Posts Tagged ‘economy’

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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Je Suis Charlie may be the most potent vaccine for an Ebola of the Human Soul that has been eating away the flesh of the human psyche since the first acts of terror were shouted in the name of Allahu Akbar.

God is Great. God is Good. But the God in all of US needs to be Better than Good. The God in Us needs to expand our whole understanding of the Master Code – to take care of ourselves, so we can take care of each other, so we can take care of this place/planet.

Je Suis Charlie is a clarion call for God to expand with compassion. But the God in Us needs to move beyond the Idiot Compassion that nurses the psychological Ebola that has been diminishing and disappearing the birthright fundamental to all the charters of human rights that we hold dear – namely freedom of speech.

Paris’s pain is a tipping point that is not reverberating just through France but across the Planet of Cities.

It feels as though the outrage at the murders of the Charlie Hebdo journalists and the police that came to defend them, has touched a deep nerve of outrage in the human psyche. Sparked not only by the public murders of real living particular people, but by the threat that a fundamental right of the human species has not merely been desecrated or denied but is verging on being wiped out.  Some basic quality of our shared human systems (particularly of the Human Hive) feels invaded, injured and infected.

The most poignant news clip I heard yesterday (on January 7, 2015 the day of the incident) was a Parisian Muslim man mourning the hijacking of his religion – which he stated was one of love and acceptance – for the purposes of murder.

When the taking of life becomes the driving force behind a group of people, and the skills of guerilla warfare are practised in the streets of the City of Love, something deep in the human soul rises up to name and claim the right to freedom of speech that was proclaimed centuries ago on the bastions of revolution – with one word – liberté!

While the destruction of the New York World Trade Centre declared economic war on Gaia’s Reflective Organ – and destroyed more people and more built value than Paris 2015; while the hijacking of women and children by ISIL and Boko Haram has declared bodily war on future generators and progenerators of the Human Hive; the effrontery of the Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris declares war on consciousness and culture that is not merely Parisian or French, but fundamental to the evolution of the human species. Such a war is an Ebola of consciousness and culture that threatens to erase stages and structures that the wellness and the future of human systems depend on.

VUCA – violence, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity – all characterize the Charlie Hebdo tipping point. And ironically to all those who can view Charlies with horror, they know somehow the most powerful forces that can address these plagues rest in the free flow of all forms of expression.

Free speech is not only an individual human right but a collective human necessity to advance awareness, intelligence, innovation, and discovery. Moreover it is central to dealing with our shadows. Free speech mirrors free thought and the reflective capacity that is the unique quality of Gaia’s Reflective Organ. It is what opens and enables the flex and flow of information across all human systems.

Paris’ Charlie Hebdo incident is a flashpoint warning to all the Cities of the Planet that an evolutionary intelligence may be in peril. Are we witnessing an Ebola of the Soul that starts by destroying the offices of a cultural commentator (using spoken/written word, humour, satire) but threatens the free expression of consciousness and culture across the world?

Or can we walk into the centre of this soul-eating war, and use it as a fulcrum to transcend and include freedom of speech to another level? Fighting Ebola of the body requires multiple and complex strategies to care for individuals, communities and countries (if not the planet). Care givers use the armour of hermetically sealed medical suits to rescue and treat the ill. Then they have used the strategies of Tough Love to separate the carriers of the disease from the rest of the community. And where necessary they separate afflicted communities from other communities by preventing mobility between them. Recently trials show one of the most effective treatments is blood transfusions from survivors to the infected. And with the art and science of innovation now vaccines are being developed to give healthy people preventative protection from the disease.

Learning from the experience of living systems, perhaps fighting Ebola of the psyche requires empowered protectors to take similar steps to expunge the hive from invaders against free speech? But it may also require separation of communities and the willingness of survivors to develop ways to inoculate others against contagion.

The greatest burden with this approach lies in the believers of the religion (Islam) that has spawned this Ebola of the Soul to stand against those who deny the value necessary for human life to progress on this planet.

As a species, perhaps we finally stand at the developmental stage that recognizes that some forms of expression are toxic at certain stages of individual and collective development and/or under VUCA contaminated life conditions? How can we learn to manage the scourge between cultures when we are not yet managing well the scourge within cultures? Are we finally ready for the Human Hive to catapult the defense of the right to free speech into opening an offence on the responsibility of free speech?

Who said living the Master Code would not require that we transcend and include the God in Us?

How do we now best call forth the God in Us to take care of ourselves, take care of each other and take care of this place/planet?


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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.

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Can you invent Tier 2 organizations without being embedded in an ecology/economy of Tier 1 organizations?

Spiral of Oranizations (Adapted from Spiral Dynamics, Beck & Cowan, 1996)

Dojos of Oranizations (Adapted from Spiral Dynamics, Beck & Cowan, 1996)

As I consider how Reinventing Organizations casts light on Reinventing the City, I am speculating that so-called Tier 2 organizations cannot exist without the competencies of the workers and capacities of the Tier 1 organizations in which they are currently and necessarily embedded.

All the organizations that Laloux explores have gained their capacities from the contributions of individuals who have learned basic skills and grown their capacities to organize, team, partner and collaborate in the Tier 1 system.

If we fail to recognize the essential “background” support of this ecological space (of the city) we will be blind to the functions offered by the city as a living system. The city is like a mega-dojo where players can learn their way through a series of organizational practices that earns them the privilege and freedom to articulate those competencies like a black-belt master (and thereby Reinvent Organizations). In most cities, a whole spectrum of Tier 1 organizations offer a series of dojos where players can learn the rudiments of reinventing themselves, their teams and organizational forms. If for no other reason than to gain the advantages of building on our skill sets we must thank the spectrum (and holarchy) of Tier 1 organizations that co-exist in our cities who accomplish these competency outcomes as a by-product of their existence.  (Thank you to families, sports teams, military and para-military organizations, professional associations, social networks, systems innovators, environmental invigorators, global connectors).

All living systems must be able to survive, connect with their environment and reproduce. (These are axiomatic to a circular economy). If we consider organizations to be living systems, then we must recognize the necessary and inextricable connections each organization has with all the other organizations and people that exist where they do business – especially because they provide the very context of (mostly) Tier 1 (and a few Tier 2) capabilities.

We cannot reinvent the city, if we do not respect the fundamentals of the circular economy and the dojos where the members of our human hive learn how to manage self, others, organizations and the city system as a whole.


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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Integral City how do we relate to your constant changes and exchanges? Map 3 reveals the cycles that flow through and around your prolific eco-system.

Integral City Map 3: The Scalar Fractal Relationship of Micro, Meso and Macro Human Systems

Integral City Map 3: The Scalar Fractal Relationship of Micro, Meso and Macro Human Systems

In the city, as individuals we grow our capacities. When life conditions trigger us to change, our life’s journey adds new layers of values, worldviews and competencies. Like tree rings we can symbolically map how a person grows capacities that expand from ego-centric to ethnocentric to system-centric to world-centric (Cluster 1 on Map 3).

I have been fortunate enough, teaching at Royal Roads University, to co-create the conditions where individual leaders become high performance teams, where each team member challenges the others to draw on these full set of capacities.  This gives them capacities to impact spheres of influence that can grow to global-size, making impacts on and for future generations. This team capacity is represented in Cluster 2 on Map 3.

When these leaders and teams return, with advanced capacities, to their organizations and communities, they  encounter other people and groups who do not have the same breadth or depth of competency. In this respect, their capacity becomes diluted (and explains the challenge all high performance teams have interacting with those outside such teams). On the other hand, the advanced capacities of these individuals bring new skills and perspectives to their organizations and communities, positively “infecting” their social and cultural environments, with change. (Cluster 3, in Map 3).

We can see the same paradoxical effects (of dilution and infection) when the high performers interact in even larger scales at nation or global contexts. (Cluster 4, in Map 4).

Integral City Map 3, shows how the human systems are constantly interacting in exchanges that emerge from natural cycles, values exchanges, and complex processes. We can see the role of both agents and collectives and the mesmerizing outcomes of interactions in self-organizing systems of exchange.

I have described the merits of this map in the audio (and printed) book, Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences in the Human Hive. I also discussed it with Ken Wilber during our Integral City 2.0 Online Conference (and Integral Life) Interview. Map 3 as a whole captures the Integral Intelligences of the city: Inner, Outer, Cultural and Social, as well as Living and Ecosphere  Intelligences).

Map 3 in the Integral City demonstrates strong patterns that relate to the natural designs in Tim Winton’s Pattern Dynamics (TM) Structure , Creativity and Dynamic Patterns. But the Pattern of Exchange seems to capture best the flow of interaction that influences interlocking human systems at micro, meso and macros scales inherent in Map 3. The Pattern of Exchange in the city shows us how human systems produce capacity both for the benefit of themselves and for the benefit of the systems with whom they trade. At its core the Exchange Pattern is the pattern that drives economics, sustainable growth and eco-system balance.

Map 3 captures the relationship patterns of the city at a much more granular level of the city than Map 2’s nested holarchy of holons. It adds to Map 1 the path of emergence and the interrelationship of multiple scales of human systems.  Map 3 allows us to peer more closely into the inner life of individuals and the dynamic characteristics of the social holons they belong to. The conditions for generative trade between systems is reinforced, because inequities exist between different individuals and organizations.

Exchange PatternMap 3 reveals aspects of the Pattern of Exchange because it reveals seven qualities identified by the language of Pattern Dynamics (TM):

  1. Cycle: Map 3 shows how individuals grow in natural cycles. Also it implicitly suggests the generational cycles where individuals and groups learn from older more experienced people. Thus a cycle of knowledge exchange occurs.
  2. Balance: Map 3 conveys how the encounter of team members with differing skills but equally matured capacities creates well-balanced teams, able to give and take as they engage to produce results.
  3. Capture: Map 3 shows the scales of human systems, that “capture” within their boundaries the skills and competencies needed for their team or organizational system to achieve their goals.
  4. Trade: Map 3 implies that the reason human systems prosper in the city is because humans trade bio-psycho-cultural-social information, matter and energy. In a healthy economy, such trades improve the life conditions of both traders and provide positive feedback for repeat performances.
  5. Uniqueness: Map 3 implies that the larger human systems of team, organization, community and city are inevitably unique because no two people express their competencies, capacities or talents in the same way as any other. Thus both the combination of structures, and the emergence of self-organizing creativity can produce uniqueness that offers selling propositions and values exchanges that can only be discovered through trade and exchange.
  6. Process: Map 3 hides the processes that are better expressed in Map 4 (explained in a future blog). Nevertheless the basic systems frame of input – process- output is essential to the operation of any productive exchange. That can be as “intangible” as a creative thinking brainstorm that results in new ideas for a whole new industry (e.g. the concept of music distribution on the internet); or it can be as tangible as publishing and selling newspapers on the street corner.
  7. Flow: Map 3 clearly shows the flow of the exchange of the neural network within individual minds (Cluster 1) and the flow between people in teams, organizations, communities and the city (Clusters 2, 3, 4).

Integral City how do we relate to your constant changes and exchanges? Map 3 shows that exchange of energy, information and matter flow through the neural network, of the brain, economy and ecology of human systems. The key to city sustainability is that these exchanges between the human hive and its environment flow in renewing cycles which creates a metabolism where exchanges continuously flow through the entire system.

In future blogs we continue the exploration of Integral City Maps 4 and 5 and show how each adds further depth to Maps 1 , 2 and 3.

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Is information in your city easy to come by? or is it difficult to make sense of your city because information is scarce or misaligned?

Integral City AQAL

Information in the Integral City is critical to the city’s functioning, wellbeing and thriving. But when we are overwhelmed by electronic news blasts it can be difficult to know what to pay attention to, because over-stimulation  can make us shut down. Ironically in the midst of the internet’s mediation of our news frenzy we can feel socially cut off from our nearest neighbours.

How can information that is Integrally In-Formed prevent both the overwhelm and help us interpret what really matters?

Firstly we can use the 4 quadrants of the Integral City map to be mindful that we are receiving and noticing information through all our lenses. For instance, consider information that is useful for your neighbourhood’s transportation system – how would you answer these questions?

  1. How safe do I feel in all the ways I travel?
  2. What modes of travel do I use? walking, bicycling, busing, rail, car driving, flying?
  3. What relationships impact the way I travel? family, friends, work colleagues, strangers?
  4. How does the city maintain city transportation systems? roads, buses, railway, airports?

We can use this simple system to filter the information overwhelm that too often deluges us. And we can also use it as a simple checklist to gain information from all 4 quadrants, when we are in dialogue with others about anything in the city that is important to us. Those conversations can be easily catalyzed by simple starting questions such as:

  1. Why is this [issue] important to you (how is it valuable, or not)?
  2. What is working?
  3. What is not working?
  4. What could work better?

The answers to these questions can then be sorted into the categories of the 4 quadrants noted above.

Using this simple integrally informed information gathering and management system, organizes our personal and collective realities (of thought/feelings, actions, relationships and systems). It creates an intelligent, wholes systems way of  impacting and actually in-forming our decisions, behaviours, cultures and economic opportunities.

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Assumptions in the city arise not only from the four voices of the city – but from the worldviews being expressed in those voices.


Worldviews emerge from the beliefs of what is important around here and how those values are translated by the city’s voices.

In the most basic ego-centric way, assumptions are implicit – how do I access the basics of life (food, shelter, clothing)? how do I fit into my family? how am I earn my living (or not)?

When these needs are met, more complex ethno-centric assumptions build upon them – what language do we use to communicate within our groups or clans (the one from our home country, our special dialect or the one(s) we learn in school)? how does our group or neighbourhood relate to other groups or neighbourhoods (in being entitled to schooling or healthcare) ? how do we practise and express our spiritual and religious assumptions? who are our leaders and who are the authorities we follow?

Smaller cities have traditionally been able to coalesce around shared ethno-centric assumptions.

But as a city grows in size, the multiplicity of ethno-centric assumptions can make the Tower of Babel seem like an apt metaphor for the mixture of voices and clashes of worldviews that vie for air-space and audience.

Large cities that mature create a city-centric worldview that embraces the multiple ethno-centric and ego-centric assumptions into a coherent perspective of how the city can be governed for the greatest benefit of all.  With a city-centric worldview we can make decisions about the infrastructure that supports Citi-Zens’ daily life; the relationships that Civil Society can bridge between ethno-centric groups; the resources needed for thriving Business; and the governance that City Hall, Education and Healthcare institutions require to coordinate city-centric functions.

The most mature cities go beyond even a city-centric set of assumptions and realize that they are part of a Planet of Cities – that their exchange of resources and commerce depends on assumptions about planetary economy; that their exchange of ideas produces assumptions contributing to planetary generativity; that their demands on the environment require assumptions about evolution, sustainability and resilience; and that their cultural embrace of the shared story about their city on the planet, emerges a world-centric set of assumptions that aligns ego-ethno-city-world-centric assumptions and connects cities together as a Planetary System of Cities.

When you consider this holarchy of worldviews – what assumptions do you hold about your city? How do your assumptions impact the way you practise the Master Code for the Human Hive?

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