The patterns embedded in human systems have evolved for hundreds of thousands of years.


Indeed, as living systems, the patterns have emerged from the 4 billion years that Life has vibrated on the dance floor of the Planet, as single cell microbes to  multi-organ persons. These patterns emerge from expressing the simple rules (or principles) that make systems alive.

These principles were explored by many of the Visionaries at the Integral City 2.0 Online Conference (IC2OC)– Elisabet Sahtouris in speaking of the 16 Principles of Living Systems; Mark DeKay in exploring his interpretation of Christopher Alexander’s Pattern Language; Hazel Henderson in proposing Biomimicry principles for investment; and of course the 12 Intelligences that inspire Integral City’s ongoing inquiry.

Tim Winton, another Visionary of the ongoing IC2OC conference came to the west coast of North America last week – bringing his training on the language of Pattern Dynamics(TM) outside of Australia for the first time. I was privileged to attend Tim’s one day workshop in Vancouver, Canada.

As author of Pattern Dynamics(TM), Tim has created a Pattern Language that is especially enlightening for organizations to notice the patterns that govern organizational life. Coming from a background in forestry and applied life sciences, Tim has developed his systems language from his decades of observing the interaction of the A-B-C systems of life. His own career has created the learning habitat where an elegant Pattern Language has emerged  from Tim’s observations of the Biological and Cosmospherical systems of forest ecologies.  And from this set of symbols he now offers a technology to empower Anthropocentric systems at the organizational level.

Tim’s Pattern Dynamics(TM) language is easy to learn and powerful to apply especially for discovering insights about sustainability and resilience. Pattern Dynamics(TM) uses a basic set of seven patterns (as pictured above) that enable a dynamic exploration in nature and culture of:

Rhythm: the temporal aspects in systems

>Polarity: the interplay of opposites in systems

 >>Structure: the enduring frameworks of systems

 >>>Exchange: the productive capacity of systems

>>>>Creativity: the emergence of novel adaptation of systems

>>>>>Dynamics: the process that coordinates dynamics of systems

>>>>>>>Source: the consciousness of the origin of identity and purpose in systems

These seven primary patterns can be cross-referenced to create a full set of 49 secondary patterns. A visit to PatternDynamics(TM) website will show you how they create an integrated set of patterns to produce a very versatile language for organizational explorations of the dynamical relationships of cultures (internal and external), economies, sustainability and innovation.

Since the workshop, I have been considering how Pattern Dynamics(TM)(PD) offers a complementary language for organizational development in the context of cities.  Like fractals, the PD patterns are essentially embedded at organizational scale, in the patterns that are foundational to the framework of Integral City at city scale.

At the city scale, the patterns that I have explored in the Integral City book, website, articles, conference, blog and trainings  have been derived from the five Maps of the City.

Four of these maps are presented in the book, (and recently discussed with Ken Wilber) and the fifth in a recent article. I will explore each of them in subsequent blogs but here is how I see them relating to Winton’s Pattern Dynamics(TM) .

Map 1: The Four Quadrant Eight Level Map of Reality – this relates to PD Polarity Patterns

Map 2: The Nested Holarchy of City Systems – this relates to PD Creativity Patterns

Map 3: The Scalar Fractal Relationship of Micro-Meso-Macro Human Systems – this relates to PD Exchange Patterns

Map 4: The Complex Adaptive Structures of Change – this relates to PD Structure Patterns

Map 5: Spirituality in the Human Hive – this relates to PD Source Patterns

Tim’s recent interview with the IC2OC  inspired me to explore his Pattern Dynamics(TM) language further. I am so delighted to have received instruction from the Pattern Dynamics(TM) Language creator himself – and can recommend his integrally informed teaching style to anyone trying to understand how organizations as living systems speak a pattern language that reveals their energy, functionality and their evolutionary wellbeing.