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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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Integral City nominates Paris as City of the Year 2015. Paris is the city featured on the cover of the Integral City book.

Integral City :Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive

Integral City :Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive

The City of the Year is a new – but natural award for us to make. We have recognized the importance of cities as both trigger points and tipping points in their respective nations and for the world at large.

Paris has been particularly on our heart/mind this year from January through to December. We have been learning how Paris has made possible a new sense of connectedness.

Paris has shown us three new ways of appreciating the Master Code through taking care of Self/ Others/ Place/ Planet.

Je Suis Charlie

Je Suis Paris

Je Suis COP21.

Each of these experiences, may not only represent breakthroughs from the “fever crises” of the human species, but also represent the vestiges of an early “We Consciousness” – the glimmers of our collective consciousness shining through Paris, the City of Light. This consciousness is shining through all who have supported her from the great to the ordinary, from the “present in body” to the “awake in spirit”, from the displaced refugee to the homeful citizen, from the reflective practitioner to the expressive artist.

What synchronicity and foreshadowing inspired the graphic artist to select Paris as the quintessential city for the cover of Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive?? That choice, made in 2008 has always fascinated me (and intrigued city planners and integrally informed readers alike) – but little could we have known that it would presage Paris’s high profile in 2015.

When people have asked me to identify Integral Cities, they have anticipated that I would point to particular cities demonstrating the features of an Integral City. But as I explained in the book, at the time of writing I was noticing the patterns and “weak signals” that indicated a new paradigm of the city was emerging. Many cities exhibited some qualities of an Integral City – but it has not been easy until the paradigms of the Smart City and Resilient City emerged in the last seven years, to point to particular cities as “Integral Cities”.

In nominating Paris as City of the Year, we are not even saying that Paris IS an Integral City – yet. But it has demonstrated a powerful City Spirit that responded immediately and deeply to the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Its defiance in the face of the multiple November 13 attacks continued its enactment of the key values born in earlier times: Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité. And its gracious and surprisingly secure hosting of the COP21 conference demonstrated alignment with a global purpose and strategic capabilities to keep safe space and time during a global conversation on ecology.

So in respect to the Integral City Intelligences we could say that Paris enabled a global conversation on ecological contexts, demonstrating inner, outer, cultural and social capacities, supporting strategies (inquiring, meshworking, navigating) that framed outcomes and walked through a refiner’s fire of dissonance for evolutionary breakthroughs.

If any city deserves the City of the Year 2015, Paris does. At this stage of human development none of us has a perfect record of living the Master Code – but collectively we are learning our way through to taking care of Self / Others/ Place / Planet.

Paris as City of the Year 2015 has offered a city-focused model of how the Master Code works – even on an implicit level.

Congratulations and Gratitudes to Paris – City of the Year 2015.

 

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Is it amazing that 195 nations were able to draft an agreement for Climate Change in Paris last week?

banner_01 globe EU Africa

Euphoria, celebrations and emotional highs marked the conclusion of the gathering. COP21 had been a long time coming with holdouts, recriminations and resistances marking its predecessor gatherings and the planning for this event.

But I wonder if the agreement could have been reached in any other location or year than Paris 2015?

Paris has suffered a year of unspeakable effrontery and pain with the Charlie Hebdo and November 13 attacks. Paris could easily have receded into a cave of cowering fear and justified cancelling COP21 as too demanding and irrelevant to Paris’ security, safety and sanity.

But with counter-intuitive courage Paris stepped into the refiner’s fire and affirmed its commitments to host COP21. What’s more, the participating countries took this opportunity to fly in the face of VUCA global-sized threats and attend the conference with the highest levels of state and working delegates.

In contemplating the Charlie Hebdo and November attacks as evolutionary eruptions of the human condition, I wonder if the terrorists behind these attacks have inadvertently created a “fever crisis” of the human system that demanded/demands a global size immune response?

While the Paris terrorists thought they were attacking representations of infidel practices, perhaps they actually created the conditions for the demonstration of a global immune response?  If so, the terrorists may have perpetrated a major unintended consequence that holds the seeds of undoing for their espoused system of barbarity and the seeds of the doing/being for global wellbeing?

COP21 had the intention of gaining global agreement to hold the impact of human-created climate change below 2C. And it celebrated the achievement of agreeing to an even more rigorous goal to limit temperature rise to 1.5C.

At the core of this agreement was the recognition that each person, organization, community, city, region and nation can contribute to the outcome. Self-responsibility is required at every level of scale.

And while the critics bemoan COP21’s lack of verifiable national targets, inspection processes and mechanisms for climate equity, the key vision and intention was named and endorsed. That is a significant beginning.

In evolutionary terms, what was set was a superordinate goal – one that transcended individual national interests – along with an intention to attain it through self-organizing means.

In the face of logic, scientific evidence and rational behaviour, critics lambaste the COP21 as hypocritical and illusory. But what they don’t recognize is that the agreement defies reason because of the emotional climate created by the Paris attacks. Underlying COP21 was a global need to demonstrate solidarity around an issue that matters to everyone.

The climate of outer change that was sought at COP21 was foregrounded by need for a climate of inner change for which Paris became the focal point.

Ironically the “fever crisis” of outer climate change has been proposed to be no higher than 2C. But the climate of inner change to achieve that will demand that the world work together in a way where metrics may well be measurable in evolutionary terms of the functionality of Gaia’s Reflective Organ (humans and our Human Hives).

What has been festering and boiling over in Paris’s cultural divides is a metaphor for what afflicts the inner climate of our human being (on a global scale). And the COP21 agreement as a global agreement sets the wellbeing targets for our outer climate. Together, the responses of Paris and COP21 provide both metaphorical and metaphysical grounds for a climate of change.

Thank you Paris for reflecting Gaia’s Light and displaying the courage we will need to make these inner and outer changes our new reality. You have shown me three new ways of appreciating the Master Code through taking care of self/ others/ place/ planet.

Je Suis Charlie

Je Suis Paris

Je Suis COP21.

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I have been mesmerized into muteness regarding Paris since the November 13 attacks.

banner_01 Paris

Je Suis Paris

A strange sensation like holding my breath has overtaken me – a kind of numbness and muteness. Writing has happened only in my head – and even then without much coherence.

Funny, since I was impelled to write quickly and passionately about Paris earlier in the year in the face of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. I named that experience an Ebola of the Soul. It was so shocking to the human system because Paris has been the archetype for Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité. The native and planetary support for Paris in January 2015 was immediate, public refusal to succumb to the real severe bodily injuries and the greater threat to freedom of speech (and the implied hostility to evolutionary consciousness itself).

But the November 13 attacks give bleak evidence of the dark intelligence behind the war theatre that was choreographed into the daily life of Paris – slaying and injuring people at sports, entertainment, dining and shopping venues. Re-creation itself was targeted – selecting places where all the 4 voices of the city congregated for the simple enjoyments and pleasures of life that renew, refresh and reconnect.

The planned simultaneity of the attacks heightened the reactions of fear, even as it stretched the emergency response systems to points of ineffectiveness. Our belated overviews of the situation reveal the reality of the VUCA intentions designed into the multiple attack zones:

Volatility at each site heightened because of the synchronization of the many battle zones;

Uncertainty because each and all City Voices (Citizens, Civic Managers, Civil Society, Business) at the many sites became confounded by the scale of local horror and disconnection from what people expect in their normal lives;

Complexity because people were overwhelmed with threat, injury and death without immediate explanation; and

Ambiguity because the meaning of the incidents and perpetrators of the acts emerged from shadow, disappeared into shadow and acted in darkness.

Moreover the timing of the attacks in the evening, literally taunted the City of Light by turning it into a city of darkness.

While the reactions inside and outside Paris to the Charlie Hebdo attack were swift and positive, the November 13 attacks were designed to overwhelm and confuse the responses of the city, nation, EU and world. They were deliberately designed to bring out the worst of human reactions – provoking counter threats, counter attacks and revealing the ineptness of authority and power in contrast to the self-righteousness of the attackers and their cause.

A month later authorities remain confounded by the death of martyred perpetrators at the scenes and/or the escape of perpetrators across borders and into the thousand hidey holes that support them (and their brothers) in the “sophisticated” cities of Brussels? Geneva? San Bernardino? It is a message with a strong “sous entendu” that no one is safe – not just in Paris but in any city of the world.

This fear and disconnectedness is exactly what the guerrilla factions want. They will be rejoicing at the political contractions and blame postulated by the far right (Le Pin, Trump). They are working at creating the conditions for expanding and spreading the Ebola of the Soul that Charlie Hebdo spawned, to a more Culturally Viral Ebola of the Body spawned by the November 13 outbreaks.

Does this mean that Paris’s natural contraction to protect itself is not appropriate? Or can we acknowledge that we all have been wounded. My own muteness/numbness is a reflection of Paris’ condition. Je Suis Paris – just as Je Suis Charlie. The Paris-wide scale of attack leads not only to the viral dis-ease but also to post traumatic stress disorder. Paradoxically just as we seek to hide from one another – in our pain, suspicion and pessimism – this is the time when we need each other most. “If you want to improve the health of a system, connect it to more of itself.”

Just as we discovered in contemplating Charlie Hebdo and the reality of the Politics of Dignity Trumping the Politics of Fear (regarding the not unrelated refugee situation) our first and strongest defence has to be to look within our own body/mind/heart/spirit. That is where we find the source of courage, respect, dignity, love and light for enacting wellness. But in order to do that, we need to connect to each other even in the times of greatest darkness – with compassion – so we can amplify the best of human nature that enables us to confront our deepest fears.

When the City of Light turns into the City of Darkness, perhaps there is an immune system, so deeply rooted in Life that our human system can find the way through our evolutionary battlegrounds back into the Light?  Let us hope that such a visceral dissonance to our calling to be Gaia’s Reflective Organs prompts a compassionately fierce immune response. Perhaps we are even witnessing in Paris the “fever crisis” that presages a breakthrough to a new level of evolutionary wellbeing for humans (and our Human Hives)?

 

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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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Je Suis Charlie may be the most potent vaccine for an Ebola of the Human Soul that has been eating away the flesh of the human psyche since the first acts of terror were shouted in the name of Allahu Akbar.

God is Great. God is Good. But the God in all of US needs to be Better than Good. The God in Us needs to expand our whole understanding of the Master Code – to take care of ourselves, so we can take care of each other, so we can take care of this place/planet.

Je Suis Charlie is a clarion call for God to expand with compassion. But the God in Us needs to move beyond the Idiot Compassion that nurses the psychological Ebola that has been diminishing and disappearing the birthright fundamental to all the charters of human rights that we hold dear – namely freedom of speech.

Paris’s pain is a tipping point that is not reverberating just through France but across the Planet of Cities.

It feels as though the outrage at the murders of the Charlie Hebdo journalists and the police that came to defend them, has touched a deep nerve of outrage in the human psyche. Sparked not only by the public murders of real living particular people, but by the threat that a fundamental right of the human species has not merely been desecrated or denied but is verging on being wiped out.  Some basic quality of our shared human systems (particularly of the Human Hive) feels invaded, injured and infected.

The most poignant news clip I heard yesterday (on January 7, 2015 the day of the incident) was a Parisian Muslim man mourning the hijacking of his religion – which he stated was one of love and acceptance – for the purposes of murder.

When the taking of life becomes the driving force behind a group of people, and the skills of guerilla warfare are practised in the streets of the City of Love, something deep in the human soul rises up to name and claim the right to freedom of speech that was proclaimed centuries ago on the bastions of revolution – with one word – liberté!

While the destruction of the New York World Trade Centre declared economic war on Gaia’s Reflective Organ – and destroyed more people and more built value than Paris 2015; while the hijacking of women and children by ISIL and Boko Haram has declared bodily war on future generators and progenerators of the Human Hive; the effrontery of the Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris declares war on consciousness and culture that is not merely Parisian or French, but fundamental to the evolution of the human species. Such a war is an Ebola of consciousness and culture that threatens to erase stages and structures that the wellness and the future of human systems depend on.

VUCA – violence, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity – all characterize the Charlie Hebdo tipping point. And ironically to all those who can view Charlies with horror, they know somehow the most powerful forces that can address these plagues rest in the free flow of all forms of expression.

Free speech is not only an individual human right but a collective human necessity to advance awareness, intelligence, innovation, and discovery. Moreover it is central to dealing with our shadows. Free speech mirrors free thought and the reflective capacity that is the unique quality of Gaia’s Reflective Organ. It is what opens and enables the flex and flow of information across all human systems.

Paris’ Charlie Hebdo incident is a flashpoint warning to all the Cities of the Planet that an evolutionary intelligence may be in peril. Are we witnessing an Ebola of the Soul that starts by destroying the offices of a cultural commentator (using spoken/written word, humour, satire) but threatens the free expression of consciousness and culture across the world?

Or can we walk into the centre of this soul-eating war, and use it as a fulcrum to transcend and include freedom of speech to another level? Fighting Ebola of the body requires multiple and complex strategies to care for individuals, communities and countries (if not the planet). Care givers use the armour of hermetically sealed medical suits to rescue and treat the ill. Then they have used the strategies of Tough Love to separate the carriers of the disease from the rest of the community. And where necessary they separate afflicted communities from other communities by preventing mobility between them. Recently trials show one of the most effective treatments is blood transfusions from survivors to the infected. And with the art and science of innovation now vaccines are being developed to give healthy people preventative protection from the disease.

Learning from the experience of living systems, perhaps fighting Ebola of the psyche requires empowered protectors to take similar steps to expunge the hive from invaders against free speech? But it may also require separation of communities and the willingness of survivors to develop ways to inoculate others against contagion.

The greatest burden with this approach lies in the believers of the religion (Islam) that has spawned this Ebola of the Soul to stand against those who deny the value necessary for human life to progress on this planet.

As a species, perhaps we finally stand at the developmental stage that recognizes that some forms of expression are toxic at certain stages of individual and collective development and/or under VUCA contaminated life conditions? How can we learn to manage the scourge between cultures when we are not yet managing well the scourge within cultures? Are we finally ready for the Human Hive to catapult the defense of the right to free speech into opening an offence on the responsibility of free speech?

Who said living the Master Code would not require that we transcend and include the God in Us?

How do we now best call forth the God in Us to take care of ourselves, take care of each other and take care of this place/planet?

 

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