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Posts Tagged ‘Integrators’


The biomimicry pattern of the Human Hive (aka city) draws on fractal patterns and systems in play in our global ecology and human species.

Integral City International Faces

Homo sapiens sapiens is supposedly the most advanced species of the vertebrates. We have developed four types of cities in our Human Hive line. Moreover we have also developed four roles that are active in our cities similar to the four roles in the beehive.

The four types of cities I want to consider are Traditional, Smart, Resilient and Integral. Together they form an evolutionary spectrum.

In this blog series, I will only point out the Traditional City, driven by managing the transactional exchanges of the basics of life but will not spend time on it. I am more interested in exploring the potential of the Smart City driven by technology and industry; the Resilient city driven by ecological and eco-regional interdependencies; and the Integral City driven by the flex and flow of cultures, consciousness and care – the very energies of the Master Code.

4 + 1 Roles

Now let’s explore the 4 roles of the Human Hive.

In the Human Hive, I have noticed that the 4 bee roles provide a fractal pattern filled by what I call the 4 Voices of the City.

  • Who are our Forager-Producers?  I think of them as Citizens
  • Who are our Diversity Generators? I think of them Business (Private Sector)
  • Who are our Resource Allocators? I think of them as Civic Managers (Government and Agency Sector)
  • Who are our Integrators? I think of them as Civil Society (our NFP/NGO sector)

These voices/roles in the human hive follow the same fractal patterns of roles that the bees have evolved. And not surprisingly others have noticed similar fractal patterns in organizations and nations. Dr. Ichak Adizes has noticed these patterns in family behaviors and applied these same roles to organizations as: Producers, Entrepreneurs, Administrators and Integrators – his famous PAEI pattern.

Moreover, I take the license of suggesting that the Pope himself has chosen “Integral Ecology” as the title of a key chapter in his encyclical “Laudato Si”, because he recognizes the ecological realities that permeate life at all human scales.

I am curious, as a Reader – while you are doing your work in the city – would you name your role as Resource Allocator or Civic Manager? Diversity Generator or Business/Private Entrepreneur? Forager-Producer or Citizen? Or perhaps Integrator or Civil Society? Or maybe a combination of multiple roles?

As you compare notes with voices/roles in other cities – will you remember to see that at another fractal scale that city’s roles act as the important fifth voice/role of the inter-city competitor?

For Human Hives all five roles in all city types are critical for cities to survive and thrive.

(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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The Human Hive has many lessons to learn from the honey beehive.

Honeybee Hive

Honeybee Hive

Some years ago I was introduced to the biomimicry magic of the beehive and was fascinated to learn that apis mellifera –  the honey bee – has figured out a system that enables Smart behavior that not only produces energy for the functioning of the hive –  but Resilient inter-ecological action that enables renewable resources for the entire eco-region of the hive.

Paleo-biologist, Howard Bloom, describes these four roles of the bee hive in terms of systems performance that is modulated by what many are now calling the “hive mind”. Like all Smart Cities the bees have developed code that communicates resource data – like modern millennials they prefer a dance-rap code to a digital or spoken mode. They choreograph their Big Data information on a figure 8 design at the door of the hive. Like all Resilient Cities, the bees have measured their Eco footprint and figured out how much energy a hive of about 50000 bees needs to produce for survival – about 20 kg of honey per year.

The beehive is organized so that 90% of the hive are Forager-Producers – who have the job of foraging for nectar and pollen in the eco-region of the hive. They fly out, find a patch of flowers and return to the hive with both bountiful samples of the harvest and dance the information for other bees to locate it (with coordinates matched to distance from hive, angle of the sun, type of flower, maturity of flower, etc.). With 90% of the bees attending to this duty – the dance soon becomes a rave.

Meanwhile there is a special contingent of bees who have been given different roles to play – complementary to the Forager-Producers. These are the Diversity Generators – and they make up about 5% of the hive. It is their job to go anywhere the Producing Foragers DO NOT go. As a result they return to the hive with harvests from different flowers and therefore a different dance – let’s say a clog dance instead of rap rock n roll??? While most of the hive is preoccupied with the success of the Forager-Producers, the Diversity Generators are for the most part ignored. (Do you ever feel like that in your work – no one ever appreciates what you do???)

In order to fully appreciate the system of the beehive, we must stand back a little from the dance programs of the Forager-Producers and Diversity Generators and observe what the Resource Allocators and the Integrators are doing. Altogether these 2 roles are a very small percentage of the hive performed by mature bees and the wisdom of the hive mind.

The role of the Resource Allocators is to reward performance of the Forager-Producers and Diversity Generators. They measure the returning harvest loads and reward the foraging-producing bees with “Bee Juice” proportional to their performance. 100% load receives a 100% reward. In the background the Integrators check out how the hive is doing in manufacturing the annual goal of 20 kg of honey.

Bees Knees Pollen Harvest

Bees Knees Pollen Harvest

Sounds like a good system yes??? But what happens when Forager-Producer bees keep returning to the same patch of flowers? Sooner or later they deplete the patch – and the Resource Allocators reduce their rewards accordingly – from 75% to 50% to 30% and finally to 0!! And with the recent EU experience of risk/reward scenario analysis – what happens to bees who are cut off from the expected rewards of their non-performing efforts?? You guessed it – they get depressed. How do we know? We can measure depression in bees by the drop in their pheromones!!

But there is a benefit to this downturn in energy/performance of the Forager-Producer bees. It means that finally the hard-working Diversity Generators can finally be noticed. Because they have never stopped returning to the hive and doing their little clog dances. And when the poor depressed Forager-Producers have given up on their big party, they finally can take notice that another “hearty-party” is going on with the returning Diversity Generators. A few depressed Forager-Producers take notice and follow the information dance and discover the DG’s new location for nectar and pollen resources. When these newly motivated Forager-Producers return, they stir up the old party pheromones once again and the Forager-Producers fly off in pursuit of new harvests.

The Resource Allocators are happy, the Integrators are on target and the hive system survives and even thrives – not just because its internal conditions for wellbeing are met, but because the external conditions of the eco-region have also been supported by pollinating the producing plants – thus ensuring a variety of renewable resources for the next year.

And in nearby beehives the same system is being practiced, in competition with our exemplar hive. This ensures the evolution of optimal variations in the bee species that allow for adaptation and mitigation of changing life conditions for apis mellifera. (This may be what is going on with the hives that survive Colony Collapse Disorder while others don’t.)

Thus, it appears that the honey bees have devised a true metabolic economy that actually catalyzes and supports an integrated ecology following the rules of complexity.

(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 blog continues to share the Findings from the research conducted in three Learning Lhabitats exploring the 4 Voices of the City in the United States, Canada and Europe in the last year. Today we compare the results that open wider understanding of the role of the Civic Manager Voice in the city,  from Learning Lhabitats at the Integral Theory Conference 2013,Federation of Canadian Municipalities Sustainability Conference 2014 and Integral Europe Conference  2014. Civic Managers include the administrative institutions at City Hall, Education, Health Care, Justice, Emergency Response and other City Agencies. (Integral City has characterized them as the Resource Allocators of the Human Hive.) 

 

IEC 2014: Civic Managers Organizing Feedback

IEC 2014: Civic Managers Organizing Feedback

 

AQAL Profiles of the Co-Researchers

In collecting this data, it is interesting to note the profile of the participants in each conference from an AQAL perspective. The Integral Theory Conference 2013, located in San Francisco, USA, attracted thinkers and theorists with a major interest and focus on integral points of view – a group that were heavily weighted in the Upper Left /Consciousness Quadrant of the Integral Model. At the same time, this group self-identified as being strongly biased in favour of Innovators and Business or Diversity Generators.

The Federation of Canadian Municipality Sustainability Conference 2014, located in Prince Edward Island, Canada, attracted Mayors, City Managers and Civic Leaders with an interest in sustainability and action orientation. So from an integral perspective this group were heavily weighted in the Upper Right/Action and Lower Right/Systems Quadrants of the Integral Model. This group by definition were Civic Managers or Resource Allocators.

Finally the Integral Europe Conference 2014, located in Budapest, Hungary, attracted a diversity of cultures and actors from across Europe (with smaller representation from other non-European nations) who were heavily weighted in the Lower Left/ Cultural Quadrant of the Integral Model. This group had a strong predisposition to be Inner Judges from Civil Society (with a strong showing from Business as well.)

These three groups give us an in interesting sampling of the I/We/It/Its perspectives on the Civic Manager in the Integral City. Figure 1 sets out the comparison of the 3 Groups for Civic Managers.

 

Figure 1: Comparing Voices of Civic Managers: ITC, FCM, IEC

Figure 1: Comparing Voices of Civic Managers: ITC, FCM, IEC

 

 Qualities of the Voice of Civic Managers

Each Learning Lhabitat was asked to define the qualities of the Civic Manager Voice. This voice was driven by the value of structure in service to the bigger picture and finding out what is best for the community. Civic Managers were called “bridge builders between the unconnected”.

The voice of Civic Managers often triggered the next steps to a larger or spiritual consciousness.

This voice acted as connectors to the community and the resources required to build structures as well as allies with the Inner Judges of Civil Society. Acting as a hub or centre piece between Council, Citizens and Developers, Civic Managers can guide the Citizen Voice for collaboration on community interests.

Its bureaucratic systems can advocate toward long term visions (including sustainability) while using access to information to frame an objective view of issues that assists in staying on course.

Civic Managers can build consensus in an intelligent way, fearlessly delving into root causes of concerns, dispelling misconceptions and providing a synopsis of the issues to expedite workable solutions.

At their best, Civic Managers operate on a principle of majority [rules], but as professionals make sure they listen without pushing their own agenda.

As Resource Allocators it is the job of Civic Managers to innovate and introduce change and improvement, even supporting unpopular positions if that makes most sense. In doing so they must use systemic thinking, identifying the highest impact leverage points. At the same time they are called on to balance new approaches with the values of heritage.

It is the job of Civic Managers to act as responsible decision makers (and expenditure managers)  to plan for short, mid and long term change, using processes (and motivating staff) that allow them to frame, deliver and maintain structures that work (implemented with considerations for justice and flexibility).

Civic Managers were seen as ensuring that the “wheels on the bus keep turning”, utilizing expertise and assets for measurable results.

While Civic Managers were viewed as positive Resource Allocators, they were also recognized as speaking from the Voice of the Skeptic. They are always balancing the needs of the community with a diversity of opinions. Thus, they hold powerful positions that enable them to reward success, as well as punishing failure.

 

The Value of Collecting Intelligence from Multiple Sources

These Learning Lhabitats are helping us see how Civic Manager Voices see themselves, each other, their city and the world. In these LLhabs, Civic Manager Voices are discovering how to strengthen their organizing capacities to build lasting foundations for the Integral City, so that the vitality of the other three Voices is well supported.

In the companion blogs (Citizens, Civil Society, Business) we look at the other three Voices of the City revealed in our trio of Learning Lhabitats.

 

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This blog continues to share the Findings from the research conducted in three Learning Lhabitats exploring the 4 Voices of the City in the United States, Canada and Europe in the last year. Today we compare the results that open wider understanding of the role of the Civil Society Voice in the city,  from Learning Lhabitats at the Integral Theory Conference 2013, Federation of Canadian Municipalities Sustainability Conference 2014 and Integral Europe Conference  2014. Civil Society embraces Not-for-Profits, NGO’s and Faith Community. (Integral City has characterized them as the Inner Judges of the Human Hive.) 

 

Voices of Civil Society are Spark Plugs

IEC: Voices of Civil Society are Spark Plugs

 

Profiles of the Co-Researchers

In collecting this data, it is interesting to note the profile of the participants in each conference. The Integral Theory Conference 2013, located in San Francisco, USA, attracted thinkers and theorists with a major interest and focus on integral points of view – a group that were heavily weighted in the Upper Left /Consciousness Quadrant of the Integral Model. At the same time, this group self-identified as being strongly biased in favour of Innovators and Business or Diversity Generators.

The Federation of Canadian Municipality Sustainability Conference 2014, located in Prince Edward Island, Canada, attracted Mayors, City Managers and Civic Leaders with an interest in sustainability and action orientation. So from an integral perspective this group were heavily weighted in the Upper Right/Action and Lower Right/Systems Quadrants of the Integral Model. This group by definition were Civic Managers or Resource Allocators.

Finally the Integral Europe Conference 2014, located in Budapest, Hungary, attracted a diversity of cultures and actors from across Europe (with smaller representation from other non-European nations) who were heavily weighted in the Lower Left/ Cultural Quadrant of the Integral Model. This group had a strong predisposition to be Inner Judges from Civil Society (with a strong showing from Business as well.)

These three groups give us an in interesting sampling of the I/We/It/Its perspectives on the Civil Society in the Integral City. Figure 1 sets out the comparison of the 3 Groups.

 

Figure 1: Comparing Voices of Civil Society: ITC, FCM, IEC

Figure 1: Comparing Voices of Civil Society: ITC, FCM, IEC

 

 Qualities of the Voice of Civil Society

Each Learning Lhabitat was asked to define the qualities of the Civil Society Voice. A visionary spirit of pioneers characterized this voice.

Civil Society is able to set the focus for conversations and act as integrators of diverse value systems in the city. They could create a “climate change” where all voices share a mindset that is open to future focused thinking.

They were credited with being good listeners who could align all voices on a shared track. They had the capacity to be in right relationship with each other and the city. Moreover they had the astuteness to discover who are the key stakeholders of the other three voices in the city. In doing so they can create a sense of “home” in the city so that everyone gains a “feel” of the city.

This voice conveyed love, as well as reflective and meditative capacities. They were known as both pragmatists (tough love?) and conscious philanthropists.

As builders of strong social networks, collaborators and facilitators, they joined forces to build community and organize intergroup exchanges, thereby breaking down silos. This voice searched for and discovered the needs, purposes and values of city voices, groups and cultures and they took the time and effort to check in with the intentions of citizens.

Civil Society aims for the Greater Good, demonstrating the stamina of long distance runners, overcoming apathy and isolation, enabling resilience to emerge in themselves and the city.

Some called Civil Society “spark plugs” and others saw the same qualities as “shit disturbers” – but in either case they are active leaders of the pack – change agents with creative, innovative, pattern-busting capacities for change.

Even as free thinkers, Civil Society is seen also as strategic thinkers, problem solvers and more than willing to spend money (and less often save it).

On the shadow side, Civil Society was seen as cynical, vocal, self-interested and adamant about getting their way.

 

The Value of Collecting Intelligence from Multiple Sources

These Learning Lhabitats are helping us see how Civil Society Voices see themselves, each other, their city and the world. In these LLhabs, Civil Society Voices are discovering their aligning force in the Integral City, and how to build community that improves the quality of life for the city as a whole.

In the companion blogs (Citizens, Civic Managers, Business) we look at the other three Voices of the City revealed in our trio of Learning Lhabitats.

 

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At the ITC2013 Learning Lhabitat participants introduced themselves by name, Human HIve (aka city of residence) and the Voice(s) of the City they most often represent.

Cityzens Are Spirit of City

Cityzens Are Spirit of City

Here is how the Cityzens described the voice of the City.  They recognized that the Cityzen voice speaks from the Integral City’s Upper Left Quadrant  – where I have called it the voice of the City Spirit.

In their own words Learning Lhabitat Cityzens said:

  • Cityzens just want to have fun! (Red)
  • Cityzens want a sense of being home (Purple) and belonging (Green).
  • They want to connect to others (Green).
  • At the same time they are self-centred (Red and Orange).
  • They can have a mob mentality and even lose their sense of individual self (Purple and Blue).
  • They can be action oriented, doing what they have to do (Orange).
  • They can also feel powerless, apathetic and isolated.
  • They protest change and can stand up for their own preferred Quality of Life
  • Cityzens come in all flavours/colours/expressions of worldviews (see the hints in the Spiral Colours suggested by the Participants above).

Learning “Lhabitants” recognized that the role that Cityzens play is to translate cues from the Diversity Generators (that comes from City Builder-Entrepreneurs ) and build the diversity into the fabric of the city.

At the same time Civil Society  integrate the individual mentalities and values of Cityzens with the other voices of the City.  Cityzen Voice can be amplified by the Civil Society-Integrators who take the pulse of the Civic Managers , monitor the values of the Cityzens and point to the possibilities for innovation arising from City Developers. In this way Cityzens can  learn how to align their efforts around common purpose.

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When was the last time you got really involved in an election? What role did you play? Voter or Election Candidate or Supporter?

elections

If you want to navigate the outcomes of elections, the usual injunctions include:

  • Follow the money
  • Vote with your feet
  • Mark an X on the ballot.

But if you are running for election in a city-centric office,  how can you develop an election platform for the  Human Hive based on city wellbeing and sustainability? How can you create the conditions for an interactive conversation about new ways of designing, supporting and fulfilling election platforms that make a difference to the health and wealth of our cities?

These are some of the questions I asked early this month, in a circle, called by a community think tank, encouraging women to become electoral candidates.

After a lively introduction from one of my former RRU graduate students, I asked people to introduce themselves and tell me what Voice they represented in the city. When all 20 had checked in we found that everyone brought the voice of the Cityzen – and we had about the 7-9 voices from each of Civil Society, City Managers and Business.

We then ventured into the realm of storytelling – and I related the story of the Honey Bee – with its energizing focus on:

  • Goal – produce 40 pounds of honey per year in order for the hive to survive
  • Role – act as a symbiotic team, where five key Roles contribute to achieving the Goal:
    • Producers – (voice of the Cityzen) gather the nectar and pollen and produce the honey
    • Entrepreneurs – (voice of the business/innovators) source new resources and keep the Producers advised of all options
    • Administrators – (voice of the City Managers) allocate resources to reward effective performance
    • Integrators – (voice of the Civil Society/Integrators) integrate all the other Roles for the achievement of the Hive Goal and survival
    • Competitors – (voice of the other Hives in the same eco-region) ensure that the best survival strategies emerge and sustain the species
  • Soul – respond to what is really important. What do we value as individuals and as a Hive?

As the dialogue started to unfold we were able to ask ourselves some interesting questions:

  • In the Human Hive – what is the equivalent goal of the 4o pounds of honey that we must produce in a year? How do we honour the power of human consciousness and culture in setting goals for City wellbeing and survival?

How do the Roles in the Hive relate to the Voices in the city? (We marked them above in brackets.)

Just as we seemed to be on a “radically optimistic roll”,  a strain of criticism and negativity started to creep into the conversation. I interjected a state-shifting question: “Would you like to try an experiment?”  Yes, they agreed!!  Turning to the person beside them, I asked them to each tell this story:

Tell me about a time when you were really involved or excited about an election? Who was there? Why were you excited? Where was it? When?

The room burst into noisy and positive exchange. I could hardly call them back above the din.  But when I did, I asked each conversation dyad to identify three values they saw in their stories. Quickly again the room exploded … and we were subsequently able to fill a flip chart with the values that had engaged them:

Listening, Caring, Sharing, Giving back, Recognition, Community, Supporting, Growing, Genuine Curiosity, Multiple Generations, Linking Across Cultures, Working for Something they Believed in, Imagining the Future

In a flash we saw that these values revealed the Souls of the election process. We had easily jumped from the depressing consideration of no new candidates or no positive slates for future elections, to recognizing that Cityzens (just like the bees) are always casting their ballots before, during and after elections – somehow trying to survive even without clear Goals, Roles or Souls.

The Think Tank realized they had discovered how framing elections in the context of Goals, Roles and Souls Changes “Business as Usual”!

And their lively exploration of Goals, Roles and Souls also revealed the reality of the Master Code:

  • Take care of ourselves
  • so we can … Take care of each other
  • so we can …Take care of this place
  • so we can … Take care of this planet.

And before we could enjoy our cup of tea and cookies, the circle insisted that we identify the topic of their next dialogue. That was easy … everyone wanted to know:

How can we imagine the future of our City?

Thanks to the invitation from the Women’s Think Tank, Mission BC, for the opportunity to explore this topic in dialogue with a circle of all the 4 Voices of the city.

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