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 People.

For tens of thousands of years (or possibly hundreds of thousands of years) humans were contained in local contexts that became the objects of care that sustained and taught people what and how it was possible to live. As both caring and capacity dimensions expanded within local contexts, those boundaries expanded and the boundaries of the local were traversed into the watersheds, the regional, the continental, the oceanic, the global and as we have now explored, into the Earth-orbital and solar systems—with the ambassadors of our satellites pushing out into galactic and intergalactic spheres.

Hamilton, M. (2018) Integral City 3.7: Reframiing Complex Challenges for Gaia’s Human Hives. Minneapolis, MN: Amaranth Press, p. xxx

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Imagine the Human Hive

Imagine the city as a human hive – a living organ of Gaia who has a purpose that is in service to Gaia’s wellbeing and sustainability and is embraced by its citizens.

Imagine human hives who can resource their purpose with internal and external resources and funding.

Imagine the human hive as a living innovation eco-system, where we enable the connections between the 4 voices of the city – Citizens, 3rdSector/Civil Society, City/Institutional Managers, Business/Innovators – so they not only thrive today but create a legacy of life conditions for the next generations to evolve and thrive.

Imagine human hives who know how to connect. They can map their existing connections, align people to purpose and priorities. They can amplify what works, let go of what doesn’t and continuously improve the value they contribute to Gaia.

Imagine human hives who learn from each other and develop the whole system of human hives in an evolutionary direction.

If we can imagine such a city, we can imagine creating and implementing plans for the glocal-scale challenges of climate adaptation, energy shifts, water management, food security and cultural evolution. To do so, we can imagine how to release resources now trapped in city sectors, silos and stovepipes. We can imagine the frameworks, tools and processes that catalyze new conversations, build on the underlying values and recalibrate the assets, capacities and capitals into meshworks of economic, environmental, social and cultural interests. We can imagine creating the model for community engagement, city development, business strategies and communication technologies to evolve the intelligences in our cities into thriving human hives.

Signs of Human Hives Emerging in 2019 and Beyond

When I imagine the city as the Human Hive – with the 4 Voices acting, behaving, relating and co-creating our evolutionary future, I imagine that by working together we can backcast from that powerful vision of the future. I remember the research I have done to identify 12 intelligences that a city as a complex adaptive, living system would have to manifest through the lives of our 4 Voices, if it wishes to resiliently survive and evolve.

From this future forward projection we can plan out what would need to be done to achieve it – strategic designers call this backcasting. [We have mapped out 17 steps in this blog.]

Now that we are at the mid-point of 2019 we can consider what impacts our current life conditions will have on our attempts not just to imagine ourselves as a human hive but to become one. We can ask ourselves, “What needs to happen in 2019 for our next steps as a human hive to emerge?”

I propose we need to start with Intelligence 1: Eco-Intelligence.

We need to thread that through the Mastercode and see how that will change our individual behavior, relationship with others, respect for our ecology and align our human ethos with the whole of life on Mother Earth.

In 2019 we have seen extensions of #metoo from individual experience/blame of one gender to other genders. Is it too soon to hope that this process is starting to catalyze the evolution of respect for all humans? For mutual trust and respect (MTR) provides the foundation for healthy human living systems.

As MTR deepens, we catalyze the deepening of care for our families to another level of appreciation. This is also fundamental to enable the manifestation of what our children – who are joining Greta Thunberg – can expect as their legacy through changes to our own behaviours, especially related to respecting the ecology of living systems that populate Earth.

Through the gateway of respect we can continue the journeys to understanding our fractal relationship to Energy (already started), Information (IT underway) and Matter – in the form of actions/systems/infrastructrues and the relationship to the Intelligences of Nature.

Cosmic Holograms may well become the new math for our children. The Blue Planet should become the basis of our new morals and relationship to all life. Ecocide should be a very real (and international) crime that entails consequences, restitution and regeneration. The Plastic Revolution/ Extinction Revolution is already igniting Citizen Voices in countries around the world, demanding that Business/Innovator Diversity Generators take responsibility for their cleanup. Moreover our Civic Manager Resource Allocators are being called to wake up to their real job of creating the conditions for wellbeing by holding all 4 Voices accountable and transparent to individual human hives and their eco-regions.

It is time now for the 3rd Sector/Civil Society as Integrators of the Hive Mind to claim their voice of integration and demand that Spirit be welcomed back as a guiding force for life enhancing decision processes that impact everyone in the human hive.

2019 is forcing us to look to the End of Slavery and the End of Ecocide– to see the patterns of decisions, actions, legislation, etc. that we must initiate in 2019 so that all our (climate and environmental) targets for 2020, 2030 and beyond can be met.

Is it possible that in 2019 we will even start to unlearn the ancient power of shaming and heal it with LOVE to transform the millennials and their children into a force for good?

Integral City (inspired by Elisabet Sahtouris) has imagined the full backcast of 17 steps that are needed for our human hives to become innovation eco-systems. You can read the full set here.

Congrats to Integral City Beyond Smart and Beyond Resilient 2019 Grads

We are pleased to congratulate the Grads from our Beyond Smart and Beyond Resilient 2019 Training programs. Pictured: Govert Van Ginkel, Tessa Brock, Maria Prieto, Edward Fitsell, Tylara Duncan, Caroline Theiland with co-focalisers Beth Sanders, Marilyn Hamilton,  (missing Julian Baller).

Integral City Book 3

Integral City 3.7: Reframing Complex Challenges for Gaia’s Human Hive is the third book in our Integral City series (hence the “3” in the new title). Like Books 1 and 2 it is dedicated to the 7th generation from now – the context for decisions that many indigenous people consider – hence the “7” in the title.  Book 3 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 exploration links to 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 a copy to review.

Upcoming Integral City & Constellation Events with People Purpose

June 19, 2019 Integral City will be dancing with Manifesto energies of 2019 Festival at DeCeuvel in Amsterdam.

June 20, 2019 we will travel to Moscow for the fifth anniversary of Living Cities’ Urbanfest.

June 27, 2019 we are invited to participate in London in the first Urban Psychology Summit with Charles Landry et al.

July 11-13 we will visit Plovdiv Bulgaria to bring the Voice of the City to the Co-Creating Europe Forum

July 14-17 we will participate in a lively inquiry with the Global Ecovillage Network European Conference in Tuscany Italy.

September 14-17  Integral City training “Beyond Complexity” in partnership with Findhorn College

October 7-11  will see us in Vancouver Canada for the 10th Ecocity World Summit to deliver a plenary and two workshops

October 19 all things being equal we will return via Copenhagen to attend the C40 Climate Summit

November 5 presents the opportunity to take Integral City to Delhi, India to dialogue with the Indian Society Applied Behavioral Psychology Conference

Life-Giving Words of Wisdom for a Living Planet

Charles Eisenstein, author of Climate a New Story makes a very persuasive case for a living systems agenda to reframe the whole story of Climate Change. He argues that the carbon emissions strategy is a distraction from the real culprits of soil desecration and ignorance of the primacy of the water cycle to the Earth’s living system. He proposes that regeneration of both soil and water even trump our obsession with energy and development. “If you knew she could feel, you would stop,” is the challenge Eisenstein gives to climate change deniers and warriors. Reminding us of the respect of the Indigenuous peoples for the bio-sphere, Eisenstein offers practical strategies for those genuinely desiring to Wake Up Humans and their Hives.

Polly Higgins, author of Eradicating Ecocide: Laws and Governance to Stop the Destruction of the Planet died on the way to making ecocide a crime, able to be tried and punished in the International Court of Justice in the Hague. She imagined an International Court for the Environment “to be led by retired judges, climate change experts and public figures … who could protect and enforce “the right to a healthy environment”. P. 157. Polly quotes the inspiration from William Wilberforce who vowed “that slavery was so dreadful and so irremediable that I resolved I would not rest until I had effected its abolition”. P.171

Regrettably Polly did give her life for what she so strongly believed in – we can honor her spirt by becoming Earth Protectors, willing to carry on the movement she birthed.

Thomas Friedman, author of Thank You for Being Late: An Optimists Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations tackles the challenges created by the “Age of Accelerations”. Through the lenses of technology, globalization and living systems, Friedman offers an excellent road map for what has happened since the turn of the 21st century. He settles on 3 “M’s” – Moore’s Law, Market, Mother Earth –  as the factors contributing to the perennial time squeeze that generates so much stress that it is shifting the capacities of the 4 Voices to share worldviews, values and resources. Engaging with each of the M’s is creating haves and have-nots and in the process damaging Earth seemingly beyond repair. Friedman doesn’t believe the accelerations will slow down but he does call readers to take responsibility for regenerating the damage to Mother Earth and to relate to one another in community – effectively to engage the 4 Voices in service to the Master Code of Care- as his optimistic expectation that America (and other nations) can be great again. (p. 512)

Ann Dale, author of Edging Forward, Achieving Sustainable Community Development explores the power of stories to change the way we respond to climate change, by changing the way we relate to one another. Using favourite titles, themes and characters from Dale’s childhood stories, she re-stories herself and in the process reveals deeply embedded archetypes that explain why we take the “rabbit hole” to unsustainable outcomes as well as where we have the capacity to bridge barriers to tackling the bio-diversity imperative. A master of strategic analysis of all the key sectors in the human hive, Dale identifies 3 social imperatives – climate change adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity conservation and sustainable community development. (p. 86). She shares an impressive list of examples of the Canadian communities who have made a difference in all 3 challenges – from energy to transportation to environmental restoration.

Celebrating People in the Planet-of-Cities in the Coming Quarter of 2019

June 21 marks the start of what Integral City calls the People Quarter (from June 21 to September 20). Who is demonstrating leadership in your city? How are you working with the 4 Voices? What changes that you would like to see in your city would you start by living yourself? Visit us on the our Integral City Website and Blog or post a comment about mentors, coaches and facilitators who are bringing together resources that connect on our Facebook page.

Marilyn Hamilton and the Integral City Constellation Corps Team