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Posts Tagged ‘whole systems thinking’


What better way to celebrate Canada Day than to flash the fireworks of July 1 onto the 4 Quadrants of Canada’s cohort of Integral Leaders?

©2014 Aboriginal Nations Education, Greater Victoria School Board, BC, Canada Artist Jamin Zurowski Bear/UL. Wolf /LL. Raven/UR. Salmon/LR.   This Totem is a Gift used with permission on this Canada Issue. Please do reproduce without © Permission.

©2014 Aboriginal Nations Education, Greater Victoria School Board, BC, Canada
Artist Jamin Zurowski
Bear/UL. Wolf /LL. Raven/UR. Salmon/LR.
This Totem is a Gift used with permission on this Canada Issue. Please do reproduce without © Permission.

A whole Quadrivium of Integral Leaders were featured in the Integral Leadership Review – Canada Issue at the beginning of 2015. But the plenitude of contributors and the depth of their insights deserves a special reminder today.

Click here to read the Profiles of all the Authors of the Canada Issue – Integral Leadership Review

Here is the Table of Contents in the Canada Issue – with links to all the contributions – including the original 4 Quadrant aboriginal Totem artwork of the Cover (with poetry, thought pieces, research reports, organizational histories, pedagocial principles for teaching leaders, environmental and sustainability insights, inspiring quotations, in-depth interviews … and more):

Cover

1/15 – Cover

Editor

2/15 – Cover

Editor

Leading Comments

1/15 – A Totem for Curating a Story of Leadership in Canada

Marilyn Hamilton

2/15 – From Totem Guides and Lock Masters to World Legacy Light

Marilyn Hamilton

 

Leadership Quote

1/15 – Marshall McLuhan 

2/15 – Adrienne Clarkson, 26th Governor General of Canada (1999-2005)

Lead Poem

1/15 – Lead Poem

Tim Merry

Leadership Coaching Tips

1/15 – Leading Generative Change

Tam Lundy

2/15 – It’s not just what you do, but also how you think!

Natasha Mantler

Fresh Perspective

1/15 – Integral Coaching Canada with Laura Divine and Joanne Hunt

Marilyn Hamilton

2/15 – Dialogic Development: a Conversation with Gervase Bushe

Russ Volckmann

Leading Self

1/15 – Inching Towards Leaderless Leading

Edith Friesen

1/15 – Re-membering My Inherent Wilderness

Beth Sanders

Leading Others

1/15 – Is True Integral Leadership Possible?

Linda Shore

2/15 – Deep Presencing: Illuminating New Territory at the Bottom of the U

Leading Organizations

1/15 – Building Water Leaders and Waterpreneurs

Julia Fortier and Karen Kun

1/15 – Giving birth to Authentic Leadership in Action

Michael Chender

Leading Cultures

1/15 – A Circle of Aiijaakag, a Circle of Maangag: Integral Theory and Indigenous Leadership

Janice Simcoe

Leading World

1/15 – Integral Transformation of Value Chains: One Sky’s Integral Leadership Program in the Brazil Nut Value Chain in Peru and Bolivia

Gail Hochachka

2/15 – How ARE We To Go On Together? Our Evolutionary Crossroads

Brian and Mary Nattrass

Continuous LearningContinuous Learning

1/15 – Integral Dispositions and Transdisciplinary Knowledge Creation

Sue L. T. McGregor

1/15 – The Long and Winding Road: Leadership and Learning Principles That Transform

Brigitte Harris and Niels Agger-Gupta

2/15 – From Practice to Praxis – as Transformative Education: Leading at the Integral/Professional Interface?

Ian Wight

2/15 – Will the Next Buddha be a Sangha? Responding to the Call to Influence the Future of Collaboration

Rebecca Ejo Colwell

Book Reviews

1/15 – The Pulse of Possibility – A Retrospective Review of the Work of Bruce Sanguin

Trevor Malkinson

2/15 – (Re)Joining the Conversation: Commenting on Integral Voices on Sex, Gender, and Sexuality: Critical Inquiries

Diana Claire Douglas

Column

1/15 – Integral Design Leadership: Healthcare Design as Extraordinary Service: An Interview with Peter Jones

Lisa Norton

Poetry Gallery

1/15 – 1. Forgotten Places

Tim Merry

1/15 – 2. What’s It Gonna Take to Stay Awake?

Tim Merry

1/15 – 3. Thank You

Tim Merry

1/15 – 4. Build the Arks (King Kong Song)

Tim Merry

2/15 – 1. The Mother

Tim Merry

2/15 – 2. Human Family Tree

Tim Merry

2/15 – 3. Superman

Tim Merry

2/15 – 4. Switch it on

Tim Merry

Notes from the Field

1/15 – Integral City Development in the Russian City of Izhevsk

Eugene Pustoshkin

 

 

We wish you a Happy Canada Day of Reading and Inspiration – with Gratitude to  all the Integral Leaders in Canada.

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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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What does the US-China handshake on climate change mean for our Planet of Cities?

When Eagle Shakes Hands with the Dragon

When Eagle Shakes Hands with the Dragon

On the one hand it should give them confidence that they are the seed beds of global change – for it is cities who took the initiative on the climate file. While the US nation both denied and ignored the issue of climate change, over 600 US cities took action in support of the Kyoto Accord to reduce greenhouse gases. While China refused to take climate action seriously at any of the global tables assembled to address the issue, her cities became the stage for the undeniable evidence that denying this truth killed people and productivity.

It is in cities where the sciences of sustainability, resilience, eco-footprints have been enunciated, explored and extolled. Cities have always been Earth’s acupressure points, where evidence accumulates about the impacts and costs of living beyond our ability to renew resources, failing to understand the interconnection of planetary systems and refusing to accept responsibility for our out-sized energy eco-footprints.

The individuality of city life conditions coupled with the universality of the human condition has allowed us to see  that we have to value and evaluate the impacts of climate change in unique ways for each city – but with the benefit of a growing collective intelligence about geographical and ecological contexts, integrated (even transcultural) strategies and evolutionary foresight.

What the US-China handshake on climate change may mean for cities, is that finally the national policy cloak that covers – and more usually chokes – city access to finances to act on the climate change file may be lifted and loosened. The natural competitiveness between nations, who have used the US-China reluctance to commit to a global climate change agreement, as an excuse for their own inaction, will be pressured both externally and internally to join the norming process that is finally emerging on the climate change file at a global scale.

The handshakes that cities may now make with each other on climate change can accelerate, deepen and expand city capacity to adapt, mitigate and prevent climate-caused disasters – even if it is only because the symbolic doors of global economic progress and energy supply chains have been kicked open by this bi-national handshake agreement.

It is now up to cities to act as if the symbolism of the handshake gives them license for real action on the climate change file across the whole planet of cities. This gives a radically new meaning to and potential for action on the synchronistic emergence of the ISO 37120 standard on city measurements.

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I am truly awed with the announcement that the European Space Agency has finessed a washing machine sized lander on the ubiquitous Comet 67P/C.

 

That’s like driving a hole-in-one to a comet not much larger than an earth-sized 4 km golf course – but with a drive that is 6.4 billion km long and that takes 10 years to land on the green and roll into the hole.

Amazing!!

And it raises the bar (and lowers the par) for every survival “game” on Earth. The accomplishment takes me back to the last chapter of Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive. I said:

 The potential for expanding and exploring Integral City land-based lessons as they apply to human systems in … outer-atmosphere-based geographies remains largely untapped. What would happen if we brought together the … aerospace academies with the academies of city management [and the sea]? What would happen if city CAOs, COOs and CFOs sat down with captains, chief engineers and cruise ship hotel managers (and even their equivalents in military or space commands)? What could we learn about solving the dilemmas of cities by appreciating solutions that have been developed under much less forgiving conditions for the sea and cosmosphere? (p. 261-262)

 The landing of Philae on Comet 67P/C in search of the origins of life in the universe and on this planet,  highlights the intelligence maps of Integral City and reminds us of these lessons:

  • Seeing the city [or system of interest like the comet] as a whole interconnected to other wholes reveals the emergent, evolving system.
  • Seeing systems reveals interconnections and non-linearity.
  • Non-linearity helps us to live with, prepare for and anticipate the unexpected.
  • Having muscles for the unexpected creates resilience.
  • Resilience means greater adaptability.
  • Greater adaptability means greater survivability.
  • Greater survivability means more joy, expansion, creativity, potential.

Landing Philae on the comet inspires us with what is possible when we keep in mind the whole universe is our cosmic and Kosmic guide to the future. Thank you European Space Agency for potentiating and potentizing the future!

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Can you invent Tier 2 organizations without being embedded in an ecology/economy of Tier 1 organizations?

Spiral of Oranizations (Adapted from Spiral Dynamics, Beck & Cowan, 1996)

Dojos of Oranizations (Adapted from Spiral Dynamics, Beck & Cowan, 1996)

As I consider how Reinventing Organizations casts light on Reinventing the City, I am speculating that so-called Tier 2 organizations cannot exist without the competencies of the workers and capacities of the Tier 1 organizations in which they are currently and necessarily embedded.

All the organizations that Laloux explores have gained their capacities from the contributions of individuals who have learned basic skills and grown their capacities to organize, team, partner and collaborate in the Tier 1 system.

If we fail to recognize the essential “background” support of this ecological space (of the city) we will be blind to the functions offered by the city as a living system. The city is like a mega-dojo where players can learn their way through a series of organizational practices that earns them the privilege and freedom to articulate those competencies like a black-belt master (and thereby Reinvent Organizations). In most cities, a whole spectrum of Tier 1 organizations offer a series of dojos where players can learn the rudiments of reinventing themselves, their teams and organizational forms. If for no other reason than to gain the advantages of building on our skill sets we must thank the spectrum (and holarchy) of Tier 1 organizations that co-exist in our cities who accomplish these competency outcomes as a by-product of their existence.  (Thank you to families, sports teams, military and para-military organizations, professional associations, social networks, systems innovators, environmental invigorators, global connectors).

All living systems must be able to survive, connect with their environment and reproduce. (These are axiomatic to a circular economy). If we consider organizations to be living systems, then we must recognize the necessary and inextricable connections each organization has with all the other organizations and people that exist where they do business – especially because they provide the very context of (mostly) Tier 1 (and a few Tier 2) capabilities.

We cannot reinvent the city, if we do not respect the fundamentals of the circular economy and the dojos where the members of our human hive learn how to manage self, others, organizations and the city system as a whole.

 

This blog continues an exploration of what we can learn if we applied some of Laloux’s ideas from Reinventing Organizations to recalibrating the complexity of the city.

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What is an organic strategy?

 City Meshwork

Reinventing Organizations, author Frederic Laloux differentiates Tier 2 organizations from Tier 1 in the ways that they relate to strategy.

Tier 1 organizations interpret strategy from the perspective of a worldview that uses strategy to produce results. Strategy arises from intentions to produce profitable bottom lines. Priorities tend to be profit and productivity driven with a focus on producing returns for shareholders.

As Tier 1 organizations mature, they expand the beneficiaries of operation from shareholders to stakeholders. Stakeholders generally include clients, employees, suppliers and in the most progressive organizations, also the community. These progressive organizations often use forms of Balanced Scorecards to track the effectiveness and efficiency of their strategic intentions (using selective indicators to measure the attainment of targeted outputs and outcomes).

Successful Tier 1 organizations may grow their spheres of influence from local to regional to continental to global. But as Tier 1 organizations their strategies are primarily focused in the systems and structures of the Lower Right (LR) quadrant.

Organizations who mature into Tier 2 organizations build on this LR performance platform and expand the understanding and implementation of strategy so that it integrates all 4 quadrants of reality. These organizations wake up to the impact they have through “liberating their corporate soul”. They come to realize that their Values (Lower Left) forms their Vision (Upper Left) and in turn their Mission (Upper Right) and that all of these realities co-arise with the Systems and Structures (LR) that manifest their organizational contribution to the city, eco-region, nation(s) and world.

Tier 2 organizational strategy also aligns Purpose, Priorities, People and Planet in a vertical trajectory – so that each of these become foundational values systems that support and grow one another in not just a logical sequence but an organic complexity hierarchy. This alignment of organic values systems expands the context and the complexity of the strategy beyond being organization and market centred to being ecologically, globally and life centred. These Tier 2 organizations see their operations as organic contributions in service to Life on this Planet.

Reinventing Organizations traces the processes, structures and patterns that eleven Tier 2 organizations (operating as living systems) have discovered. Laloux proposes that such organizations have strategies that have arisen organically amongst the people inside the organization as well as amongst the stakeholders served outside the organization. These organizational (or organic) relationships enable a recalibration of the organizational stakeholders into “steward holders”. Steward holders operate from the principles of living systems and have the capacity to respond and adapt to changing life conditions in flexible and non-linear ways. Thus their organic strategies are not based on fixed methods and goals, but can and do express themselves as systems of co-creative response to life conditions.

If we want to reinvent cities as evolutionary, integral, living systems, can we imagine that possibility without reinventing core systems of organizations with Tier 2 capacities who co-develop organic strategies that enable steward holding not only for themselves as organizations but in service to the City and its Purpose? If we think of the Integral City itself as a living system, it is natural to consider that it would have “organs” – or organizations – that enable it to function as an organic living system (the most complex system yet created by humans).

If we follow the lessons of organic systems, then I think we can also consider that the fractal patterns from the Tier 2 organizations will be critical to the Integral City aligning its Purpose, Priorities, People and Planet capacities.  And the only way an Integral City can develop a strategy for thriving at this level of complexity is using the self-organizing intelligences of people and the stabilizing (but organic) strategies of Tier 2 organizations in relation to each other. We call such a dynamic but strategic relationship a meshwork.

 

This blog continues an exploration of what we can learn if we applied some of Laloux’s ideas from Reinventing Organizations to recalibrating the complexity of the city.

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