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 Planet.
...when we bring together the 4+1 Voices of many cities, we can cocreate the next generation of IT—the Integral Technology that will enable us to design cities using the Master Code—the Evolutionary Intelligence of Care. This is so needed by our Planet of Cities to create a planet-centric Integral Ecology …. By aligning our Caring Capacities, we will naturally expand the Carrying Capacity of our Smart and Resilient Cities. We may also take the critical next steps to avoid the human version of Colony Collapse Disorder that our dancing cousins the bees have warned us about. Integral City Inquiry & Action offers a design choreography to invent the dance that integrates the intelligences of the Smart, Resilient, and Integral Cities and wake up the Human Hive to its full potential and cocreate the life conditions for city well-being!
Hamilton, M. (2017). Integral City Inquiry & Action: Design Impact for the Human Hive. Phoenix, AZ: Integral Publishers, p.321.
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Is Superordinate Goal the Gift of Covid19?
In our VUCA world, confused and confounded by the rapid global spread of covid19, we may be viewing the unexpected emergence of a superordinate goal that is quickly aligning a plurality of nations, cities, citizens and experts to work together for survival.
A superordinate goal (a term coined by Dr. Don Beck, co-author of Spiral Dynamics) is a goal that transcends and includes multiple other goals so that all stakeholders work together. This empowering alignment has the capacity to resolve often contradictory, opposing and polarized factions. A superordinate goal is the anchor, attractor and energizer for the emergence of a Meshwork.
Ironically , to wake up the world to the superordinate goal, it has taken a disease that threatens the practical, political and personal survival of individuals and collectives. As the covid19disease spreads, takes its tolls and stretches all our resourcefulness, a veil is parting that reveals our need to cooperate and collaborate to survive this microbial threat. More than that, as it travels is it revealing the necessity for us to honour universal ONEness, our vast interconnectedness and our need to align strategies, resources and compassion on multiple levels of complexity?
As I write this newsletter, I am involved in the Findhorn Community’s response to strengthening our personal and collective immunity. We continue in service to the health of our Planet and the transformation of our being/doing/relating/co-creating courses and activities. However, even as we affirm our service to Life, Love and Learning, we have made difficult decisions to close down our classes and cease operations for 2 months. We respond both proactively to our own decisions for community wellbeing, as well as the National Health Service guidelines and federal edicts. At the same time, we are faced with economic questions about supporting our co-workers, the wider community and assisting our most vulnerable.
Simultaneously, we also invest ever more intentionally in the practices that are our strengths: Deep Inner Listening, Co-creating with the Intelligences of Nature, Work as Love in Action, Living Roots of Community and Attunement to Collective Consciousness. All of these ways of being give us an Overview of Wholeness and how we can serve Wellbeing – cosmically, globally and locally.
VUCA World – Contact or Contract?
Contract can mean “to confirm an agreement” or “to reduce/diminish/withdraw in size”. In the English language it is ambiguous, paradoxical and ironic that the same word can mean both a positive affirming energy and a negative declining energy.
In the VUCA world of a pandemic like covid19 both meanings of the word “contract” are in play. As the world is being given orders to stop contact, the daily contracts we depend on as implicit agreements that govern dependable life conditions are being broken or denounced. In shock and/or defiance it is natural for us to contract and hunker down into protective positions.
Thus, we are experiencing the tensions that arise from simultaneously experiencing both meanings of “contract”. And when we are told “no contact” is a key strategy for avoiding or slowing the spread of covid19, how are humans to resolve the tensions of contract/contract?
If ever we sought a lived example of VUCA we are now living in global scale times of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. VUCA is no longer a military term – it is becoming the only way we can describe our daily realities.
Ironically the official responses to covid19, of isolation and quarantine may elicit the counter-response of community caring and compassion. Because, although the death rate seems high (by comparison to common flu but lower than SARS) the virus is likely to visit most communities and the only way we will be able to counteract all the downturns is to bring together the 4 Voices and enact the Master Code of Care – regardless of what the government/official edicts say.
In the middle of difficult times, the best policy is always the Truth. And that seems to be the most challenging behaviour for our officials to deliver.
While it may be a natural (defensive) reaction to contract in the face of attack, the lessons of the bees and the 4 voices is to do exactly the opposite – we should be in contact with one another. Connecting and reassuring and serving and caring engender positive psychology which is the greatest support we can give our immune systems. Fortuitously our technology allows us to connect without physical contact – and for a time we must practise social distancing physically but use the video/audio options that enable our mirror neurons to respond to the body language of our family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and even our officials. (Click here to read the Full Article.)
Integral City: 3 Books Launch
In the midst of our VUCA conundrums Integral City is inspired to announce 3 book launches in service to our Planet, Gaia.
Our Associate and Core Team Member, Beth Sanders, announces the realease of Nest City: How Citizens Serve Cities and How Cities Serve Citizens. In keeping with our VUCA, low social contact season, Beth is hosting an online Book Launch that you can celebrate – get the details below.
Integral City Book 1, Edition 2 has been released to Amazon. Integral City Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive Edition 2 has a new Foreword by Evolution Biologist Elisabet Sahtouris.
Marilyn Hamilton Founder of Integral City has joined forces with Paul van Schaik, Founder of Integral Mentor to curate and publish a new Urban Hub 20. The theme of this graphic book is Accelerating City Transformation in VUCA Times. More than 20 contributors have imagined themselves responding with integrally-informed responses to VUCA life conditions in ONECity – exemplified by the real city of Lisbon.
Scroll down for all the details.
In Nest City, Beth Sanders argues that our linear ways of thinking about, organizing and planning our cities does not meet the true nature of cities as complex and messy systems. There are no simple solutions to the challenges we face: many citizens don’t feel they belong; we don’t agree about how to best move around; many don’t have jobs, or homes they can afford; we make running businesses challenging; and we are facing challenges with the climate crisis. At a time when understanding the relationship between our physical, economic and social habitats is essential, Sanders sets forth an approach to work with the disruptions of our times.
Drawing on her experience as a city planner and a relationship-broker in the conflicts that surface in city life, Sanders offers several strategies to explore how citizens, public institutions, community organizations and the business community can work together to improve our cities. She explores the evolutionary nature of our relationship with cities, and how the tension we experience in city life compels each of us to work to improve our cities. Our work is what regenerates our cities. The city habitats we make for ourselves are as good as we choose to make them. If they’re not good enough, it’s up to us to improve them.
The result is a book that articulates the importance of having a sense of direction, being willing as citizens and cities to learn along the way, and accept the uncertainty and messiness of cities as opportunities to improve our cities–so they serve citizens well. Nest City will forever alter the way you look at your city, your local public institutions and community organizations and business–and how you think about and contribute to your city. Order your copy here.
Book 1 Edition 2 Announcement – Integral City Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive – new Foreword by Elisabet Sahtouris
Evolving City Intelligences multiply and integrate all city capacities.
Marilyn Hamilton was an early researcher of Integral frameworks. Integral City Edition 2 is a significant application of the Integral model to the city scale of human systems. With more than 60% of humanity now living in cities, I recommend you learn how Integral City gives us critical intelligences to evolve the human hive.
—Ken Wilber, Integral Philosopher & Visionary, Author: Sex, Ecology & Spirituality; Integral Vision; Integral Spirituality
How are we evolving the human hive? 60% of humanity now lives in cities. Can city dwellers, like bees who pollinate the fields, act so intelligently, they add value to the planet? How can the clash of differences that separate people, purpose, profits and priorities generate fresh energy to solve 21st century VUCA problems? How do we propagate new pathways for community learning and give the 4 Voices of the city, fresh hope?
“Every city can enhance its own health with the unique and wonderful tools of this book and its field book, which enable readers to go deeply into, and thus truly understand, their city’s collective human psyche along with its physical infrastructure and thus to move forward in the way of genuine living entities. Read this book, share it with every ally you can, take it to your City Hall and get moving. There is a better world for us all ahead!” Foreword to Edition 2, Elisabet Sahtouris, Evolution Biologist
Urban Hub 20: Accelerating City Transformation in a VUCA World
This graphic book curates an imaginal assembly of Integral practitioners. This thought experiment reveals how we might face unprecedented complex challenges. How can we create the conditions to accept, respond and transform the life of the Human Hive to thrive in a VUCA world? What would happen if a core of integrally-informed practitioners all lived in the same city? How could we enable our city to transform challenges into opportunities? How could we share our learning with other cities – like Lisbon who has volunteered to imagine itself into this experiment?
Imagine that we convene in city hall library around a model of the city. Each contributor brings a 3D working model of how they can serve the city’s wellbeing. Before these models are set up, imagine that we sit in a circle and attune to the Spirit of the City. We ask in Silence: What does Gaia want? What does this Eco-region want? What does the City want? What do all our Human Systems want? What do I as a person want?
From the Silence we hear an invitation for each contributor to share their gifts. Open the covers of this book and walk through its pages appreciating the models that show us how to Care for Self, Others, Place and Planet. Now let’s ask: How do we collaborate with each other? How do we catalyze collaboration with others located in our own places? How do we accelerate city transformation globally?
Urban Hub 20 will be published in April 2020. Check for the Free Downloads here:
Urban Hub – Thriveable Cities books are available gratis at
SlideShare: FREE Download
ISSUU: Free Online Flipbook
Amazon: Order Hard Copy
Upcoming Integral City Events with Planetary Purpose
Integral City and Integral European Conference 2020: Accelerating City Transformation in VUCA Times
Integral City is programmed to present at Integral European Conference 2020. At time of writing none of us knows whether the in-person conference will be able to proceed because of international restrictions caused by covid19. In respect of life conditions and the Superordinate Goal that we support for everyone’s safety and wellbeing, Integral City will present most likely online (in person if possible) May 30 for our Workshop on the Urban Hub 20 (see our graphic book announcement elsewhere in newsletter). We will coordinate that with IEC20 and/or through Integral City’s zoom room.
It is synchronistically timely that we will share our research on “Accelerating City Transformation in VUCA Times”. We will introduce you to a constellation of 20+ Integral Catalysts and Meshworkers who could work in any city to co-create a meshwork of integrally informed approaches and solutions. We will share an UrbanArena Europe project in the City of Lisbon where we have imagined how we could gather in service to the Superordinate Goal of the wellbeing of one of Lisbon’s neighbourhoods. In the course of our research we have considered the challenges of Climate Change and Coronavirus. And we are applying ways to Optimize Our Integral City Practice.
Just click here to keep apprised of IEC20’s response to the coronavirus situation and/or to register at the IEC20 website.
Nest City Book Launch & Celebration
Beth Sanders says “It’s been a long time coming! This was going to be an in-person celebration in Edmonton, but since we are all staying home these days, it feels like an opportunity to celebrate the release of Nest City with people from well beyond Edmonton. Physical isolation is an opportunity!
In Nest City, Beth Sanders argues that our linear ways of thinking about, organizing and planning our cites do not meet the true nature of cities and complex and messy systems. There are no simple solutions to the challenges we face. At a time when understanding the relationship between our physical, economic and social habitats is essential, Sanders sets forth an approach to work with the disruptions of our times.
The city habitats we make for ourselves are as good as we choose to make them. If they’re not good enough, it’s up to us to improve them. Messiness and uncertainty are opportunities for improvement. What contributions do we wish to make to our cities?
This gathering has three purposes: to celebrate the release of the book, to share a bit about Nest City with you, and as a wee community explore the implications for our contributions, to our cities.
What to expect:
- Celebration (bring whatever you’d like to eat and drink)
- A few bits of reading from Nest City
- Conversation with friends (new and old) to explore the reading
- Click here to Attend the Zoom Virtual Celebration April 19, 2020.
Beyond Smart Online: Integral City Practices, Tools & Maps
This 3-day course online (each daily session is 90 – 120 minutes) 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. (Each course repeats as 3 Days Online: 90 – 120 minutes each day – April 3-5, 2020, Nov. 27-29, 2020) Click here for MORE INFO
Beyond Resilient: Integral City Inquiry Action & Impact
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. (4 Days, Findhorn, Scotland, Oct. 10-14, 2020.) Click Here for MORE INFO
Beyond Complexity: Integral City Care Context & Capacity
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. (4 Days, Findhorn, Scotland, Aug. 29 – Sept. 2, 2020). FOR MORE INFO CLICK HERE.
Celebrating Planet-of-Cities in the Coming Quarter of 2020
March 20 marked the start of what Integral City calls the Planet Quarter (from March 20 to June 20). What amazing acts of planetary care have you witnessed in these challenging days of the covid19 Season? What caring community and city gardeners, cooks and delivery people have inspired you? How are you seeing the melting of national boundaries even as we are called to practise social distancing and borders are closing?
We have a NEW INVITATION to vist us on our Mighty Nework as well as our Integral City Website and Blog . Your comments and interaction with our constellation of Integral City and Nest City communities are most WELCOME.
Meshful Blessings for our Planet of Cities from
Marilyn Hamilton and the Integral City Constellation Corps Team
PS Here are some FREE resources for nurturing our Planet and Human Hives as we transform from VUCA challenges to collective empowerment:
- Interview with Daniel Christian Wahl about Regenerativity & Integral City (January 6, 2020) – Click Summary Here and Click Podcast Here
- VUCA Responses That are Positive & Capacity Building
- Sarah McCrum’s Free Energy Activation and Immune System Strengthening.
Activation for Collective Healing
Lessons From Healing People That We Can Apply to Healing Humanity
- Hay House for VUCA times offers a free resource page with movies, podcasts, meditations, articles, and eBooks.
- Earth Day Announces New Way of Sharing April 22, 2020: Earth Day Network is postponing its live 50th anniversary Earth Day event. Instead, April 22 will mark the first Digital Earth Day, a global digital mobilization to address the most urgent threats to people and planet. Stay tuned here for sign-on instructions.
Coronavirus – Opportunity or Threat?
- Is Superordinate Goal the Gift of Covid19?
- VUCA World – Contact or Contract?
- Optimizing & Optimistic Resources for Integral City Practitioners
- Riding the Wave of Death & Dying to Wellbeing
- Sans Peur – Without Fear
Evolving Cities of Peace
- · Integral City: Evolving Gaia’s Organs of Peace
- · How Can We Create Cities of Peace When We Have Disturbed Gaia’s Peace?
- · Our Evolutionary Journey to the Master Code of Care for a City of Peace
- · How is the Integral City Framework Good For Evolving Cities of Peace?
Making a Place We Can All Call Home: Wrestling with VUCA – Through Placemaking As Wellbeing By Design – 6 Part Series by Dr. Ian Wight
- · In Pursuit of Ecological Wisdom: Inter-Subjective According in the Noosphere?
- · Place, Placemaking and Placemakers: Poetic Agency in Communion
- · Coming Home to Ourselves – Praxis-making
- · Co-Creative Integrities – Ethos-making
- · Enacting our Knowing, Doing and Being – In Service in a VUCA World
- · Telling We-Stories to Our Future: A Poiesis of Sophrosynes?
Dharma Sharing|: Fay Blackburn Lived the Master Code of Care
Organizational Power: Power Over – Power With – Power As
Newsletters Past Issues 2019
Integral City Reflective Organ – March 2019: Are Cities Evolving as Gaia’s Reflective Organs?
Integral City Reflective Organ – June 2019: 4 Voices Imagine the Human Hive
Integral City Reflective Organ – September 2019: Strike the City vs City on Strike
Integral City Reflective Organ – December 2019: Power Over – Power With – Power As
Integral City MetaBlog 2019 – A synthesis and index of all Integral City Blogs from 2019.
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