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Here is the Integral City 2015 Meta Blog. It connects the 4 Voices of the Integral City to the Planet, People, Place and Power that energized us in 2015.

It follows the traditions of:

Integral City Meta Blog 2014

Integral City Meta Blog 2013

1. Equinox/Solstice Newsletters – Integral City Reflective Organ

  1. Integral City Reflective Organ – March Equinox 2015: Signs & Wonders of Planetary Shifts
  2. Integral City Reflective Organ – June Solstice 2015 – Pope, Planet of Integral Cities, People, Playgrounds
  3. Integral City Reflective Organ – October 2015: Places – Smart, Resilient, Integral
  4. Integral City Reflective Organ – December 2015: Inner Power, Outer Climate

2. City of the Year 2015: Paris

banner_01 Paris

For the first time in 2015 we could see that some cities are moving the forefront of a Planet of Integral Cities. In particular the role that Paris played in galvanizing the world to think and act in ways that made us conscious of ourselves at a city scale, inspired us to nominate Paris as City of the Year 2015. In particular Paris helped us appreciate the reality of the Master Code through taking care of Self/ Others/ Place/ Planet. Here are four blogs exploring Paris 2015.

  1. Je Suis Charlie
  2. Je Suis Paris
  3. Je Suis COP21
  4. Paris – City of the Year 2015

3. Leaders Meshworking in Europe & USA

Europe brought the impact of People, Planet, Place and Power into city awareness and showed how national leaders can bring the politics of dignity as a defense against the politics of fear. At the same time a small city in Oklahoma, USA is at the forefront of prototyping how to involve the dignity of all 4 city voices in the process of becoming an Integral City. We honoured Durant, Oklahoma as Meshworkers of the Year 2015.

  1. Discovering How Politics of Dignity Counters Politics of Fear
  2. Meshworkers of the Year Award 2015 – Imagine Durant, Oklahoma, USA Integral City of the Future

Imagine Durant diamond logo

 

4. Leadership Reviewed

Leadership in Integral City came into focus with the Integral Leadership Review Canada Issue in 2015 and subsequently inspired a number of leadership-related blogs:

©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 not 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 not reproduce without © Permission.

  1. A Totem for Curating a Story of Leadership in Canada – Integral Leadership Review
  2. From Totem Guides and Lock Masters to World Legacy Light – Integral Leadership Review Encore
  3. Integral City Leaders Use Generative Change
  4. Women Tell the Stories that Transform Old Story into New Story
  5. Cities are Evolving Climate Story
  6. Transportation Crossroads in the City
  7. Celebrating Canada’s 4 Quadrant Leaders on Canada Day

5. Pope Leading “Urbi et Orbi”

Traditionally the Pope offers year-end blessings for the City and the world (urbi et orbi) – but this year Pope Francis demonstrated throughout the year active leadership on integral views of ecology, climate and refugees.

  1. Pope Francis Calls for Integral Ecology
  2.  Pope Francis Offers Blueprint for a Planet of Integral Cities

6. Integral City: Harvested Impact at Integral Theory Conference 2015

Integral City invited participation processes, purposes and energies with Systemic Constellation Work in Pop-Up Playgrounds at the Integral Theory Conference 2015. We promised many outcomes here:

  1. 10 Best Reasons to Pop-Up at Playground Lunch ITC2015
  2. Take a Play Break: Pop-up, Play, Constellate
  3. ITC2015: Top 10 Reasons to Play at our Pop-Up Lunch

We published an Impact Harvest Report –you can find out about the Deep Design we used here:

  1. Pop-up Places, Process and PurposeHarvet Report Cover

7. Integral City: Woke Up the Human Hive Beyond the Smart and Resilient Cities at IT Smart City Conference

In September at IT Smart City Amersfoort, NL we explored the discourse that links Smart, Resilient and Integral Cities and how to recalibrate care, context and capacity for a planet of cities, summarized in this series of blogs:

  1. Bee Hive Metaphor Offers Human Hive Disturbing Pattern of Survival?
  2. The Human Hive Reveals Patterns that Determine City Types
  3. Beehive: Biomimicry Patterns for Smart, Resilient, Integral Cities
  4. Human Hive: Roles & Types
  5. How Do We Locate the Smart City?
  6. How Do We Locate the Resilient City?
  7. How Do We Locate the Integral City?
  8. How Do We Power Up Our Cities?
  9. Integral City GPS Locator Compass
  10. Waking UP the Human Hive – Recalibrating With Happiness

8. Householder Dharma

We started a periodic series of gentle “pointing out instructions” for applying principles from Integral City in your own home town (inspired by Marilyn’s home town in Canada).

  1. Householder Dharma: Gaining Altitude on a Community of Blessings
  2. Householder Dharma: The Best Exotic Qualities of Home
  3. Householder Dharma: Optimizing Home Base with Values
  4. Householder Dharma: Connecting People, Improving Health
  5. 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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Out beyond the smart city, out beyond the resilient city,

Lives the Integral City.

Integral City Thinking

Integral City Thinking

Integral Leadership Review – Canada Issue offered a Leadership Tip on Generative Change, by Tam Lundy, that acted as a Guide to appreciating all the articles. Tam’s Tip gave the reader an energy boost as you passed through the Totem Entry Way to help you focus and harvest the significance of each and all the leadership contributions on offer in the issue.

Tam’s ideas on Technical, Adaptive and Generative Change offered particularly cogent recommendations for global cities – whether they be Smart, Resilient or Integral.

Smart Cities tend to use technical solutions to address first order change. As identified by Spiral Dynamics, first order change requires support for maintaining, adjusting or improving the status quo. (Think more data banks, driverless cars, faster Wi-Fi.)

Resilient Cities tend to use adaptive solutions that address mid-order change. As identified by Spiral Dynamics, such change addresses systemic adaptations, mitigations and restorations.  (Think urban food security, reduction of greenhouse gases, daylighting streams.)

Integral Cities seek to generate solutions that meet second-order change. As identified by Spiral Dynamics, these changes address a greater order of magnitude of problems than has ever been encountered before. (The military have dubbed these kinds of circumstances as VUCAvolatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous). Approaches to “VUCA-stances” demand that city leaders open up new mindsets, redefine city paradigms, and emerge new potentials for living systems not yet dreamed or tried. (Think cities as Gaia’s Reflective Organs, city as human hive, Planet of Cities as collective intelligence network.)

Integral City leaders use both Smart and Resilient solutions – in their appropriate contexts. In fact Generative Change approaches enable Integral City thinking to emerge – because they include and build on both Smart and Resilient Solutions – and step into a zone where they can act effectively to align first order technical problems with Smart City solutions and mid-order adaptive problems with Resilient City Solutions.

But Integral City leaders go beyond merely aligning technical and adaptive solutions and seek to discover for their cities how to align the very source of City Wellbeing, with City Purpose, Collective Vision and Strategies for thriving.

Leaders who follow Lundy’s Generative Change Tip, venture out beyond the smart city, out beyond the resilient city, into the Integral City. They create a Field … we can meet them there.

References:

Beck, D., & Cowan, C. (1996). Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.

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

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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Reticence. Modesty. Loyalty. Generosity. These qualities often mark the Canadian character and our propensity to downplay the adventure, excitement, daring, risk and courage that influence how we tell our stories of accomplishment and achievement. But those are not the words that sprung to mind when Russ Volckmann invited me to be Guest Editor of this Canada issue of Integral Leadership Review (ILR-C).

©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 not reproduce without © Permission.

Pattern making. Pattern recognition. Pattern amplification. Excessive Network Connecting. These are the qualities of leaders that emerged when I studied learning and leadership in self-organizing online communities in 1999 (Hamilton, 1999). Using the lenses of integral, systems and evolutionary thinking, I was able to notice how leaders emerged naturally from the population they occupied to lead a community to take stock of its assets, reflect on its intentions, change its worldview and expand its influence,.

These were the impulses I wished to bring to the challenge of not just editing ILR-C – but rather of curating a story of leadership in Canada for this issue.

Read the rest of this Curator’s Leading Comments here and access the Table of Contents for this Issue here

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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 Business 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. Business includes the voices of Entrepreneurs, Developers, Innovators, Artists and Inventors. (Integral City has characterized them as the Diversity Generators of the Human Hive.) 

 

IEC 2014 Tour: Business Opening City Structures (Award Winning ING Office)

IEC 2014 Tour: Business Opening City Structures (Award Winning ING Office)

 

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 Business Voice in the Integral City. Figure 1 sets out the comparison of the 3 Groups for Business.

 

Figure 1: Comparing Voices of Business: ITC, FCM, IEC

Figure 1: Comparing Voices of Business: ITC, FCM, IEC

 

 Qualities of the Voice of Business

Each Learning Lhabitat was asked to define the qualities of the Business Voice. This voice was unanimously described as innovators, who “dare to see what is and learn from the past to create the future”. Business was seen as able to take the overview with an optimistic, spiritual consciousness. Advanced business leaders practised servant leadership, but at the same time could be unattached with a preference – even an expectation? for working with freedom.

As creative entrepreneurs Business is both Purpose and Goal oriented organizing their plans to achieve both. As profit generators and risk takers, they also can demonstrate social conscience, with growing awareness of the importance of sustainability, practicing the 3 R’s (reuse, recycle, redevelop) and generating wealth with a triple bottom line (People, Profit, Planet).

Business both drives the city agenda with a focus on producing results, that don’t reinvent the wheel, often challenging the status quo, and changing policy but somehow finding the middle ground.

Business can re-define the very meaning of success (e.g. developing ways to build community that improve work/play and walkability).

While Business moves quickly and is always aware of the importance of time, it also demands clear process. Business asks clarifying questions like: Where does the funding come from? Who can sponsor this? How do change the car culture? What are the best practices already?

The Value of Collecting Intelligence from Multiple Sources

These Learning Lhabitats are helping us see how Business Voices see themselves, each other, their city and the world. In these LLhabs, Business 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, Civic Managers) we look at the other three Voices of the City revealed in our trio of Learning Lhabitats.

 

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How can I shift my perspective of the city when I am not aware of the perspective I hold?

IntegralCity Aliveness

A shift in perspective assumes that a change in my view occurs. Unpacking such a shift requires the answers to some basic questions:

  1. What is my current perspective?
  2. Why would I change it?
  3. How can I change it?
  4. When will I shift my perspective?

Starting with the first question, it is natural to ask, “Shift from what [perspective] to what [perspective]?” It is the fundamental starting point of any change – become aware of where I stand, thus providing an awareness of me and my environment (or context).

The second question, may be one of internal motivation – should I choose (voluntarily) to shift my perspective? Or do external circumstances give me no choice? Have I been knocked off my current position by outside forces  – literally pushed aside by person(s), thing(s), idea(s) and/or circumstance(s)?

The third question emerges from the second, and brings our response and/or resources to shifting perspective into play – do I raise or lower my view – and by how much? Does my perspective become clearer? shorter? longer or change otherwise? when I include immediate, near or distant reference points of myself, others and place? This may even extend to including soft technologies like inquiry, facilitation processes or experimentation (as I negotiate perspectives with other individuals, groups, competitors, neighbourhoods) to hard technologies that change perspectives through the use of the microscope, telescope or satellite (to gain insights about biota, geography or GIS mapping systems).

The fourth question involves timing that may or may not allow for the answers to the first three questions to emerge gradually, orderly, chaotically, unexpectedly or instantly. Such timing may mean the difference between shifting perspective on my own terms (like learning a new skill or moving my place of residence) or without agreement (like being expropriated or catching a communicable disease) resulting in Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome or disability.

Each of these questions reveals a quality of systems thinking that we can use to help ourselves and others shift perspectives. Each question supports us to see (and respect) ourselves as a whole living system, in relationship to other whole living systems, within the larger context of dynamic place and environmental systems and ultimately the earth as a whole planetary system.

Shifting perspectives will inevitably lead us through using these questions to think through the systems about which we have perspectives. Thinking in systems impacts how we can shift perspectives and thus how we are able to adapt and innovate, design and lead, and grow and expand our capacity for caring, for the living systems we are, relate to and co-create.

Endnote:

(1) This was presented to Waterlution Toronto, Learning Lab Journey ” Exploring Complexity & Innovative Leadership Around Water & Energy in Ontario”. January 26, 2013. See also Systems Thinking: A Primer

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