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Travel broadens the mind. And when we can’t do it in reality, a good movie or documentary can open perspectives and even create a longing to visit more exotic places in far reaches of the world. But with a little imagination we can bring a new appreciation for the beauty goodness and truth that surround us at home.

Exotic View of Sunset Ablaze from Home Balcony

Exotic View of Sunset Ablaze from Garden Park Tower, Abbotsford

Inspiring the Soul

I live in Garden Park Tower (located in Abbotsford, BC, Canada) an apartment building that is also a secured community which gives me sanctuary from a world of travel, tensions and intensity. Here I am inspired by the stunning ever-shifting watercolor views of Mount Baker, sunrises, and the beauty of nature that feeds my soul. I have come to love my quiet times of reflection and regeneration here, where the introvert in me recovers so that the extrovert in me can interact with the world.

Respecting People

Our neighbours in GPT, many of whom have lived here since it was built, 18 years ago, are respectful but not invasive or cloying. Remarkably the residence and society meetings are well managed and civilized – partly because of the wisdom of the original developers who dared to imagine a community that would serve the larger community. They helped create bylaws that maintain both structural standards and people respect. We have worked out ways of being together that include everything from weekly movie nights (with free ice-cream), to seasonal “faspa” social events, fitness classes, current affairs lunches, crafts fairs, Christmas Festival of Lights and volunteer recognition teas. We share and stock and maintain a community library, flower gardens and frequently organize ourselves into cleanup crews for the landscaping. Volunteers self-organize to help anyone who is in need. Monday and Saturday mornings in the Rose Room Coffee Shop are popular gathering places for coffee, fresh pastry and the latest news.

Engaging the Senses

My location is surprisingly quiet as it is over a park, distant enough from traffic that it is interesting to observe but not intrusive from a unit where I hear little from the neighbours. My husband enjoys the many “eyes on the streets” that he can watch on the balconies and windows in neighbouring buildings. And my own eyes feast on the dazzling city scape with four seasons of changing colours, textures, scents and bird calls. Safe from traffic, it is easy to walk around the neighbourhood and park paths through wildy corners of great cedars to Fishtrap Creek where geese and ducks tend their broods. I especially enjoy my regular ambles with walking buddies by nearby houses, forever in the process of re-building themselves, with garden surprises around most bends and mysterious paths through a maze of backyard trails.

Building on Diversity

GPT is a special community – located where the old neighborhood of Clearbrook displays signs in German and Punjabi as well as English. Within walking distance I can dine on Thai, Chinese, Indian, Greek, German, Japanese and Korean food. We are so lucky to have our “pocket” Garden Park, on a bus route and be close enough to Elwood Park and the Discovery Trail, where it is common to meet pedestrians of all ages, with pets, strollers, bicycles, canes and walkers. The dogs are generally friendly and add humour and character to the passing stream of people. The community and city work hard at being responsible in their investment for the upkeep of all our private and public assets and are generally appreciative of the privileged environment we steward.

Delighting Life

So when I am tempted to dream for a distant vacation, a more exotic location or diverse culture, I really just need to wake up, step out, and fully enjoy the many delights of home. Here, beauty, goodness and truth all grace my soul, senses, community and environment with a daily flow of exotic life.

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What better way to celebrate Canada Day than to flash the fireworks of July 1 onto the 4 Quadrants of Canada’s cohort of Integral Leaders?

©2014 Aboriginal Nations Education, Greater Victoria School Board, BC, Canada Artist Jamin Zurowski Bear/UL. Wolf /LL. Raven/UR. Salmon/LR.   This Totem is a Gift used with permission on this Canada Issue. Please do reproduce without © Permission.

©2014 Aboriginal Nations Education, Greater Victoria School Board, BC, Canada
Artist Jamin Zurowski
Bear/UL. Wolf /LL. Raven/UR. Salmon/LR.
This Totem is a Gift used with permission on this Canada Issue. Please do reproduce without © Permission.

A whole Quadrivium of Integral Leaders were featured in the Integral Leadership Review – Canada Issue at the beginning of 2015. But the plenitude of contributors and the depth of their insights deserves a special reminder today.

Click here to read the Profiles of all the Authors of the Canada Issue – Integral Leadership Review

Here is the Table of Contents in the Canada Issue – with links to all the contributions – including the original 4 Quadrant aboriginal Totem artwork of the Cover (with poetry, thought pieces, research reports, organizational histories, pedagocial principles for teaching leaders, environmental and sustainability insights, inspiring quotations, in-depth interviews … and more):

Cover

1/15 – Cover

Editor

2/15 – Cover

Editor

Leading Comments

1/15 – A Totem for Curating a Story of Leadership in Canada

Marilyn Hamilton

2/15 – From Totem Guides and Lock Masters to World Legacy Light

Marilyn Hamilton

 

Leadership Quote

1/15 – Marshall McLuhan 

2/15 – Adrienne Clarkson, 26th Governor General of Canada (1999-2005)

Lead Poem

1/15 – Lead Poem

Tim Merry

Leadership Coaching Tips

1/15 – Leading Generative Change

Tam Lundy

2/15 – It’s not just what you do, but also how you think!

Natasha Mantler

Fresh Perspective

1/15 – Integral Coaching Canada with Laura Divine and Joanne Hunt

Marilyn Hamilton

2/15 – Dialogic Development: a Conversation with Gervase Bushe

Russ Volckmann

Leading Self

1/15 – Inching Towards Leaderless Leading

Edith Friesen

1/15 – Re-membering My Inherent Wilderness

Beth Sanders

Leading Others

1/15 – Is True Integral Leadership Possible?

Linda Shore

2/15 – Deep Presencing: Illuminating New Territory at the Bottom of the U

Leading Organizations

1/15 – Building Water Leaders and Waterpreneurs

Julia Fortier and Karen Kun

1/15 – Giving birth to Authentic Leadership in Action

Michael Chender

Leading Cultures

1/15 – A Circle of Aiijaakag, a Circle of Maangag: Integral Theory and Indigenous Leadership

Janice Simcoe

Leading World

1/15 – Integral Transformation of Value Chains: One Sky’s Integral Leadership Program in the Brazil Nut Value Chain in Peru and Bolivia

Gail Hochachka

2/15 – How ARE We To Go On Together? Our Evolutionary Crossroads

Brian and Mary Nattrass

Continuous LearningContinuous Learning

1/15 – Integral Dispositions and Transdisciplinary Knowledge Creation

Sue L. T. McGregor

1/15 – The Long and Winding Road: Leadership and Learning Principles That Transform

Brigitte Harris and Niels Agger-Gupta

2/15 – From Practice to Praxis – as Transformative Education: Leading at the Integral/Professional Interface?

Ian Wight

2/15 – Will the Next Buddha be a Sangha? Responding to the Call to Influence the Future of Collaboration

Rebecca Ejo Colwell

Book Reviews

1/15 – The Pulse of Possibility – A Retrospective Review of the Work of Bruce Sanguin

Trevor Malkinson

2/15 – (Re)Joining the Conversation: Commenting on Integral Voices on Sex, Gender, and Sexuality: Critical Inquiries

Diana Claire Douglas

Column

1/15 – Integral Design Leadership: Healthcare Design as Extraordinary Service: An Interview with Peter Jones

Lisa Norton

Poetry Gallery

1/15 – 1. Forgotten Places

Tim Merry

1/15 – 2. What’s It Gonna Take to Stay Awake?

Tim Merry

1/15 – 3. Thank You

Tim Merry

1/15 – 4. Build the Arks (King Kong Song)

Tim Merry

2/15 – 1. The Mother

Tim Merry

2/15 – 2. Human Family Tree

Tim Merry

2/15 – 3. Superman

Tim Merry

2/15 – 4. Switch it on

Tim Merry

Notes from the Field

1/15 – Integral City Development in the Russian City of Izhevsk

Eugene Pustoshkin

 

 

We wish you a Happy Canada Day of Reading and Inspiration – with Gratitude to  all the Integral Leaders in Canada.

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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

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Pope Francis thinks 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.

Integral City Thinking

Integral City Thinking

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 on the Environment (now being conflated with the Encyclical on Climate Change) the Pope has used the word “integral” 23 times.

In the future, those of us in the Integral movement may argue, which came first – the  Integral Ecology Book (by Sean Esborn-Hargens and Michael Zimmerman) or Pope Francis’ sensitivity to “Integral Ecology”? But it already seems to me a moot point as Pope Francis has claimed the meme of “Integral Ecology “as core to his argument to value the poor and the environment.

In doing so Pope Francis renews our foundation for Integral City and the 4 Voices that we propose contribute to the survival, resilience and evolution of a Planet of Cities. In fact Pope Francis calls on all 4 Voices to act – whether they be Citizens choosing local food; Civil Society speaking truth to modern developers; City Managers enabling free access to potable water for all; and Business and Developers using technology wisely and growing enterprises organically.

Pope Francis does not equivocate with his warnings to egocentric modern business and calls for them to reinvent themselves with a worldcentric sensibility in thinking and acting on climate change as a planetary issue. In fact he enjoins Catholics and believers of other faiths to make common cause to create an impact (a word he uses 19 times) that can mitigate damage and adapt to change as quickly and as integrally as possible.

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 IEC). 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

Now is the time for all good people to come to the support of our sister/mother Earth (as Pope Francis calls our planetary home) to optimize our impact on our Planet of Cities enacting the Master Code:

Take Care of Your Self

Take Care of Each Other

Take Care of this Place/Planet.

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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/

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

Team ARGO: Meshworker of the Year 2014

Team ARGO: Meshworker of the Year 2014

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

Meshworking intelligence creates a “meshwork” by weaving together the best of two operating systems — one that self-organizes, and one that replicates hierarchical structures. The resulting meshwork creates and aligns complex responsive structures and systems that flex and flow.

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

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

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

Lev Gordon & Team ARGO Receiving Silver Archer 2014

Lev Gordon on behalf of Team ARGO Receiving Silver Archer 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ARGO UrbanFest 2014, Izhevsk Attendees

ARGO UrbanFest 2014, Izhevsk Attendees

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Marketing and promotion:

– 1000 cities were invited to attend Forum

– 6000 calls from a call center

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

  1. Crowdfunding and crowdsourcing

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

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

  1. The main points of the program, included:

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

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

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

– Solving cases. 8 practical case studies

– Communications with 25 experts from 7 countries

– New relationships and inspiration for further development

  1. Results:

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

– More than 3000 references of Izhevsk in social networks

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

– School of Living Cities conducted in several cities

– Replication of practices and joint projects

– Consolidation of active urban community in Izhevsk

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

– 1000 cities receive access to materials from Forum

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

 

Already ARGO has made progress on all four tasks.

  1. Export of technology:

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

– School of Living Cities took place in 4 cities

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

  1. Branding area

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

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

  1. Import practices:

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

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

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

  1. Internal mobilization:

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

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

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

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

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

Why Team ARGO for Meshworker of the Year 2014?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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