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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 Power.

The reality of the (modern) city is that the issues of consciousness, intention and responsibility are the gateways of understanding, preventing and transforming material challenges because the boundaries of local environments are perpetually porous. When the elements of life can manifest butterfly effects (Lorenz, 1995) half a world away, with disastrous consequences in remote and different environments, then resourceful conscious attention and intention may hold the only keys to survival.  

Hamilton, M. (2008). Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive. Gabriola Island BC: New Society Publishers, p. 14

Solstice Reflections on the Power of Caring 

The spectrum of governance systems in cities around the world is revealing that 21st century city governance demands a range of varied capacities for responsiveness to immediate emergencies, emerging sustainability and long term resilience. Modes of governance, range from the dictatorial to the democratic. They are not accidental expressions of human consciousness, but reflect the interior worldviews and mindsets of both city leaders and citizens.

While we imagine and even expect that city governance systems should be steady structures, in fact, they are ever emergent and constantly being renegotiated because the stability of cities is forever dynamic. But one thing is becoming increasingly clear: some worldviews are more inclusive and more soundly contexted than others.

In other words, the internal life of those who coalesce authority, power and influence in our cities contributes largely to the capacity of cities to be coherent, adaptable and sustainable. The events that Paris faced in 2015 (from the darkest disasters of the Charlie Hebdo and November 13 attacks to the most hopeful dignities of the COP21 Climate Conference) particularly showcased the range of responsiveness that city leadership now requires in this stage of human system development.

We are fast becoming aware that seeking sustainability and resilience in the urban world demands mindfulness about our relationship to realities within our cities, across cultures, spanning ecoregions and impacting the world. Our inner capacities must match our outer intentions. And just as Paris demonstrated in 2015, the Power of Caring for our cities can be  (perhaps must be??) amplified when the Circle of Care expands through the scales of Self, Others, Place and Planet – because a whole “family of governance systems” arises from the nation (France), regional affiliations (EU), transnational agreements (NATO) and international organizations (UN). We are living in an age where the city is the Power focus of human systems, but at this Solstice time, it is fitting to contemplate that city wellbeing depends on the healthy interconnections of People, Place and Planet.

When City Crisis Calls for Greater Leadership Power 

With cities facing such a variety of leadership demands in 2015, we can see that the need for extraordinary leadership capacities is growing exponentially. In Integral terms we can frame this as Leadership to “x” Power. And it appears that we may have broken through even the levels of complexity that defined a Leadership to the Power of 7, to a need for Leadership to the Power of 8? If I were going to point to a triggering life condition that is calling forth such Leadership I would target the refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe. If I were to name a Leader who is demonstrating the needed qualities of Leadership to the Power of 8, I would offer Angela Merkel. Mrs. Merkel may be a national Leader – but her decisions regarding an open refugee policy are impacting every city in Germany – and as a result many other cities in Europe.

Leadership to the Power of 8 understands the infinite qualities of adaptiveness that enable human systems to thrive (and reproduce themselves) in endlessly changing life conditions. In the spirit of Leadership to the Power of 8, Angela Merkel has taken the courage extend a Circle of Care that embraces not just the voters who put her in office, but to embrace the imperiled condition of the refugees and expand the possibilities for everyone.

In contrast to such Leadership to the Power of 8, we can also see on display Leadership to the Power of 4 that depends on authority and uses barbed wire to create a barrier to change (e.g. Orban in Hungary). Those using Leadership to the Power of 5 are invoking fear of change and “the other”, depending on manipulation and competition to foment resistance (e.g. Trump in USA). Others using Leadership to the Power of 6 are depending on arguments for justice equality but ignoring the “idiot compassion” where gang and/or tribal underbellies take unfair advantage of liberal societies (e.g. Brussels and its hotbed of jihadi neighbourhoods). Even Leadership to the Power of 7 that depends on complexity and the awareness of the environment and ecological realities risks being undermined by clashes of culture (e.g. on the streets of Paris at COP21).

Leadership to the Power of 8 transcends and includes even the healthy expressions of all less complex Leaderships (from Powers of 4 to 7). It depends on integral evolution – standing firm in the face of opposition from all the other Powers of Leadership because it can see a greater superordinate goal. Through the interconnections and cross-collaborations that are emerging on an increasingly global scale, we can see that Merkel’s intuitive (?) Leadership to the Power of 8 is creating the conditions that enable a transnational (if not global) flow of people, energy, security and resources. Today’s cities need leaders, like Angela Merkel, who have developed a consciousness that understands the interconnected, evolutionary, developmental nature of all life – and particularly of city life.

Read more on Leadership to the Power of 8 in these 2 articles:

·       Concise Version: http://www.integralcity.com/discovery-zone/Research%20Docs/Leadership%20to%20the%20Power%20of%208,%20WiPsy-3-2012_Hamilton.pdf

·       Complete Version: http://integralleadershipreview.com/7686-leadership-to-the-power-of-8-leading-self-others-organization-system-and-supra-system/

 

Enlivening Edge Calls Forth the City in 2 Ways

1. Enlivening Edge a new ezine for next-stage organizations (inspired by Frederic Laloux’sReinventing Organizations) is theming the mid-January issue around reinventing cities to their next-stage of consciousness. Like Integral City, EE sees cities as part of the fractal sequence of reinvention and evolution emerging between organizations and societies. Integral City will be contributing one of the main articles for the city theme! Add your own voice to the City issue by following the guidelines here http://www.enliveningedge.org/get-involved/enlivening-edge-writers-guidelines/ (deadline extended to December 28)!

2. Join EE for the 2nd (international) Integral European Conference (see below) Reinventing Europe: Integral Reflections in a Rapidly Changing World

Enlivening Edge is curating a Teal Organizations Track there and city-related content is especially invited!

Call for papers for the Teal Organizations Track (and all tracks):
http://www.enliveningedge.org/news/gathering-of-people-organizations-going-teal/

 

Invitation from Integral Europe 2016: Reinvent Europe

Mark your calendar for BEFORE January 10, 2016 – and send IEC2016 your proposal for a presentation, paper or provocation.

What does it take to reinvent Europe from an embodied integral perspective, synchronizing different value-systems?

IEC - Flow Therapy Group Circle - Copy

That is the question IEC organizers are designing into their innovative conference format that will seamlessly interweave crisp presentations, juicy transformational workshops and heart-opening communal events.

May 48, 2016 at Lake Balaton Hungary is the time and place.

Advance whispers say Dr. Don Beck and Elza Maalouf will be keynoters and presenters.

Show Up. Speak Your Truth. Be Part of the Results. Learn MORE here.

 

The Power of WE: MetaIntegral Foundation’s Candidates for Integral Prpjects 2016

MetaIntegral Foundation, an Integral City constellation partner, continues to raise money to support some of the world’s leading Integral thinker/doers. Through their pooled resources and stewardship, research leaders will be supported as they apply integrative approaches to solving real-world challenges. Together, MIF and donors build credibility for these impactful applications and help to advance the field of Integral Theory and practice. The list of the candidates for 2016 Funding is below.

MIF uses an innovative approach where your votes generate funds AND help select the finalists.

Click here to read more about the projects, their leaders and how to add YOUR IMPACT.

  • Caucus for Children’s Rights (CCR) led by Kate McAlpine
  • Developmentally-Oriented Fundraising led by Jennifer Jones
  • Energy Futures Lab (EFL) led by Tamara Connell
  • Homeless Services Leadership Training led by Heather Larkin
  • Integral Economics led by Elizabeth Castillo
  • Integral Nepal Project led by Shushant Shrestra & Gail Hochachka
  • Let’s Drink Less by Half led by Riina Raudne
  • PUP Global Heritage Consortium led by Jon Kohl
  • SSU Core Leadership led by Mark Fabionar
  • StagesLens Text Analysis Research led by Tom Murray
  • The Natural Design Navigator led by Mark R. Dekay

 

Meshworkers of the Year Award 2015 – Imagine Durant, Oklahoma, USA

Imagine Durant diamond logo

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 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 has touched thousands of Durant stakeholders since inception in 2013. Read the full story HERE.

 

Power of Gratitude: Ken Wilber Gratitude Fund

KWF-200x200-C - Copy

Something quite moving and amazing is afoot in the Integral world. It is called The Ken Wilber Gratitude Fund which we might call the Power of Gratitude. This is an opportunity for all of us who have been affected, moved, and transformed by the brilliant work of Ken Wilber. The Ken Wilber Gratitude Fund represents a movement of those who have been enlightened and inspired by Ken’s gifts to the world, who relish the opportunity to be able to concretely say thank you with our financial contributions and to continue to support Ken and his work.

As Ken so eloquently communicates on The Ken Wilber Gratitude Fund website, he is far from finished with his life’s work and is currently entering a phase of massive output of new works that continue to build on the foundation he has created in his previous books, teachings, and articles.

It is the intention of KWGF founders that Ken will be supported abundantly for all of his physical and medical needs, and at the same time be held by love, support, and appreciation for what he has given us.  Thanks for giving – just CLICK – YES, I’LL GIVE

 

The Power of Learning Integral City Practices

We’d like to refer you to several Powerful learning resources that contribute to Integral City practices:

1.     Edited by Tom Christensen and published by Integral Publishers:

a.     Innovative Development: Emerging Worldviews and Systems Change

b.     Developmental Innovation: Emerging Worldviews and Individual Change

These 2 books featuring chapters from many of the big players in the Spiral Dynamics world provide practical applications of Spiral Dynamics Integral theory to all scales of life. Written by leaders for leaders responsible for healthy cities, states, countries, non-profits and businesses. – Educators guiding students from elementary school through university. – Economists concerned with money, finance, lending, and what is next for capitalism. – Policy-makers dedicated to disabled, impoverished, and other underserved citizens. – Those wishing a deeper yet practical understanding of large systems changes. – Therapists, counselors and coaches wanting a more nuanced view of their roles. – Lifelong learners who love personal stories of challenges, triumphs, and epiphanies.

2. The Amplifield connects you with a global community of people who meditate and share intentions together. Joining, gives you access to several frequencies of sound entrainment and a psycho-active globe that shows how your intentions amplify others’ and vice versa. It is a seed-bed for practicing WE-space.

3. Systemic Constellation Work with Jane Peterson in Vancouver, BC, Canada. She is offering 2 programs on Feb. 18-20, 2016:

o   What lies beneath: understanding the hidden dynamics in organizational relationships, a workshop on Friday Feb 19 for leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs, and also for consultants and coaches.

o   Coaching sessions on Thursday Feb 18, and Saturday Feb 20. Each will be two hours long, experiencing many applications of constellation work – including what Jane calls the “FOO Factor” or the family of origin factor that keeps us stuck and unable to move forward as we sense is possible.

o   Contact Kate Sutherland for Registration Details kate.sutherland@thnk.org

Celebrating “Power-Focus” in the Coming Quarter to Light Up 2015 and 2016

December 21 marks the start of what IC calls the Power Quarter (from December 21 to March 20). What powers of leadership, creativity and meshworking do you bring to celebrate the Spirit of the City in this quarter? What WE-stories and Legends give you strength to embrace compassion in the face of adversity?  Where do you notice the Power of Cities expanding their influence on our Planet of Cities? Visit us at Integral City Collective on Face book and post a short update or a photo.

Meshful Blessings for December Solstice from

Marilyn Hamilton and the Integral City Core Team

PS

Here are some some Free Resources for amplifying Power in the Human Hive:

1.     Integral City’s ITC2015 Harvest Report The Fruits of Deep Design: How Integral City Harvested Pomegranate Impact of Integral Theory Conference 2015 – full report HERE.

2.     Tam Lundy’s Generative Change Primer has just been translated into Russian– click HERE for the link to download your pdf copy.

3.     Cherie Beck observes that she is very curious about technologies that use “vectors” to reveal what we would call Meshworks and/or architectures for our 12 intelligences. A wonderful example is in this demonstration that all roads lead to Rome:   http://www.wired.com/2015/12/here-are-all-the-roads-that-lead-to-rome/?mbid=social_twitter

4.     Check out the series of blogs on European Refugees and Paris:

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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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When we place all the locators of our GPS compass in the service of our cities, we have the very real opportunity of re-calibrating our intentions, expectations and outcomes for cities.

efghs

Working together as 4 Voices of the City, we have the intelligence to go beyond the Smart City beloved of Civic Managers and Citizens, beyond the Resilient City beloved of Business and Civil Society into the Knowing Field of the Integral City – beloved by the interdependent Meshwork of 4 City Voices in the Integral City.

Happiness as Evidence of Success

Now we can ask, how can we use the Integral City compass for aligning performance that produces well being and re-calibrating our intentions, expectations and outcomes for cities?  Where is the evidence or the sweet spot that aligns Smart, Resilient and Integral intelligence’s for optimum living in the Human Hive? What is the equivalent target of 20kg of honey to measure well being in our cities?

As simple or as trite as it may sound – I think our friends the honey bees suggest an obvious location for such evidence. Remember they used a very practical measure to trigger change – namely, their pheromones that measure depression. In humans we can also measure that – when it is in a positive state, we call it happiness. And Happiness Studies have become early evidence for the wellbeing of individuals, cities, cultures and nations. (GNH, Dalai Lama, Happy Citybook, Happiness Studies, etc.). This kind of happiness is not merely ego or self-centered, nor is it ethno or regional centered, nor even merely place or planet-centered. Instead this indicator integrates all the scales of possible happiness that arise when our decision sets are aligned. This happens when we live the Master Code – choosing to take care of our selves, each other, our cities/places and the planet all at once – simultaneously.

Integral City International Faces

I suggest to you that the bees have modeled for us the great value of why happiness is the ultimate feedback loop for re-calibrating our cities because it ultimately measures the relationship between Caring Capacity and Carrying Capacity. We must learn to notice when our BEEings are depressed and what we must do to steward all life in our eco-regions and planet. We must listen and respond to the Evolutionary Intelligence at the center of our compass which has offered a path of Caring Capacity (a gold dot to locate us on our GPS maps??) and by now also offered many means to move the path of Carrying Capacity beyond traditional cities to Smart Cities to Resilient Cities. Out beyond all these there is a Knowing Field where you will find the Integral City.

In closing this blog series, I would ask Smart City and Resilient City experts – what roles can you play as Civic Managers and Business Innovators, as Citizens and Civil Societies to build on the potential of Smart and Resilient Cities and working together co-create the Knowing Field of the Integral City? This time in our history is an opportunity to discover that Care lives in the center of that Knowing Field.

I believe, that together we can co-create the next generation of IT – the Integral Technology that will enable us to implement the Master Code. – This Evolutionary Intelligence of Care that is so needed by our Planet of Cities.

I invite you to dance towards that Knowing Field so that our Human Hives can add the distinctive capacity of Care so that Earth’ cities can work together to create an Integral Ecology.  By aligning our Caring Capacities we will naturally expand the Carrying Capacity of our cities.  We may also  take the critical next steps to avoid the human version of Colony Collapse Disorder that our dancing cousins the bees have warned us about. I will meet you on the dance floor!

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How Do We Locate the Smart City?


The first GPS locator we look at we could call the Smart City Locator. It tracks the logic of cities using Logic Models – based on Strategic Rational thinking. It depends on scientific and methodical Inquiry – Research and Development in other words.

Smart City Locator

Smart City Locator

It collects BIG DATA. It uses the Inquiry intelligence to notice patterns in the BIG DATA, design maps, select Vital Signs Monitors and Navigate the city’s neural networks for effectiveness and efficiency. The Strategy Locator can ultimately align connections and create a Meshwork of city operations that are Smart and responsively intelligent.

The Smart City Locator is produced originally by the Diversity Generator/ Business Innovators of the Human Hive and when its efficacy has been proven becomes the favorite functions used by the Resource Allocators/Civic Managers and Citizens who manage the internal functioning of the Human Hive – how are we doing in accumulating our 20 kg of honey per year (i.e. reaching our sustainability targets)?

It is also the locator used by Forager-Producers/Citizens to mark the implicit value exchange of their efforts – Do I have the basics of life? Do I have a job? Are the stores open? Do the buses run on time?

(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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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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