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 Place.
… we ground the cycle of Place Caring and Place Making with an evaluation process that is itself a fractal of the cycle. In order to be coherent with our many propositions that an Integral City is a meta-system, our approach to evaluation is based on a systems view of life. This view (Capra, 1996) considers that a system is alive when it can survive, adapt to its environment, and reproduce or regenerate. Research indicates those life processes are only possible because the system utilizes feedback to inform it of its success in surviving, adapting, and regenerating. This feedback is the most basic form of evaluation – on the life-giving level.
Hamilton, M. (2017). Integral City Inquiry & Action: Designing Impact for the Human Hive. Tucson, AZ: Integral Publishers, p. 283
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Strike the City – it’s Burning Man time again. This annual phenomenon proves that cities can arise from a real desert. With a seeming stroke of magic the surveyors strike a city plotted on the desert sands that houses 70,000 people for a week.
This has become a true clan gathering that attracts tribes from around the world to gather, celebrate, entertain, experiment with chaos, invent a sharing economy and take complete responsibility for people, place and planet.
Burning Man is a lesson in what is possible when intention stays clear, energy is high and VUCA is not avoided but invited in. Volatility? They burn their most cherished creation the iconic Man. Uncertainty? Who can control the weather or the combination of people who turn up? Who will be your neighbor, your friend, your provocateur? Complexity? What happens when your urban apparition challenges the surrounding environments, townships and is always on the edge of health, safety and all three levels of government? Ambiguity? This is practically the star attraction – because who wants to turn up to the predictable, planned or pretention that arrived last year?
So we will scramble the unexpected, the uncertain and the unattractive with beauty, truth and goodness for regenerative madness that will be contagious enough to attract people to return next year.
Striking the Burning Man City is like striking up the energy vortex of the Nevada desert – everyone wants on to this playing field.
By contrast a parallel movement is going on with Extinction Rebellion and 350.org – it might well be called Strike the City I want to get off!!
Out beyond the boundaries of the state of Nevada, a global movement is emerging to take the City out on Strike from Sept. 20-27, 2019. Organizers from 350.org have not left events to the vagaries of spontaneity, but have rather planned, designed and unfolded from 350.org Central an impressive global-spanning, unfolding, inspired by the teenage strike leader, Greta Thunberg. What happens when you put youthful Urgency together with middle-aged Devotion? We will see even as this newsletter is released.
When I became aware of the design for the planned global strike(s). I felt an eerie sense of deja-vu.
This impending series of real events reminds me of 2 other apocalyptic conditions that impacted my life – the first arose out of fiction – when I read the book “Atlas Shrugged” at age 15. The worldview and ideas in Atlas Shrugged, framed my understanding of the world for the next 15-20 years. In recent years I have come to recognize this phase of my life was what Spiral Dynamics integral labels as “Orange”.
The second frisson of deja-vu from striking the city, arose from my participation in what was the world’s first global learning experience – Y2K. In the late 1990’s I helped communities prepare for that impending expected massive failure of global technology, by co-creating a learning game: Y2K Connections.
The game’s design was founded on two more worldviews more complex than Orange – namely the communitarian/environmental values of Green worldviews and the ecological, systemic views of life called Yellow in the SDi system (Teal in the Integral world). My game co-creator (Jan Nickerson) and I had learned these values from engaging with the writings, practices and communities connected to (amongst others) M. Scott Peck, Parker Palmer and from studying complexity sciences with Meg Wheatley.
Ironically the context for both those deja-vu’s has been changed by the emergence of the technology we take for granted today. The systems view of the world along with the Orange capacity for enterprise and manufacturing has enabled the hardware and software that has produced the global internet and social media.
Neither of these Striking-City Phenomena could succeed today without the technological systems that act as the virtual Town Criers calling the 4 Voices of the City to participate, express their desires and co-create new realities.
Striking the Burning Man City in Nevada is a potent model for what can emerge when we want to get on the bandwagon of Acting Local. Striking the City to a full economic stop in September is an equally potent model for what can emerge when we want to get off the consensus-trap that is blind to Thinking Globally.
If we are going to find a negotiated middle between the Local Act and Global Thought we may have to take our Strikes to another level altogether – the Cosmic level. Jude Currivan (see below) proposes we Think Cosmically FEEL Globally and Act Locally.
And Charles Eisenstein has suggested if we knew Gaia could FEEL – we would stop the pain we are causing the global super-system that all our lives, cities and Strikes depend on.
Whether we are Striking the City to get on or off, we are compelled to gain an overview effect from the Cosmic View. With that view, we can gain the perspective that both Strikes must move us toward Striking the Sweet Spot of living the Master Code of Care . We are called to care for our Selves, so we can Care for Each Other, So we can Care for our Cities/Places so we can care for our Planet.
350.org Coaches Climate Strikes
As I bring this issue to press 350.org offered online trainings on: Going Big, Escalation, and Goals and Strategy. Their website said:
These trainings are helping new and experienced activists and teams all over the globe to scale up local participation in the climate strike. Register for your place in these online trainings now! In … two weeks in September, 350.org and … coalition partners [offered] free online trainings on the following topics:
- Climate Parents are Rising! (10 September)Our Kids’ Climate, alongside organd the Climate Reality Project, will discuss how parents, grandparents and caregivers can support and join young people taking action.
- Safety & Risk Planning (11 September) This basic safety and risk training will ensure you’re ready to deal with any risks that arise at your event, and will outline what support is available to you.
- Climate Storytelling (14 September) More details soon!
- Live Coverage Skills (17 September) We’ll share the best tips and advice for covering your action or event using just your mobile phone, to ensure that your climate strike is part of the global story.
- Countdown to the Climate Strike! Q&A Call (18 September) A few days before the Global Climate Strike, you’re invited to join orgfor a ‘last minute prep’ webinar on Facebook Live. A live panel will be on hand to answer your questions.
- Media Training (dates TBC) Tips and tricks to get your climate strike in the media. Go through the essentials of messaging, writing press releases and giving … For full details on all these topics, including the exact webinar times and how to register, head to the Global Climate Strike online trainings page now!
Teaching from Me in Community
I’ve been exploring a vital question for years, in anticipation of publication of my book, Nest City: how do I share my thinking and my work while being in community with my audience, especially when we are face-to-face?
The question comes from long-standing ‘antibodies’ in my citizen-system (me) to the dominant learning pattern of the expert on the stage, separate from the audience. (There’s a time and a place for this, but we are not good at discerning when it is right or right circumstances for the sage on the stage; it is our default shape when we gather in groups.)
I get itchy when we seem to think that when one or a few people talk to a crowd about community that we are learning about community. We are not.
Read Beth’s Full Blog here.
Gaia is ALIVE
When I first wrote Book 1 of the Integral City Series, I knew of only 2 scientists who considered the Earth as a living system: physicist, James Lovelock, author of the Gaia Hypothesis and Evolution Biologist, Elisabet Sahtouris. The list is now growing as a transdisciplinary constellation of experts who believe, speak and write about the aliveness of the Earth now includes:
I am so delighted to be writing, speaking and working in such company and to share the voices below of: Jude Currivan, Paul van Schaik and Elisabet Sahtouris.
Urban Hub 15: Dancing with the Future
Paul Van Schaik’s most recent addition to the Thriveable City Series shows the slides from a dynamic deck that accompany a presentation on Visions & WorldViews and Thriveable Cities. This newest volume on possible Futures of urban Habitats and technology is presented in an integral framework. Integral theory is simply explained as it relates to these themes. This volume is part of an ongoing series of guides for integrally informed practitioners, to which Integral City has contributed. The book is available at Amazon here. The PDF version is available gratis at this link: https://issuu.com/paulvanschaik/docs/urbanhub15
Enjoy the Integral City Dance in 3 Acts – posted in a Blog series here .
Join Jude Currivan , 12 October, 2pm –15 October, 12.30pm, at Findhorn Foundation, Scotland
A Spirited Business supports the evolution of human consciousness with a purpose defined by the unified field that connects all existence. When business leaders attune to the spirit of their business, expressed in the DNA of its brand and work in harmony with it, they inevitably are called to contribute to and align with this evolutionary impulse. They develop a sense of planetary purpose and stewardship, far beyond the limits of shareholder returns. One that adds value and enhances the lives of others. Their wholistic world-view and approach naturally aligns with and co-creatively synergises systemic intelligence, to optimise human and planetary well-being and empower local and global stewardship and regeneration.
Elisabet Sahtouris Updates Principles of Healthy Living Systems
Elisabet let me know in a personal communication about an update to her Principles of Healthy Living Systems. She tucked in an extra principle related to resilience between 13 and 14 on the list. With humour and humility she confessed it as “an important omission”, so we are happy to support her and republish the whole list below.
Elisabet explains: “Our industrial culture became so obsessed with efficiency that we almost entirely missed the critical importance of Nature’s resilience…of the flexibility always needed and increasingly whenever change is called for…
Nature is conservative with what works and radically changes what does not! If we got that those two approaches must function in partnership, we might get democracy to work! Seeing them as adversaries and voting in one or the other every few years is preventing our maturation as a globalised species”.
Main Features or Principles of Healthy Living Systems
(from cells to cities, ecosystems to Earth, bodies to businesses)
- Self-creation (autopoiesis)
- Complexity (diversity of parts)
- Embeddedness in larger holons and dependence on them (holarchy)
- Self-reflexivity (autognosis/self-knowledge)
- Self-regulation/maintenance (autonomics)
- Response ability to internal and external stress or other change
- Input/output exchange of matter/energy/information with other holons
- Transformation of matter/energy/information
- Empowerment/employment of all component parts
- Communications among all parts
- Coordination of parts and functions
- Balance of Interests negotiated among parts, whole, and embedding holarchy
- Reciprocity of parts in mutual contribution and assistance
- Efficiency balanced by Resilience
- Conservation of what works well
- Creative change of what does not work well
Upcoming Events for Integral City
Beyond Smart Online: Integral City Practices, Tools & Maps
For Practitioners. (2 Days Online: 3 Dates – Nov. 29-30, 2019, Feb. 7-8, 2020 , April 4-5, 2020)
This 2-day course online introduces “practitioners” to just the basics of the Integral City model. You will learn the framework of practices, tools and maps that reveal the common patterns that impact the lives of individuals, organizations and communities within your city. This short course explores three powerful images animating Integral City systems – the integral map, the meshwork and the human hive. You will learn from your own situations and each other how the toolkit guides you beyond models for Urban Ecovillages and Traditional, Smart and Resilient Cities. MORE INFO
Beyond Resilient: Integral City Inquiry Action & Impact
For Catalysts. (4 Days, Findhorn, Scotland, Oct. 10-14, 2020)
This 4-day course is for “catalysts” to explore inquiry and action that inspires productive impact for reinventing today’s cities for the future. You will interact with the 4+1 Voices of the Integral City (Business, Local Government, Civil Society and Citizens, plus actors from other regional cities) to identify strategic possibilities. Integral City introduces you to new ways to think about, act in, relate to and reinvent the city as a Human Hive. Through placecaring and placemaking, we invite you to discover the unique contributions you make to its aliveness. We believe the future of cities will emerge not just from the bottom up through Smart City Technology or the top down through Resilient approaches – but from the integrated actions of the 4+1 Voices in all the cities in your eco-region, as you reinvent your Human Hives. MORE INFO
Beyond Complexity: Integral City Care Context & Capacity
For Meshworkers. (4 Days, Findhorn, Scotland, Aug. 29 – Sept. 2, 2020)
This 4-day course is for “meshworkers” to imagine how to reframe simplicity on the other side of complexity in the Integral City – or Human Hive. You will join graduates of prior training to build on the Integral City practitioner and catalyst competencies to apply new skills to a live case study. You will look at the city through the lenses of Care, Contexting and Capacity Building. You will view the city as a complex, adaptive living innovation eco-system, where the internal and external connections amongst the 4+1 voices of the city (Citizens, Civil Society, City/Institutional Managers, Business/Innovators (and other cities) enable conditions for thriving today. You will seek to align intra-city and inter-regional collaborations through caring for people, contexting for place and capacity building for purpose. This course introduces the practices of “meshworking”, so that practitioners who work with individual organizations and catalysts who build bridges between organizations can engage with the city as a whole. MORE INFO
Upcoming Integral City & Constellation Events with Place Focus
August 28 – December 11 2019, Nest City Circle Training, Calgary Alberta.
September 18, 2019 Integral City training “Beyond Complexity Co-Lab” in partnership with Findhorn College
October 7-11, 2019 will see us in Vancouver Canada for the 10th Ecocity World Summit to deliver a plenary and two workshops
October 26, 2019, join us at Edinburgh, International Center for Spirituality and Peace Spiritualities, True Professionalism and Aligned Action: Discerning the True, Good and Beautiful in 21st Century Profesionalism
November 8-9 Integral City in Delhi, India to dialogue with the Indian Society Applied Behavioral Psychology Conference on the topic of Placecaring and Placemaking in a Digital World.