general.   So ARGO has developed the objective to create a tool kit, importing replicable urban practices and meshworking or aligning them for use by others.

Finally, with the objective that Izhevsk becomes the new center of urban development for the entire country and beyond, ARGO conducted an internal search and recruitment of resources – human systems, community and city systems and knowledge bases. In other words ARGO set out to expand the scope of activities within the city.

The framework for this integrated mesh of city capacities is Integral City – an integrated system that aligns and meshworks solutions for problems that have been identified. With the success of 2014 under their belt, Team ARGO is working towards spreading the ARGO technology of Integral City development throughout the country and beyond, creating the ability to design, adapt, and develop cities that meshwork the infrastructures that administrations can guide and the self-organize creativity that citizens can bring.

In the formative stages of the UrbanFest Forum well-known Russian experts Denis Vizgalov, creator of Living City and Sergey Gradirovsky provided their wisdom and energy. They essentially defined the image of the Forum and offered the framework of city teams changing the city and challenging each other between cities.

The Izhevsk initiative was supported by the Council for Civil Society Development under the President of the Russian Federation, and the personal adviser to the President of the Russian Federation Mikhail Fedotov, which showed the importance of this meaningful and federal-level initiative.

In addition, partners included: Higher School of Economics, Moscow School of Management Skolkovo, National Agency for Strategic Initiatives, AGT Communications, President’s Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, the Union of Russian cities, the International Association of Capitals and Cities, Rosturism, Ministry of Culture and more than 70 other organizations and 44 cities from across Russia.

The UrbanFest Forum became an example of real cooperation between the four voices of the city: urban communities and organizations, citizens, business and government. This is an example for the entire country.

ARGO UrbanFest 2014, Izhevsk Attendees

ARGO UrbanFest 2014, Izhevsk Attendees

Out of these collaborations, emerged a true “national” forum, attracting dozens of leading experts and dozens of sponsors from Sevastopol to Vladivostok, resulting in attracting sufficient financing for the conference.

One of the key outcomes of the UrbanFest Forum was support for a common vision:

Our team of experts and practitioners from across the country want to create 1000 living cities by 2030, the foundation for a modern prosperous Russia.

Team ARGO’s next project is the 2nd Forum in May 2015 – the next big step towards fulfilling this mission. At this time, the team includes new strong federal and international partners. Team ARGO believes that cities themselves are building our future. Team ARGO waits – actively – for the return of city partners to Izhevsk!

To date ARGO can measure its accomplishments with these impressive metrics.

  1. Marketing and promotion:

– 1000 cities were invited to attend Forum

– 6000 calls from a call center

– 300 posts and more than 5,000 reposts in social networks

  1. Crowdfunding and crowdsourcing

– Crowdfunding. Collected 4 million rubles. 0 rubles from the budget.

– Crowdsourcing. Attracted more than 100 volunteer organizers and 80 partners who together made Forum possible

  1. The main points of the program, included:

– Conference of Cities of the 21st century. The State Council of SD

– Nobel Award for best urban practices. 17 cities presented their best urban practices

– Large Urban game. 7 strategic directions for cities’ development

– Solving cases. 8 practical case studies

– Communications with 25 experts from 7 countries

– New relationships and inspiration for further development

  1. Results:

– More than 300 reports/materials in the federal and local media

– More than 3000 references of Izhevsk in social networks

– The creation of the portal on best urban practices urbanab.ru

– School of Living Cities conducted in several cities

– Replication of practices and joint projects

– Consolidation of active urban community in Izhevsk

– Izhevsk agreement charter on principles of cities’ development in the 21 century

– 1000 cities receive access to materials from Forum

– Experts evaluated forum as “№1 best forum on urban development in the country”

 

Already ARGO has made progress on all four tasks.

  1. Export of technology:

– Included in the list of recommended practices by Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) and the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation

– School of Living Cities took place in 4 cities

– Creation of ARGO in Dimitrovgrad, active negotiations on replication with several cities, including Nizhny Novgorod

  1. Branding area

– In addition to the direct measurable results like 300 publications in the media and several thousand references in social networks, Izhevsk is increasingly referred to by the majority of experts and specialists in urban planning and urban development, as one of the leaders.  The UrbanFest forum itself is one of the great anticipated events in the Russian calendar of urban events. Today, the project team includes experts and practitioners from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Samara, Novokuznetsk, Holland, Germany, Canada, and France … And this platform in Izhevsk is referred to as the Izhevsk Forum. It has much potential to become more and more attractive and prestigious.

– In March 2015 ARGO team was a partner and a key speaker at the Davos World Communications Forum, where the experience and technologies of ARGO were greeted with enormous enthusiasm by representatives of over 30 countries. Many participants learned there about ARGO Integral City development approach and plan to implement it in their home cities while planning to attend next UrbanFest in Izhevsk.

  1. Import practices:

– Izhevsk is becoming a pilot area for the implementation of best-in-class urban practices from ASI

– ARGO reached an agreement on joint projects with the Strelka Institute of media, design and architecture

– Some practices of the “Nobel Award” nominees accepted and implemented in Izhevsk

  1. Internal mobilization:

– The number of members of the ARGO Coordinating Council increased, reaching over 100 people

– ARGO recognized at the level of local and regional authorities and is perceived as a key partner in most development-related processes.

– ARGO fundraising results doubled. Over the past year ARGO managed to collect about 10 million rubles for projects. Already at the beginning of 2015, we understand that this target will be repeated.

– Urban community has learned how to organize large-scale events. The fact that at the end of the year, in partnership with ARGO event agencies were able to jointly organize a charity project – the Largest Christmas Tree of Udmurtia (which was visited by 7,500 children and demonstrated the willingness of the urban community to set and achieve new ambitious goals).

It remains only to invite all Readers to the second Forum of Living Cities, which will be held in Izhevsk on May 20-23, 2015.

Why Team ARGO for Meshworker of the Year 2014?

It seems that Team ARGO has been able to pivot on the dissonances in their usual urban environment – not only in the home base of Izhevsk but reaching out to all of Russia. Their meshworking intelligences have not been stopped by dissonance – but rather triggered to creative action by dissonance (and constraints) in the environment. They are releasing new potentials that emerge new values systems and new capacities in cities. At the same time they are skillfully utilizing hierarchical structures and capacities to create sorting and selecting mechanisms that enable new options and strategies. As new living city values emerge, Team ARGO are creating the conditions for a more complex level to develop where members of their community of living city practice can meshwork hierarchies and in turn make hierarchies out of meshworks.

Team ARGO is demonstrating initiative in cities can include learning on local, national and international scales, financing, event production and disseminating Best Practices. They model the vital role of imagination, taking courage and utilizing powers of attraction. ARGO’s brand of intelligence is designing along with the diversities in people and thereby is releasing and reorganizing new intelligences that have been locked and blocked in silos of sameness.

Team ARGO’s meshworking is effectively catalyzing a shift in many city systems, so that new – living city – capacities are emerging. Effectively the city systems appear to be reorganizing themselves into something more internally resonant to their urban fabrics and externally coherent with (even turbulent) life conditions. (This is a very different story than what we hear about Russia in the western news/media.)

Team ARGO has shown that Russian communities and cities, as emergents and artefacts of human life, are vibrant, creative outcomes of the distinctive Russian brains that have created them. We can see how Team ARGO are enabling Russian cities to work and evolve by recognizing local champions, and supporting Best Practices to evolve. These meshworks in cities have the potential to become fractal patterns that may change all scales of human systems across the country.

As Team ARGO has reached out to the four voices of the city, it is obvious that an enormous value of meshworking is that it embraces both the realms of the objective and interobjective space of physical people and built structures, and calls forth the capacities that lie in the subjective and intersubjective zones of Russian cities from East to West. Team ARGO seems to have tapped into the inner domains of intention, purpose and culture in all four city voices.

Team ARGO’s meshworking intelligences are actively contributing to research, planning and management in cities across Russia with a vital center in Izhevsk.  Integral City is proud to award Team ARGO the Meshworker of the Year Award, 2014.

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Humans and the cities we have created are permanently locked into a never-ending learning cycle, to create ever more complex adaptations to protect increasingly more complex cities.

Integral Life PlanetCity2

In the Integral City 2.0 Online Conference (2012), five critical threats to human populations in cities were identified: climate, energy, water, food and finance (Hamilton et al., 2013; Hamilton and Sanders, 2013). These threats, are deeply interconnected and must be viewed within a systemic framework that considers all five sets of intelligences in cities – Contextual, Integral (Individual/Collective), Strategic and Evolutionary.

In keeping with my contemplation of the Nattrass article “How ARE we to go on together: Our Evolutionary Crossroads” I want to consider the story we tell ourselves about climate – and how that story may be increasing the dissonance we (as a species) are experiencing as individuals, organizations, cities and the planet.

I propose that the growing magnitude of this dissonance about climate change is exactly what we need in order to make a significant leap in our collective worldviews about climate change.

The Nattrasses bring this dissonance sharply to mind as they reflect on the increasingly anxious questions that have emerged since our early doubts about human relationship to Nature (a form of Collective Intelligence). They ask (as could our mothers too).

  • Is humanity bankrupting nature?
  • Is humanity on a collision course with the natural world?
  • What is our ecological footprint?
  • What are ecosystem services and how do we calculate their value?
  • Are human activities causing climate change?
  • What are the limits to growth on this planet?
  • Is there a population bomb ticking?
  • Can we meet our needs today and leave enough for future generations to meet theirs as well?
  • What does it mean to overshoot ecological capacity?

 

However, the integral perspective on the cycle of human learning (well explored by Clare Graves) observes that why humans learn depends on precisely their encounters/relationships with dissonance. Without experiencing dissonance we essentially are not motivated to change and so we don’t change!

Many believe that the greatest dissonance the globe faces today is climate change. It is impacting all life forms, including ours. The disturbing situation is though, that we cannot definitively say what is causing climate change? But however, we define the causal equation it appears that human behavior is a contributing factor. And commensurately human intelligence is required to mitigate, adapt and if possible prevent it.

Climate is inescapably a prime element of the habitats in which we live – including and probably especially cities. As individuals we co-exist with our habitats from the smallest personal social scales (Map 2) to the largest Kosmic scales (Map 4, Map 5). Within these inner and outer spectra of human groupings (Map 2) and environmental contexts, we co-create and co-evolve with our habitats.

Earlier in this 21st century cities became the habitats of 50%+ of humanity (90% in developed world). Cities are the most complex human system yet created. As social holons they are complex adaptive systems with potential for orders of learning that magnify the intelligence of any one individual, family, group, organization, sector or neighbourhood. The Nattrasses (2015) point out:

Virtually any [person, team and] organization of any substance has its worldview, its system of intelligibility, rooted firmly in the Old Story. Each operates, and succeeds or fails, within the underlying assumptions found in the Old Story. In turn, individual organizations must still operate within a global system that is also massively embedded in the Old Story.  And in order for any organization to be an influential leader of change for sustainability, it must continue to be successful within the existing Old Story system. Public companies, for example, must continue to show growth and profits, and report them to shareholders every three months, all the while trying to revision and recreate the company and its markets from a sustainability perspective. The task we face is like nothing that has ever taken place in industrial society—it is comparable to rebuilding a jet liner while in flight 10,000 meters above ground.  How do leaders help lead this transformation from inside the very systems that need to change, while at the same time avoiding major economic or social disruptions?

Cities are containers of holons, social holons, relationships, exchanges and emergents – at every scale. As a whole I have long considered them to be a massively complex meshwork. But in practice cities are actually meshworks of meshworks. [See the full definition of meshworking intelligence here.]

The operational values of meshworks in living systems is that they enable a continuous stream of natural, living complex structures to emerge – so that the living system can make the most efficient use of energy by capturing the structures (and infrastructures) that have enabled survival and sustainability; for example this is how all the structures that enable cities to function have emerged – from family hearths, to clans, kingdoms, bureaucracies, businesses social networks, communications systems and global alliances (Map 4). At the same time effective meshworks ensure that background activity never stops self-organizing – thus enabling creative adaptation and emergence (e.g. the activities of inventors, artists, researchers, entrepreneurs, developers, etc.).

This “natural” meshworking capacity of human systems has never been successfully suppressed in the long run, by any governance system, technology or habitat – because the nature of earthly life has ensured that dissonance is always with us – challenging our hierarchies and demanding new solutions for life-threatening problems. But as the Nattrasses point out, the assumptions and worldviews in the Old Story of how cities work, have entrenched the blindness to the impact of human influence on climate change (whatever the cause) into the very organs (organizations) of the living city itself.

The bad news is that cities converge all the problems and potentials of humanity into a vortex of toxic threats. The good news is that cities converge all the problems and potentials of humanity into a spiral of dissonances that trigger the emergence of possibilities and intelligences. (In fact I have suggested that Integral Cities that are alive, resilient and optimized operate with a suite of 12 intelligences (in 5 sets).)

The dissonances caused by climate change challenge all five sets of city intelligences:  Contexting/ Integral – Individual and Collective /Strategic/ Evolutionary.

Integral City Compass

Integral City: 12  Intelligences

As we are waking up to the very real threats of climate change to our cities, our 4 city Voices act like clumsy children who are not yet effective managers of their bio/psycho/cultural/social capacities. As cities we are bumbling around – but, because we are noticing that the Old Story of the mechanical city does not answer all the questions that arise, our dissonances are thrown back in our collective face(s). In other words, our city habitats let us know in very real terms when our learning is not sufficient to the task at hand.

As Brian and Mary Nattrass point out, we have come to a place on this planet where we have never been before. As a species who has hardly reached our teenagehood, we long for parents who might give us another story to explain life.

Rio, Kyoto, Seattle, Copenhagen, Paris

But, cities as the most complex human system we have yet created are discovering that we will have to parent ourselves. One by one cities are learning the hard lessons and bit by bit, we are teaching the human systems within our cities the difficult learning lessons of climate change pioneers. By extension these cities on the early-change bandwagon are beginning to share their hard lessons with our planet of cities – as each becomes ready to learn (i.e. when the dissonance meter gets loud enough, such as happened in New Orleans and Sendai).

As the clarion call for climate change awareness has sounded now for more than a quarter century, the early storytellers of this New Story have despaired at what has seemed collective deafness. They expected nations and organizations to take the lead. But now we see that it is perhaps not surprising that cities have taken the lead, and continue to be at the forefront of storytellers of a different way.

Cities as convergences of human capacities have the most to lose by not addressing climate change. They sit at the nexus points of Earth’s greatest tectonic contractions, water flows, air sheds, food production, energy consumption and material production. And they also concentrate the greatest quantity of evolutionary intelligence to focus on the problems at hand.

Many early adopters have agonized over the apparent resistance of organizations to respond effectively (or at all) to climate change. But by definition successful organizations have not only been anchored in the Old Story – they have verified it, sustained it and perpetuated it (as the Nattrasses noted above).

But with the lenses of complexity, living systems and evolutionary wholeness, we realize that cities are a more complex order of human systems than organizations. Cities are effectively organizations of organizations. And that is why a meshwork (discussed above) is the (fractal) explanation of how they become effective at working together.

So now that our cities have woken up and see strategies for climate change, what role can cities play in changing the story of climate change? More precisely what roles can the 4 Voices of the city working together play in transitioning from the Old Story to the New Story?

Citizens can:

  1. Ask the tough questions
  2. Keep wellbeing in mind
  3. Practise the Master Code

Civic Managers can:

  1. Connect all the systems inside the city and between cities
  2. Take Governance initiatives – defy federal/national/global resistances
  3. Amplify governance initiatives (like Obama’s announcements of US/China Climate Change Agreement)
  4. Emerge the new structure(s) by prototyping and experimenting. (Like Curitiba building the city for people not cars).

Civil Society can:

  1. Convene the intelligence/story challengers/researchers for ongoing forums of discovery (Rio, Kyoto, Seattle, Copenhagen, Paris have not been in vein – each convening has moved the story forward).
  2. Create Metrics and Collect the Indicators – ISO Standard for Cities
  3. Mediate smaller the effectiveness and capacity of all scales – both those smaller than cities such as organizations and those larger scales like nations and the planet itself

Developers, Researchers and Business can:

  1. Prototype change
  2. Align organizations of organizations – learn how to meshwork with intention
  3. Keep the meshwork a living, intentional capacity building process.

A final word from Brian and Mary Nattrass:

In the thousands of years of remembered human histories, it has been expressed in many ways in many times among many peoples that we are that being who lives between Heaven and Earth—ever torn between the god-like qualities of our highest selves and the bestial qualities of our animal selves. Never in our history as a species have we been so urgently called to live and be inspired by the qualities of our better natures; and to grow beyond the tug of our weaker selves. This is a challenge for us as individuals just as much as for our organizations and our society—because ultimately, our organizations and our societies are only expressions of us. So we come now to our evolutionary challenge—the very real challenge of our time. It is the story we are still writing together. It is that socially negotiated story that will ultimately answer the question: How are we to go on together?

It is my contention that key cities are at the stage of evolution where the dissonances they are experiencing have awakened them to being proactive on their own behalf and on behalf of the planet of cities. These cities who are early adopters of the New Integral City story are creating the habitats that will enable us all to go on together.

 

References

Graves, C. (2005). The Never Ending Quest: A Treatise on an Emergent Cyclical Conception of Adult Behavioral Systems and Their Development. Santa Barbara, CA: ECLET Publishing.

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

Hamilton, M., & Sanders, B. (2013). Integral City 2.0 Online Conference 2012 Proceedings: A Radically Optimistic Inquiry Into Operating System 2.0 M. Hamilton (Ed.)   Retrieved from http://www.scribd.com/doc/120713339/Integral-City-2-0-Online-Conference-2012-A-Radically-Optimistic-Inquiry-into-Operating-System-2-0

Hamilton, M., & etal. (2013). Integral City 2.0 Online Conference 2012 Appendices: A Radically Optimistic Inquiry Into Operating System 2.0 – 36 Interviews M. Hamilton (Ed.)   Retrieved from http://www.scribd.com/doc/123005653/Integral-City-2-0-Online-Conference-2012-Appendices-A-Radically-Optimistic-Inquiry-into-Operating-System-2-0-36-Interviews

Nattrass, B., & Nattrass, M. (2015). How ARE We To Go On Together? Our Evolutionary Crossroads. Integral Leadership Review January-February (Canada Issue). Retrieved from http://integralleadershipreview.com/12795-215-go-together-evolutionary-crossroads/

 

This blog is one of a series that explores the relevance and application of ideas to the Integral City, in the articles published in the Integral Leadership Review – Canada Issue, 2015, curated and Guest Edited by Marilyn Hamilton.

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International \Organization for Standards (ISO) has announced a new standard for quality of life in cities.

In London, UK on November 17-18, 2014, ISO in conjunction the World Council on City Data (WCCD) launches the  the first international standard for sustainable cities, ISO 37120: Sustainable development of communities — Indicators for city services and quality of life.

Working with cities who want a standard created by and for cities, WCCD and ISO 37120 have announced an initial suite of 46 indicators.  These indicators, enable the 4 Voices of the City, to access objective, verified (by auditors) vital signs (aka indicators) to to compare services and performance levels with other cities around the world. Civic managers (generally the policy makers in the city) can now be held accountable by citizens, businesses and civil society organizations by using the ISO 37120 standards as a tool that is  evidence based and annually updated.

ISO lists the benefits of the standard for cities as providing:

• More effective governance and delivery of services
• Local and international benchmarking and planning
• Informed decision making for policy makers and city managers
• Learning across cities
• Recognition by international entities
• Leverage for funding by cities with senior levels of government
• Framework for sustainability planning
• Transparency and open data for investment attractiveness

The WCCD has identified 20 foundation cities who have agreed to adopt ISO 37120 and help build the WCCD, basing its initial set of indicators on 17 Themes.

 

As we have written elsewhere, for an Integral City, key city indicators must be balanced amongst the four quadrants and based on the city as a living, complex adaptive system. While at least one of the key indicators we have been tracking since our Integral City 2.0 Online Conference is missing (Food) – we think this looks like a promising start with proxies for all the quadrants in place. Moreover, the 20 foundation cities are distributed around the world, so that they will seed the growth of the indicators in different geographies and cultures. (Bogotá, Guadalajara, Boston, Toronto, London, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Helsinki, Arnman, Dubai, Makkah, Minna, Johannesburg, Haiphong, Shanghai, Makati, Melbourne).

Kudos to the working teams at WCCD and all the cities who have participated!!!

Key information in this blog was gleaned from Meeting of the Minds, webinar on New Urban Indicators for City Services and Quality of Life  http://cityminded.org/cal/new-urban-indicators-city-services-quality-life

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I am Integral City.

Web of Conversations

Web of Conversations

I am a web of constant, connecting, mysteriously transformative conversations,

manifesting the 12 City Intelligences,[i] amongst my 4 voices[ii]

citizens, government, organizations, and businesses.

Some people align towards,

others resist,

co-creating a more beautiful and sustainable world.

Worldviews expand from self, to city, to world, then kosmocentric embrace,

honoring life-giving values,

redesigning ways for all my voices to relate

as they reshape systems

in the ecology of thoughts

as it evolves into greater intelligence and caring.

 

Some of my voices are Meshworkers,[iii]

asking in their connecting conversations:

“What dissolves or bypasses barriers and opens flow for life-giving change?”

They see specific potentials for more intelligence and evolution into a beautiful future.

They connect increasingly with one another and with Peer Spirits in and beyond Integral City

into the Planet of Cities.

They design new systems

through collective intelligence,

building new capacities in all my voices,

unblocking stuck systems,

and co-creating solutions

which embody within me,

Integral City,

Gaia’s desire for resilience.

~~~

This essay is part of a collection of dialogic essays written to celebrate the New Story of the City. We publish them in the week of the first World Cities Day (October 31) having first been inspired by by Kosmos Journal‘s invitation to tell a new story. Our team of Integral City Constellation Voices, Peer Spirits and Essayists includes: Joan Arnott, Alia Aurami, Cherie Beck, Diana Claire Douglas, Marilyn Hamilton, Linda Shore

The Voices in this dialogue are: Spirit of Integral City, Gaia, Integral City, Peer Spirits, Communities of Practice.

Each  voice is introduced by the Stage Directions:

Welcome, Connecting One(s), to this sapient circle. We gather here to constellate Indra’s Net for our Planet of Cities around this question “How does Integral City Connect for Change in Service to a Planet of Cities?” ( first asked by Kosmos Journal).  Welcome to you, Peer Spirits, who long to connect to the City and her Communities of Practice, to Gaia, and to Spirit who energizes us all. Listen …Integral City speaks …

Endnotes:

[i] Integral City 12 Intelligences

[ii] 4 voices of Integral City

[iii] Meshworking Intelligence practiced by the Hague Center’s Anne-Marie Voorhoeve

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Eleven organizations contributed to the research behind the book Reinventing Organizations, by author Frederic Laloux.  If so few organizations passed the filter of Tier 2 qualifications will we have to wait centuries for enough organizations to mature to this stage before we can reinvent our cities?

Upside Down City

That is a sobering thought – and one that should motivate us to get on with the work of growing our capacities as individual leaders and redesigning our organizations so that we can expand the circles of care and thrivability from Tier 1 to Tier 2.

But the Integral City has three natural Strategic Intelligences that can accelerate the maturing processes of organizations and communities – the WE space of the city.

  1. Inquiry Intelligence opens us up to learning, discovery and innovation.
  2. Meshworking Intelligence creates the conditions where self-organizing capacities in the city combine with structuring capacities to create a scaffold that enables a hierarchy of complex organizations and individuals to co-create a resilient ecology.
  3. Navigating Intelligence gives us the systemic feedback that lets us know if we are proceeding in the right direction to achieve our Purpose (and correct our course of action in order to achieve our intended goals).

Reinvented Organizations can play special roles as actors, agents and catalysts of Strategic Intelligences within their cities of operation.

As Inquirers, they can take the lead in “calling the question” – How can we do this differently (e.g. redesign a mature neighbourhood). Who else should be here? How can we call the 4 Voices of the City into this conversation?

As Meshworkers, they can call together the 4 voices of the City (Citizens, Civic Managers, Civil Society, Business) and help other organizations, economic sectors and communities identify the Purpose that they serve in common. They can facilitate and/or call in facilitators who can help reveal the life conditions and align the values of the community for resilient outcomes.

As Navigators, they can co-create feedback loops that inform everyone of the city’s progress, through designing Vital Signs Monitors that track wellbeing and resilience for communities and the city.

If City Halls, as key organizations in the City Voices we call Civic Managers, choose to reinvent themselves, they can quicken the reinvention of the whole city. City Halls who reinvent how they conduct the business of the city, must draw on the Strategic Intelligences of an Integral City either implicitly or explicitly.  If you want to look at how one city has chosen to implement such a strategy to reinvent its mature neighbourhoods – look at how Strathcona has implemented Integral City Strategic Intelligences, engaging facilitators to engage the 4 Voices of the City to complete the groundwork that may incubate the reinvention of the city as a whole.

Pioneering projects like Strathcona Mature Neighbourhood Strategy, are necessary models, for us to learn the early stages of how applying Integral City Strategic Intelligences, in the service of reinventing organizational patterns can reinvent the city.

 

This blog continues an exploration of what we can learn if we applied some of Laloux’s ideas from Reinventing Organizations to recalibrating the complexity of the city.

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This blog continues to share the Findings from the research conducted in three Learning Lhabitats exploring the 4 Voices of the City in the United States, Canada and Europe in the last year. Today we compare the results that open wider understanding of the role of the Civil Society Voice in the city,  from Learning Lhabitats at the Integral Theory Conference 2013, Federation of Canadian Municipalities Sustainability Conference 2014 and Integral Europe Conference  2014. Civil Society embraces Not-for-Profits, NGO’s and Faith Community. (Integral City has characterized them as the Inner Judges of the Human Hive.) 

 

Voices of Civil Society are Spark Plugs

IEC: Voices of Civil Society are Spark Plugs

 

Profiles of the Co-Researchers

In collecting this data, it is interesting to note the profile of the participants in each conference. The Integral Theory Conference 2013, located in San Francisco, USA, attracted thinkers and theorists with a major interest and focus on integral points of view – a group that were heavily weighted in the Upper Left /Consciousness Quadrant of the Integral Model. At the same time, this group self-identified as being strongly biased in favour of Innovators and Business or Diversity Generators.

The Federation of Canadian Municipality Sustainability Conference 2014, located in Prince Edward Island, Canada, attracted Mayors, City Managers and Civic Leaders with an interest in sustainability and action orientation. So from an integral perspective this group were heavily weighted in the Upper Right/Action and Lower Right/Systems Quadrants of the Integral Model. This group by definition were Civic Managers or Resource Allocators.

Finally the Integral Europe Conference 2014, located in Budapest, Hungary, attracted a diversity of cultures and actors from across Europe (with smaller representation from other non-European nations) who were heavily weighted in the Lower Left/ Cultural Quadrant of the Integral Model. This group had a strong predisposition to be Inner Judges from Civil Society (with a strong showing from Business as well.)

These three groups give us an in interesting sampling of the I/We/It/Its perspectives on the Civil Society in the Integral City. Figure 1 sets out the comparison of the 3 Groups.

 

Figure 1: Comparing Voices of Civil Society: ITC, FCM, IEC

Figure 1: Comparing Voices of Civil Society: ITC, FCM, IEC

 

 Qualities of the Voice of Civil Society

Each Learning Lhabitat was asked to define the qualities of the Civil Society Voice. A visionary spirit of pioneers characterized this voice.

Civil Society is able to set the focus for conversations and act as integrators of diverse value systems in the city. They could create a “climate change” where all voices share a mindset that is open to future focused thinking.

They were credited with being good listeners who could align all voices on a shared track. They had the capacity to be in right relationship with each other and the city. Moreover they had the astuteness to discover who are the key stakeholders of the other three voices in the city. In doing so they can create a sense of “home” in the city so that everyone gains a “feel” of the city.

This voice conveyed love, as well as reflective and meditative capacities. They were known as both pragmatists (tough love?) and conscious philanthropists.

As builders of strong social networks, collaborators and facilitators, they joined forces to build community and organize intergroup exchanges, thereby breaking down silos. This voice searched for and discovered the needs, purposes and values of city voices, groups and cultures and they took the time and effort to check in with the intentions of citizens.

Civil Society aims for the Greater Good, demonstrating the stamina of long distance runners, overcoming apathy and isolation, enabling resilience to emerge in themselves and the city.

Some called Civil Society “spark plugs” and others saw the same qualities as “shit disturbers” – but in either case they are active leaders of the pack – change agents with creative, innovative, pattern-busting capacities for change.

Even as free thinkers, Civil Society is seen also as strategic thinkers, problem solvers and more than willing to spend money (and less often save it).

On the shadow side, Civil Society was seen as cynical, vocal, self-interested and adamant about getting their way.

 

The Value of Collecting Intelligence from Multiple Sources

These Learning Lhabitats are helping us see how Civil Society Voices see themselves, each other, their city and the world. In these LLhabs, Civil Society Voices are discovering their aligning force in the Integral City, and how to build community that improves the quality of life for the city as a whole.

In the companion blogs (Citizens, Civic Managers, Business) we look at the other three Voices of the City revealed in our trio of Learning Lhabitats.

 

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