Living Cities Russia Discovers “Habits for Changing Cities”

On June 20 Integral City revisited Moscow to celebrate 5 years since we launched the Russian Translation of Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive.

Eugene Pustoshkin, my brilliant and perceptive translator met me at the theatre (where Stanislavsky developed his Method Acting) and later I had the pleasure of spending some time with Dmitri Baranov of iPratik my Russian Publisher. We were greeted by Lev Gordon co-founder of Living Cities Russia Forum (the successor to ARGO – Izhevsk’s City Development Association).

The Forum had prepared for my arrival with an Interview (published as Instalment 1 here and Instalment 2 here). They were also active in living out the Principles of Integral City – recently republished as “Imagine Your City as a Thriving Innovation Eco-System” – also translated into Russian for the benefit of social entrepreneurs and city activists alike.

At the Civic Chamber Moscow, Integral City (Marilyn Hamilton) delivered a workshop on Caring, Contexting and Capacity Building for Gaia’s Living Cities. Our key message connected to the Integral City Master Code which the Living Cities Association very strongly rests on.

The next day, we participated and witnessed an interesting experiment in Self-Organization – where the facilitator held the space for 20 people to discover their relationships, intentions and commitments to change. The group identified themselves as the Group for Committing to Habits for Changing Cities.

I had been blessed with great translators (most of whom now had the experience of travelling the world and so brought back to Russia international experiences and worldviews). As a result, I had been able to follow the ebbs and flows of lively discussion throughout the day and was able to stand up at the end and point out that the meta-habit for change could be articulated as the Integral City Master Code for Change.

I confessed to everyone, that at the end of every day I practice the habit to review how have I lived the Master Code for Change?

  • How have I cared for myself?
  • How have I cared for others?
  • How have I cared for place(s)?
  • How have cared for the planet?

We were all delighted that the full circle of self-organizing dialogue could once again land solidly on the universal Master Code of Care.

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Meanwhile down the hall a second group was convened to explore the relationships in villages and rural habitats.  I was once again reassured that the core principles of Integral City were alive and well. The facilitator had chosen the 3 Questions with which Integral City research typically begins:

  • What works well around here?
  • What does not work so well?
  • What do you imagine/hope for the future?

In small groups the gathering of about 40 people found the values and needs that revealed their strengths and potentials.

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At an alternative site, I saw a different side of Moscow, – a kind of time warp – nestled in an older residential area. There an old industrial site “Shagi” , being rehabilitated as a social enterprise was proudly toured by the new owners. We heard that already this “third place” had a restaurant providing delicious traditional foods, and housed the thriving business of antique selling (with a timeless collection of clocks), a whole floor devoted to antique coin exchange and in the bowels of the building where we engaged – the facilities for workshops, musical gigs, awards ceremonies and designing videos to share the story of Living Cities.)

On the last day, I toured the magnificent living galleries of the Moscow Metro – and (proudly) found my own way back to the airport on the express train.

Moscow is a surprising city showing off the food and vehicles of “cowboy capitalists” while striving to create the conditions for a new generation to thrive and innovate. No small thanks are due to innovators and pioneers of a new consciousness like Lev Gordon and Eugene Pustoshkin.

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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