This Blog is by Guest Blogger, Ellen van Dongen, Creator of the Lifemaps Experience
September 21, 2020 was the date for World Peace Day. The Caravan of Unity, initiated by Co-Creating Europe, has been travelling through many places in this direction over the last weeks. Our project team became one of the travelling partners in the Caravan. Our purpose: energizing the Caravan by creating a Game – to imagine Lifemaps waking up the Master Code in Human Hives in Europe.
Anne-Marie Voorhoeve, member of the Integral City core group and one of the key co-creators in Co-Creating Europe, invited Marilyn Hamilton, founder of Integral City, to be part of the Caravan. Marilyn surprised me by drafting a proposal for a project and formulating the purpose, mentioned above. I was really inspired. She had been following my endeavours to create Lifemaps in support of the Master Code of Care, since I am also one of the members of the core group.
Four other people joined the project team – all of them with affinity to the development of our human hives: Patrizzia Cappelletti Rocha from Portugal, Rasa Kvaukaite from Lithuania, Julian Baller from Germany and Taina Ketola from Finland. They are already familiar with Integral City, because they followed a course with Marilyn. Julian, being the Project Lead for the Caravan of Unity, brought in the mission, intentions and actions of the Caravan. Personally I could sense the waves of positive energy all along our route. Our team set out to jointly create and prepare for workshops to facilitate the game and find groups of 4 people in European cities, with whom to play it. We invited Unity and Peace into our project. The Master Code of Care would guide us as well as be embedded in the Lifemaps Game.
The city as the Human Hive
Integral City envisions the city as a human hive, in which people are living together harmoniously, applying the Master Code. Humans are quite a young species, when compared to the bees. We can learn much from them about the strength and coherence of their communities as well as the way they take care of their surroundings. The bees have special roles for different functions. Four of those roles offer a great example for the human hive. They can be seen as 4 archetypal voices that have to work closely together for a healthy and peaceful city: Citizens, Civic Managers, Civil Society (Third Sector) and Business/Innovators. Watch this short video (6 min.) to find out more.
The City as a Human Hive video
The Master Code
The Master Code – such a simple statement you would think: taking care of self, others, place and planet. I have made my mission of it – put as a question: In transformation towards a natural world. Taking care of self, other, place, planet. How can I do that: Guarding all four, at every single step? It is a real challenge to apply this code on a day-to-day basis, but reflecting about it brings new ideas, new ways forward, every time.
Lifemaps are designed as a table top game with a poster, sticker sets and symbols. They help to visualize what is going on around key themes in the world, like the Pandemic or Climate Change. To find out how to make sense of the whole situation, individually and collectively. They provide a realistic overview, show connections and priorities, and indicators for action. While working with superordinate goals and principles, they point towards new perspective.
4 Archetypal voices
Our project team designed, tested and prepared for a workshop in which 4 participants represent the 4 archetypal voices in the city. Representing their Voice, they map their current situation and near future on a poster, on which the four lanes represent the Master Code of Care. Each of the voices does this on their own, at their own homes. Then the voices come together – on zoom or in person – in dialogue, using their maps to tell each other their stories. In a last round the 4 Voices can see what is happening in their city. They find each other in core themes and challenges, similarities and differences. Ideas are formed, for the near future, at an individual level as well collectively.
Workshops in Europe
The first two Integral City Lifemap workshops went very well. On September 13, Marilyn met with her group from Findhorn, Scotland, UK, on Zoom. The lady, who was representing the citizen voice said: ‘Playing the citizen has been really inspiring for me and gave me the opportunity to step from my ego-centric point of view into a the point of view of an “individual co-creator”.’ On September 16 Taina met with her group from Tampere, Finland. She said: ‘We had a wonderful lifemap session yesterday. As follow-up we decided that Tampere 4 voices will meet again’.
The next workshops will be: on September 24 in Klaipeda, Lithuania facilitated by Rasa, and on the 27th in Lisbon, Portugal, facilitated by Patrizzia. Even after Wold Peace Day the Caravan is continuing and other people are connecting with us to do workshops on behalf of their cities.
Supported by the far-away team
While we were on our way with the project, especially at workshop times, we were supported by a far-away team – using their subtle skills to hold space for us. This has been a practice of ours in the Integral City core group, that has been really supportive for members presenting, constellating or working all-over the world.
Julian, in his role as a Project Lead for the Caravan, invited us for a Facebook LiveStream recording to share the experiences on our journey with the Caravan of Unity. You will find It a recording full of inspiration and energy. You can watch it here (45 minutes).