Posts Tagged ‘energy’

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 for three lunch times on July 17, 18, 19.  In Ballroom B (at Sonoma State University HUB) we are inviting 30 hearts and souls to Pop-Up for a “catalyzing” harvest in the Knowing Field.

PopUp Pomegranates

Here are 10 Excellent Reasons for you to Pop-Up and harvest the conference that will get you out of your head and into your body and soul.

  1. AQtivate the Master Code at ITC 2015
  2. Discover impact that takes care of yourself, takes care of others, takes care of ITC2015, and takes care of home.
  3. Talking is allowed – and encouraged.
  4. Movement is expected – and modelled.
  5. Energy is invited – and amplified.
  6. Constellate your inner mental models and compare to outer AQtivating structures.
  7. Pose Burning Questions; don’t expect certain answers.
  8. Smash open the fruit of the pomegranate-of-expectations and discover the juice inside.
  9. Bring individual brilliance to a collective space and taste, speak, see, listen, and feel.
  10. Look for your natural and intentional fit in ITC Metatheory in our Integral City Playground.

We hope to see you any or all lunches – Friday, Saturday, Sunday at 1230-145pm. BTW – a Pop-Up Playground Lunchbox is included!!! In order to optimize the systemic constellation process we will limit participation to 30 catalysts (who are willing to participate experientially). So …first come, first constellated. See you at the Playground!

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maple leaf meme


May we dance with the Maple Leaf Meme-lights as they vibrate with the resilient commit-ments of Life. May the Northern Lights from our flashing energy field radiate:

  • beige to protect our individual needs for physical and spiritual safety and survival; and prevent harm to all individuals.
  • purple to honour the traditions and heritage of each group of persons so long as they do not threaten the health of *PPPPP; and honour the contributions of the elders so long as they do not threaten the health of *PPPPP.
  • red to defend the freedom of each individual to express their development and creativity without infringing on the freedom of others to express their development and creativity.
  • blue to respect the value of order without imposing restrictions that harm individuals or groups; and honour the need for order that serves the entire *PPPPP.
  • orange to promote the success of persons; to be accountable for the integral and fair exchange of products, services and ideas as long as resources do not accumulate for the benefit of a few interests, organizations and/or levels of development, at the expense of (or while depriving resources to) *PPPPP; to publicly recognize the origination/originator of ideas, products and services.
  • green to accept the dignity of groups; ensure fair opportunity for all persons to pursue happiness as long as no individual or group is prevented from doing likewise; to not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, gender, creed as long as such action ensures the health of *PPPPP; to not seek to favour any group at the expense of another group as long as such action ensures the health of *PPPPP.
  • yellow to facilitate the integral flex and flow of energy across all aspects of *PPPPP; to unblock the barriers to the emergence of new ways of thinking, doing, being as long as they respect the health of *PPPPP; to mesh the elegance of natural patterns, processes and structures.
  • turquoise to value the geo/bio/noetic capacities of the planet; to respect the integral ecology of *PPPPP; to co-emerge the evolutionary intelligence of Life inherent in *PPPPP.


May our dance of the Maple Leaf Meme-lights resonate the universal rhythm of
*PPPPP= Place, Plant, Phylum, Person, Planet

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How do you prepare for a book launch of the Russian translation of Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive? Dmitry Baranov, Publisher of the Russian Translation and Founder of iPraktik asked for an interview. And special thanks to Victor Shiryaev for the translation – which Dmitry then published in Russian in the Theory and Practise Blog here. (Note: the automatic online English translation of the Russian doesn’t quite capture the original – so I share it with you below).
Dmitry Baranov, Founder iPraktik, Moscow

Dmitry Baranov, Founder iPraktik, Moscow

Dimitry: 1. Dear Marilyn, could you please share with us what happens nowadays in the city development sphere?
MH: What is happening in city development depends on where the city is located – both what country and also what is the eco-region or the habitat of the city.
Every city in the world faces 5 great threats: Climate, Water, Energy, Food, Finance. Each city has to respond differently to them depending on what are the life conditions that are going on there? What is the state of the economy, the environment, the culture and the structures/systems of the city.
So in Perth Australia there is a great interest in ecologically sensitive development. They are concerned about their water supply. The same goes for desert cities in most places of the world – from Phoenix Arizona to Arab cities. Chicago and Vancouver both want to be the greenest cities in the world – so they are building structures with green roofs. The leading architects like Bill McDonough, Richard Register, Mark DeKay are designing their buildings to be “smart” to respond to local climate and environmental conditions. They have projects in China, Egypt and the USA. Charles Landry and Richard Florida have both been trying to understand how culture plays a major role in making cities smarter. The engineers from the Big Data movement want to collect data to make cities smarter – so traffic flows and communications inform everything from cars to smart phones. The Mayors of cities in the developing world are interested in economic prosperity and how to solve the basic challenges of maintaining and improving infrastructure that is aging, and falling apart and needs to be replaced.
Dmitry: 2. The most noticeable trend in Russia is this regard has to do with city space improvement and infrastructure – mostly in design, transportation issues, human involvement. In Europe the biggest trend was green orientation towards ecology of living. So what happens now on the leading edge of city development in the world?
MH:  I have pointed to what cities are spending time, energy and money on – they must create the conditions for Resilience in the face of the Big 5 Threats. But in order to do so they must invest in human creativity and development. Cities have been treated as though they are just bricks and mortar – but in fact they are really living systems of the human species – the “human hive” as I call it. As a species we need to make sure our human hives are as resilient for humans as the beehive has been for honey bees. And we need to take a lesson from the honey bees and their problems with colony collapse disorder. We need to ask ourselves what will prevent collapse of human hives and what will make them most resilient as living systems? That means we need to work on what makes us distinctive as a species – and that is our consciousness and cultures – the inner lives of cities is what will strengthen the outer life of the city.
Dmitry: 3. There is a famous example from Moscow: city activists from the School of Urban Studies began improvement of one of the city’s yards and got into conflict not with the government or bureaucracy structures, but with the inhabitants of that yard. Those were very disappointed with the results of the urbanists’ endeavors, saw complete lack of taste in the innovative modern design of the children’s playground, and even accused the activists in corruption and price fixing. What is the point here?
MH: This is an interesting story with many facets related to what I might call the 4 Voices of the City.
In order for a city to thrive, it needs to be treated as a “whole” as a living system, made up of many “wholes” or “holons”.  Each person is a holon, and all the ways we associate in collectives or groups are what we call “social holons”.  Think of our families, teams, organizations or in this case a community or neighbourhood – they are all social holons – wholes – with 4 voices: Citizens, Civic Managers, Civil Society and Business/Developers. All the voices need to be present and contribute to workable solutions to city problems or opportunities. If only one or 2 voices dominate, then the other Voices resist or undermine or confront or refuse solutions that do not include them.
So in this example I see that a group of outside “experts” – with good intentions by the sounds of it – came together as City Activists (Civil Society Voices) and brought in Modern Designers (Developer/Business voices) to solve a problem that the Bureaucrats (Civic Managers) ignored or didn’t give high priority to. The Inhabitants (Citizen Voices) don’t seem to have been consulted. The “solution” was “parachuted” into their neighbourhood and they didn’t like it. Perhaps their accusations of corruption and price-fixing were true or not true – but it is a way to accuse the Voices with Good Intentions (Activists-Civil Society and Designers – Developers) of not including them in the process.
The point of this story – is that all 4 voices need to be present for creating solutions that serve the whole. That is how the honeybees and all other living systems have figured out how to thrive (for 100 million years). We are a young species still trying to figure this out. We need to keep learning from our mistakes and try to live in our cities so we make decisions that serve the wellbeing of all the holons – and the only way to do that is to keep the whole in mind.

Dimitry: 4. It is quite obvious that in polarity to the urban activism is urban nihilism. Do you know any examples in world’s practice where a positive solution to such nihilism was found?

MH: Urban nihilism – do you mean active undermining of urban wellbeing? Of existential angst? Of inner and outer attacks on the success of the city?
We know from an emerging science of cities, that cities actually outlast organizations and even the countries they “belong” to. So if you look back in history many if not most cities go through stages of destruction – think of Rome burning, or London losing 50% of its inhabitants from the plague, or Lebanon destroying “Venice of the Middle East” or Detroit going bankrupt or all the cities suffering from terrorist attacks from Moscow to New York or cities destroyed by war. Each of these city destructions are different examples of the growing pains of the human species. They are symptoms of nihilism caused by dissonance in the city systems – generally because of “growing pains” in the human species located there. If the cities survive these attacks from within it is because cities are ecologies of people (social holons) at different stages of development. Nihilism can be outgrown – but it needs the wisdom of those people who can think beyond the short-term pain/angst of the nihilists themselves – and gather the resources within those who want to survive – and reinvent the city for a higher purpose than nihilism wants to destroy.

Dmitry: 5. Marilyn, what is an integral city?

MH: An Integral City is a way of looking at the city as a whole – as a living system – with its 4 Voices, a trajectory of values, a living system with evolutionary spirit.
Dmitry: Can this concept become reality in any region of the world with any kind of population and government?
MH: The approach to looking at a city as a living system can emerge at any time. But how the population and government embrace it and adapt it to cultures and infrastructures and systems depends on the developmental levels of complexity of those people.
Dmitry: Or is it a certain stage with gradual ascent towards that stage?
I think of an Integral City as embracing all stages of complexity. As a living system it is an ecology that contains and embraces a nest of human systems from individuals to families, organizations, communities, sectors, etc. all at once. That is why it is so complex. So it is not about ascending to a particular stage but how all those stages co-exist together.

Dmitry: 6. A question about globalization. A known problem for Russia’s regions is federal-size networks forcing out and replacing local small businesses. Is it a normal process, after which there is some kind of a new step, or do we have to try and influence this process somehow?

MH: The imposition of governments that do not respect eco-regions is a world-wide dilemma. I see 4 stages in the development of human systems – including cites – that go from egocentric to ethnocentric to worldcentric to kosmocentric. From a worldcentric and kosmocentric perspective the only way that city alignments will make sense over the long run is how they are in service to the wellbeing of their eco-regions and the earth as a whole. So the tensions between current forms of government is another example of our growing pains as a species – the symptoms of species teenagehood!!

Dmitry: 7. Finally, what are you planning to talk about during your presentation in Moscow on May, 16th?

MH: I have written Eugene Pustoshkin an article on City Trigger Points as Country Tipping Points  – so considering how cities of the 21st century must become worldcentric – and how this is causing all our countries great problems as the nations “don’t get it”. I plan to talk about how the basic reframing of a city to look at it as the “human hive” can help us discover gateways that help us work together for the wellbeing of the city and the wellbeing of the planet.
E-book "Integral City"
Thanks to Dimitry Baranov for hosting me in Moscow and for publishing the Russian Translation of  Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive. Readers who would like to access the excellent translation (by Eugene Pustoshkin, edited by Alexander Narinyani) can order the e-book here.
And access the Presentation Slideset for the Moscow lecture of Opening Gateways to Wellbeing in the Human Hive here.

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Civic Managers gained the most empathy from the other voices of the ITC2013 Learning Lhabitat .  In the closing circle, Cityzens in particular, were heard to declare, “I never realized the role of Civic Manager was so challenging. I have a whole new respect for Civic Managers.”

Civic Managers Managing City Systems

Civic Managers Managing City Systems

Here is how Civic Managers described their voice in the City.  They recognized that the Civic Manager voice speaks from the Integral City’s Upper Right Quadrant  – where I have called it the voice of the city’s brain – the voice of City Hall, Education, Health Authorities, Justice, Emergence Response and other city institutions.

In their own words Learning Lhabitat Civic Managers described themselves as:

  • Voice of the skeptic
  • Measurers of results
  • Rewarders of success
  • Punishers of failure
  • Staying on course
  • Have an objective view orientation
  • Subject to information overload
  • Allied with Integrators / InnerJudges
  • Keep the structures that work in place with justice
  • Balance the new with valuable heritage
  • Guide Cityzen Voice

Learning “Lhabitants” recognized that the role that Civic Managers play is to identity the values, needs and goals of the city, and invite conversations with multiple stakeholders – especially those in the Lower Left Quadrant where Civil Society is present.

As it becomes ever-more urgent to pay attention to the five BIG threats to the city (climate change, water, energy, food and finance) Civic Managers need the participation of multiple voices. Civic Managers want to identify needs and goals so that all Civic Managers, can work together.  Their role calls them to make relevant resource allocation  to balance and makes workable, what is necessary to maintain the heritage of city life that Cityzens value, with what is emerging that is new and necessary to adapt to threats and align opportunities that Diversity Generators are creating.


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In the next series of blogs I’d like to point to core principles that could inform a Planet of Integral Cities.

Planet of Cities

The first place I start is with Planet. Bucky Fuller called our Planet, Spaceship Earth. This draws my attention to the family of planets we belong to orbiting in our Solar System, within our Milky Way Galaxy and speeding through the Cosmos of (apparently expanding) Space/Time.

The second view I take, comes from James Lovelock who calls our Planet, Gaia. He reminds us that Earth is a Living System; that through her evolution, she has emerged expressions and patterns of Cosmological and Biological information, energy and matter. Furthermore he acknowledges that humans have a special evolutionary contribution to make to Gaia, as her “reflective organ”.

Thirdly I think about the City as the collective habitat of the human species. It is an Anthropocentric creation. I think about the city as the most complex system that humans have yet created.

I appreciate these three spheres as the basic A-B-C realities (as formulated by Integral Geographer, Dr. Brian Eddy) for framing a set of Principles for a Planet of Cities :

  • Cosmosphere
  • Biosphere
  • Anthroposphere

Let’s see where this starting point leads us in discovering the Core Principles for a Planet of Integral Cities.

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What is the equivalent for the Human Hive of producing 40 pounds of honey in the bee hive?

That is the question that I have been inquiring into through the lenses of bio-psycho-cultural-social-mimicry.

Honey Bee Ingredients

In the generative seed bed of my recent visit to San Francisco, glimpses of the ingredients for producing “Honey” in our Human Hive  Honey have emerged. It has to do with the conjunction of Passion, Priority, Purpose and Prosperity.

I have learned that it is the symbiotic relationship of the Bee Hive’s survival (or thrival) through Pollination of Plant Life that meets their need to survive and thrive. Bee Hives can “measure” their success through the production of 40 pounds of honey per year. This symbiotic relationship generates enough Energy (aka Prosperity) to not only fulfil their Purpose but to create renewable energy sources for next year.

Human Hive Honey

In the Human Hive – our thriving arises from feeling fully alive – this Passion is expressed as Joy. Our great Purpose arises from the fulfilment of Caring Service to the world’s Priorities or Needs. This is just as much a symbiotic relationship with Gaia, as the bees have with her plants. What is more, it generates the same kind of Energy (which we call Prosperity) that rewards us for acting from Joy and creates renewable Energy to continue to meet Gaia’s bio-psycho-cultural-social Needs on an ongoing cycle.

It seems to me these ingredients and the recipe for making Honey in the Human Hive are fractal – that is they occur at every level of  scale in the Human Hive (individual, family, organization, neighbourhood, city).

Human Hive Honey_Page_3

It is the fundamental energy equation of the Master Code:

  • To Care for Ourselves (through Passion/Joy)
  • To Care for Others (in living our Purpose in service to Priorities/Needs)
  • To Care for this Place (as a natural result of Prosperity)
  • To Care for this Planet (as we align the Prosperity engine around Gaia’s wellbeing Needs)

Is this too simple?? Maybe just a BFO (blinding flash of the obvious)? Maybe just another step along the path for Human Hives to achieve the double sustainability system that the honey bee hives have created in their service to Gaia?

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The Key to decoding  the Integral City Maps is the Master Code:

  • Take Care of Yourself
  • Take Care of Each Other
  • Take Care of this Place
  • Take Care of this Planet

Evolutionary Intelligences

This Key is symbolized with the Integral City Compass which decodes the 12 Intelligences we need to explore Integral City Maps with ever-increasing circles of care.

Each of the five Maps for the Integral City, gives the Map Reader a different territory to explore. Because all the territories are interconnected, the Maps shape-shift from one form to another, leading the Reader through a labyrinth of city patterns, that taken together with the Master Code Compass, cohere into a whole.

City explorers who have taken journeys with the Principles of Living Systems and/or the language of PatternDynamics(TM) start to notice that Integral City Maps and Intelligences belong to this cluster of systems that decode patterns of life.

In the last six blogs, we have explored the language of PatternDynamics(PD) in order to translate its symbols into the language of Integral City Maps. In many ways we could say PD provides six archways (marked by a PD symbol) to the different territories of the city.

In this last blog (of this PD series) we enter the archway to the heart of the city – it’s Source.  Here we recognize the territory of City Spirit which we explored in Map 5.

The Source Pattern is foundational to all the other patterns, emerging from evolutionary consciousness: order, identity and purpose.

PatternDynamics Patterns

Like the other PD patterns, the Source Pattern has seven qualities, but as a meta-meta-pattern each of these qualities derives from a marriage of Source with the other 6 PD meta-patterns plus Source itself.

Energy: The Energy Pattern emerges from the conjunction of Source with Rhythm. The Energy Pattern is foundational to the city’s many ways of moving, expressing and evolving. It is evident in the exchanges of Map 3 and the involutionary, evolutionary cycle of Map 5. Energy appears as first cause for the Evolutionary, Integral and Living Intelligences and Emergent result in the experience of Love.

Resource: The Resource pattern is the child of Source and Polarity. In Map 5 Resource is the centre of the city’s Grace, Place and Space and the emergent quality of core values, Beauty, Goodness and Truth. The Resource Pattern reminds us that the city as Gaia’s Reflective Organ adds value to our planet’s evolutionary journey.

Transformity: The Transformity emerges naturally when Source inspires Structure. It is clearly the pattern of Map 4’s spiral of complex organizational structures.  Transfomity is a source of hope, reminding us that evolution has been experimenting with 14 billion years of complex transformations, to which human systems, including the city, belong.

Power: The Power Pattern, emanating from the collision of Source and Exchange, represents  the Big Bang on Earth. As such it lies in the centre of Map 1 and drives the “prime directive” behind all the cycles in all the other Maps. While Energy is multi-directional, Power is multi-cyclical with a central purpose or centered focus (like the beehive’s 40 pounds of honey). The Power Pattern of the Integral City will eventually produce the city’s purpose. And when 10% of Gaia’s cities discover and start to live into their purpose, we will have a Planet of Cities in service to all life on Earth.

Autopoeisis: The Autopoeisis Pattern “makes itself” from combining Source with Creativity. Building on Transformity and Power, Self-making that is adaptive drives the emergence of the nested holarchy of city systems in Map 2, the emergent capacities in Map 3 and the increased complexity of organizations in Map 4. This pattern recognizes how the city as a human system is constantly making and re-making itself through the grand cycles of Spiritual Sourcing and Re-Sourcing in Map 5.

Pattern: The Pattern Pattern is Source’s grand Dynamic Dance with itself on the Universe’s dance floor.  We notice the choreography of patterns in each of Integral City’s Maps. Tracing the Patterns reinforces our appreciation of the miracle that “we get order for free” (1). The PD Book of Patterns, records how Life has chosen to repeat its most productive Patterns at every level of scale in the human systems of the city.

Void: The Void Pattern is Source reflecting on Source. As Source we discover this empty fullness through our meditations, contemplations and other spiritual practices that remind us that we have all evolved from the same Source and will return to the same Source. There is nowhere else to go. Map 5 is a “busy expression” of discovering the Void Pattern in the centre of our Fields of Coherence.

Decoding Integral City Maps, is as simple as accessing the Void through the Source of Source.  And as we practise living with the Patterns of Aliveness that dynamically run through the territories of our bio-psycho-cultural-social lives in the Integral City, we expand our Practise of the Master Code, so that we can evolve to be stewards of a fully conscious, sustainable and resilient Planet of Cities.


1. Kauffman, S. A. (1993). The Origins of Order:  Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution. New York: Oxford Press.

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