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INTEGRAL CITY INVITATION TO 1TC2015

ITC2015 Early Bird April 12, 13

In Ballroom D at ITC there is a public square that invites you – heart and soul.  Join Integral City for a nourishing lunch once, twice or three times – as we prototype a unique unconference with integral impact.

Feed Self.  Spark Others.  Serve Community.

What to expect – with ITC/IC co-creation:

  • A safe space to digest all that is flowing through you, through us

  • A nourishing place to discern the meaning you and we are making together

  • An energizing place that AQtivates what wants to come from, with and through us

  • A deepening into the ITC 2015 community of Citi-Zens

  • A personal and collective harvesting of juicy ITC 2015 pomegranate goodness

Out beyond the smart city, out beyond the resilient city,
lives the Integral City.
At ITC2015’s public square we will AQtivate IC’s Master Code.

Meet us there.

===================================

ITC2015 Early Bird April 12, 13

ITC2015 Early Bird April 12, 13

INTEGRAL CITY INVITES YOU

=======================================

In downtown ITC there is a public square that invites you – heart and soul.  Join Integral City for a nourishing lunch once, twice or three times – as we prototype a unique unconference with integral impact.

Feed Self.  Spark Others.  Serve Community.

What to expect – with ITC/IC co-creation:

  • A safe space to digest all that is flowing through you, through us

  • A nourishing place to discern the meaning you and we are making together

  • An energizing place that AQtivates what wants to come from, with and through us

  • A deepening into the ITC 2015 community of Citi-Zens

  • A personal and collective harvesting of juicy ITC 2015 pomegranate goodness

Out beyond the smart city, out beyond the resilient city,
lives the Integral City.
At ITC2015’s public square we will AQtivate IC’s Master Code.

Meet us there.

===================================

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.


Out beyond the smart city, out beyond the resilient city,

Lives the Integral City.

Integral City Thinking

Integral City Thinking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

References:

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

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

This blog is one of a series that explores the relevance and application of ideas to the Integral City, in the articles published in the Integral Leadership Review – Canada Issue, 2015, curated and Guest Edited by Marilyn Hamilton.


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 Planet.

Popular wisdom urges us to examine human behavior so that the quality of human life can be improved. We focus on overpopulation, pollution and greenhouse gas emissions as evidence of the mess and stress that humans have contributed to life on Earth. It is obvious that our behaviors affect not only our own species but virtually every other species with whom we share this planet. However threatening these undeniable conditions are, they are the very signals that indicate our next awakening to a deeper consciousness.   

Hamilton, M. (2008). Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive. Gabriola Island BC: New Society Publishers, p. 70

Equinox Signs & Wonders Mark a New Story for our Planet of Cities

Super Moon. Aurora Borealis. Solar Eclipse. Spring/Fall Equinox.

So many signs and wonders mark our shift of perspective in 2015 from the calendar quarter of Power to the calendar quarter of Planet. It is impossible not to be awed by these celestial events – but it is also possible to use them as a Kosmic fulcrum for thinking about a New Story for the city that is planetcentric.

Thinking like a planet brings into focus not only the fractal scales of life that impact the city (see the comments below in From City 2.0 to Nation 2.0) – but it also frames a New Story for all cities as members of a Planet of Cities. This New Story may be a stretch for those who do not follow the science and technology that is taking humans into space (whether that is close to planetary home like Virgin Galactic’s or Elon Musk’s Space X Tourism Trials – or at the farther reaches of the solar system where water has been discovered on Jupiter’s and Saturn’s moons).

But every culture has a cosmology that explains the origins of their tribe (if not our species) and thus creates a lineage that explains how human settlements have come to pass. As those lineages have survived, matured and complexified through the stages of traditional, modern, post-modern and even integral, they have created a trajectory of stories that account for the emergence of each stage.

Some storytellers, are not merely historians – but are visionaries of futures yet to emerge. The idea of an Integral City as a complex living, evolutionary, integral human system has its roots not only in this trajectory of human histories – but also includes the lineages that trace our emergence from Kosmic consciousness, stardust, molecular building blocks and earliest lifeforms that account for our capacities and resilience today. (We remember fondly theaccounts shared in IC20C Interviews with the Thought Leaders of Eco-Intelligence William Rees and Brian Eddy; Emergence/Resilience Intelligence, Buzz Holling; and Living Intelligence Elisabet Sahtouris.)

However, when we gathered the 60 Thought Leaders, Designers and Practitioners for Integral City 2.0 Online Conference 2012, it was surprising to us that so many did not know each other’s work. Each had a New Story to tell about one or more of the Integral City 12 Intelligences – but many authors were still struggling for recognition within their field of expertise, not to mention outside that field.

An explanation for the asymmetric distribution of New Stories that relate to one another has been offered by Brian and Mary Nattrass, who ask: How ARE We To Go On Together: Our Evolutionary Crossroads.  As pioneer practitioners of The Natural Step (to leading global manufacturers like Nike) the Nattrasses have learned the hard way that all New Stories have a growth curve. When the first visionary tells the New Story, it is considered as fantastic, futuristic and unrealistic. It is rejected by most as mere fable, but captured by a few “imagineers” who become champions of the New Story and even activists for its realization.

But every New Story encounters a gallery of critics and naysayers, with vested interests in the continuation of the Old Story. This sets up an active round of dissonances with the stability of Old Story pitted against the reframing of the New Story in negative terms. The Nattrasses speak to the early proponents of Sustainability creating the narrative for “Unsustainability”. This Critical Stage is a hard fight – and in the Planet of Cities started (and continues) with criticisms of urban pollution, overpopulation, sprawl and inner city blight.

The Critical Stage is a “refiner’s fire” where many activists burn themselves out. But those who survive (by dint of not just effort but by the energies of passion and purpose) discover a shift point away from the negative dissonances into encounters with positive dissonances.

In this Transformational stage design, science, experimentation and practice uncover new possibilities. Taxonomies of “Unsustainability” become replaced by taxonomies of “Smart Technologies”, “Smart Cities, “Renewability”, “Natural Systems” and “Resilience”.

The New Story is finally able to gain hold, after the Transformational stage has emerged new patterns of behaviour, economic successes, and technological results. When the New Story is at its peak, we can look backward and notice the resilience cycle that can be traced from early stage dissonances, to late stage breakdowns, through the desert of despair and finally into the refreshing sunlight of discovery that the New Story awakens for all.

Thanks to the Nattrass’s Story about the crossroads of evolutionary stories, it is easy to see that Integral City and a Planet of Cities is a new story about the life of cities. It may be a while before the stages of Criticism and Transformation complete. But from the perspective of a Planet of Cities, we can be attentive to the telling and re-telling of the New Story of Integral City.

The greater the dissonances the New Story creates in the audiences of the Old Story, the greater the tensions that will attract the New Story into our orbit (like the Super Moon), light up the skies of awakening (like the Aurora Borealis) and more quickly eclipse the Old Story with the New Story. Perhaps like the Equinox our stories hang in the middle of their trajectories between the dark of the Old Story about the city and the light of the New Story about Integral City?

(PS: For inspirations from How ARE We to Go on Together? Our Evolutionary Crossroads by Brian and Mary Nattrass, check out 3 Blogs that explore how the New Story of Integral City is being transformed at the individual, organizational and the climate issue level – see the links in the Resources section below.)

banner_00 globe NA

From City 2.0 to Nation 2.0: Prototyping Leadership for a Planet in Transition

The planetary view of the city seeded by Integral City 2.0 Online Conference (IC20C)  has been transplanted to exploration of a Nation 2.0.

The last six months gave Integral City AQtivists an unexpected opportunity to focus on the scale of the Nation in human systems – specifically the Nation of Canada. As Guest and Associate Editors of Integral Leadership Review – Canada Issue, Marilyn Hamilton and Joan Arnott had the honour to curate contributions from 25 Canadian authors. These authors explored leadership on all scales from Planet to Cultures, Organizations, Others and Self, using integral lenses from multiple lineages. They cast light on the special role that nations play in creating the trans-urban, trans-cultural habitat that connects cities in a single country. (See further observations in the Free Resources Items 2 and 3 below.)

Of special interest to readers of this newsletter, key contributors from IC20C demonstrated ongoing leadership with Integral Design and Practice expertise in this issue.

Team ARGO: Meshworker of the Year 2014

Team ARGO 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’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 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.

Read the full story here.

Figure 2: Logo for Association of City Development, Izhevsk, Udmurtia, Russia

Logo for ARGO –  Association of City Development, Izhevsk, Udmurtia, Russia

 

 Integral City Calendar for Planet Quarter

​PLUS Advance Notice

banner_06 globe aus-pacific

 

Celebrating “Planet-focus” for Extra Altitude in the Coming Quarter of 2015 

March 21 marks the start of what IC calls the Planet Quarter (from March 21 to June 20). What planetary perspectives do you bring to honour Earth and her Planet of Cities at this time of year? What alignments, assets, resources and lineages revitalize you?  We notice the Planet of Cities connecting, collaborating, and networking a little more each year. Visit us at Integral City Collective on Facebook and post a short update or a photo.

Meshful Blessings for March Equinox from

Marilyn Hamilton and the Integral City Core Team

PS 

Here are some some Free Resources for gaining perspective on the New Story of our Planet of Cities:

1.     Integral City Blogs inspired by How ARE We To Go On Together: Our Evolutionary Crossroads by Brian and Mary Nattrass:

2.     A Totem for Curating a Story of Leadership in Canada – explores the Scales of Leadership in Human Systems

 

3.     From Totem Guides and Lock Masters to World Legacy Light – explores the vertical emergence of leadership capacity in Human Systems

 

4.     Je Suis Charlie = Ebola Vaccine for the Human Soul?

 

5.     Integral City New Story Links

a.     Blog Series celebrating the New Story of the City for World Cities Day.

b.     The Story of The Integral City 2.0 Online Conference: A Fractal Non-Local Leap Toward Kosmocentricity has just been released in the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice, Vol. 9, No. 1

 

6. January – February, 2015 issue of Integral Leadership Review – a special issue on Canada (guest edited by Integral City Founder, Marilyn Hamilton) with contributions that build leadership capacities for an emerging Planet of Integral Cities across teams, organizations, sectors and cities.

 

 


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.


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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