Interview with Marilyn Hamilton for Civic Forum of Regions of the 60th Parallel

Interviewer: Lev Gordon, Co-Founder Living Cities Russia

LG: How can a citizen influence city development?

MH: I would start with considering that as citizens we should express gratitude for our cities. They are the most complex systems yet created by humans.

What should you be grateful for? That you live in a place where it is possible to express what you are passionate about. What you love to be, do, share and co-create is your greatest gift to the city. Knowing what you love about yourself can also help you find what you love about your city.

Find that “corner” of the city that you love and invite others to share their beloved places. Notice what brings life and energy to those places when you are together. It is inevitably your passion – and that leads you to discover purpose and priorities.

When we look at Map 1 of Integral City, we can see a map of how we have grown our capacity to express our purpose and priority. It is amazing to think that each of us has actually been evolved by Gaia (our planet Earth) to express the purpose that gives us greatest Joy. When we discover how our purpose can serve the greatest need in the community – the cross-roads of what we love most and the city’s greatest need – then we have discovered the nexus of how we can influence city development. We serve it with the energy that comes from aligning person, purpose and priorities.

James Lovelock was the author of the Gaia Hypothesis – that the Earth is a living system. Earth/Gaia is our prime ancestor, and we are a fractal of her as a living system. So, we are part of a living planet and the highest form of city development is to create Living Cities for humans who are fully alive.

LG: Why is it important to cooperate with government, business, NGO’s / Academia?

MH: As a Citizen you are part of Gaia’s City Design pattern. The Citizen is one of the 4 Voices of the Human Hive. The other 3 Voices are Civic Managers (government), Business Innovators, 3rd Sector (NGO/Academia).  (I have learned this from the honeybee hive who has these same 4 roles.)

Until recently most of human evolution has practised competition as the way to move forward – that is because humans are a very young species – and Competition is typical behavior for a young species. However, as evolution biologist  Elisabet Sahtouris points out, the next stage of development for a maturing species is Cooperation and Collaboration.

So, to cooperate is to evolve – and specially to cooperate with the 4 Voices of the Human Hive means that you are cooperating with the whole system. By the same token, those other 3 Voices must also cooperate with citizens. It is by sitting around the same table as 4 Voices that we can make the wisest cooperative decisions.

For city development this creates the conditions for optimum health, wellbeing and justice.

LG: What are the skills and worldviews that are key to achieving the previous 2 conditions (influence and cooperation)?

MH: I propose that the Human Hive needs 12 Intelligences that are shown on the Integral City GPS. Those skills can be classified as Contexting, Individual, Collective, Strategic and Evolutionary.

They can also be calibrated with the Master Code of Care: That we must Care for Self, so that we can Care for Each Other, so together we can Care for our Place(s) and altogether we can Care for our Planet.

As a city we can use this Master Code of Care for governance and decision making that enables Placecaring and Placemaking.

In order to achieve this balance, I propose that the Intelligence of Meshworking is a critical skill to master – to become aware of the need to generate self-organizing conditions along with structuring scaffolds that support our evolution of ever-complexifying capacities.

LG: What is a creative economy in a broad sense?

MH: A creative economy at its core is regenerative. It follows the flow the evolutionary impulse that enable Life. It enables us to sustain ourselves, connect with our environment and regenerate.

A creative economy honours the past, appreciates the present and imagines the future. It builds on the 3 questions:

  1. What works well here?
  2. What doesn’t work so well, and we need to let go of?
  3. What do we imagine for our future together?

A creative economy draws on all the 12 Intelligences as they are expressed through Care for Planet, Place, People and Person.

We can see how as individuals we are interconnected with a holarchy of relationships. We are all nested together in our cities on the Planet.

LG: How can we develop a creative economy in a city?

MH: First we must find the energy for creativity in the city (see the response to the first question above). When we find the energy in ourselves, then we join with the energies of others. Those are the pre-requisites to discovering what are the core Values that our creative economy must express. Within the heart of those Values, lies the inherent Purpose of the city. If Gaia has evolved humans as her Reflective Organs – then the city is the organ, our organizations are its organelles and us citizens are the cells in that organ.

Like our own bodies, the planet has cities as organs that serve her purpose as a living system. It is vital that our creative economies arise from discovering our purpose in service to Gaia’s living system.

As Reflective Organs our creative economies must regenerate – always learning how to replace, recycle, recreate within Gaia’s healthy boundaries of Source and Resource. That is how the evolutionary impulse uses our human systems to produce Beauty, Truth and Goodness.

LG: What else would you like to share?

MH: At Findhorn Ecovillage where I live on the 59th parallel we use 3 principles to ensure that we are creative, regenerative and in service:

  • Co-create with the intelligences of nature.
  • Listen deeply to self, others, evolutionary impulse.
  • Work as Love in action.

And that is the example I give you as we celebrate Findhorn Ecovillage’s 58 years of creative, regenerative life, where we are located on the 59th  parallel.