What is Integral Intelligence?
Integral intelligence uses four essential maps of city life:
Integral intelligence looks at the city, as a whole system, that includes (but is not limited to) discursive, political and religious/spiritual contexts together with a specific natural environment (such as mountain, sea or prairie), climate and natural ecology. As such an Integral City is dynamic, adaptive and responsive to its internal life conditions and external life conditions. An Integral City acts much like a complex adaptive human system that concentrates habitat for humans like a bee hive does for bees. As a natural system it faces all the same issues, factors and challenges that affect the concentration of life anywhere: sustaining flows of information, matter and energy for the survival of human life.
The integral quadrants used as mindful lenses can help us differentiate perspectives that remind us about different views. They can also help us appreciate the fractal and holonic existences of human systems and sub-systems.
When the four Integral maps of the city are combined, they offer a new lens to organize information in Global Information Systems (GIS) maps.
An Integral City goes beyond the sustainability of the human systems which it contains and actually adds value to the bio-region in which it is located and/or to the bio-regions to which it is connected. Ultimately this means that an Integral City would be governed by its capacity to develop, maintain and regenerate life-giving resources. Such a city’s health would be measured in the context of the bio-region’s health and the planet’s health.
The maps give us insight into the vibrancy of wholeness and help us to detect when that wholeness is out of synch. They help us understand how the city as a whole functions internally, while seeing the commonalities in the patterns of human systems that link them externally to other cities facing the same affronts to their integralness and thus their capacity for integration and integrity.
Three simple rules for applying Integral City Integral Intelligences
- Map the territory integrally (horizontally through four quadrants, vertically through eight plus levels of development, diagonally through its change states, and relationally through its nested holarchies and fractals of complexity).
- Create and sustain an integral mapping system at the highest sustainable level of complexity, that is appropriate to the capacities of city management.
- Learn from and update the maps annually or more often.