Posts Tagged ‘community’

Imagine Durant has created a bold invitation to the 4 Voices of Durant Oklahoma, USA to imagine a vision for the future and develop the strategies to implement it.

Imagine Durant diamond logo


Building on the economic boom of gaming tourism, and their own journeys as integrally informed leaders, the President of First United Bank and the (now) Chief of the Choctaw Nation, invited Integral City to visit Durant in 2013 and make a proposal for a community development process that would grow community-wide support from grassroots participation.

A Formation Team created in 2014, hired a part-time coordinator and commenced a series of presentations to Civil Society groups, collecting survey data that started to paint a picture of Durant’s values. With evidence for expanding support, the Team, framed a partnership with the Chamber of Commerce to provide an office; created a not-for-profit organization; formed a Board of Directors (from the 4 Voices of Durant); and hired an Executive Director – all for lift-off in January 2015.

Demonstrating commitment, collaboration, and leveraging Integral intelligences (also being taught as organizational development in the bank and Choctaw organizations) Imagine Durant is the natural winner of the Meshworkers of the Year Award, 2015.

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.

Imagine Durant has systematically documented the process, results and interconnections amongst a series of three Dialogues on the Economy and the Community. Imagine Durant brought together 24 Thought Leaders, 39 Community Members and 24 Policy Makers to learn what was most important to the community. From the contacts made through these representatives of the 4 Voices of the city, it is estimated that Imagine Durant touched thousands of Durant stakeholders – including all of the councilors of City Hall and other governance systems in the County, State and Choctaw Nation; many of the 48 Civil Society organizations; many of the hundreds of highschool and university faculty and students; and all the key businesses of the city (and their customers).

Imagine Durant Harvest Reports for all 3 Dialogues are available on the Imagine Durant website and form an important contribution to Integral City research and development.

The 2015 Dialogues establish a foundation for two subsequent Dialogue series scheduled to be held in 2016 on:

  • Health and the Environment
  • Education and Culture

As Imagine Durant has reached out to the 4 Voices of the city, it is obvious that an enormous value of meshworking is that it embraces both the realms of the subjective inner lives of the 4 Voices and the intersubjective cultures that have a history embedded deeply in both Native American and non-Native American stories.

At the same time Imagine Durant has acted on an “early win” idea from the first Dialogue and spawned a parallel project in a cross-city walking trail – now called Nowa Oka – that has won the support of a grant for planning the trail, from National Parks.

Imagine Durant Roadmaps & Symbols dec 8 2015 - Copy

The commitment to taking the time to Creating Value through defining the purpose, vision and interconnections amongst these stories means that when Durant shifts into the future stage of Realizing Values, it will be able to design with assurance that it has alignment and coherence to the city’s Vision when it invests in tangible structures.

Imagine Durant’s meshworking intelligences are actively contributing to engagement of three levels of government, influencing city change and impacting community connections.  Integral City is proud to award Imagine Durant the Meshworker of the Year Award, 2015.



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The magic of building community starts with small wins. That is one of the secrets that Milenko Matanovic, Founder of Pomegranate Center, shares with everyone he can.

Milenko, speaking at the Building Sustainable Communities Conference, was a gold nugget find!! He complemented my image of the human hive with engaging stories about practical actions that the Pomegranate Center  (in Issaquah WA) has catalysed during a series of remarkable community projects over the last 25 years.

Do you remember the last time you avoided a public meeting related to sustainability issues, you knew you should attend? Did you feel guilty because you knew the intentions were aligned with what you believed needed to be done? But did you feel defeated before you started because your experience at the last meeting was so depressing? Was it because the last time you went, you felt ignored? you were bored to tears? you hated the confrontations? you felt uneasy? nothing changed? Did you encounter what Milenko has called the 4 Horsemen of Community Inaction: NIMBY’s, naysayers, curmudgeons and grandstanders?

In terms of the human hive, these are the core of Conformity Enforcers, resistant to change that will offer resilience to sustain the hive. These folks are unwilling to listen or respond to any of the ideas put forward by the Diversity Generators.

But if you were at a meeting of the Human Hive, which Milenko facilitated, he would offer three core resources that would unsnarl the blockages and cultivate the community that can support sustainability. (These are documented in Pomegranate Center’s fast and free handbook – see the link below). Milenko shares simple guidelines of Civility, Inquiry and Creativity.

Civility lies at the core of Milenko’s Community Building approach. (It is related to the Intelligence we call Storytelling or Cultural Intelligence in Integral City.) The simple rules are:

  • Share airtime: Everyone participates; no one is allowed to dominate
  • Assume that together we know more: Work to understand the assumptions, opinions, and ideas of
  • others
  • Reject the culture of blame: Be tough on ideas, gentle on people
  • Put yourself in someone else’s shoes: Represent those not present

Inquiry complements Civility with its invitation to participate.(It is a close cousing to the Intelligence we call Inquiry Intelligence in Integral City.) Its simple rules are:

  • Open your ears and your mind: Listening is NOT just waiting for your turn to speak
  • Do your homework: Understand the problem and its history
  • Look for common solutions: Then commit to them
  • Seek the community’s highest good for both present and future

Creativity builds on Civility and Inquiry to enable differences to emerge shared capacity. (It is related to the Intelligence we call Meshworking Intelligence in Integral City.) The simple rules here are:

  • Forge Multiple Victories: The best ideas solve more than one problem at a time
  • Explore unconventional approaches: New conditions demand new solutions
  • Turn opposition into proposition: Instead of fighting a weak idea, come up with a better one
  • Transform differences into gifts: Arguing over the differences among us wastes money, time, resources, goodwill, and talent. Exchanging ideas with others leads to greater insights, and more inclusive, creative solutions
  • Change your mind in light of new information: Do your part to create an atmosphere where
  • meetings are about discovery and collaboration, not platforms for convincing others that your idea is
  • king
  • Maintain the balance between heart and mind, knowledge and intuition, expertise and passion

I recommend that you download your own copy of Pomegranate Center’s, (click and download) Building Better Communities Handbook – each page is full of processes and resources that build healthy and sustainable human hives.

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