Meet Gail Taylor, Integral City Meshworker 2023.

This morning was a beautiful witnessing of the Goodness that Gail Taylor is and the impact she has created on those who know her. Her Light shines brightly as she sails on through the ethers.

Gail Taylor was one of the first quintessential Meshworkers that Marilyn Hamilton met, back in the days of her PhD research, connecting through the Berkana Community of Conversations and then the Art of Hosting and Integral Theory Conferences.

Meshworking was a practice that came naturally to Gail and she and Marilyn had a natural affinity because she so clearly saw the benefits of coalescing self-organizing systems with structuring systems to produce a whole new operating system – one that had a fractalizing pattern that could apply at every scale of human endeavour – from the individual, through teams, organizations, sectors, communities and cities.

“I think I was lucky to be a teacher of very young children as my first career. They taught me so much. We had wonderful fun together growing with and for each other. I asked myself, ‘Can adults still learn?’” That was the first sentence Gail used to introduce herself as a Co-Founder of Living Cities.Earth.

 Gail explored human learning through founding The Learning Exchange (1972) for learners of all ages. She discovered that  yes! adults could indeed learn. She later created with her husband and design partner Matt Taylor, MG Taylor Corporation (1981) . They  learned that CEO’s and other upper management took great joy in working with their employees at all levels of the organization.

Tomorrow Makers (2002) was founded on Gail’s continual coming-to-knowing how starved people were to work and play together. Gail believed, if we are to create new healthy cultures, it will be with all of us intertwined, meshworking our way forward.

When Gail read the Living Cities.Earth Manifesto, (LCE) she thought, “It was a no-brainer (or perhaps a real brainer)”,  for her  to jump at the opportunity of becoming a Co-Founder!  She called LCE’s work “togethering” – and soon influenced LCE’s initial tagline of “humaning well” to become “humaning well together”.

In 2023, Gail was working with the LeCiel Community on a project called Good Living. The purpose of Good Living Stewards is to refine and evolve the Transitioning to Good Living vision ( into a viable model for multigenerational, holistic action. They define “Good Living” as way of life that benefits ourselves, others, and all life for 7 generations to come. Their framework outlines design principles for organizing, building, and governing society based on primordial wisdom values. It has the potential to deeply transform human ways of living and collaborating with all life.

 Gail recognized this project aligned well with LCE’s Manifesto (based on Integral City levels of complexity) and worked well with the Living cities work and world.

 Gail knew that humanity’s collective work in the next years would be about dissolving the existing paradigm and maturing a new one. She felt that she was a doula, and went where ideas are coming into being to help “doula” where she could.

Gail felt she was a very vibrant woman even in her 80’s.  She formulated two additional ideas that she wanted to bring to life:

  • Second Womb Project: All babies through their first seven years of life are born within Gaia’s nurturing Womb spending their first seven years as, for, and with nature. This would not be a school for the privileged, but rather a curriculum for all families and communities with a special focus on these early years. This is the scaffolding that would support and give strength and value throughout the rest of life as beings go forward on lifelong journeys of awe and wonder.
  • Tinkering with Stuart Kauffman’s self-organizing system of Patches and Nodes. Kauffman’s work supported Gail’s quest born out of this quote by Ilya Prigogine. “In assembling complexity, the bounty of increasing returns is won by multiple tries over time. As various parts reorganize to a new whole, the system escapes into a higher order.”

 Gail always felt blessed to step up when called to employ expertise that she had acquired. She felt she was no expert in anything, but had a knack for seeing where scaffoldings can help make connections, craft new ideas that need strong beginnings. A beautiful interview by Pavel Luksha and Alexander Laszlo captured the essence of her views on scaffolding (access it here and see Gail vitally alive with her passion):

 Indra Adnan of Alternative Planet remarked about Gail: “She had so much depth and insight. She was an [Alternative Planet] Co-creator and regular in CAN of CANs incubator.”

Gail wrote and spoke about the value of scaffolding – including in Medium

We are the framers and architects of a new paradigm in the making. As we rebuild and recreate, what scaffolds will we put in place to help us transform from one paradigm to another? One that brings forth a better, healthier world with a deep and new understanding of our interrelational nature? One that can work for all life on earth? What have we realized that we can no longer do without and what are we willing to let go of?

 She was learning that timing matters as it does in any birth. She had found that trying to birth an idea before it’s time is difficult, if not impossible.

Gail believed the timing was right for Living Cities.Earth to come into form. She wanted to take part and stepped into the People Segment when it became seeded. And while working on a Zoom call with Eric Kohn who was co-leading this group, Gail stepped off the scaffold of this earthly plane onto the scaffold of the next world on November 5, 2023.

She could have been speaking these words as she called out in surprise that her time had come: “… there is much I can learn from beginning to take part.  It’s all about meshworking and magically releasing a new order into the Universe. “

People around the world know that Gail touched their lives when she was with us in person, and feel the touch she continues to bring in Spirit.

Her son Todd wrote LCE these observations: “I wanted to … say thank you, and bow in gratitude to this [Living Cities.Earth] community for welcoming Gail. She and I spoke often, several times a week typically. Her excitement, appreciation and optimism for what Living Cities is doing and building was present in nearly every conversation I had with her over the past few months. An excitement she hasn’t had for years in terms of endeavors and ventures to create a better world for all.”

Her family shares on LinkedIn: Gail’s untimely passing has broken our hearts and left us reeling. But we know that Gail would want nothing more than for all of us to channel our grief into creative acts and pursuits that facilitate humanity coming into balance with Gaia, treating our home as a sacred work of art.”

It is with profound respect in recognition of Gail’s wisdom, wit and spirit that we celebrate Gail Taylor’s Sacred Scaffolding Artistry in service to Gaia.

We are proud to bestow the first post-humous Integral City Meshworker of the Year 2023 Award to Gail Taylor.

 As Gail loved this quotation , we sense that she has returned to her spiritual roots, so she can reach out to remind us:

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”

TS Eliot

From “Little Gidding”, the fourth and final poem from Four Quartets”

To read a full obituary of Gail Taylor, click here.


Definition of Meshworker

A Meshworker of the Year demonstrates the meshworking intelligence as defined on the website .  Meshworking intelligence creates a “meshwork” by weaving together the best of two operating systems — one that self-organizes, and one that replicates hierarchical structures. The resulting meshwork creates and aligns complex responsive structures and systems that flex and flow.

Candidates for the Meshworkers of the Year Award invest dollars, time, effort and expertise at a level of complexity that serves a whole city or cities. Here are our previous winners:

2022: Dr. Jude Currivan

2021: Jim Garrison

2020: Ellen van Dongen

2019: Anne-Marie Voorhoeve

2018: Diana Claire Douglas

2017: Hub Co-Evolucio, Reus, Catalonia, Spain

2016: Morel Fourman, Gaiasoft,Africa

 2015: Imagine Durant, USA

2014: Team ARGO, Russia

2013: Populus, Canada