Cohering the Integral City We-Space: A Resource for Catalyzing Gaia’s Reflective Organ

Cohering the Integral We-Space: Engaging Collective Emergence, Wisdom & Healing in Groups is a new resource with potential to catalyze the emergence of Integral Cities. The book is an edited volume (by editors Olen Gunnlaugson and Michael Brabant) that reveals the leading edges of We-Space through the lenses of integrally informed practitioners located in the developed world.

Each chapter describes the practice(s) of a distinctive group or community of practice exploring, embodying, experimenting with, or engaging the intersubjective We. As the Founder of Integral City frameworks and author of the Integral City Book series, I can’t help but imagine what would be the effect on the emergence and/or quickening of Integral City capacities (aka intelligences) and practices if all the We-space practices described in the book were alive and active in one (or more) cities.

While each chapter of the book and the community of practice that is activating We-space adds to the understanding and/or definitions of We-space, in order to be effective in an Integral City it would be useful to clarify the myriad of purposes that are engaged. We might start with a taxonomy of naming, framing, claiming and inhabiting the different forms of We-space. Then we could consider how they might impact the different scales of human systems in the city. It would be useful to know what practices cohere a collection of “I’s”, a group of “We’s”, any purposeful organization(s) embracing a We-culture, or on the most complex level, a system of systems of “We-spaces”.

By mapping a taxonomy or matrix of practices, an Integral City might find “red threads” of coherence where We-space practices can expand or amplify the 5 sets of Integral City intelligences: Contexting, Individual, Collective, Strategic and Evolutionary.

Because one of the chapters in Cohering the Integral We-Space is authored by the Integral City Community of Practice, it would make sense to find the ways that other practices might help us achieve intentions that could supplement how we use Systemic Constellation Work to identify the “invisible” energies of the city.

The introduction of Cohering the Integral We-Space lists a series of outcomes that can apparently be analysed for the purposes of amplifying all the Integral City Intelligences (except Contexting) as follows:

Individual (Inner and Outer)

  • Exploring multiple perspectives.
  • Practising post-personal spiritual authority.
  • Mapping a participative journey shared by individuals.
  • Expand self-hood through collective experience.
  • Share intimacy of unity amidst diversity.

Collective (Cultural and Social)

  • Amplifying the we through creating a group container for collective transformations.
  • Experiencing group phenomenology as an epistemology of knowing about/with/as the city.
  • Exploring a social basis for shared community.
  • Discovering group fields of consciousness.
  • Skilfully engage with groups.
  • Learn how collectives develop and impact individuals.

Strategic (Inquiry, Meshworking, Navigating)

  • Engaging and co-creating city culture collectively.
  • Practising collective creativity.
  • Develop the ethos of relational communion and love.
  • Catalyze intelligence into new culture.
  • Introduce site for awakening healing, living, thinking together

Evolutionary

  • Evolve group flow (nexus agency).
  • Experience evolution from the inside out.

With an intention to re-purpose Cohering the Integral We-Space in service to an expansion of We-space capacities for the Integral City, the reader can be inspired to discover inter-chapter connectivity, that takes them beyond simply enjoying each chapter on its own merits and into the territory of synergizing across We-space practices and platforms.

Editors declare that the book is intended to serve “the greater global integral community as a catalyst for broadening and clarifying existing conversations” in order to bring forth new perspectives and critical discernment.

Therefore, for Integral City practitioners who have curiosity and/or experience about We-space, this anthology has the potential to open a hallway of doors that inspire us to consider for the value of developing Integral City capacities: epistemologies for intersubjective research, perspectives for interpreting We-space outcomes and insights into ongoing We-space emergence and development.

Future Integral City researchers could use the chapters to set an agenda to discover how experiences, practices, intentions and maps might achieve a very broad spectrum of We-space programs, projects, activities and impacts.

Building on the diversity of authors, represented in the book – who are all pioneers in the We-space field – Integral City could take advantage of a variety of intentions, languages, reflections, capacities, perspectives and life conditions to explore living, working and co-creating in, with and as We-space in the city.

Building on Integral City Action Research modalities (described Book 2 in the Integral City Book Series: Integral City Inquiry & Action: Designing Impact for the Human Hive), we could build on many chapters in, Cohering the Integral We-Space that also use Action Research to guide Integral City practitioners to collaborate in co-researching the expansion of this epistemology.

Integral City might even wish to explore into a space of virtual reality, beyond the third-person account of a second-person-plural We-space experience to discover and describe the true second-person-plural We-space experience as an evolutionary leading edge of city evolution.

It should be noted that Chapter 7 of Cohering the Integral We-Space, authored by Integral City practitioners was originally written from the AQAL Lower Left (LL) perspective in an attempt to convey the “script” or “voice” of the We-space experience. Although this version was not the one published, the attempt to author the LL version transformed the Community of Integral City Practitioners in a significant way. (For example, it helped us learn first-hand the challenge of the journey from a collection of “I’s to a unity of “We’s” and the power of the “space in between” single “Is”, multiple “I’s” and a coherent “We”.)

Cohering the Integral We-Space is a notable resource for achieving its intention to catalyze discussion and communication about We-space. Because every chapter, in some way, advocates for continued growth and maturing of We-space awareness, thought, practice and culture, it is an open invitation to Integral City’s constellation of practitioners to continue this journey.

The next step for Integral City may be to use this book as an opportunity to clarify our core practices; align with other communities; and improve our process methodologies.

It is clear that anthology editors, Michael Brabant and Olen Gunnlaugson, have created with, Cohering the Integral We-Space not just a valuable contribution that makes Integral City practice of We-space visible, accessible and credible but that they have given us a special opportunity to invite other practitioners to consider how they can contribute to the emergence of the most complex human system yet created.

We are curious if anyone would like to nominate their city to be the site of ongoing research for Cohering an Integral City We-Space in service to Gaia’s Reflective Organ (aka the city or human hive) and Gaia’s Reflective Organ System?

About the Author:

HI I am the Founder of Integral City Meshworks Inc. and Chief Blogger. Working with cities and eco-regions, I ‘meshwork’ or weave people, purpose, priorities, profits, programs and processes to align contexts, grow capacity and develop strategies for sustainability and resilience in the Integral City. You can read more details about me here http://integralcity.com/about/about-the-founder/

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