Integral City Intelligences Reflect Living System Principles

The 12 Intelligences of the Integral City can be directly connected to the Principles of Living Systems. This may not be surprising given the core influences of their creators. In the case of the 12 Intelligences, I was considering the evolution of the holarchy of human systems from individual, to family/collectives, to organizations, to the City. In the case of Elisabet Sahtouris, she was considering the evolution of the (conscious) biology of living systems.  Thus, given that human systems are living systems, we should expect that the taxonomies of the Intelligences and the Principles should reflect one another.

Integral City Intelligences, framed at the human systems scale of the City represent its core capacities derived from the first Principles of Living Systems.

Moreover, if we want to understand why and how it is possible for a City to thrive as a living innovation ecosystem (discussed in the first two blogs of this series), we can backcast to the capacities of intelligences that the City would require in order to design, organize and manifest such a system.

We have given full definitions of the Integral City Intelligences in Book 1 (Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive) and on the website. Here we link them to Elisabet Sahtouris’ Principles of Living Systems, so we can reveal their qualities of aliveness. In many cases one of the Principles manifests in multiple Integral City intelligences because of their holographic, interconnected and even non-local nature.

Let’s take another walk through Sahtouris’ Principles of Living Systems and connect them to the brief definitions of Integral City Intelligences that are set out below the Principles.

Principle 1: Self-creation (autopoiesis) is reflected in the Eco, Emergent and Living Intelligences.

Principle 2: Complexity (diversity of parts) is reflected in Eco and Emergent Intelligences.

Principle 3: Embeddedness in larger holons and dependence on them (holarchy) is reflected in Integral and Living Intelligences.

Principle 4: Self-reflexivity (autognosis, self-knowledge) is reflected in Integral, Inner and Storytelling/Cultural Intelligences.

Principle 5: Self-regulation/maintenance (autonomics) balancing efficiency and resilience is reflected in Integral and Living Intelligences.

Principle 6: Response-ability to internal and external stress or change is reflected in Individual (Integral Inner, Outer), and Collective (Social/Building and Cultural/Storytelling) Intelligences.

Principle 7: Input/output of matter, energy and information with other holons is reflected in Living, Inner and Social/Building Intelligences.

Principle 8: Transformation of matter, energy and information; no non-recyclable waste is reflected in Living, Inner and Social/Building Intelligences.

Principle 9: Communications among all parts is reflected in Integral, Inquiry, Meshworking and Navigating Intelligences.

Principle 10: Empowerment, full employment of all component parts is reflected in Eco, Emergent, Living and Meshworking Intelligences.

Principle 11: Coordination of parts and functions is reflected in Eco, Emergent, Living, Meshworking and Navigating Intelligences.

Principle 12: Balance of interests negotiated among parts, whole and embedding holarchy is reflected in Eco, Emergent, Living and Inquiry Intelligences.

Principle 13: Reciprocity of parts in mutual contribution and assistance is reflected in Eco, Emergent, Living and Meshworking Intelligences.

Principle 14: Conservation of what works well is reflected in Eco, Emergent, Living and Meshworking Intelligences.

Principle 15: Innovation, creative change of what does not work well is Eco, Emergent, Living and Evolutionary Intelligences.

Integral City Definitions of the 12 Intelligences

Contexting Intelligences

Ecosphere intelligence is an awareness and capacity to respond to the realities of a city’s climate and eco-region environment.

Emergent intelligence looks at the city as a whole, through the lenses of, aliveness, survival, adaptiveness, regeneration, sustainability and emergence.

Integral intelligence uses four essential maps of city life to see the whole city.

Living intelligence relates to the aliveness of each citizen through each of its lifecycle stages and the aliveness of the city through its lifecycle stages.

Individual Intelligences

Inner intelligence is ‘I’ space of the citizen – the seat of intentional consciousness, attention, interior experience and lines of development.

Outer intelligence is the biological ‘it’ space of the citizen- the space where the body acts and behaves.

Collective Intelligences

Social intelligence is the ‘its’ space of the city that gives us the capacity, to structure and systemize our environment.

Cultural intelligence represents the ‘we’ life of the city-the relationships in the city which transcend boundaries that both contain and separate.

Strategic Intelligences

Inquiry intelligence asks key questions that reveal the meta-wisdom of the city.

Meshworking intelligence attracts the best of two operating systems- one that self-organizes, and the other that replicates hierarchal structures – to align systems that flex and flow.

Navigating intelligence monitors and discloses the wellbeing or general condition of the city.

Evolutionary Intelligences

Evolutionary intelligence is the capacity to transcend and include the intelligences, we currently demonstrate, in order to allow new intelligences to emerge.

In this blog series examining Sahtouris’ Principles of Livings Systems, we:

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

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