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
Action Research is a powerful methodology to use for city change because it involves people inquiring together. It starts with an initiating researcher (I/We), a sponsor/client (Other), participants (Others/We/You)—who all inquire, act, and impact one another as co-researchers. Like a musical ensemble, co-researchers shape a question for the inquiry. The question in turn shapes the inquiry by defining the scope, boundaries, assumptions, literature, methods, biases, and limitations that co-researchers bring.
Hamilton, M. (2018). Integral City 3.7: Reframing Complex Challenges for Gaia’s Human Hives. Minneapolis, MN: Amaranth Press,LLC p.xxxi
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The Evolutionary Impulse has been active in this last season. It has transited the realms of the living to the dying for 3 people who have brilliantly illuminated the work of Integral City.
Don Edward Beck was introduced to me by Ken Wilber at the first ASTD conference that I attended in the century-inaugurating year 2000.
I had just completed my dissertation on Learning and Leadership in Self-Organizing Systems using the newly published Integral Model, and heard from Ken Wilber the encouraging words, “Well done.” When I asked Ken who was applying this Integral model for organizations, he pointed immediately to Don Beck and Spiral Dynamics. At the ASTD Conference in Dallas, May 2000, (where I was co-presenting the “Year 2000: The World’s First Global Learning Experience”) I walked down the hall and opened the door into Don Beck’s Spiral Dynamics presentation – with his close colleagues at the time, Lorraine Laubscher from South Africa and Christopher Cooke from the UK. Amazed to see the research of Clare Graves (whom Don never ceased to honour and reference), explaining in terms of complexity theory, the double helix of bio-psycho-social life conditions and human development, I became an instant student and subsequent host to 25 sessions of Don Beck’s SDI teachings in Canada. Out of those encounters I subsequently became the co-founder of Centre for Human Emergence Canada and colleague of the global Centre of Human Emergence.
In 2006 Don charged me with authoring a book – and was perhaps surprised that I took the focus of what has become the Integral City Book Series. Don introduced me to the term “Meshworks” which instantly fascinated me in its potential for aligning capacities along a needs and values-based trajectory – and became woven into our corporate name Integral City Meshworks.
Don loved to teach with experiential flare – using music, storytelling, role playing and learning from newer methodologies like systemic constellation work – how to wake up his students into action. He was never content to “forecast the rain” but always enjoined us “to build the ark.”
Don was willing to travel around the world to share the Gravesian insights and more than once paid dearly for the unexpected rejections from authorities (even ending up in jail in one of “stans” where he did not have the required visa) and audiences). But he also dared to (re)build bridges across many challenging cultural divides including the South African apartheid, between Israelis and Palestinians, at the UN and during the Icelandic national bankruptcy.
While Don was a pioneer and inspiration, he could also be an intransigent (business) partner, difficult co-author, unforgiving task master and intimidating rule breaker. He modelled well both the disasters and dignities at each level of the Spiral – but it is the clarity of his SDi foresight and defiance of racism wherever he encountered it – that will argue his case as he stands at St. Peter’s Gates. Thank you, Don Beck, for opening the doors to a whole new way of living in Integral Cities with our 5 Maps, GPS, 4+1 Voices and Meshworks. (See In Memoriam.)
I first encountered Hazel Henderson when I was co-presenting a workshop with Don Beck at the World Future Society Conference in Toronto in 2006.
I am so happy to have that memory of her in her hyper-energizing, strong directional, optimistic being – because shortly thereafter, Hazel stopped travelling to garner her health.
What I learned from Hazel – living, circular, organic, ethical economics – impressed upon me the wholistic flow of Life’s resources. Hazel exemplified the evolutionary power of cooperation and collaboration. She was ahead of her time investing in solar power and renewable energy, supporting the universal principles of biomimicry and seeing human as part of Nature – not apart from Nature.
Integral City Book 1 was how Jean Houston introduced me to Hazel after Jean helped launch of Book 1 at Don Beck’s Boulder, Colorado SDi training. Hazel spontaneously sent congratulations and subsequently “blurbed” our third book, Integral City 3.7. Hazel prepared me for the emergence of Donut Economics, Circular Economies and Regenerative Economies. Like her Power of Yin sisters, Barbara Marx Hubbard and Jean Houston, Hazel was an indomitable optimist who walked her talk in defiance of traditional power structures. She will continue to be for me an inspiration and a model who demonstrated a depth of evolutionary potential by seeing living wholistic, regenerative futures in all she did. (See In Memoriam.)
My introduction to Brenda Dunne was indirectly via IONS.
I became a member of IONS in the mid 90’s as I came to appreciate how Edgar Mitchell, IONS Founder and his team, opened the doors to the intersection of science and spirituality. One early experiment that caught my attention was related to the Random Event Generator (REG) results from placements around the world (by Princeton’s Roger Nelson) – which received some media attention for aligned and synchronized readings of world events like Princess Diana’s death, global sporting events and even natural phenomena like earthquakes.
Lynne McTaggart (author of The Field and The Intention Experiment) went on to document the research originating with the team behind the REG’s – located at Princeton University’s – namely Brenda Dunne and Bob Jahn, Dean of Princeton Engineering and Founder of Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) Lab, a parapsychology research program.
I didn’t meet Brenda until 2021 at the Science and Consciousness Conference at Broughton Hall Estate in Yorkshire – where her entire PEAR lab had been transported from storage in Princeton to the newly opened Wyrd Lab.
What did I learn from Brenda? Courage in the face of scepticism, criticism, resistance from the scientific establishment. I learned about humorous workarounds in the face of the establishment, loyal partnership with Bob Jahn and care and compassion with her family and friends. Following her intuition and calling despite refutations from traditional authorities – including their home ground of Princeton Engineering Faculty and University Administration.
Brenda also took a huge leap of faith, trusting in a new partnership with Peter Merry (whom I met through Don Beck in 2004 and Centre for Human Emergence NL in 2008) for a new life and new recognition in a new country even. As Ubiquity University Chief Innovation Officer, Dr. Peter Merry honoured Brenda Dunne with her only official recognition for the innovative discoveries and devoted research and scholarship by bestowing on Brenda an honorary Doctorship – just 6 months before she passed into a” virtual life”. I learned from Brenda how to enjoy life one day at a time.
Brenda’s humour surrounded her in her transplanted PEAR Lab where amongst the scientific REG tools masquerading as Froggie, Murphy and Water Flows, Pears abounded everywhere – in art, artefacts and many gifts. My direct encounter with Brenda was all too short but her influence will live on because even the world of Findhorn Ecovillage is interested in applying the REG methods to demonstrate how spiritual connections through attunement, community and Nature beings can be demonstrated with scientific equipment that shows the patterns of our energetic shifts and development. Thank you, Brenda, for your persistence, intuition and spontaneous responses to lively relationships of all kinds. (See In Memoriam.)
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” Antoine de St. Exupery
This is a story about how Gaia is calling from her four directions the hearts, minds and souls to a ULab experiment asking, why and how can we seed Living Cities Earth to transform our cities into fully alive regeneration hubs for Gaia’s 7th generation.
In Vreeland, NL (Peaceland) in mid-June, we convened a small gathering from the Netherlands, Scotland, Canada and Russia – representing a global multitude of geographies, cultures and ancestries….
We agreed to explore the opportunity of Living Cites Earth with a Ulab (based on Otto Scharmer’s Presencing Institute and UTheory)….
We charged on to explore 4D Mapping/Modelling through Systemic Constellation Work, Constellated from Ottawa Canada to Vreeland NL by Integral City Core Team Member and Whole Systems Design author Diana Claire Douglas. In this process we discover and embody that we are a bridge from how cities and city associations currently operate chiefly with focuses on infrastructure and some behaviours to cities who can dynamically amplify Aliveness by uniting full Placecaring (for consciousness and culture) with Placemaking (for behaviours and systems). For resonance, coherence and emergence, we practiced Attunement, Spiritual Connection and Community amongst our Seed Team…
A New Media System
Guest Contributor: Indra Adnan, Co-Initiator of Alternative Planet, in Conversation with Alternative Community Action Network CANCan ULAB Fast Prototype Team (Maria Dorothy Skov London, Pieter Wackers Amsterdam, Amanda Faulkner Knaresborough, Simon Divecha Isle of Harris, Scotland, Marilyn Hamilton Findhorn Ecovillage Scotland)
… What is it that we’re actually trying to redesign? What is it that we are recoiling from? And where are we with it historically? So from a historical point of view, to think about the last 30 years as having been something that really is changing fast our access to information, and what Pieter said – the possibility of [being] overwhelmed with information.
And then living in the world of people managing that information – how we get access to it, and how much power we have to change the way we’re being fed things. Given that we now have these infinite number of tools to curate our own media sphere.
I want to posit the idea that because of this last 30 years, even though we are often told that … the internet has made things worse for everyone. I want to remind us of what came before the internet – which was really, us having very little access to information. Information nearly always came from whomever was above us – the authorities that we acknowledged or the business we were in, or whatever kind of hierarchy we put ourselves in.
The information came mostly from above. We were told what to think. And within that was many, many skilled and subtle ways of controlling our thinking.
We’ve been having our thinking controlled all of our lives, which is more or less why we are part of the growth economy machine – we’ve become consumers, we are more or less the thing we need to be to keep this system going. That’s who we became as a result of the media that we consumed. And the way we responded to advertising, the way we responded to the news.
We will always be subject to propaganda. What I believe the internet began to do was to begin to make us aware of that.
So over the past 30 years waking up- wokeness – all of this is signs that people are beginning to get conscious of the way they are in the media sphere.
Integral City and Constellation are offering a range of courses in 2022. Marilyn Hamilton will be teaching through Ubiquity University and Beth Sanders will be teaching in the new City Makers Mighty Network
(Note: Registration for courses at Ubiquity University is through Ubiquity University. Registration for Mighty Network courses is through “Courses” in the Mighty Network. Links are provided below.)
Cities Rising for a Regenerative World (Ubiquity University)
With its roots in the Humanity Rising 2021 Cities Rising for a Regenerative World, this micro-course focuses on human systems at the scale of the city. We define “city” as the human habitat (or “human hive”) at scales from village to megalopolis, embracing the ecoregion in which the city is located. The inquiry embedded in Cities Rising complements other courses in the BRA/MRA, by highlighting the context–cities–in which most humans live, and the contribution cities can make to a Regenerative World.
This is a 6-hour micro course offered through Ubiquity University. Course details and registration can be found on the course page at Ubiquity University. This is an asynchronous, self-directed course you can take at any time.
Beyond Smart (Ubiquity University)
Beyond Smart 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 other student sharings in the Ubiverse Group) how the toolkit guides you beyond models for Urban Ecovillages and Traditional, Smart and Resilient Cities.
Beyond Smart is a 12-hour micro course offered through Ubiquity University. Course details and registration can be found on the course page at Ubiquity University. This is an asynchronous, self-directed course you can take at any time.
Beyond Resilient (Ubiquity University)
Beyond Resilient enables Practitioners, Catalysts and Meshworkers to build capacitating scaffolds so that cities work for everyone. Participants grow their leadership to serve the city to thrive within the Master Code of Care: Caring for Self, Others, Place, Planet.
This course explores the city as the Human Hive and co-creates the conditions for you to catalyze and explore all the Voices who inhabit your spheres of influence – including family, neighbourhood, workplaces, recreation zones, communities, city, and eco-regions.
Beyond Resilient is a 12-week macro course offered for credit through Ubiquity University. Course details and registration can be found on the course page at Ubiquity University. There are two options to take this course:
- Asynchronously, in a self-directed fashion, any time you like OR
- “Live” with Marilyn Hamilton, Beth Sanders and wonderful classmates. (Recommended–so you have the live experience of community. Next live offering will be Fall 2022 – send inquiry email to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Islands of Calm for Global Cities – Monthly City Subtle Activism Meditation (lead by Marilyn Hamilton on 4th Saturday of Month on a rota of different timezones. Check Compassionate Cities or Eventbrite for the schedule.
The City Nestmaking Series (Mighty Network)
City Nest Making Courses delivered by Beth Sanders – Details Available in Mighty Network Here : Improve your city making skills, learn to work with tension, and foster resilience and transition in citizens and cities
City Making (Starts Sept 14/22): The distinction between city building and city making is vital to improve our experience of cities.
Engaging Inquiry (Starts Nov 16/22): Cultivate your capacity (and your city’s) to foster adaptation, resilience and transition.
Working with Tension (Starts Oct 12/22): Learn to work with conflict as a means to improve the city.