Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Climate change’


Integral City nominates Paris as City of the Year 2015. Paris is the city featured on the cover of the Integral City book.

Integral City :Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive

Integral City :Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive

The City of the Year is a new – but natural award for us to make. We have recognized the importance of cities as both trigger points and tipping points in their respective nations and for the world at large.

Paris has been particularly on our heart/mind this year from January through to December. We have been learning how Paris has made possible a new sense of connectedness.

Paris has shown us three new ways of appreciating the Master Code through taking care of Self/ Others/ Place/ Planet.

Je Suis Charlie

Je Suis Paris

Je Suis COP21.

Each of these experiences, may not only represent breakthroughs from the “fever crises” of the human species, but also represent the vestiges of an early “We Consciousness” – the glimmers of our collective consciousness shining through Paris, the City of Light. This consciousness is shining through all who have supported her from the great to the ordinary, from the “present in body” to the “awake in spirit”, from the displaced refugee to the homeful citizen, from the reflective practitioner to the expressive artist.

What synchronicity and foreshadowing inspired the graphic artist to select Paris as the quintessential city for the cover of Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive?? That choice, made in 2008 has always fascinated me (and intrigued city planners and integrally informed readers alike) – but little could we have known that it would presage Paris’s high profile in 2015.

When people have asked me to identify Integral Cities, they have anticipated that I would point to particular cities demonstrating the features of an Integral City. But as I explained in the book, at the time of writing I was noticing the patterns and “weak signals” that indicated a new paradigm of the city was emerging. Many cities exhibited some qualities of an Integral City – but it has not been easy until the paradigms of the Smart City and Resilient City emerged in the last seven years, to point to particular cities as “Integral Cities”.

In nominating Paris as City of the Year, we are not even saying that Paris IS an Integral City – yet. But it has demonstrated a powerful City Spirit that responded immediately and deeply to the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Its defiance in the face of the multiple November 13 attacks continued its enactment of the key values born in earlier times: Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité. And its gracious and surprisingly secure hosting of the COP21 conference demonstrated alignment with a global purpose and strategic capabilities to keep safe space and time during a global conversation on ecology.

So in respect to the Integral City Intelligences we could say that Paris enabled a global conversation on ecological contexts, demonstrating inner, outer, cultural and social capacities, supporting strategies (inquiring, meshworking, navigating) that framed outcomes and walked through a refiner’s fire of dissonance for evolutionary breakthroughs.

If any city deserves the City of the Year 2015, Paris does. At this stage of human development none of us has a perfect record of living the Master Code – but collectively we are learning our way through to taking care of Self / Others/ Place / Planet.

Paris as City of the Year 2015 has offered a city-focused model of how the Master Code works – even on an implicit level.

Congratulations and Gratitudes to Paris – City of the Year 2015.

 

Read Full Post »


Is it amazing that 195 nations were able to draft an agreement for Climate Change in Paris last week?

banner_01 globe EU Africa

Euphoria, celebrations and emotional highs marked the conclusion of the gathering. COP21 had been a long time coming with holdouts, recriminations and resistances marking its predecessor gatherings and the planning for this event.

But I wonder if the agreement could have been reached in any other location or year than Paris 2015?

Paris has suffered a year of unspeakable effrontery and pain with the Charlie Hebdo and November 13 attacks. Paris could easily have receded into a cave of cowering fear and justified cancelling COP21 as too demanding and irrelevant to Paris’ security, safety and sanity.

But with counter-intuitive courage Paris stepped into the refiner’s fire and affirmed its commitments to host COP21. What’s more, the participating countries took this opportunity to fly in the face of VUCA global-sized threats and attend the conference with the highest levels of state and working delegates.

In contemplating the Charlie Hebdo and November attacks as evolutionary eruptions of the human condition, I wonder if the terrorists behind these attacks have inadvertently created a “fever crisis” of the human system that demanded/demands a global size immune response?

While the Paris terrorists thought they were attacking representations of infidel practices, perhaps they actually created the conditions for the demonstration of a global immune response?  If so, the terrorists may have perpetrated a major unintended consequence that holds the seeds of undoing for their espoused system of barbarity and the seeds of the doing/being for global wellbeing?

COP21 had the intention of gaining global agreement to hold the impact of human-created climate change below 2C. And it celebrated the achievement of agreeing to an even more rigorous goal to limit temperature rise to 1.5C.

At the core of this agreement was the recognition that each person, organization, community, city, region and nation can contribute to the outcome. Self-responsibility is required at every level of scale.

And while the critics bemoan COP21’s lack of verifiable national targets, inspection processes and mechanisms for climate equity, the key vision and intention was named and endorsed. That is a significant beginning.

In evolutionary terms, what was set was a superordinate goal – one that transcended individual national interests – along with an intention to attain it through self-organizing means.

In the face of logic, scientific evidence and rational behaviour, critics lambaste the COP21 as hypocritical and illusory. But what they don’t recognize is that the agreement defies reason because of the emotional climate created by the Paris attacks. Underlying COP21 was a global need to demonstrate solidarity around an issue that matters to everyone.

The climate of outer change that was sought at COP21 was foregrounded by need for a climate of inner change for which Paris became the focal point.

Ironically the “fever crisis” of outer climate change has been proposed to be no higher than 2C. But the climate of inner change to achieve that will demand that the world work together in a way where metrics may well be measurable in evolutionary terms of the functionality of Gaia’s Reflective Organ (humans and our Human Hives).

What has been festering and boiling over in Paris’s cultural divides is a metaphor for what afflicts the inner climate of our human being (on a global scale). And the COP21 agreement as a global agreement sets the wellbeing targets for our outer climate. Together, the responses of Paris and COP21 provide both metaphorical and metaphysical grounds for a climate of change.

Thank you Paris for reflecting Gaia’s Light and displaying the courage we will need to make these inner and outer changes our new reality. You have shown me three new ways of appreciating the Master Code through taking care of self/ others/ place/ planet.

Je Suis Charlie

Je Suis Paris

Je Suis COP21.

Read Full Post »


Are metaphors useful when real life intrudes on their original power as a pattern framer?

Colony Collapse Disorder

Colony Collapse Disorder

For instance (almost a decade ago) when I coined the term “Human Hive” as a metaphor for the living, evolutionary human system of the city, it predated many life events that have since occurred. Perhaps the appropriateness for using this biomimicry term to look at the city as a living system is outdated? These days, when I share my ideas about the Human Hive, a series of particular events have become frequent challengers to thinking about the city in the terms of a hive metaphor.  Those most disturbing events have become known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

This is the alarming phenomenon that is endangering the honey beehives. The result of the syndrome is simple enough to describe – the majority of the honeybees abandon the hive and do not return. They apparently lose their carrying capacity to sustain themselves, the hive and contribute to the wellbeing of their eco region (through pollination).Why honey bees do this is as mystifying as it is disturbing. Scientists do not have consensus on whether the fault is the neoconitide pesticides that were introduced in the last decade (and are now being made illegal in many countries); loss of diversity in the gene pool; mites; changes in the environment – both man-made and natural; loss of flower habitat; and/or all of the above.

However, Colony Collapse Disorder has not dissuaded me from considering apis millifera – the honey bee – a worthy teacher. (In fact, cities in the Middle East may well be going through the equivalent Human Hive disintegration, as migrants pour out of their borders and seek sanctuary in European cities?)

But one of my deep consolations, is that the bee as a species, is 100 million years old and has adapted to every geography on earth. Entomological evidence indicates that CCD has happened before and the trusty bee has survived, adapted and continued to thrive. The most recent recommendations I have read about treating CCD is for humans to stop interfering by applying technological solutions and let the most advanced species of the invertebrates – for that is what the honey bee is considered to be – to let apis mellifera get on with developing its own solution to CCD.

As human migrants swarm out of one endangered city or country they are creating life conditions where the Human Hives they target become endangered themselves because of their own lack of carrying capacity. But as homo sapiens sapiens is supposed to be the most intelligent vertebrate on earth I wonder what natural intelligence we must release in order to overcome and/or avoid the human version of Colony Collapse Disorder that our invertebrate cousins the bees are hopefully figuring out how to do? As a radical optimist I think I will continue with the Human Hive metaphor, confident that Life’s Evolutionary Intelligence can see us through.

(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.)

Read Full Post »


This newsletter is published quarterly using a cycle of perspectives on the Integral City viewed from: Planet, People, Place and Power. The theme of this issue is People.

International developer Gail Hochachka proposes that people’s feelings, beliefs and worldviews affect how they are ready and willing to participate in sustainable behaviors (2005, p. 1). Moreover, she points out that traumatic experiences, like natural disasters and war, can damage people and leave them disabled from appropriate responses. Although these interior realities of a city’s population have been largely ignored or discounted because they are subjective, invisible and difficult to study, they are just as real as the exterior physical realities of the city. Interior realities create an interior environment that has just as many or more layers, contours and textures to it as geographic environments. We have studied them through the lenses of psychology, philosophy and the humanities, but until recently we have not recognized that, like our exterior qualities, they evolve and develop. We map the paleontology of our interiors through the shifts in worldviews that enable the growth of our interior landscapes and, therefore, our capacities for response, adaptability and resilience. The key centers of those internal views are the self, the other (family, clan) and the world  (society, sectors, spheres of influence, regions, globe).

Hamilton, M. (2008). Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive. Gabriola Island BC: New Society Publishers, p. 14-15

Pope Francis Offers Blueprint for Impacting a Planet of Integral Cities

With his encyclicals on the Environment and Climate Change (May, June, 2015), Pope Francis seems to be thinking as big as a Planet of Integral Cities.

Pope Francis has gifted the world with a Kosmic view of the environment and the implications for climate change. He instructs the faithful that God has not given dominion to man to dominate the environment but to respect all Life. He explicates what Integral City calls the Master Code – emphasizing that man’s individual expression must be viewed in relationship to others (particularly those in the developing world and the poor) and nature.

By implication that so many of the poor now live in cities, Pope Francis’ encyclical reveals the inextricable interconnected relationship of cities to their eco-regions and that cities everywhere have an obligation to steward not only the health of people but the health of the environment.

Pope Francis’ sweeping views that marry spirituality and science bring together the inner and outer worlds of peoples everywhere. He explicitly references our need to embrace Beauty and Goodness with our pursuit of Truth.  Without question Pope Francis has opened the door to an explicit Integral Ecology (the name of a whole chapter of the May 2015, Encyclical). In fact, in the May/June 2015 Encyclical the Pope has used the word “integral” 23 times.

Now is the time for all good people to come to the support of our sister/Mother Earth to optimize our impact on our Planet of Cities.

Many of Pope Francis’ points to make impact resonate with our series “How to Optimize Integral City Impact” (inspired by Roger Walsh’s 2014 Keynote at Integral Europe Conference). In this set of blogs we framed optimizing injunctions for the implementation and impact of Integral City Principles:

1.     How to Optimize the Impact of Integral City Work

2.     How to Optimize Integral City Impact Through Adult Development

3.     How to Optimize Integral City Impact by Getting Ideas Out Into the World

4.     How to Optimize Impact of Integral City Work from Direct Experience & Deep Wisdom

5.     How to Optimize Integral City Impact through Transconventional Religion

6.     How to Optimize Integral City Impact with Community of Practice

7.     How to Optimize Integral City Impact as Spiritual Practice

8.     How to Optimize Integral City Impact as Accomplice to the Divine

Read more on this story here.

Integral City Thinking

Integral City Blueprint

People in Dialogue: Imagine Durant Harvests Community Insights

How does Integral City work with a whole city? Durant Oklahoma is emerging as a gem of a generative action research process. We started with a visit in 2013 at the invitation of 2 City Leaders (Greg Massey, President of First United Bank, and Gary Batton, Chief of the Choctaw Nation). At that time we did due diligence with Integral City’s 12 Intelligences and came back to a small group (that became Durant’s Core Team for the next year) with a long term Proposal for Discovering, Imagining, Designing, and Delivering a unified vision for Durant and the strategies to implement it. From that Core Team, Imagine Durant was born as a project, financed by the 4 Voices of the city and guided by Executive Director, Kara Hendrickson.

Imagine Durant Vision Logo

On April 17-19, 2015, Imagine Durant began its visioning process, along with the Integral City team of: Beth Sanders, City Planner and Civic Meshworker; Linda Shore, City Management Advisor; Scott Moore, Architect and Community Planner; David Jaber, Natural Step Sustainability Expert; under the AQtivating leadership of Marilyn Hamilton.

We convened the first (of nine) dialogues where community thought leaders met to exchange and brainstorm possibilities for the future of Durant, Oklahoma. The special focus of this first round of dialogues was on the Economy and Community of Durant.

Twenty-four Thought Leaders pulled inspiration from their surroundings at the historical Three Valley Museum, located in downtown Durant. Leaders and community members from a wide variety of organizations, businesses and industries took time from their family and friends to share their stories, hopes, concerns, and visions for the city of Durant, Oklahoma.

The dialogue began with reflections among participants over an evening meal where they each shared stories of their personal connection with the community. Over the next 3 days participants asked good questions, explored four revealing scenarios (Dark Days Ahead, Status Quo, Durant Leads the Way, The Stars Aligned in Durant)  and finished with commitments to take the next steps together.

On June 13, 2015, a Public Dialogue continued the Visioning process, as citizens gathered to explore Burning Questions about Leadership Capacity, Engaging Community, Civic Management & Performance and Influencing Business Development. Participants offered generous resources including designing apps for “Discover Durant” and engaging veterans’ skills and interests with city projects.

Imagine Durant Public Dialogue

Imagine Durant Public Dialogue

In September 2015, this first round will conclude with a dialogue with Durant’s Policy Makers, presenting the Harvests from the Thought Leaders and Public and seeking input for taking ideas forward for early wins, supporting resources and aligning long-term strategies.

Read the full Thought Leaders story in the harvest report in the Resources Link below.

Pop-Up Playground: A Unique Way to Constellate Integral City Intelligences

Have you observed the “Pop-up” phenomenon that is emerging as a form of urban engagement, experiment and enterprise? Pop-ups are usually temporary co-creations of citizens, artists, performers, entrepreneurs and even serious city developers. It is often associated with “tactical urbanism” and can emerge as restaurants, retail, and/or entertainment in places like urban streets, flood plains, under bridges.

Integral City has borrowed the Pop-Up process and is combining it with Systemic Constellation Work to co-create three lunch playgrounds at Integral Theory Conference 2015

Integral-QuarterPage_01 sponsor ad

Joining MetaIntegral’s Integral Theory Conference for its fourth international event (and sponsoring the conference for the third time) Integral City has designed Pop-Up Playgrounds where we invite conference participants to harvest conference insights with the help of the Knowing Field. Lead Constellator, Diana Claire Douglas (Founder, of Knowing Field Designs) will help us to explore and experiment with our conference experience – drawing on the systemic constellation process that taps into our collective intelligence and releases energy for surprising reflections and fun results.

In the context of our Integral City engagements, we call this method AQAL Systemic Constellation Work. Guided by Integral City’s Master Code, we will co-create conditions for participants to engage conference outcomes that take care of Self, Others, ITC2015 and the Places of our hearts and homes.

We hope that you can join our Pop-Up Playground Lunch, any or all days (July 17, 18, 19, at12:30-1:45pm.)

Click here for 10 reasons to Join our Pop-Up Playground.

 

Integral City Calendar for People Quarter

  • July 16-17: Integral Theory Conference 2015 – Integral City will sponsor 3 Lunchtime Pop-Up Playground Constellations
  • September 11: Imagine Durant Policy Makers Dialogue

 

Celebrating “People-focus” in the Third Quarter 2015

June 21 marks the start of what Integral City calls the People Quarter (from June 21 toSeptember 20). What people perspectives have been inspired by the Pope’s Integral Ecology message or Durant’s Integral City practices? What inspirations, actions, methods revitalize you?  We notice that People are gaining deeper, wider, broader insights of our Planet of Cities connecting not only because of disasters and sustainability challenges but because they are motivated to wake up, grow up and clean up. Visit us at Integral City Collective on Facebook and post a short update or a photo.

Meshful Blessings for June Solstice from

Marilyn Hamilton and the Integral City Core Team

PS

Here are some some Free Resources for learning how Integral City practitioners work with People:

1. Imagine Durant Thought Leaders Harvest Report

2. Tam Lundy’s leadership tip (offered in Integral Leadership Review – Canada Issue offered a Leadership Tip on Generative Change) explains how leaders generate change through both integral thinking and practice.

Connect to Tam’s key pointing out instructions for generativity that align well with Integral City’s 12 Intelligences here and download her Generative Change: A Practical Primer.

3. Here are three blogs that give “gentle” Integral City guidance to share as “Householder Dharma”:

Householder Dharma: Optimizing Home Base with Values

Householder Dharma: Connecting People, Improving Health

Householder Dharma: Fifty Shades of Green Make Walking Delightful

Read Full Post »


Pope Francis is calling for an ecological reframing for the faithful in his sweeping new encyclical on the environment. In “Laudato Si,” or “Be Praised” (or “Praised Be,”). He addresses issues that individuals must take responsibility for, as well as larger collectives – including cities.

Pope Francis warns of harming nature, the costs of industrial pollution, resource waste and he calls for renewable fuel subsidies and energy efficiency.

banner_06 globe aus-pacific

The following article was posted by Sarah Pulliam, Washington Post,June 20, 2015

Here are some of the key passages people will read closely, everything from climate change and global warming to abortion and population control.

1) Climate change has grave implications. “Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which we will never know, which our children will never see, because they have been lost forever,” he writes.

2) Rich countries are destroying poor ones, and the earth is getting warmer. “The warming caused by huge consumption on the part of some rich countries has repercussions on the poorest areas of the world, especially Africa, where a rise in temperature, together with drought, has proved devastating for farming.”

3) Christians have misinterpreted Scripture and “must forcefully reject the notion that our being created in God’s image and given dominion over the earth justifies absolute domination over other creatures.”

4) The importance of access to safe drinkable water is “a basic and universal human right.”

5) Technocratic domination leads to the destruction of nature and the exploitation of people, and “by itself the market cannot guarantee integral human development and social inclusion.”

6) Population control does not address the problems of the poor. “In the face of the so-called culture of death, the family is the heart of the culture of life.” And, “Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion.”

7) Gender differences matter, and “valuing one’s own body in its femininity or masculinity is necessary if I am going to be able to recognize myself in an encounter with someone who is different.”

8) The international community has not acted enough: “recent World Summits on the environment have not lived up to expectations because, due to lack of political will, they were unable to reach truly meaningful and effective global agreements on the environment.” He writes, “the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or to replace politics. But I am concerned to encourage an honest and open debate so that particular interests or ideologies will not prejudice the common good.” And, “there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago.”

9) Individuals must act. “An integral ecology is also made up of simple daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness,” he writes. We should also consider taking public transit, car-pooling, planting trees, turning off the lights and recycling.

10) By the way, why are we here on Earth in the first place? “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” he writes.

Read the original of this article here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/06/18/10-key-excerpts-from-pope-franciss-encyclical-on-the-environment/

Read Full Post »


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.

Read Full Post »


What does the US-China handshake on climate change mean for our Planet of Cities?

When Eagle Shakes Hands with the Dragon

When Eagle Shakes Hands with the Dragon

On the one hand it should give them confidence that they are the seed beds of global change – for it is cities who took the initiative on the climate file. While the US nation both denied and ignored the issue of climate change, over 600 US cities took action in support of the Kyoto Accord to reduce greenhouse gases. While China refused to take climate action seriously at any of the global tables assembled to address the issue, her cities became the stage for the undeniable evidence that denying this truth killed people and productivity.

It is in cities where the sciences of sustainability, resilience, eco-footprints have been enunciated, explored and extolled. Cities have always been Earth’s acupressure points, where evidence accumulates about the impacts and costs of living beyond our ability to renew resources, failing to understand the interconnection of planetary systems and refusing to accept responsibility for our out-sized energy eco-footprints.

The individuality of city life conditions coupled with the universality of the human condition has allowed us to see  that we have to value and evaluate the impacts of climate change in unique ways for each city – but with the benefit of a growing collective intelligence about geographical and ecological contexts, integrated (even transcultural) strategies and evolutionary foresight.

What the US-China handshake on climate change may mean for cities, is that finally the national policy cloak that covers – and more usually chokes – city access to finances to act on the climate change file may be lifted and loosened. The natural competitiveness between nations, who have used the US-China reluctance to commit to a global climate change agreement, as an excuse for their own inaction, will be pressured both externally and internally to join the norming process that is finally emerging on the climate change file at a global scale.

The handshakes that cities may now make with each other on climate change can accelerate, deepen and expand city capacity to adapt, mitigate and prevent climate-caused disasters – even if it is only because the symbolic doors of global economic progress and energy supply chains have been kicked open by this bi-national handshake agreement.

It is now up to cities to act as if the symbolism of the handshake gives them license for real action on the climate change file across the whole planet of cities. This gives a radically new meaning to and potential for action on the synchronistic emergence of the ISO 37120 standard on city measurements.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: