Integral Intelligence is a way of looking at the city that transcends and includes views of the city that are traditional (the city as home), modern (the city as economic engine), post-modern (the city as social safety net) and systemic (the city as living human system).

Integral Intelligence at the city scale embraces all the multiplicities of human systems at a meso level – existing between the personal experience of the individual and the global experience of the planet. If humans are Gaia’s reflective organ (as James Lovelock proposes) then an Integral Intelligence reveals the fractal patterns of our reflective capacity.

At this time in world history it is critical to grasp and apply Integral Intelligence now. The city is home to more than 50% of humanity and most of the elements of its operating system are misaligned and fragmented by traditional reductionism, modern mis-management and inappropriate post-modern social safety nets. City life, challenged by global and local security, sustainability and resilience needs leaders with integrally informed reflective capacity to work on improving city infrastructures, cultivate the vitality of city cultures, and design world class governance systems.

Integral Intelligence acts like an open source integral operating system that is globally attuned but locally adapted.

Integral Intelligence has a powerful psyho-active quality to it – when it is practised (however tentatively) it has a ripple effect that impacts the practitioner, the community and city systems wherever they are touched. Integral Intelligence is open ended and continuously meshes new learning into older practices. (Thus it is both demanding and liberating!).  How can Integral Intelligence be enacted? Here are three “simple” rules for applying Integral Intelligence in the city:

1.Map the territory integrally (horizontally through four quadrants, vertically through eight plus levels of development, diagonally through city change states, and relationally through its nested holarchies and fractals of complexity).

2. Create and sustain an integral mapping system at the highest sustainable level of complexity, that is appropriate to the capacities of city management.

3. Learn from and update the maps annually or more often.


This blog is a prologue to the Integral City webinar conference  City 2.0 Co-Creating the Future of the Human Hive . We are inventing a new operating system for the city.  Click to get more details re the Free Expo and eLaboratory membership  scheduled September 4-27  2012. You are invited to attend and participate.