Civil Society: Map Visions and Values

hex_societyDefine Vision, Values, Mission

An Integral City Civil Society Organization defines its Vision, Values and Mission so that it knows its:

  • mandate
  • the principles it will apply to policy and operations and
  • the purpose for its existence.

A starting point for the Civil Society Organization (CSO) can be the simple question:
What do we know about our city/community?

Integral research can answer the question by creating an eight level integral map to make visible the Citizens’ view of city values and the Board’s view of city values (as determined by survey or research).

An integral map provides the Board with an understanding of the gap between its city leadership view and the citizen life view of important values. This awareness can contribute directly to the CSO’s strategic plan, project selection and evaluation and communications. This focus, in turn can attract the most influential partners for success and make more effective use of resources.

Figure 1: Comparison of Citizen & Board Views of City Values

Four Quadrant Eight Level Map = Whole Systems Approach

An integral approach is a whole systems approach to city values research. It opens up conversations about the qualitative issues and motivating factors underlying change. Also it contributes to the strategic allocation of quantitative resources to make change happen.

These maps are multi-dimensional, allowing overlays and cross-referencing (see Figure 2). Other values/asset maps can be developed reflecting age, gender, and other demographics. The source of the data from individual citizens makes the data mappable by street, neighbourhood and postal code. This gives CSOs the advantage of developing policy and projects that are specifically tailored to selected areas and/or demographics of the city. (Sharing and/or deriving this data with the City can prevent “one size fits all” programming that is inefficient and wasteful.)

Figure 2: Comparison of City Capacities/Barriers/Improvements

Combine 8 Levels & 4 Quadrants

Combined with the eight level values map, the four quadrant map (used in Develop Board Capacity) creates a Board friendly / Citizen friendly way of presenting complex integral values research (see Figure 3). In this case, a metaphor of a four petalled flower is used to explain how research answers the question “What do we know about our community?”

The key points summarized on the map are:

  1. There are many different ways to foster community. The four petals (quadrants) of the flower show how survey responses cluster into four different but essential categories. Like this flower, community is made up of all four clusters. (In the case of Sample City the LL petal is viewed as almost 3 times larger than any of the other three petals (53% vs 16%).
  2. Within the petals of the flower (quadrants) of community are those capacities that help make community work. If these flourish in an integrated manner, community will grow and thrive. Arrows in the background of each petal illustrate the push for the petal to bloom more fully. The arrows indicates the natural direction and sequence that values emerge (Beck et al, 1996; Wilber, 1996, 2001a, 2001b; Hamilton, 1999).
  3. In the gray background surrounding the petals are those barriers that prevent the flower from blooming larger. The background arrows pushing against the petals represent these negative forces. These correspond to the barriers, blockages and shadows to community values (Sandercock, 2000; Fisher, 2003; Wilber, 2001b).
  4. This flower is a multicolored rainbow of community values. Each of the colours represents a set of values that are crucial to ensuring that the flower of community is as full and vibrant as possible. Consider these community values like multiple layers of petals — each layer is a different colour that creates an award winning Flower Show masterpiece. The positive contributions of each color are (Beck et al, 1996; Ruder, 2001; Hamilton, 1999):
    • Purpleharmonizes the values of kinship and familial traditions that bond people together most tightly.
    • Redspeaks to the pure unrestrained energy of pleasure and enjoyment in community.
    • Bluehonors commitment and order to life and work, a sense of direction for a greater good, stability, and even recognition of duty to creating and sustaining it.
    • Orangestrives towards achieving great things together with strategic and goal oriented plans.
    • Greenshares those elements that are about care and sensitivity to others, with an egalitarian perspective that celebrates diversity.
    • Yellowmeshes responses about flexibility, spontaneity, and knowledge as a spur to integrating community development.
    • Turquoisehints at aspects of community that are about wholeness and global connections.
    • Coralsplashes represent what we might create in the future with all our good works for the common good. (Hamilton et al, 2003)

Figure 3: Spiral Flower Values Map of Sample City

Qualitative Plus Quantitative Discloses Direction for 5 Year Plan

The flower map is a “meta-map” that combines the qualitative themed data (in the word descriptors) with the quantitative volume of response (in the width of the value colours).

The values map allows the CSO Board, staff, committees, partners and citizens to workshop the data to engage with the capacities and barriers in each quadrant. This provides the CSO with insights from which the 5 Year Strategic Plan can be created (see Meshwork Strategically for a Healthy City).

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