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 Power.
At the heart of our We-space was the dream/vision of an integral way of being such that we would transcend and include the limitations of individual bio-psycho-cultural-social modes of existence that embraced systems, complexity, evolution and spirituality into a transpersonal experience of reality that opened the boundaries of human interaction into the morphic and/or subtle realms (Hamilton, 2008, p.73; Sheldrake (1988; Wilber, 2006). Tapping into such evolving life-giving capacities and imagination skills within and for (our) cities seemed to open the eventual planetary We-space for Integral Cities. This meta-dream then became how to bring all of the Voices in the city (and its surrounding areas) into a safe space inside which we can listen to each other, learn from each other, dream together, share stories, imagine together in a life-giving We-space to create an Integral City. Our core purpose, intention and commitment now has become to work with others co-creating conditions for the emergence of the Integral City as Gaia’s organ-of-consciousness enabling her to reflect upon herself
Hamilton, M., Douglas, D. C., Beck, C., Aurami, A., & Arnott, J. (2016). We-space, Integral City and the Knowing Field. Chapter in M. Brabant & O. Gunnlaugson (Eds.), Cohering the Integral We Space: Developing Theory and Practice for Engaging Collective Emergence, Wisdom and Healing in Groups (pp. 131-154). San Francisco: Integral Publishing House.
December Days of Light and Darkness
December with its festivities of shifting light (solstices north and south) and celebrations of sacred arrivals is a month to contemplate the power of WE. Traditionally December is a time for spending with families, exchanging gifts and remembering our connections to a caring spirt, joyful light and the Great Mystery of life.
December 2016 however marks a bitter-sweet time of transition in the western democracies when the Great Love for a Higher Power and one another is threatened by the Great Fear of political change and the shadows of our human nature.
The City of Aleppo reminds us that evolution to more complex manifestations of life is not guaranteed. The long march of both human emergence and our earthly habitat shows much evidence of periodic setbacks that if we had been present at those times would have convinced us that progress was hopeless and the future was doomed. The former war-time victims of Dresden, Coventry, Nagasaki and Hiroshima would no doubt recognize Aleppo’s dilemma.
But today’s citizens of those same cities could vouch for the resilience of the human spirit and a power greater than mere individual human existence that worked together as a larger WE and has rebuilt hopes, dreams and habitats for new generations.
Aleppo is a harsh reminder that the thrust of civilization is not always forward. When we fail to honour and respect the bio-psycho-cultural-social energy of both individuals and collectives as our Spiritual Source and Re-source we betray our deepest nature and highest good.
But there is a comfort in the long view of the human hive, represented by December’s shift of light. Like the reflections from an icon of yin and yang, we can bring to mind with all our hearts, minds, hands, haras and souls the return of light to the world. With more mindfulness than usual, this season, we need to focus on restoring the City of Aleppo as a symbol of overcoming darkness and rebirthing the best of what humans may offer as Gaia’s reflective organ.
Winter Solstice Awakens the Queen Bee
I have discovered a little-known fact about the Winter Solstice and its connection to the bees.
It turns out that just as we experience the shortest day and longest night at the winter solstice, deep inside the darkness of the hive, the Queen Bee responds to a natural signal. Solstice alerts her to renew her critical contribution to the survival of the hive. She knows it is time to start the process of birthing new bees. A short time after she senses the light shift, the intelligence in the hive mind, stimulates the colony to raise the temperature of the hive (by shivering!!) to about 35C to create the optimal warmth for rearing a new generation. When the conditions in the habitat are right the Queen recycles the honey storage cells (that have been emptied during the long cold days of advent) into birthing chambers for about 100 brood. As winter wanes and spring arrives the Queen will accelerate her birthing process so the hive has enough new foragers to gather the nectar and pollen to produce the 20 kg of honey that will ensure hive survival for another year.
In the winter time of the year, within the bee hive, bees even take turns generating warmth not just for the Queen but for each other. Bees on the cooler outside rotate their locations with bees in the warm inner huddle of the hive surrounding the Queen.
The intelligence of cooperation for survival, sustainability and resilience in the bee hive is always an inspiration for the human hive to evolve our capacity to translate those lessons into the wisdom of the Master Code – to care for ourselves, each other, our place and our planet.
Learn more about this on website Romancing the Bee.
Meshworker of the Year 2016 – 2 Nominees
2016 marks the first year Integral City Meshworks has received 2 nominations for the award Meshworker of the Year. Our 2 distinguished nominees are:
1.Diana Claire Douglas and her work in Knowing Field Designs, using systemic constellation work for accessing and revealing the invisible patterns in cities. Diana Claire has used her gifts with a number of civil society organizations in several cities and with a series of globally connected organizations impacting cities.
2.Morel Fourman and his work in Gaiasoft systems has been working with cities and nations, particularly in Africa with a platform that enables strategic positioning for organizations within cities and across cities in the same country. Morel’s work has provided systematic foundation building to strengthen city systems and infrastructure. He designs performance management systems that enable capacity building in governments and citizen engagement with the younger generations.
The Meshworker of the Year will be announced before December 31, 2016. Stay tuned.
Read more about Meshworker of the Year here .
Integral City Emerging Power of Human Hive with 2 Books
1. We-space, Integral City and the Knowing Field
It’s on the shelves!! Integral City Community of Practitioners – Marilyn Hamilton, Diana Claire Douglas, Cherie Beck, Alia Aurami, Joan Arnott – are proud to see their chapter contributing to the new book, Cohering the Integral We Space: Engaging Collective Emergence, Wisdom and Healing in Groups. Edited by Michael Brabant and Olen Gunnlaugson, the book is a compendium of leading edge We-space practices drawn from across the Integral movement. It reveals how ecology, the Kosmos, presencing, design, transformation, circling and evolution contribute to We-Space experience.
Our Integral City Chapter explains how We-Space and Systemic Constellation Work have become an intimate part of Integral City’s Community of Practice, informing our core purpose, intention and commitment to co-create conditions for the emergence of the Integral City. Our wisdom holder group explores the paradoxical nature of the relationship of individuals’ awareness, collective awareness and emergent field awareness in the context of the city being both a Human Hive and Gaia’s Reflective Organ.
Systemic Constellation Work (SCW) frames research and development that expands our ways of knowing and supports the creation of healthy, dynamic, comprehensive solutions to complex problems within rapidly changing complex environments. Our experience of We-space has become an expression of the Spirit of Integral City, and a prototype of the Human Hive Mind, in service to the We-space of all life on Gaia and the Great Mystery. The book is available through Amazon.
2. Integral City Book 2: Inquiry and Action: Designing Impact for Place Caring and Place Making in the Human Hive
Book 2 of the Integral City series is in the final stages of editing and production as we release this newsletter. It will be published in early 2017.
The book has garnered great support from the worlds of Integral expertise, Action Research, and City Planning.
Ken Wilber has this to say about the new book:
Integral City Inquiry & Action continues Marilyn Hamilton’s (and her colleagues’) rather unique exploration into the application and extension of Integral Metatheory (and related disciplines) into the entire urban landscape and all its dimensions, aspects, functions, and qualities. … What Integral City tells us … is that any approach that is less comprehensive or less integral is doomed to failure, because only an integrally pluralistic theory and practice will cover all the truly important bases. These important bases are carefully elucidated in 16 chapters, each one covering a significant ingredient of a genuinely integral approach to city planning, living, exploring, discovering, applying. My congratulations to the authors for another profound, timely, and superb work!
Hilary Bradbury, Editor Handbook of Action Research & Action Research Journal observes:
The unusual and captivating hero of this book is the city. Not an inert mass of buildings, but a collective, a hive, a holarchy that brings people and processes of inquiry together in action. This human centered approach to systems of a city offers well chosen “sticky” concepts, grounded in practice and expressed with a simplicity that belies their complexity. What’s more, the book offers tons of great questions and grounded frameworks that help us articulate Gaia’s reflective capacity. It’s a resource for action researchers in the field of urban planning and perhaps for all whole systems/integration oriented professionals.
Lisa Norton, Professor of Design Leadership and Associate Dean, School of Design Strategies, Parsons School of Design remarks:
After urban planning, what’s plan B? Given the scale, complexity and interdependencies of our global crises, 20th century urban plans and solutions are simply inadequate. This leading edge and thoroughly practical contribution to inquiry and impact on the crucial dilemmas faced by cities today, is a gift to next generation urban change workers. Its elegant and accessible structure, fresh models and integrating tools are the product of iterative testing over many years in contexts of place-based yet globally shared challenges faced by 21st century architects, planners, city managers, developers, designers, communities, investors and activists.
The new Integral City Book 2 can be ordered from Integral Publishers.
Integral City Celebrates Year 3 Harvests with Imagine Durant
Celebrating the third round of Visioning with Imagine Durant, Oklahoma, we are proud to announce that
Imagine Durant completes Year 3 with the publication of two new Harvest Reports. We harvested Dialogue 7 in a mapping session that brought together more than a dozen map makers from across the city. Our second harvest opened Dialogue Round 3 with a focus on Education and Culture. Durant is now poised to conclude its Visioning process and move into the Strategic Positioning stage to set out a plan to implement the Vision.
The new Harvest reports can be downloaded from Imagine Durant website:
Integral City Amplifies 3 Powerful Collaborations
As Integral City has strengthened its foundations since Integral Theory Conference 2015, it has found common cause with three other organizations nurturing the Integral movement: Integral Without Borders, Ten Directions and MetaIntegral.
1. Integral City Meshworks + Integral Without Borders = New Synergy
“The world is changing. Borders are shifting. Development is happening at all scales – in organizations, communities, cities, nations and globally. It’s time we brought new energy into our service to emerging the next stages of evolution for human systems. Let’s see if we can synergize together!”
With this shared intention, the Founder of Integral City Meshworks, Marilyn Hamilton has accepted the invitation from Integral Without Borders to sit on their Board.
With the handshake between their two organizations, the ICM and IWB Founders hope to both amplify the resonance amongst their integrally informed designers for change and open borders with/in/as the world is waking up to its ever-greater reflective capacity.
Read the full announcement here.
2. Ten Directions & In This Together Power Practice
In our September newsletter we reported that a group of our Integral City wisdom holders would participate in the In this Together Training from Ten Directions. We joined their online course with more than 120 students and facilitators from around the globe to learn and practise Skills that Bring People Together.
Integral City practitioners wanted to experience how ITT can contribute to IC facilitation practice. We found that this met our standards for IC Practitioners and was a very rewarding investment of time, finances and effort. We expanded our engagement with the course by holding Integral City Homework sessions on Zoom. We used an Action Research framework for each of the 9 classes to consider:
- What we learned
- So What did it have to do with Integral City Practise or training
- Now What were we going to do as practitioners as a result of our learning.
We blogged our Retrospective on this valuable learning and share them in the Free Resources below.
Ten Directions is offering a sequel: Freedom to Fight: essential skills for transforming conflict with confidence. Watch for the announcement at Ten Directions.
3. Integral City Powers MetaIntegral Foundation 2016 BE Impact Research Projects
MetaIntegral Foundation, an Integral City constellation partner, supports some of the world’s leading Integral thinker/doers. MIF and its donors (like Integral City) build credibility and help to advance the Power of We as part of the field of Integral Theory and practice. In 2016 MIF funded two Integral Projects.
PUP Global Heritage Consortium
Throughout the international development world, site assessments are standard fare, but non-participatory, top-down, exterior-dimension-dominant assessments tend to miss the reality and fail to mobilize community interviewees. The PUP Global Heritage Consortium is creating an Integral Site Assessment to solve this challenge and better mobilize communities.
StageLens Text Analysis Research
StageLens Text Analysis Research explores the application of state-of-the-art text analysis and machine learning to build automatic scoring systems for adult developmental assessments. This project has the potential of reducing costs of large-scale assessments and increasing the uptake of developmental approaches in organizations and society. Integral City is working with Tom to prototype applications for Integral City text-based survey analysis.
Integral City AQtivates Social Power
As a follow through from its new website, Integral City has aqtivated social media conversations with a lively schedule of postings on our relaunched Facebook Page and Twitter related to Dialogue, 4 Questions and Facilitation. Join the voices and Power us up with a Like us at:
Join the FB Groups closer to where you live – in Netherlands and UK.
Celebrating City Power in the Coming Quarter of 2017
December 21 marks the start of what Integral City calls the Power Quarter (from December 21 to March 20). What energy or power do you offer for festivities in the City in this season? What spirit, connections, rituals, renewing practices, and connections fill you up and spread new light? We savour retrospectives, grieve the passing of old friends (and regrettably cities), share deep We-Spaces and take comfort from the energy emanating from integrally-informed pioneers daring to prototype new systems for emergence and learn deeply in our planet of cities. Visit us on the new Integral City Website and Blog and post a comment on Facebook about the POWER-FULL Human Hive you call home.
Meshful Blessings for the Power in all Human Hives
Marilyn Hamilton and the Integral City Constellation Core Team
PS Here are some Free Resources for amplifying Power in the Human Hive:
- Integral City Learning Retrospective on In This Together training:
- Giving attention to our intention for facilitating
- Listening intently and actively
- Expressing our message clearly and congruently
- Recognizing the multiple points of view at the table
- Questioning to understand
- Embracing feeling & emotion to transmute negatives into positives
- Leveraging conflict through shared intention
- Giving and receiving feedback
- Enjoying our facilitator role and relationships