Integral City Reflective Organ – March 2018: Eco-Villages, Human Hives and Gaia’s Reflective Organs

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 Planet.

I heard James Lovelock, author of the Gaia Hypothesis (that the Earth herself is a living system) postulate that the contribution that humans make to Earth’s well-being is as “Gaia’s Reflective Organ.” That amazing proposition caused me to speculate that the purpose of human hives (aka cities) might be to act as the planet’s reflective organs, while individual humans and their variety of organizations are like cells and organelles (the subsystems that enable organs to function). A “Planet of Cities” then, might act as Earth’s Reflective Organ System.

Hamilton, M. (2017). Integral City Inquiry & Action: Design Impact for the Human Hive. Phoenix, AZ: Integral Publishers, p.xxii

How Findhorn Eco-Village Serves Planet with Whole-Hearted Principles, Essence & Guidelines

In 2017’s newsletter with a Planet focus, I explored 2 prototypes for an Integral City – one was Durant, Oklahoma, and the other Findhorn Eco-Village, Scotland. A year later I find myself and Integral City endeavours relocated to Findhorn Eco-Village.

Only a month has passed since I turned up at Findhorn with bag and baggage to taste the life of an eco-house in a co-housing cluster, called East Whins. I have remarked (in blogs – see links below) on the shifts of my daily routines from the Canadian city where I lived for 25 years to the eco-village life where technologies have been adapted for sustainability (e.g. composting on a village-scale), relationships have been leveraged through shared ownership (e.g. co-housing laundry facilities) and individual intentions are embraced with collective we-space (e.g. in the daily spiritual rituals at the nature and meditation sanctuaries).

One of the most noticeable benefits to planning and acting as Integral City is that the experience of wholeness is built into the fabric of this community. With Integral City’s calling to serve the planet through the exploration of the Human Hive as Gaia’s Reflective Organ, it brings a renewal of energy every day to sing, eat, walk and talk with a large group of people who share these fundamental values.

Findhorn describes its whole community purpose this way:

Co-Creating a Thriving and Loving World …

As a conscious community, we strive to demonstrate a practical spirituality in harmony with nature, and play our part to positively transform humanity and the earth.

 Living under this banner gives me and Integral City fundamental encouragement that our purpose (to amplify and align evolutionary intelligences for the Human Hive as Gaia’s Reflective Organ) resonates with the community that holds sacred the body, mind and spirit every day. With our Integral City ethos of the Master Code: to care for Self, Others, Place and Planet, we feel welcomed to be part of a community who holds “a positive vision for humanity and the Earth, a commitment to deep and practical spirituality and to true ecology – caring for each other and caring for our planet.”

Because Integral City itself is a pioneer in re-shaping human habitats, it is a comfort and blessing to be in a community that recognizes, “We are a living, dynamic, practical experiment, building and seeking to demonstrate in physical form what is possible by working together as an intentional Community.”

Just as Integral City’s Map 5 reveals the power of the evolutionary and involutionary flow as the Source and Re-Source of the city, we are inspired by Findhornian’s embrace of Beauty, Goodness and Truth as a simple way of life. They avow, “We seek to create and hold spaces that are caring for the soul – places of beauty where we learn and practice the healing power of love. We seek to be visionary, vital, vibrant and viable on this Earth.

Findhorn has been guided by 3 guiding Principles for living and working in community:

  1. Deep Inner Listening
  2. Work is Love in Action
  3. Co-Creation with Nature.

In many ways these principles reflect the I, We, It/Its contributions of the integral model, which along with how Findhorn describes its Essence unpacks how to live in Beauty, Goodness and Truth. The Essence of Findhorn includes:

  • We live in clarity and integrity, and seek nothing less than truth.
  • We live in openness with deep listening, and seek nothing less than communion.
  • We live in gratitude and open-heartedness, and seek nothing less than love.
  • We live in courage and willingness, and seek nothing less that our soul’s path.
  • We live in cooperation and shared vision, and seek nothing less than alignment with Spirit.
  • We live in awareness and responsibility, and seek nothing less than peace.
  • We live in acceptance and surrender, and seek nothing less than freedom.

Findhornians use Guidelines to integrate their Principles and Essence into personal practice. Although each Guideline is expressed in I language, from an Integral City perspective we can see the tetra-arising along with the I, of We, It and Its as well. These perspectives are alive and might be rearranged to reflect the Guidelines in an All Quadrants embrace as shown in the graphic below.

Taken together the Purpose, Principles, Essence and Guidelines have become a Common Ground by which Findhorn aspires to live in service to the planet. As each day passes, time spent in the Findhorn eco-park community, learning, walking, talking and exploring the systems and quality of life here affirms the call to move Integral City. Here is a home where Place Caring and Place Making are living, dynamic and ever-evolving. This seems a home where the evolutionary impulse is animating Gaia’s Reflective Organs.

We see around us the Principles in action reflecting Eileen Caddy’s words:

“As you become aware of that oneness, Everything in your life falls into place In true perfection.” (1)

(1) Caddy, E., (1977). The Living Word, Findhorn Press, Findhorn Park, Scotland.

Eco-Village Video Overviews

Here are 2 videos that give great overviews of Findhorn and the Global Ecovillage Network whose global office is located at Findhorn.

Findhorn Overview 

GEN Overview 

Book Review A New Republic of the Heart: An Ethos for Revolutionaries by Terry Patten

A Wake Up Call for Integral City Conversations with the 4 Voices

Review by Marilyn Hamilton, Founder of Integral City and author of Integral City Book Series

Terry Patten’s A New Republic of the Heart is a book not just for Revolutionaries but for at least three tribes all active in the current public discourse. Patten names them as Innovators, Ecologists and Evolutionaries. These three tribes are critical to the functioning of cities that we would categorize as Smart (promoted by the Innovators); Resilient (admired by the Ecologists); and Integral (postulated by the Integralists).

The readers who are most likely to traverse the first Part of Patten’s book on Fragmentation and Wholeness are likely to belong to the Ecologists and Evolutionaries – primarily because they would have the empathy and patience to review the picture of the world’s great dilemmas that the human species now faces. …

Patten can build his argument on his years of direct research with scientists, environmentalists, activists, spiritual seekers and integrated consciousness adepts. So, he paints a graphic picture of the multidimensional causes that have produced unintended consequences and many wicked problems that have no easy answers. He points to tipping points, that can signal very rapid change, but he also considers the indicators that show change can take generations to percolate through a society.

When we consider these discontinuities in terms of finding ways to generate quality of life in the city, we are confronted with the condition that most major cities of the world contain all the major cultures of the world. But we do not yet have the governance systems to negotiate amongst them nor recalibrate our decision methodologies. So, we would do well to take Patten’s warnings to heart and open the conversations between the 4 Voices of the City who might, working together as a whole system, find ways to open new pathways for translating inner longing into outer action. …

We recommend Terry Patten’s A New Republic of the Heart as an ethos and a message that informs us how and why we should live the Master Code to bring our cities fully alive in service to the wellbeing of Gaia, our planet. Patten offers us what we might call a New Integral Civics of the Heart that is profound, caring and practical. He has given us 11 chapters of conversations we should be initiating in every city on our planet of cities.

Click here to read Full Review.

Terry Patten in his own Passionate and Fierce Voice

Terry’s book launch for A New Republic of the Heart was recorded. We heartily recommend listening to him in his own voice, explain what motivated him to write the book and why we should be using it to open conversations that can make a difference to multiple generations, political discourse and human relationships that can change the world. Click here to listen to Terry.

Book 3 Announcement – Integral City 3.7: Reframing Complex Challenges for Gaia’s Human Hives

Integral Publishers and Integral City are delighted to announce the upcoming release of Book 3 in the Integral City series: Integral City 3.7: Reframing Complex Challenges for Gaia’s Human Hives.

Book 3 applies and expands in multiple directions the 12 intelligences described in Book 1, Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive and builds on the field work described in Book 2: Integral City Inquiry & Action: Designing Impact for the Human Hive.  Integral City 3.7 considers a series of apparently intractable challenges that all cities face because the world has become so complex that cause and effect are rarely directly linked. The challenges cities face today result from the intertwining impacts of multiple life conditions, perspectives and capacities and can only be addressed by reframing them within an Integral City model that honors the plural realities, recognizes their developmental and evolutionary relationships and does not conflate differences. This third book in our series explores three themes that are eternal practices for designing a collective life that works for all life; namely, Caring, Contexting and Capacity Building. Send us an email if you would like an advance copy to review.

Urban Hub 9 Graphic Book Release

Paul van Schaik, co-founder of Integral Without Borders and Integral Mentors has produced a 9 volume series of graphic books on the Urban Hub. The latest volume is Urban Hub 9 : Odyssey – Thriveable Cities. UH 9 can be viewed or downloaded by clicking here.

All the pdf versions of the Urban Hub series are free to view or download and the link can be shared as you wish. Hardcopies can also be purchased via Amazon. Paul says about UH9: This document is not about clicking our links and following our path of  discovery but about engaging and searching your own path in collaboration with us and others and developing pathways for our combined action. In order to make any of the ideas, theories, activities shown in this series of 9 volumes plus the thousands of other great ideas not included, have a lasting impact we need to understand how they fit within a meta-framework. It is through a meta-framework that we can understand what, how, when and where to use each idea and with whom. The meta-framework used in these volumes is probably the simplest, covering most of what should be included.

The AQAL framework used here includes the following: An understanding of how objective, subjective, interobjective and intersubjective  domains tetra-mesh. How stages and states of development determine the ‘world’ we ‘see’ and interact with – and how the various lines of development expand with understanding and allow a greater embrace of consciousness, values or mindsets, behaviour, worldviews and systems. But remember – the map is not the territory. That is – don’t end up eating the menu – 80% of real impact will be in framing the question not in looking for answers.

Integral City 4.0: Co-Creating the Future of Cities

It’s not too late to register and join us in Findhorn, Scotland, April 10-14, 2018. 

You are invited to amplify your contributions to Gaia’s wellbeing with Integral City’s growing constellation by joining us at Findhorn Scotland(arriving 4pm) April 10- 14 (departing morning), 2018. Together, as 4 Voices of the City (Business, Citizens, City Managers, Civil Society) we will explore:  Integral City 4.0: Co-creating the Future of Cities Now.

This workshop will give us the opportunity to go more deeply into the Integral City frameworks, tools, practices and processes that we have shared with these partner organizations in 2017:

·        We have presented twice through the impressive faculties of Tamarack Institute Canada on Collective Impact and the Cities of the Future.

·        We have spent a week with the team of Hub Co-Evolucio in Reus and Tarragona, Catalonia, Co-Creating Cities of the Future Now and had the chance to meet city experts from Finland, UK, Catalonia, Italy +++

·        I was in Russia for more than a week working with Living Cities Russia witnessing and catalyzing hundreds of cities awakening across this immense nation (marking a new stage of human Evolution 100 years after an earth-changing revolution). In addition, we were invited to speak twice at Skolkovo to more than 50 city teams and 300 Mayors through the Foundation of Monocities (as well as visiting with practitioners of Integral City principles in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Nizhny Novgorod).

It will be exciting and inspiring spending time with Integral City practitioners and others who sense the power of cities to accelerate our collective intelligence not only with individuals and organizations but on behalf of eco-regions, nations and all of Gaia.

So, we hope you will join the Integral City community of practice – from Australia, Russia, Spain, France, Netherlands, UK – and others of like mind/heart/body/spirit in Findhorn. You will get the chance to test-drive a new paradigm for the city that the Russians so keenly recognize can make cities fully Alive. You will receive resources to substantiate the theory and science behind Integral City –  plus Action Research designs for practices and processes –  and Navigation Tools for aligning resources, designing dashboards and tracking impact. These will enable you to integrate Integral City resources into your own work and apply them with local intelligence in your own human hives.

This will be Integral City’s first workshop delivered in our new location in Findhorn, Scotland. (see article above).  It is a special place for discovering the sacred relationship that lies at the heart of the Integral City Master Code: caring for self, others, place and planet. Findhorn hasn’t just talked about this learning journey, but has made a path for all of us, by actually walking it for 55 years. Findhorn holds the impulse of the New Story for the Earth. Come join us to write the New Story for the City – our Human Hives in service to all life on Gaia.

You can get all the information on the workshop from the Findhorn website and apply here: Integral City 4.0. We hope you will put your name on the last few seats and join an intimate circle of 30 international participants.

I look forward to seeing you soon!

Marilyn Hamilton

Integral Europe Conference 2018, Siófok, Hungary

Integral City will be returning to the IEC in 2018. IEC’s theme in 2018 is Allies of Evolution. With Integral City’s Evolutionary Intelligences it is a natural venue for us to contribute ideas, frameworks and emerging practices.

Several of the Integral City Core Team and Researchers will be presenting.

May 22, 2018 – Maria Prieto, PhD Candidate will create a dynamic exploratory space with her workshop: Cities as Resonant Bodies: A We-space Somatic Inquiry into the Integral City Paradigm

May 23, 2018 – Diana Claire Douglas and Anne-Marie Voorhoeve (with Pieter Wackers) will constellate a Systemic Constellation and continue their exploration of the Conscious Witness (using the Victim, Tyrant, Rescuer, Rebel, Survivor framework).

May 27, 2018 – Marilyn Hamilton will sum up the conference from the perspective of Placecaring and Placemaking, tracing the emerging pattern of Integral awareness and application that is flowing through leaders, organizations, communities and cities.

May 22-27, 2018 – Alia Aurami will be presenter as part of Enlivening Edge, whose team is co-designing and co-facilitating the Teal Organizations Track of the conference along with Next-Stage World.

We would love to connect with you at IEC – send us an email marilyn@integralcity.com and we will set up a rendezvous.

Find out more & Register Here.

Upcoming Integral City Events with Planetary Purpose

Integral City will be presenting at various global locations in the months ahead – as set out below. 

If you would like to be notified of updates regarding registration, please sign up for our newsletter or send us an email via the website.

Date Location Topic/Course Sponsor/URL
March 29, 2018 8-9pm CET Radio Evolve online Tom Steininger Interview with Marilyn Hamilton Radio Evolve
April 10-14, 2018 Findhorn, Scotland Integral City 4.0: Co-Creating the Future of Cities Now Findhorn International Centre for Sustainability
April 21, 2018 Edinburgh, Scotland Day Conference Marriage of Ecology & Spirituality: What Value Do Humans Add to the Earth? EICSP
May 22-27, 2018 Hotel Azúr in Siófok, Hungary Placecaring & Placemaking in the Human Hive Integral Europe Conference 2018
June 3-4, 2018 tbc Eindhoven, NL location tbd Systemic Constellation for Collaborating Integral City, Living Cities, City Ambassadors tbc Integral CityLiving Cities RussiaKnowing Field Designs

Integral City Constellation – Upcoming Events

Tamarack Institute Launches 2 City Change Maker Programs

Tamarack shares two upcoming learning opportunities to accelerate your impact in the city.

Adaptive Leadership Masterclass Series

We are excited to announce a new Masterclass Series that will be taking place from May 23-29 in five cities across Canada. Adaptive Leadership for Collaborative Impact will be hosted by Liz Skelton, Director of Collaboration for Impact based in Australia, and Liz Weaver, Co-CEO of the Tamarack Institute.

This one day Masterclass will equip you with practical and effective skills that will help you and your teams collaborate better – deal with conflict, challenge old ways of working, respond to diverse views, create shared meaning, and plan for the future – all while working together to make a collective impact. Participants of this Masterclass will learn how to apply adaptive leadership principles and practices to their collaborative initiative while demonstrating its relevance and application to system, organisational, community and personal challenges.

Register Now

Cities Innovating to Reduce Poverty

We welcome you to join us for the Cities Innovating to Reduce Poverty summit (Western Canada), hosted by Tamarack’s Vibrant Communities and the City of Vancouver, from June 12-13, 2018 in Vancouver, BC. This event will elevate conversations about innovation in poverty reduction and will feature the unique role of city, provincial and federal strategies. Come hear fabulous speakers, join experiential tours and work together in interactive workshops all in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

We are at a unique moment in history in which cities, provinces and our federal government are all converging with independent, yet interrelated, poverty reduction strategies. Cities Innovating to Reduce Poverty will facilitate learning and dialogue across sectors, harness the distinctive synergies of today’s poverty reduction movement, and take our collective understanding of innovation in poverty reduction to the next level.

This summit will bring together more than 25 cities from Western Canada and beyond committed to ending poverty, and will host representatives from all orders of government, business leaders, not for profit change makers, and people with lived/living experience of poverty. Together, we will celebrate our successes, and will co-generate innovative solutions to eliminating poverty nationwide.

Learn More about the Summit – and register for the Western gathering
(Eastern Summit will take place Fall 2018)

Earth Hour

Starting as a symbolic lights out event in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour is now the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, inspiring millions of people to take action for our planet and nature.Earth Hour

From pushing for environmentally-friendly laws and policies to crowdfunding for a better future, YOU make Earth Hour possible. Coordinated by WWF and other volunteer organisations, Earth Hour’s greatest strength is the power of people PROTECTING LIFE ON EARTH

As accelerating climate change and staggering biodiversity loss threaten our planet, Earth Hour 2018-2020 endeavours to spark never-before-had conversations on the loss of nature and the urgent need to protect it.

Take part HERE.

Earth Month

April 2018 is the 48th  Anniversary of Earth Month®. People from all over the globe have shared their input on this year’s theme. Many from all age groups and backgrounds have one common thread to share: with all the advancements over the years many are still living in the dark as to our total environment; lacking simple awareness of issues and a direction to take. This is in part due to the increase in population density, industrialization, climate change, and apathy.

For these and many more reasons, the Earth Month Network has developed this year’s theme as: “Plastic Pollution”

We will examine various forms of plastic pollution in both fresh and salt waters and other areas; the harm it causes to our precious environment and ultimately human health.

Find out about our Projects and Carbon and Water Calculators HERE.

April 20-26, 2019 Climate Change & Consciousness: Our Legacy for the Earth

This summit will be held at the Findhorn Foundation, Scotland. The event will feature some of the clearest and most passionate voices for the Earth ever gathered together in one place. Over the next two years as the Findhorn Foundation counts down to the conference, they will post informative and inspiring articles and videos featuring the work of presenters and other climate change activists around the world. You are invited to join and support the event by following posts and updates. Get the full details here. 

Celebrating Planet-of-Cities in the Coming Quarter of 2018

Be moved. Be Still. Repeat.

March 21 marks the start of what Integral City calls the Planet Quarter (from March 21 to June 20). What aliveness and nourishment from our Mother planet can you celebrate on Earth Hour, March 24, 2018 or during Earth Month (April, 2018)? What planetary scientists, artists and gardeners inspire you?  We cherish the New Civics (or Republic) of the Heart that can remind us that we need to wake up, grow up, tune up and clean up. Visit us on our Integral City Website and Blog or post a comment about your city interests on our Facebook page, about how your city reminds you that it is a microcosm of our macrocosm, Gaia our Planet.

Meshful Blessings for our Planet of Cities from

Marilyn Hamilton and the Integral City Constellation Corps Team

PS Here are some FREE resources for nurturing our Planet and the Human Hive:

  1. Findhorn Overview – an introduction and overview of Findhorn EcoVillage
  2. GEN Overview – an introduction and overview of Global EcoVillage Network
  3. Book ReviewNew Republic of the Heart by Terry Patten
  4. Integral City MetaBlog 2017 – A synthesis and index of all Integral City Blogs from 2017 (and links to 2016-15-14-13).
  5. Integral City of the Year 2017 – 3 Russian City Associations.
  6. Meshworker of the Year Award 2017 – Hub CoEvolució in Reus, Catalonia, Spain
  7. Blog series on Moving:

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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