Imagine Durant has created a bold invitation to the 4 Voices of Durant Oklahoma, USA to imagine a vision for the future and develop the strategies to implement it.
Building on the economic boom of gaming tourism, and their own journeys as integrally informed leaders, the President of First United Bank and the (now) Chief of the Choctaw Nation, invited Integral City to visit Durant in 2013 and make a proposal for a community development process that would grow community-wide support from grassroots participation.
A Formation Team created in 2014, hired a part-time coordinator and commenced a series of presentations to Civil Society groups, collecting survey data that started to paint a picture of Durant’s values. With evidence for expanding support, the Team, framed a partnership with the Chamber of Commerce to provide an office; created a not-for-profit organization; formed a Board of Directors (from the 4 Voices of Durant); and hired an Executive Director – all for lift-off in January 2015.
Demonstrating commitment, collaboration, and leveraging Integral intelligences (also being taught as organizational development in the bank and Choctaw organizations) Imagine Durant is the natural winner of the Meshworkers of the Year Award, 2015.
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.
Imagine Durant has systematically documented the process, results and interconnections amongst a series of three Dialogues on the Economy and the Community. Imagine Durant brought together 24 Thought Leaders, 39 Community Members and 24 Policy Makers to learn what was most important to the community. From the contacts made through these representatives of the 4 Voices of the city, it is estimated that Imagine Durant touched thousands of Durant stakeholders – including all of the councilors of City Hall and other governance systems in the County, State and Choctaw Nation; many of the 48 Civil Society organizations; many of the hundreds of highschool and university faculty and students; and all the key businesses of the city (and their customers).
Imagine Durant Harvest Reports for all 3 Dialogues are available on the Imagine Durant website and form an important contribution to Integral City research and development.
The 2015 Dialogues establish a foundation for two subsequent Dialogue series scheduled to be held in 2016 on:
- Health and the Environment
- Education and Culture
As Imagine Durant has reached out to the 4 Voices of the city, it is obvious that an enormous value of meshworking is that it embraces both the realms of the subjective inner lives of the 4 Voices and the intersubjective cultures that have a history embedded deeply in both Native American and non-Native American stories.
At the same time Imagine Durant has acted on an “early win” idea from the first Dialogue and spawned a parallel project in a cross-city walking trail – now called Nowa Oka – that has won the support of a grant for planning the trail, from National Parks.
The commitment to taking the time to Creating Value through defining the purpose, vision and interconnections amongst these stories means that when Durant shifts into the future stage of Realizing Values, it will be able to design with assurance that it has alignment and coherence to the city’s Vision when it invests in tangible structures.
Imagine Durant’s meshworking intelligences are actively contributing to engagement of three levels of government, influencing city change and impacting community connections. Integral City is proud to award Imagine Durant the Meshworker of the Year Award, 2015.