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Posts Tagged ‘integral city intelligences’


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

Colony Collapse Disorder

Colony Collapse Disorder

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 Perhaps the appropriateness for using this biomimicry term to look at the city as a living system is outdated?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

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

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

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

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

(This blog is one of a series on Waking Up the Human Hive Beyond the Smart, Resilient City to the Integral City – thinking notes for a keynote speech at IDG’s IT Smart Cities Conference, September 23, 2015, Amersfoort, NL.)

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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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When Integral City is asked to work with cities, inevitably the invitation comes from leaders who have in mind the wellbeing of their city.

Integral City Compass

Integral City Compass

Tam Lundy’s leadership tip (offered in Integral Leadership Review – Canada Issue offered a Leadership Tip on Generative Change) explains this impulse in terms of the desire of the leaders to generate change through both integral thinking and practice.

Tam’s key pointing out instructions for generativity align well with Integral City’s 12 Intelligences.

  • Tam taps into the Integral City Contexting Intelligences that create the conditions for wellbeing at all scales. She frames this as Salutogenesis – the wellbeing of the city that arises because it is complex, adaptive, and full of life. Contexting Intelligences encompass Ecosphere Intelligence, Emergent Intelligence and Living Intelligence along with the Integral Framework.  Salutogenesis gives cities a natural drive to survive, respond to life conditions and thrive. When leaders make the life-sourcing assumption that the city seeks a natural state of wellbeing, then important technical and adaptive solutions underpin but don’t override the wellbeing of the city.
  • Leaders who work with developmental lenses realize that in order to create conditions that support healthy development in people, communities and organizations at all stages of life, requires Strategic Intelligences that embrace Inquiry, Navigating and Meshworking Together leaders who use these three strategies impact the whole city and create solutions that can be implemented in natural steps in service to the wellbeing of all.
  • The quality that Lundy calls Dialectical seems to relate most to the Inquiry Intelligence. Leaders who undertake a dialectical inquiry have the courage to challenge the “thesis” of accepted dogma – such as, with the increase of cars, we must build more highways. Jane Jacob’s classic challenge to this assumption offered a contradictory perspective – or “antithesis” – if you build more highways you will just get more cars and it will be a never-ending dilemma. City leaders who practised Inquiry Intelligence continued with the dialectical process and emerged a “synthesis” – if you build cities for people instead of cars, then many more mobility solutions become available – such as public transportation, ski lifts and walking.
  • Leaders who use the Integral City Compass to think and act intelligently at the city scale, generate the capacity of integrating the AQAL dimensions of the city. This Integrative attitude, enables leaders to situate their thinking and actions using the five Integral City maps. As Lundy notes, this enables leaders to “connect the dots among all of the interconnected, interdynamic and irreducible factors that support thriving” in the city.
  • The last quality that Lundy points to, aligns completely with Integral City’s Evolutionary Intelligence. Leaders who recognize the city as a living, complex adaptive social system, gain strength from seeing the evolutionary impulse at the very centre of the city (and the compass they use to make decisions and design strategies for a future that is preferred), because with an evolutionary life purpose, each city has the opportunity to be in service to wellbeing of the whole world.

As Tam Lundy notes, it is the natural inclination of integrally-informed leaders, to generate change capacities. Integral City Intelligences can be learned and practiced by all city leaders increasing the chances for city thrivability.

Tam Lundy’s ideas on generative change, and their practical application, are explored more fully in her short e-book, Generative Change: A Practical Primer.

This blog is one of a series that explores the relevance and application of ideas to the Integral City, in the articles published in the Integral Leadership Review – Canada Issue, 2015, curated and Guest Edited by Marilyn Hamilton.

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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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Humans and the cities we have created are permanently locked into a never-ending learning cycle, to create ever more complex adaptations to protect increasingly more complex cities.

Integral Life PlanetCity2

In the Integral City 2.0 Online Conference (2012), five critical threats to human populations in cities were identified: climate, energy, water, food and finance (Hamilton et al., 2013; Hamilton and Sanders, 2013). These threats, are deeply interconnected and must be viewed within a systemic framework that considers all five sets of intelligences in cities – Contextual, Integral (Individual/Collective), Strategic and Evolutionary.

In keeping with my contemplation of the Nattrass article “How ARE we to go on together: Our Evolutionary Crossroads” I want to consider the story we tell ourselves about climate – and how that story may be increasing the dissonance we (as a species) are experiencing as individuals, organizations, cities and the planet.

I propose that the growing magnitude of this dissonance about climate change is exactly what we need in order to make a significant leap in our collective worldviews about climate change.

The Nattrasses bring this dissonance sharply to mind as they reflect on the increasingly anxious questions that have emerged since our early doubts about human relationship to Nature (a form of Collective Intelligence). They ask (as could our mothers too).

  • Is humanity bankrupting nature?
  • Is humanity on a collision course with the natural world?
  • What is our ecological footprint?
  • What are ecosystem services and how do we calculate their value?
  • Are human activities causing climate change?
  • What are the limits to growth on this planet?
  • Is there a population bomb ticking?
  • Can we meet our needs today and leave enough for future generations to meet theirs as well?
  • What does it mean to overshoot ecological capacity?

 

However, the integral perspective on the cycle of human learning (well explored by Clare Graves) observes that why humans learn depends on precisely their encounters/relationships with dissonance. Without experiencing dissonance we essentially are not motivated to change and so we don’t change!

Many believe that the greatest dissonance the globe faces today is climate change. It is impacting all life forms, including ours. The disturbing situation is though, that we cannot definitively say what is causing climate change? But however, we define the causal equation it appears that human behavior is a contributing factor. And commensurately human intelligence is required to mitigate, adapt and if possible prevent it.

Climate is inescapably a prime element of the habitats in which we live – including and probably especially cities. As individuals we co-exist with our habitats from the smallest personal social scales (Map 2) to the largest Kosmic scales (Map 4, Map 5). Within these inner and outer spectra of human groupings (Map 2) and environmental contexts, we co-create and co-evolve with our habitats.

Earlier in this 21st century cities became the habitats of 50%+ of humanity (90% in developed world). Cities are the most complex human system yet created. As social holons they are complex adaptive systems with potential for orders of learning that magnify the intelligence of any one individual, family, group, organization, sector or neighbourhood. The Nattrasses (2015) point out:

Virtually any [person, team and] organization of any substance has its worldview, its system of intelligibility, rooted firmly in the Old Story. Each operates, and succeeds or fails, within the underlying assumptions found in the Old Story. In turn, individual organizations must still operate within a global system that is also massively embedded in the Old Story.  And in order for any organization to be an influential leader of change for sustainability, it must continue to be successful within the existing Old Story system. Public companies, for example, must continue to show growth and profits, and report them to shareholders every three months, all the while trying to revision and recreate the company and its markets from a sustainability perspective. The task we face is like nothing that has ever taken place in industrial society—it is comparable to rebuilding a jet liner while in flight 10,000 meters above ground.  How do leaders help lead this transformation from inside the very systems that need to change, while at the same time avoiding major economic or social disruptions?

Cities are containers of holons, social holons, relationships, exchanges and emergents – at every scale. As a whole I have long considered them to be a massively complex meshwork. But in practice cities are actually meshworks of meshworks. [See the full definition of meshworking intelligence here.]

The operational values of meshworks in living systems is that they enable a continuous stream of natural, living complex structures to emerge – so that the living system can make the most efficient use of energy by capturing the structures (and infrastructures) that have enabled survival and sustainability; for example this is how all the structures that enable cities to function have emerged – from family hearths, to clans, kingdoms, bureaucracies, businesses social networks, communications systems and global alliances (Map 4). At the same time effective meshworks ensure that background activity never stops self-organizing – thus enabling creative adaptation and emergence (e.g. the activities of inventors, artists, researchers, entrepreneurs, developers, etc.).

This “natural” meshworking capacity of human systems has never been successfully suppressed in the long run, by any governance system, technology or habitat – because the nature of earthly life has ensured that dissonance is always with us – challenging our hierarchies and demanding new solutions for life-threatening problems. But as the Nattrasses point out, the assumptions and worldviews in the Old Story of how cities work, have entrenched the blindness to the impact of human influence on climate change (whatever the cause) into the very organs (organizations) of the living city itself.

The bad news is that cities converge all the problems and potentials of humanity into a vortex of toxic threats. The good news is that cities converge all the problems and potentials of humanity into a spiral of dissonances that trigger the emergence of possibilities and intelligences. (In fact I have suggested that Integral Cities that are alive, resilient and optimized operate with a suite of 12 intelligences (in 5 sets).)

The dissonances caused by climate change challenge all five sets of city intelligences:  Contexting/ Integral – Individual and Collective /Strategic/ Evolutionary.

Integral City Compass

Integral City: 12  Intelligences

As we are waking up to the very real threats of climate change to our cities, our 4 city Voices act like clumsy children who are not yet effective managers of their bio/psycho/cultural/social capacities. As cities we are bumbling around – but, because we are noticing that the Old Story of the mechanical city does not answer all the questions that arise, our dissonances are thrown back in our collective face(s). In other words, our city habitats let us know in very real terms when our learning is not sufficient to the task at hand.

As Brian and Mary Nattrass point out, we have come to a place on this planet where we have never been before. As a species who has hardly reached our teenagehood, we long for parents who might give us another story to explain life.

Rio, Kyoto, Seattle, Copenhagen, Paris

But, cities as the most complex human system we have yet created are discovering that we will have to parent ourselves. One by one cities are learning the hard lessons and bit by bit, we are teaching the human systems within our cities the difficult learning lessons of climate change pioneers. By extension these cities on the early-change bandwagon are beginning to share their hard lessons with our planet of cities – as each becomes ready to learn (i.e. when the dissonance meter gets loud enough, such as happened in New Orleans and Sendai).

As the clarion call for climate change awareness has sounded now for more than a quarter century, the early storytellers of this New Story have despaired at what has seemed collective deafness. They expected nations and organizations to take the lead. But now we see that it is perhaps not surprising that cities have taken the lead, and continue to be at the forefront of storytellers of a different way.

Cities as convergences of human capacities have the most to lose by not addressing climate change. They sit at the nexus points of Earth’s greatest tectonic contractions, water flows, air sheds, food production, energy consumption and material production. And they also concentrate the greatest quantity of evolutionary intelligence to focus on the problems at hand.

Many early adopters have agonized over the apparent resistance of organizations to respond effectively (or at all) to climate change. But by definition successful organizations have not only been anchored in the Old Story – they have verified it, sustained it and perpetuated it (as the Nattrasses noted above).

But with the lenses of complexity, living systems and evolutionary wholeness, we realize that cities are a more complex order of human systems than organizations. Cities are effectively organizations of organizations. And that is why a meshwork (discussed above) is the (fractal) explanation of how they become effective at working together.

So now that our cities have woken up and see strategies for climate change, what role can cities play in changing the story of climate change? More precisely what roles can the 4 Voices of the city working together play in transitioning from the Old Story to the New Story?

Citizens can:

  1. Ask the tough questions
  2. Keep wellbeing in mind
  3. Practise the Master Code

Civic Managers can:

  1. Connect all the systems inside the city and between cities
  2. Take Governance initiatives – defy federal/national/global resistances
  3. Amplify governance initiatives (like Obama’s announcements of US/China Climate Change Agreement)
  4. Emerge the new structure(s) by prototyping and experimenting. (Like Curitiba building the city for people not cars).

Civil Society can:

  1. Convene the intelligence/story challengers/researchers for ongoing forums of discovery (Rio, Kyoto, Seattle, Copenhagen, Paris have not been in vein – each convening has moved the story forward).
  2. Create Metrics and Collect the Indicators – ISO Standard for Cities
  3. Mediate smaller the effectiveness and capacity of all scales – both those smaller than cities such as organizations and those larger scales like nations and the planet itself

Developers, Researchers and Business can:

  1. Prototype change
  2. Align organizations of organizations – learn how to meshwork with intention
  3. Keep the meshwork a living, intentional capacity building process.

A final word from Brian and Mary Nattrass:

In the thousands of years of remembered human histories, it has been expressed in many ways in many times among many peoples that we are that being who lives between Heaven and Earth—ever torn between the god-like qualities of our highest selves and the bestial qualities of our animal selves. Never in our history as a species have we been so urgently called to live and be inspired by the qualities of our better natures; and to grow beyond the tug of our weaker selves. This is a challenge for us as individuals just as much as for our organizations and our society—because ultimately, our organizations and our societies are only expressions of us. So we come now to our evolutionary challenge—the very real challenge of our time. It is the story we are still writing together. It is that socially negotiated story that will ultimately answer the question: How are we to go on together?

It is my contention that key cities are at the stage of evolution where the dissonances they are experiencing have awakened them to being proactive on their own behalf and on behalf of the planet of cities. These cities who are early adopters of the New Integral City story are creating the habitats that will enable us all to go on together.

 

References

Graves, C. (2005). The Never Ending Quest: A Treatise on an Emergent Cyclical Conception of Adult Behavioral Systems and Their Development. Santa Barbara, CA: ECLET Publishing.

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

Hamilton, M., & Sanders, B. (2013). Integral City 2.0 Online Conference 2012 Proceedings: A Radically Optimistic Inquiry Into Operating System 2.0 M. Hamilton (Ed.)   Retrieved from http://www.scribd.com/doc/120713339/Integral-City-2-0-Online-Conference-2012-A-Radically-Optimistic-Inquiry-into-Operating-System-2-0

Hamilton, M., & etal. (2013). Integral City 2.0 Online Conference 2012 Appendices: A Radically Optimistic Inquiry Into Operating System 2.0 – 36 Interviews M. Hamilton (Ed.)   Retrieved from http://www.scribd.com/doc/123005653/Integral-City-2-0-Online-Conference-2012-Appendices-A-Radically-Optimistic-Inquiry-into-Operating-System-2-0-36-Interviews

Nattrass, B., & Nattrass, M. (2015). How ARE We To Go On Together? Our Evolutionary Crossroads. Integral Leadership Review January-February (Canada Issue). Retrieved from http://integralleadershipreview.com/12795-215-go-together-evolutionary-crossroads/

 

This blog is one of a series that explores the relevance and application of ideas to the Integral City, in the articles published in the Integral Leadership Review – Canada Issue, 2015, curated and Guest Edited by Marilyn Hamilton.

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Lessons from history abound to warn us that the shift involved in moving from one worldview, or system of intelligibility, to another, is unlikely to be smooth or easy.  (Brian and Mary Nattrass, Integral Leadership Review – January- February 2015)

Today in thinking about our Evolutionary Crossroads in the city I want to consider the function of transportation within the human hive. Our old paradigm for transportation is a mechanical one. Our great modern transportation systems grew out of the Industrial Revolution – which produced the great age of steam; the combustion engine; the pumping, refining and distribution of fossil fuels; the industrial car factory; and the globalized transportation of goods. Even our standardized system of time keeping and time zones grew out of the need for mechanical alignment across transportation systems and efficiency in moving goods from one geography to another across land, sea and air. Our language of functional transportation systems rings with the metaphors of machines, engines, rails, cogs, wheels, pistons, and speed.

On a more negative note, as cities have multiplied and populations increased, our language now also reflects the realities of transportation systems that have become toxic to the very urban systems they were designed to serve: pollution, gridlock, traffic fatalities, CO2 emissions, performance failures, unsafe at any speed, infrastructure deterioration. It is a language pocked by indicators of rigidity and corrosion.

So ubiquitous is the old story of transportation’s mechanical prowess, we hardly notice the irrationality of the solutions that have been attempted in order to reclaim former standards or redress mechanical failures. Widening highways (which Jane Jacobs predicted long ago would only exacerbate the very problems they were intended to solve). Safety belts and airbags for surviving accidents (thanks to the post-modern activism of Ralph Nader). Requiring restricted driving on alternate days (to reduce pollution in Mexico City – which increased the numbers of cars on the road). Creating high rise roof top heliports to transport business executives from one part of the gridlocked city to another (as in Sao Paulo).

But every one of these mitigating strategies bespeaks a criticism of the Old Story of the mechanical transportation city in the system. And as such, we must be grateful that this stage of evolution – to protect and defend the Old Story – emerged with vigour and even political power. Every well intended solution (with its cascade of unintended consequences) marks the road to a New Story that hasn’t yet emerged but whose seeds of potential are being sown.

When I first published Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive it told such a new story about the city as an integrated, complex living, evolutionary human system, that the story seemed foreign to most modern ears (and alien to traditional ears). The story was built on new Integral Maps of the City revealing its inner relationships as well as its outer ecologies; a Meshwork of Intelligences that were both individual and collective, enabling the emergence of new structures and infrastructures; and a reframe of the most complex adaptive human system yet created, as the Human Hive. The Map, The Mesh and the Human Hive was such a new story that even today with post-modern stories about Smart Cities, Resilient Cities and Ecocities, it is still an Integral vision that the world is only slowly waking up to.

Integral City :Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive

Integral City :Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive

But, with every passing year, we endure the failure of the mechanical metaphors and realities embedded in the design of the modern city, where mechanical failure is giving us serious pause that the Old Story does not serve us well in cities. Thanks to leaders like Jaime Lerner (architect and former mayor) of Curitiba, Brazil, we have heard a re-frame of the relationship between cities and transportation. Lerner proposed that he would build the city for people and not cars.

That simple shift in intention opened a crack in the old paradigm for transportation in the city. It challenged the priority and the purpose of transportation – and even cities themselves. The act of putting people first allowed us to rethink the interconnection of all things that cities – and their transportation systems enable.

This act of turning a core assumption about how cities work on its ear, reveals the role that organizational leaders can play as the Old Story shifts into a phase that is justifiably critical of the Old Story. The Nattrasses suggest that transportation (and other organizational) leaders can take specific actions during this Critical Stage that will help transform the Story.  They say Leaders in this core Critical Phase can:

  • Courageously enter and stand in territory that is uncertain and unpredictable and no matter how disorienting;
  • Conscientiously and boldly examine the fault lines that challenge even one’s own basic assumptions and beliefs;
  • Create and facilitate sense-making conversations with others in the industry and the city to discern which elements of the narrative about unsustainable mechanical/transportation systems are relevant and what they mean to the human systems in which the leader acts;
  • Co-create the terms and forms that will help others understand the meaning and irrelevance of the old story and communicate those through compelling narrative accounts.

If Lerner’s new story marks a shift from Old Story to New Story for Transportation, it has also been quickened by scientific innovation that has opened up the transportation field to new energy sources (solar, wind, water); new energy delivery systems (e.g. Bombardier wireless recharging grids); new modes of cradle-to-cradle manufacture; new methods of financing and ownership ( Uber app); new interlocking multi-modal systems (e.g. NL bike/tram/train).

Last week, I heard an even more definitive indicator that the Critical Stage of the city transportation story was shifting into the Transformation Stage, when Jeffrey Tumlin spoke of “transportation as health”. A global expert in sustainable transportation planning, he was sharing this life-giving insight in my own small city of Abbotsford. When the new story is actually invited into and entertained in small cities as well as large, that seems another strong indicator that the story is changing. Tumlin’s radical approach to measuring transportation success through population health statistics, almost made me stand up and yell “bravo”!!!

He went on to cite another statistic that affirmed an observation I had been noticing in city life; namely, that driving rates continue to decline for the first time in history. It appears that – since 2005 Millennials and Boomers have reduced their purchase of cars. These populations are either choosing never to own a car or to give up their cars – in favour of the most healthy transportation option – walking – or for public transportation.

When I first imagined the Integral City as a Human Hive, my view of transportation was embedded in the story of a living system. Now I hear the language that supports that metaphor – namely that transportation is about metabolism – the flow of resources that energize and give life to all human systems in the city.

I am encouraged not only by Tumlin’s characterization of “transportation as health” but by the Nattrass recommendations about what leaders and organizations can do to make that final shift of the Old Story of unsustainable mechanical transportation into the New Story of healthy metabolic resource flow. The Nattrasses say:

“Ultimately there is nothing mysterious about how to get into action using new assumptions and concepts.  This ability is a hallmark of our species and part of our adaptive toolbox.  We have found that most organizations choose similar areas to enact [the new story of] sustainability.  These are generally activities related to:

  1. How they use resources and materials,
  2. How they produce, or cause to be produced, waste and emissions,
  3. How they design, develop and specify product,
  4. How they manufacture or source product,
  5. How they treat people or require that sub-contractors treat people,
  6. How they distribute, transport, and deliver products, and
  7. How they give back to communities and to global society.”

It seems obvious that as transportation has been both the instigator of massive change in the city since the industrial revolution, which introduced the benefits of mechanical infrastructures, it will also be instrumental in enabling new metabolisms that nourish energy for cities that are built for people and not cars.

I am just grateful that Brian and Mary Nattrass have charted the natural change from Old Story to New Story through phases that first criticize the Old Story, then Transform the Old Story into a New Story. Through these continuous and progressive retellings, leaders create the audience for a whole New Story and the citizens for a whole new city. Leaders in transportation are now starting to help one another through the “mindfields” of psychological and emotional pushbacks that naturally arise and are involving their industry peers in creating a new narrative for new times.

For the Integral City the Evolutionary Transportation Crossroads lies at the juncture of the Map, the Mesh and the Human Hive.

References:

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

Jacobs, J. (1992). The Death and Life of Great American Cities. New York: Vintage Books.

Nattrass, B., & Nattrass, M. (2015). How ARE We To Go On Together? Our Evolutionary Crossroads. Integral Leadership Review January-February(Canada Issue). Retrieved from http://integralleadershipreview.com/12795-215-go-together-evolutionary-crossroads/

 

This blog is one of a series that explores the relevance and application of ideas to the Integral City, in the articles published in the Integral Leadership Review – Canada Issue, 2015, curated and Guest Edited by Marilyn Hamilton.

Read Full Post »

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