This blog continues to share the Findings from the research conducted in three Learning Lhabitats exploring the 4 Voices of the City in the United States, Canada and Europe in the last year. Today we compare the results that open wider understanding of the role of the Business Voice in the city,  from Learning Lhabitats at the Integral Theory Conference 2013,Federation of Canadian Municipalities Sustainability Conference 2014 and Integral Europe Conference  2014. Business includes the voices of Entrepreneurs, Developers, Innovators, Artists and Inventors. (Integral City has characterized them as the Diversity Generators of the Human Hive.) 


IEC 2014 Tour: Business Opening City Structures (Award Winning ING Office)

IEC 2014 Tour: Business Opening City Structures (Award Winning ING Office)


AQAL Profiles of the Co-Researchers

In collecting this data, it is interesting to note the profile of the participants in each conference from an AQAL perspective. The Integral Theory Conference 2013, located in San Francisco, USA, attracted thinkers and theorists with a major interest and focus on integral points of view – a group that were heavily weighted in the Upper Left /Consciousness Quadrant of the Integral Model. At the same time, this group self-identified as being strongly biased in favour of Innovators and Business or Diversity Generators.

The Federation of Canadian Municipality Sustainability Conference 2014, located in Prince Edward Island, Canada, attracted Mayors, City Managers and Civic Leaders with an interest in sustainability and action orientation. So from an integral perspective this group were heavily weighted in the Upper Right/Action and Lower Right/Systems Quadrants of the Integral Model. This group by definition were Civic Managers or Resource Allocators.

Finally the Integral Europe Conference 2014, located in Budapest, Hungary, attracted a diversity of cultures and actors from across Europe (with smaller representation from other non-European nations) who were heavily weighted in the Lower Left/ Cultural Quadrant of the Integral Model. This group had a strong predisposition to be Inner Judges from Civil Society (with a strong showing from Business as well.)

These three groups give us an in interesting sampling of the I/We/It/Its perspectives on the Business Voice in the Integral City. Figure 1 sets out the comparison of the 3 Groups for Business.


Figure 1: Comparing Voices of Business: ITC, FCM, IEC

Figure 1: Comparing Voices of Business: ITC, FCM, IEC


 Qualities of the Voice of Business

Each Learning Lhabitat was asked to define the qualities of the Business Voice. This voice was unanimously described as innovators, who “dare to see what is and learn from the past to create the future”. Business was seen as able to take the overview with an optimistic, spiritual consciousness. Advanced business leaders practised servant leadership, but at the same time could be unattached with a preference – even an expectation? for working with freedom.

As creative entrepreneurs Business is both Purpose and Goal oriented organizing their plans to achieve both. As profit generators and risk takers, they also can demonstrate social conscience, with growing awareness of the importance of sustainability, practicing the 3 R’s (reuse, recycle, redevelop) and generating wealth with a triple bottom line (People, Profit, Planet).

Business both drives the city agenda with a focus on producing results, that don’t reinvent the wheel, often challenging the status quo, and changing policy but somehow finding the middle ground.

Business can re-define the very meaning of success (e.g. developing ways to build community that improve work/play and walkability).

While Business moves quickly and is always aware of the importance of time, it also demands clear process. Business asks clarifying questions like: Where does the funding come from? Who can sponsor this? How do change the car culture? What are the best practices already?

The Value of Collecting Intelligence from Multiple Sources

These Learning Lhabitats are helping us see how Business Voices see themselves, each other, their city and the world. In these LLhabs, Business Voices are discovering how to strengthen their organizing capacities to build lasting foundations for the Integral City, so that the vitality of the other three Voices is well supported.

In the companion blogs (Citizens, Civil Society, Civic Managers) we look at the other three Voices of the City revealed in our trio of Learning Lhabitats.