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
When the 4 Voices come together, we create conditions to wake them up and grow them up, as a city that is able both to “placecare” and “placemake” (Hamilton, 2017). Placecaring tends to arise from activating the Left Quadrants to:
- Care for Self—activates Inner Growth of Individual (I)
- Care for Others—activates Inner Growth of Collective (We).
Placecaring then enables placemaking. Placemaking arises from activating the Right Quadrants to:
- Make Place for Self— activates Outer Growth of Home, Work/Economy (It)
- Make Places for All—activates Outer Growth of Infrastructure,Systems, Development (Its).
Hamilton, M. (2018). Integral City 3.7: Reframing Complex Challenges for Gaia’s Human Hives. Minneapolis, MN: Amaranth Press,LLC p. 296
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After the September 19, day of witnessing the funeral rituals and ceremonies to celebrate the life of Queen Elizabeth II it is impossible for me not to be quickened by her life – which I think was lived well despite being enveloped in incessantly disputing contexts of government, politics and conflicted nations. Even some of our Integral City Core Team hold different perspectives of her life because of cosmic views, beliefs and histories of empire, colonization and power over.
So I find myself somewhat isolated as the editor of this edition of the newsletter – because I saw Queen Elizabeth’s life as one of service to a planet of places and people.
She did not choose her sovereignty. But when her royal destiny unfolded out of the unexpected choice to abdicate of her uncle, King Edward VIII, that positioned her reluctant father King George VI on the British throne, Elizabeth II dedicated her life to service.
I view that her service was to a power greater than herself. A service to a planet of living systems. A service to a commonwealth of nations. A service to a Great Britain and devolved nations. A service to what I would recognze as the 4 Voices of every place – citizens, civic managers at all 4 levels of government, business/innovators and civil society. A service to family and friends. A service that I would even frame as embracing the Master Code of Care.
In the days since I drafted these words, when I even contemplated that Queen Elizabeth might exhibit the qualities of an honorary Meshworker of the Year (a proposal opposed by the selection committee) I have come to consider at the very least Queen Elizabeth II demonstrated all of the Integral City Intelligences embedded in our Global Positioning System (GPS) – in fact as she practised it perhaps we could consider these intelligences belong to a Gaia Placecaring System?
As a child of 9, in the Calgary Alberta Children’s Hospital, I remember the Queen’s 1959 visit (including to the Calgary Stampede) that perhaps gave me a lifelong subtle affection for the Queen and her care for a world of places (of micro, meso, macro scales) and people around her? (I can certainly relate to the surprising essay by Umair Haque, a child of the dying Raj who wrote, “What the Death of the Queen Means to Me, and Why She Mattered”. I note that Umair was also decried by many of his usual readership despite his lead headline remarking “History Didn’t Turn Out the Way We Expected — And It’s Giving Us Whiplash”. )
The Queen’s death does mark the end of not just one era – but many eras (as considered by Alternative Global). So I find it natural to contemplate what were the resources that spanned multiple eras – both consecutively and simultaneously – she drew upon to fulfill a life of service with dignity and intelligence? Of course, I cannot know the inner life of the Queen and how that impacted her demonstration of the intelligences I project upon her. But I make respectful note of those who were close to her from her family to the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Dalai Lama, who attest to her genuine and frequent expressions of care, compassion and concern.
So in tribute to the Queen, I consider the evidence of how I see that she practised all Integral City intelligences. Her position gave her every opportunity to exert Power Over, Power With and Power As. She had every opportunity to revert to exerting only Power Over – but I submit that she used her intelligences to often demonstrate Power With and on occasions (I imagine more often behind the scenes) Power As.
The very symbolism of the crown itself is a vestige of the ideals of the Blue Meme in Spiral Dynamics Integral framework (to respect the value of order without imposing restrictions that harm individuals or groups; and honour the need for order that serves the entire system ). And I frame my observations within the context of the peace, order and good government that the best of the Blue Meme can bring to the world.
I view the Queen as a quintessential Placecarer and Placemaker. Her life may have been both divined and regulated more by her prescribed office and Christian faith than by our GPS – but certainly it was apparent that her calm and stability were grounded in deeply held values.
That being said, let us explore the ways that Queen Elizather II may have demonstrated the 12 Intelligences of the Integral City Global Positioning System.
Firstly the Queen was in a privileged position to gain Contexting Intelligences that revealed to her the realities of life in every place that depend on our service to the Ecosphere, the Emergent dynamics that characterize all life on Gaia, the Integral interconnections of self, others, place and planet and the Living impulse that intergenerationally weaves people, place and planet together.
The Queen’s Individual Outer intelligence was on public display through the relentless gaze of media, but it is the stories of conscious commitment to service in all ways that reveal that her outer strength was strongly founded on a deeply spiritual Inner strength. Both her family and religious advisors spoke of her spiritual devotion, faith, hope and charity practised every day.
The Queens’ Collective Social intelligence was globally informed by the duties she was called to with every red briefing box that arrived at her desk daily – revealing to her the secrets of government, international diplomacy and science at a level of complexity that was inescapably global. Her Collective Cultural intelligence was echoed by the hundreds of national leaders who had received her as a guest in their own countries. She invented the walkabout in defiance of all logical concerns for her safety and security so that she could literally touch and be touched by common everyday people. She parachuted with James Bond into the 2012 Olympics and shared marmalade sandwiches with Paddington Bear. So strong have her traditions of cultural humour and accessibility become, that the rest of her family is challenged to emulate her example looking for ways to bridge cultural divides with similar gestures of warmth, compassion and humanity.
The Queen designed her own Strategic intelligences to reach past expectations of traditional monarchy. Her commitment to weekly meetings with her Prime Ministers gave her recurring opportunities to expand her capacities for Inquiry, Meshworking and Navigation. Every one of her 15 Prime Ministers remarked on their audiences with her as valuable, insightful and caring. Like the astronauts returning to Earth, she used her privilege and position (literally standing on the balcony) to gain an “overview effect” she shared strategically with others.
Finally, the Queen was not only head of state but also head of the Church of England. She set a public example of devotion to God and Spirit and the Church’s own leaders spoke of her deep Christian values that framed both her public and private life. Our GPS would call this the Evolutionary intelligence that guided her reign from first investiture to last ritual ceremony.
With leadership capacities that matured over her lifetime and reign, the Queen became supremely informed, guided and even propelled – not because of – but despite the structures and systems of state. She seemed to have used her intelligences of both self-organization and innovation, to impact the world with a Royal finesse that has inspired leaders everywhere.
As the world is witnessing the ends of eras marked by Empire, Commonwealth, Industry and Globalization, Queen Elizabeth II’s passing provides an occasion to mark our grief for a world slipping away. Ostensibly the ritual and ceremony mourns the loss of a great person – but we suspect that it also marks the end of a flow of history from the past 7 generations.
The question is for the next 7 generations : Can we take guidance and inspiration from the life of Queen Elizabeth II to act with a Gaian Placecaring System of Intelligences to meet the challenges of becoming Placecarers and Placemakers for Gaia, united by a Master Code of Care?
Consider Queen Elizabeth II further in the op ed below and this blog:
Coalescing Authority Power and Influence for Peace
CAPI – Coalescing Authority Power and Influence – a term coined by Ichak Adizes – is usually applied to organizational relationships and impacts.
But the death of Queen Elizabeth II may engender the grandest CAPI that has never been contemplated. For on a global scale, September 19, 2022 will see the greatest confluence of world leaders on one date in one place the world has ever seen.
The death of Queen Elizabeth II has invited those who wield the world’s authorities, powers and influence to a ritual celebration of the passing of one who held all three capacities – the authority of ancestry, the power of the crown and the influence of the royal audience.
The exercise of this CAPI ritual may also mark more than the ritual passing of a way of life. Presiding over the Commonwealth, United Kingdom and 6 royal palaces may also be coming to a real end. As one Queen passes, the new King may never again have the occasion to coalesce such CAPI.
For the Civic Managers, Business/Innovators and even 3rd Sector Leader who treasure the status quo and the vested interests they wish to protect, this occasion might likewise mark a proverbial closing of many doors that enclose a way of life so that new doors may open into new possibilities – unexpected or even unheard of.
(Read the full editorial here.)
As we amplify the influence of the Integral City paradigm, we are co-midwifing a planet of Integral Cities through the emergence of Living Cities Earth. Our impulse is attracting co-creators (more than 25 at writing). Seeking ways to align our multiple, trans-generational, trans-cultural perspectives we have been inspired to weave our narrative into the Unitive Narrative developed by the Evolutional Leaders.
Regeneration sciences show that cities are impacting nine major Earth resources that constrain support for all life. New economic paradigms reveal the continuity of all life will depend on recalibrating the relationship between Earth constraints and human social justice factors.
The sciences of social and living systems reveal that human mental and spiritual wellbeing determines the quality of life in cities – measured both in terms of “care” for all life (planet, place, people, persons) and experienced as deep happiness when such care resonates, coheres and emerges at multiple scales. …
LCE views each city as a complex, adaptive, living, spiritual human habitat, in right relationship to its humans, bioregion, all other cities and the planet. We foster the emergence of a living ecosystem of cities — a rhizomic meshwork that augments our capacity to human well on this living Earth. We focus on life-affirming, future-creating, and opportunity-increasing ways to Interbe, with each other and with all life.
LCE embeds into this paradigm governance (education, health, justice, etc.) aligned as 4 levels of care (person, people, place, planet) and co-creates service with the intelligences of Nature unto the 7th Generation (150 years). LCE co-designs, cooperatively and collaboratively with all city-makers and city-carers offering maps, processes, toolkits, technologies and resources aligned with this Unitive Narrative.
As we imagine, explore, manifest, nurture and curate, through the empowerment of Interbeing (none of us is as smart as all of us) we feel fully alive while also contributing to the integral development of 10,000 cities, 7+ billion human beings and one living planet.