Civil Society has a new opportunity in the city. It was voiced a little tentatively at the ITC2013 Learning Lhabitat .  Participants asked, ” are we on the right track?”

Civil Society: The New Integrator Voice of the City

Civil Society: The New Integrator Voice of the City

We have written, in an earlier blog about the new integrator voice open to a significant sector of Civil Society – faith communities.  We suggest that the voice of Civil Society speaks from the collective intelligence of the Integral City’s Lower Left Quadrant  – where I have called it the voice of the city’s heart. This new role for Civil Society asks us to step beyond our natural bridge-building role between diverse relationships in the city,  into the more generative role of Whole System Integrator.

In their own words Learning Lhabitat Civil Society participants described themselves as:

  • Creating a sense of “home” in the city
  • Discovering needs, purposes, and values of city voices, groups and cultures
  • Checking in with the intentions and experience of Cityzens
  • Overcoming apathy and isolation
  • Aligning all voices on a shared track
  • Creating conditions for all three voices to be in “right relationship” with each other and the city
  • Discovering who are the key stakeholders in all three voices and the city as a whole
  • Creating a “climate change” where all voices share a mindset that is open to future-focused thinking
  • Integrators of diverse values systems in the city
  • Organizers of intergroup exchanges within the city; e.g. art, science, business
  • Helping all to gain a “feel” of the city

This new role for Civil Society calls it to create Learning Habitats for Visioning for the City. In this capacity Civil Society can help all three voices to discover a common Purpose for the City and rise above the differences within the other voices and between the three voices (of Cityzens, Civic Managers and Business) to open up truly City-Centric possibilities. Only by taking this next step to align around the City as a Whole Human System (that holds all-at-once the potentials of individuals, families, teams, organizations, sectors and neighbourhoods) can we  create the conditions for thrivability of our Planet of Cities.

A key outcome of Civil Society assuming our new Integrator voice in the City, will be for all voices in the city to “sound and re-sound” greater capacities for caring (and greater carrying capacity) as we voice the Master Code. It will be a lot like singing “a capella” as we:

  • Care for our own voice
  • Care for all other voices
  • Care for the emerging voice of our place(s)
  • So we can all care for the voice of this planet.