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Integral City 2.

September 4-27, 2012
A Radically
Inquiry into
System 2.0
Appendices A1-12
To Proceedings Report

Table of Contents Appendix A1-12
Note: These Appendices relate to the Integral City 2.0 Online Conference Proceedings
Appendix A-1: Ecosphere Intelligence..................................................................................  
Interview Focus Speakers
Thought Leader
What is Ecosphere Intelligence? Dr. Bill Rees
What and where are designers
implementing Ecosphere Intelligence?
Dr. Brian Eddy
Dr. Michael Zimmerman
What and where are practitioners
implementing Ecosphere Intelligence?
Dr. Karen O’Brien
Dr. Lummina Horlings
Appendix A-2: Emergence Intelligence.................................................................................  
Interview Focus Speakers
Thought Leader
What is Emergence Intelligence? Dr. Buzz Holling
What and where are designers
implementing Emergence Intelligence?
Jan deDood
Harrie Vollaard
What and where are practitioners
implementing Emergence Intelligence?
Dr. Ian Wight
Will Varey PhD (cand.)
Appendix A-3: Living Intelligence .........................................................................................  
Interview Focus Speakers
Thought Leader
What is Living Intelligence? Dr. Elisabet Sahtouris
What and where are designers
implementing Living Intelligence?
Darcy Riddell
George Por
What and where are practitioners
implementing Living Intelligence?
Bjarni Jonsson
Roberto Bonilla

Appendix A-4: Integral Intelligence.......................................................................................  
Interview Focus Speakers
Thought Leader
What is Integral Intelligence? Ken Wilber
What and where are designers
implementing Integral Intelligence?
Dr. Barrett Brown
Dr. Yene Assegid
What and where are practitioners
implementing Integral Intelligence?
Jan Inglis
Graham Boyd
Appendix A-5: Cultural Intelligence ......................................................................................  
Interview Focus Speakers
Thought Leader
What is Cultural Intelligence? Dr. Jean Houston
What and where are designers
implementing Cultural Intelligence?
Gail Hochachka
Jon Hawkes
What and where are practitioners
implementing Cultural Intelligence?
Ann Duffy
Milenko Matanovic
Carl Anthony
Paloma Pavel
Appendix A-6: Structural Intelligence ...................................................................................  
Interview Focus Speakers
Thought Leader
What is Structural Intelligence? Mark DeKay
What and where are designers
implementing Structural Intelligence?
Marleen Kaptein
Alex Van Oost
What and where are practitioners
implementing Structural Intelligence?
Brian Robertson
Brett Thomas

Appendix A-7: Inquiry Intelligence........................................................................................  
Interview Focus Speakers
Thought Leader
What is Inquiry Intelligence? Dr. Ann Dale
What and where are designers
implementing Inquiry Intelligence?
Dr. Tam Lundy
Dr. Ian Wight
What and where are practitioners
implementing Inquiry Intelligence?
Joanne DeVries
Ann Perodeau
Appendix A-8: Meshworking Intelligence .............................................................................  
Interview Focus Speakers
Thought Leader
What is Meshworking Intelligence? Dr. Don Beck
What and where are designers
implementing Meshworking Intelligence?
Gail Hochachka
Dr. Bert Parlee
What and where are practitioners
implementing Meshworking Intelligence?
Anne-Marie VoorHoeve
Morel Fourman
Appendix A-9: Navigating Intelligence..................................................................................  
Interview Focus Speakers
Thought Leader
What is Navigating Intelligence? Dr. Hazel Henderson
What and where are designers
implementing Navigating Intelligence?
Gaetan Royer
John Purkis
What and where are practitioners
implementing Navigating Intelligence?
Gil Friend
Christa Rust

Appendix A-10: Evolutionary Outer Intelligence ..................................................................  
Interview Focus Speakers
Thought Leader
What is Evolutionary Outer Intelligence? Steve McIntosh
What and where are designers
implementing Evolutionary Outer
Leo Burke
Beth Sanders
What and where are practitioners
implementing Evolutionary Outer
Peter Merry
Deirdre Goudriaan
Appendix A-11: Evolutionary Inner Intelligence...................................................................  
Interview Focus Speakers
Thought Leader
What is Evolutionary Inner Intelligence? Terry Patten
What and where are designers
implementing Evolutionary Inner
Craig Hamilton
Bruce Sanguin
What and where are practitioners
implementing Evolutionary Inner
Cindy Wigglesworth
Carissa Wieler
Appendix A-12: The Master Code
Interview Focus Speakers
Thought Leader
What is Evolutionary Intelligence?
Dr. Marilyn Hamilton
Brett Thomas
What and where are designers
implementing Evolutionary Intelligence?
Dr. Alia Aurami
George Por
Cherie Beck
Amy Oliver
What and where are practitioners
implementing Evolutionary Intelligence?
Dr. Marilyn Hamilton
Beth Sanders
David Faber
Eric Troth

Planet of Cities: Mother Earth @ Motherboard  
What and where are we implementing ecosphere intelligence?  
Dr. Bill Rees  
Interviewer: Dr. Marilyn Hamilton  
September 4, 2012  
Dr. William Rees, FRSC has recently retired as professor at the University of
British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning. His primary
interest is in global environmental trends and the ecological conditions for
sustainable socioeconomic development. This takes his work is in the realm
of ecological economics and human ecology. Bill is the originator of the
"ecological footprint" concept, upon which he co-developed with his then
PhD student Mathis Wackernagel, ecological footprint analysis. This work
reopened debate on human carrying capacity as a consideration in sustainable
development. Rees is a founding member and recent past-president of the Canadian
Society for Ecological Economics. He is also a Fellow at the Post Carbon Institute and a co-
investigator in the "Global Integrity Project," aimed at defining the ecological and political
requirements for biodiversity preservation. Rees was awarded the 2007 Trudeau
Fellowship Prize, and in 2006 was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
Marilyn Hamilton: What is the relationship of the city to the eco-region?"
Bill Rees: This is an extremely important question as more and more people become
dwellers of cities. Over half the human population is now urbanized. And yet we have a
sort of cognitive dissonance here. Because, if you look up the definition of the city in
almost any dictionary or geography text you’ll find that people refer to it as a
concentration of population. Engineers might think of it as a great engineering triumph in
terms of its communications, technologies, transportation, sewer systems and all that sort
of thing. Artists and humanists will think of it as the intellectual capital of human existence.
Architects think of cities as the built environment and all of that. But, almost nowhere that
you search does anyone refer to the city as a living, breathing biological entity. And that is
really what I have attempted to do with my work with cities, to get people to understand
that cities are in fact biological entities. And, that when you think of them in those terms,
they are very much like a super organism - particularly a consumer organism.
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January 27, 2013

Cities are consumers. It’s odd because if we think of our economy, Jane Jacobs famously
calls cities “the engines of national economic growth.” And that is absolutely true. But to
grow things in the city, to grow the economy requires the consumption of vast quantities
of extraction from the countryside. So when you start thinking of a city as a whole system,
the actual built environment, the engineering miracle, the thing that we call the city is
really a tiny fraction in spatial terms of the whole system.
If you look at a typical high-income modern city such as Vancouver, New York or Paris, the
physical footprint of that city - its geographic area or its political area - is frequently only a
small fraction of the total area, less than one third of one per cent. So that the hinterland,
the supportive ecosystem that actually produces the materials consumed by people and
economic activities in the cities, may be three, four, five or even 1,000 times larger than
the city itself depending on the lifestyles and densities of the people in those cities.
So, we have a big difficulty here in that the way that most disciplines think of cities is
really thinking of only a tiny fraction of the whole human ecosystem. So, if we were to
create a single city [for the whole world] and have it function, it would have to be
surrounded by an ecosystem area several hundred times larger than itself. And that would
be necessary to make the system complete. The city, in effect, is a consuming node in a
vast fabric of production going on in the ecosystems outside of that city.
The ecosystems provide not only the resources that the city consumes, but also the
assimilative capacity – the waste sinks to assimilate the waste generated by the economic
activity in the city. So there it is. The city as a system requires that we look beyond its
borders to a vast and in fact globally expansive hinterland. Because, with globalization and
trade, every city’s footprint expands to almost every continent.
Marilyn Hamilton: Bill in thinking this way - which is at the root also of how I am trying
to think about cities - you have developed this concept of the ecological footprint. In order
to apply this view of the city, can you explain what you meant by that? How did you
develop it? What conclusions did you come to as a result of it?
Bill Rees: Early in my academic career, I was working on the concept of carrying capacity.
I was trying to see to what extent this concept from animal ecology could be transferred to
human beings. Carrying capacity is usually defined as the maximum average population of
a species that can be supported by a particular habitat or ecosystem without destroying
that ecosystem. So if you exceed the carrying capacity, if the population of deer is too great
they will eat themselves out of habitat for example. So carrying capacity is simply a
population number that indicates the safe level that an environment can sustain. I thought
that this must work also for people.
Back in the 1970’s, I began to think - what is the carrying capacity of the lower mainland
of British Columbia? And it worked out, if I remember correctly, to about 35,000 to 40,000
people - or about something in that range. So in other words if we had no contact with the
outside world, and managed ourselves just on the productivity of the ecosystem in our
own region, the lower mainland’s ecosystem could support about 35,000 people.
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I gave a paper with my findings to a small conference. One of the attendees happened to be
a very prominent Canadian Resource Economist. And he came to me in all collegial faith
after that presentation and said, “I really need to talk to you about this paper. I’m going to
take you to lunch next week.”
Which he did, and at that lunch he said, “Look. I think you aren’t a stupid individual, but I
have to just say to you that if you continue in this line of inquiry, I can guarantee that your
academic career at UBC will be nasty, brutish, and short.” What he was arguing was that
he as an economist was well aware of this vast literature that his economic colleagues had
put together which effectively abolished the concept of carrying capacity as it applied to
human beings. His argument was that we are not animals. We engage in trade. And why
should this region be constrained by its own resource endowment to supporting only
35,000 people, when it can import resources from all over the place and trade things that
it has in surplus to import those other resources? He said “Look the population is already
1 million.” (By the way it is now 2.5 million). So he was making a strong point that if the
carrying capacity is only 35,000 to 40,000 people, how can there be 1,000,000 people
living here?
Now, I have to say I was a “wet behind the ears ecologist”. I had never read any economics,
so these were powerful arguments to me. Maybe the concept is irrelevant to humans. If we
can import everything we are not constrained. He even went on to say, if we did run out of
something universally or globally, then human technology - our ingenuity - would
supplement the need for nature. And so we had a paradigmatic understanding of the
human relationship [with the natural ecosystem] that eliminated any thought of the limits
to human growth or human carrying capacity. We trade for everything we don’t have
locally, and if that fails then technology can get us out of the hole.
I went away chastened by that. By the way, I have to explain that my colleague was
speaking to me in all good faith. He really was trying to help me out in my career. It wasn’t
a nasty conversation. He was really kind and gentle. He was just trying to set a naive
colleague straight. But something bothered me about this whole intervention. I suppose it
took a couple of years to figure it out.
Let’s invert the carrying capacity ratio. So instead of asking the usual question, “How many
people can this area support?” The question becomes how much area is needed to support
these people - no matter where on earth that area is? Because what my colleague didn’t
understand, or at least we didn’t talk about, is that when you import things from
elsewhere, you are importing productive capacity from someplace else: meaning that it is
not available to anyone-else anywhere-else on the planet. And so I began to realize that if I
could trace back to the land the flow of energy and material resources that went into any
particular region, I could come up with a number that represented the total area of the
surface of the earth dedicated to supporting my regional population. So I began to do that
for the lower mainland of British Columbia. And what we discover of course for people
that live in highly dense urban areas or cities in ecological terms doesn’t actually live there
at all. The city is where they keep their bodies, but the productive capacity of the planet
© Integral City eLab 3 January 27, 2013

that is sustaining their bodies is somewhere else. And they are drawing on those other
places through trade and through technological development in ways that are blind. We
are blind to it because our metrics simply don’t monitor the impact that we are having on
these other places. At least they didn’t until we came along with the ecological footprint
In the early 90’s, I had an exceptionally good student who started to work with me to do a
detailed study of the lower mainland in terms of eco footprint. And what we found was
that the region we are talking about occupies a space on the planet outside of its own
boundaries several tens of times larger than our actual region. So bits of Saskatchewan,
bits of China, bits of the United States and so on are constantly working to sustain the
population of this region and any other region we look at.
So to make a long story short, we now define the ecological footprint of a population as
that area of productive ecosystem required on a continual basis to produce the resources
that a population consumes and to assimilate its wastes – particularly its carbon wastes
wherever on earth those ecosystems are located.
So again to reiterate, if you take almost any modern city the eco-footprint – the area of the
earth’s surface needed to support the consuming habits of its population is typically
several hundred times larger than the highly densely populated urban core that we think
of as the city. So the city itself is a consuming node. That [means]complete human urban
ecosystems must be redefined to include not only the city, but also the vast lacework of
habitat elsewhere on the planet that is effectively imported through trade to sustain the
economic activities and the human metabolism of that region - that urban region we call
the city.
Marilyn Hamilton: It is fascinating to me that we can now accept something [the eco
footprint] 20 years later as something that has entered the lexicon and now appears to
have really deep roots. When you finished those calculations and came up with those
hundreds times of the square area that was need to support a city, you also came up with
an equation that has become pretty well known with people who think about
sustainability. How did you translate that carrying capacity to relate it to the globe?
Bill Rees: If you think of a typical Canadian. If you are an average Canadian, with an
average material lifestyle, which means there are some people much below this and many
people much above this, it takes about seven average hectares of productive land and
water to sustain your lifestyle. This has been confirmed over and over again by many
studies. So let’s say the average Canadians needs 7 hectares (by the way if you are an
American audience multiply that by 2.47so it’s something like 18 acres) to sustain a single
person, all in. If we look around the world and add up all the productive components of
the land and waterscape of the earth: oceans, grasslands, croplands, grazing areas,
woodlands and forests - you get an entire productive land surface of the planet that is
about 12 billion hectares. Now there are already seven billion people living on earth. So if
you divide those 12 billion hectares by seven billion, you come up with something like 1.7
© Integral City eLab 4 January 27, 2013

or 1.8 hectares per capita. So on the planet today we only have 1.7 or 1.8 hectares per
capita of biologically productive landscape and waterscape. That is to say sufficiently
productive to sustain human activities.
And yet, the average Canadian needs seven to keep our high-end consumer lifestyle viable.
So we use in Canada about four times our fair share of the world’s ecosystems. And of
course for that to happen, there has to be a very large number of people using far less than
their fair share. In fact that is what our eco-footprints studies show us. There are countries
in the poorest parts of Asia and Africa, Malawi for example, where people get along on the
productivity and assimilative capacity of about one third of a hectare.
There are one billion people on earth living way, way above their fair share, but a large
number – a similar number of people – living far below their fair share of earth’s capacity.
Moreover, (and this is really quite problematic), the average person on earth needs 2.5
hectares per earth to sustain him- or herself. So Canadians need an average of seven
hectares and by the way some other countries go beyond that. The poorest of the poor get
by on less than a third, some maybe a half of a hectare. The average person needs 2.5
hectares to survive or at least live at their current level and yet there is only 1.8 hectares
per capita on earth. So we have a situation in which globally we are in a state of what we
call “overshoot”.
The average person on the planet today is using 40-50 per cent more than the earth can
replenish in any particular seasonal cycle. And this means that we are living part of the
year past what we call the “overshoot day” – the day of the year in which we have used all
of the productivity of the Earth occurred recently on August 22
. On August 22
in 2012
the world population had consumed all of the productive output of the planet or its entire
assimilative capacity for this year.
So that means for the rest of the year, we are drawing down our natural capital base. The
fisheries are declining, the soils are eroding, the carbon dioxide that we will emit from
now on will accumulate in the atmosphere. So we are in a state of overshoot. Simply
meaning, the human ecological footprint is now larger than the entire bio capacity of the
planet by a factor of 40-50 per cent. So this means that we are literally depleting the
ecosystems that are necessary to continue to sustain the human population.
Now this can go on for some years or decades because of the enormous stores of bio-
capacity and natural capital that have accumulated over time in nature. It took something
like 8,000 years for the richest prairie soils in Canada to form in the post glacial period.
But we have managed to dissipate half of that soil in terms of the natural organic matter
and nutrients in just 120 or so years of mechanical agriculture. So we have some years to
But the point is, 10,000 years or 8,000 years of soils accumulation is being dissipated in a
couple of centuries. And that is an astonishing reality when we recognize that the same is
true of virtually all of our other resources. So we are drawing down our petroleum, we are
overfilling our waste sinks. That is why we have climate change. We are drawing down the
© Integral City eLab 5 January 27, 2013

fish stocks which, is why we see fisheries collapsing. And at some point there simply will
not be adequate productive capacity in the remaining ecosystems of the planet to sustain
us at any decent standard of living. And then we have the potential of descending in to
conflict and chaos over the remaining assets.
In fact, we have just seen the publication this past couple of months by Michael Klare of a
book called “The Race for What’s Left.” Michael Klare is famous for his books on the
conflicts that result when the resources get scarcest. He is now suggesting that we are in a
global race for the remaining resources precisely because we are in a state of overshoot
which is clearly shown by our ecological foot print analysis.
Marilyn Hamilton: I remember when you published your book the point that we needed
three to four planets to live in a city like Vancouver. This background around the
overshoot paints a much more granular picture. The image of needing more than our one
planet was initially a big shock.
Bill Rees: Yes it is a big shock. Our method is much more refined now. Since the book, the
global population has increased by a couple of billion since and our resource base has
declined. Let’s think about if Canadians are using four times their fair share of the planet,
then it is clear that if everyone lived at the same material standard as Canadians then we
would need at least three maybe four additional planets to sustain that population
sustainably. As (Steve Forbert) once said, “Good planets are quite hard to find.”
Marilyn Hamilton: Yes, I think we are finding that. Bill, in the picture you are painting, it
seems to me we need to consider not just sustainability, but what does resilience mean?
We have not only pushed our population out, but there have been a number of disasters
that have occurred that have stressed the population and stressed our cities. Since you
have started with the concept of the eco-footprint and you have given us some indication
of just how granular the re-thinking has occurred since then. How has your thinking
evolved around how we can respond to the threats to the city and planet today? Is there
hope? Does the race for what’s left give us any indication that if we changed our ways we
could actually come up with a different end state?
Bill Rees: Absolutely, the potential for change is enormous. Some estimates in North
America suggest that we throw away 30 or 40 per cent of our edible food because of the
increase of waste coming out of restaurants and people’s increasing failure to store food
properly and so on and so forth. There are many, many, many ways, in which we could
squeeze a great deal more productivity, if you like to put it that way, out of our system,
just by getting more efficient. Who needs a 300 horse power vehicle to go to the corner
store to get a bottle of wine? Yet that is the way we profligately dissipate our remaining
resources. It is really almost criminal when you think about it. In fact future generations
may well think of us as being certainly morally negligent if not criminally negligent in the
incredible waste that we can find particularly among the rich democracies today.
We know that there are off the shelf technologies that if we were to apply them it would
enable us to produce two or three or four time as much as we do now without any
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increase in inputs. These new technologies cost more. And because the upfront costs are
higher, people are reluctant to take them on.
A very simple example would be the compact florescent light bulb which uses only a ¼ to
1/5 of the energy of an incandescent light bulb and lasts ten times as long. So as people
shift to a different form of lighting technology (and by the way with the new lights that are
on the way even this is going to look primitive) we could save four or five times as much
energy as we now use. But of course those new light bulbs are more expensive so people
don’t buy them.
What we need then is a massive adjustment of our pricing system to induce people to use
those new technologies. We would call that true social cost pricing. If governments were
not afraid to implement such things as carbon taxes and other forms of pollution taxes we
could be well on the way to adopting these new technologies.
Some would say, look - the cost would go up astronomically. But when you think about it
carefully, you realize that if I had a car that was three or four times more efficient or used
three of four times less fuel, it wouldn’t matter to me if the gas were three or four times as
much because I would be paying exactly the same to get exactly the same service. I would
simply be using less because my vehicle required much less. And we can say that about
almost everything in our economy. There are vast opportunities for efficiency gains and
improvements. But we are not doing any of these things.
The political system is completely bogged down in a false cultural narrative based on
unlimited growth, based on individualism. We’ve almost sanctified greed. We’ve seen
many articles in the newspaper in recent years talking about greed being good because as
everyone works in their own self interest (this is a perversion of Adam Smith) it improves
the lot of everyone in society.
Well that is clearly not the case in the kind of world that we live in today. So on the one
hand, while we need strong government intervention in the economy to fix so called
market failures. Climate Change is the perfect example of market failure. We need this
intervention so that the prices of goods and services reflect their true cost of production.
We need those true costs reflected in order to induce structural changes in the economy
that will result in improved technologies and better consumer behavior. But we are
getting none of that. Instead we are seeing deregulation of the economy - deregulation of
even environmental regulation.
In Canada in all but the last couple of months the government has all but eliminated
environmental assessment. It has gutted the Fisheries Act. It is doing everything it can to
smooth the way for more rapid resource development and exploitation to take advantage
of the short term economic gains to be made because the world is in a scramble for what is
left. So instead of people acting responsibly in a long term vision of the future, we are
acting irresponsibly in a negligent way really to take advantage of short term economic
opportunities and abandoning our moral responsibility not only to present generations of
poor people but, future generations.
© Integral City eLab 7 January 27, 2013

It seems to me that even though it is entirely possible technologically and in terms of our
organizational skills to imagine a much better, cleaner and stable economic and ecological
future for everyone. The way governments are responding today is to reinforce the 50
year old expansionist global narrative that assumes that we can grow forever and
technology will always bail us out if we run into problems. So the potential is there, but
governments are failing utterly to take advantage of this remaining period of time and
pushing us ever closer to the brink in which there will be a scramble for what’s left. And
that imposes dire consequences for us all.
These are really huge questions and it is really difficult to pull all these threads together to
help people realize that there is a huge difference between potential and what is actually
happening out there. We are simply not exercising our existing technologies, our existing
brain power, but instead falling back on a relatively ill thought out economic models that
favor perpetual growth and deregulation.
Marilyn Hamilton: Thank you Bill for outlining what we need at a political level and a
technological level, as to what we need as a whole new paradigm to think about the city -
for thinking of the world as a living system. I know that you have extended your concern
for the impasse that we are facing by considering what is it that makes us human? Do we
have any qualities of being human that might actually open up new thinking, new
paradigms, and innovations to get us through this impasse? I invite you to share your
speculation about that.
Bill Rees: Human beings are very complex animals, and we are animals. Like other species
we have a component of our nervous system that is largely instinctive. Like other species
we have a very strong emotional component of our nervous system.
But, unlike other species we have a very well developed cerebral cortex, the big part of the
brain that actually occupies two thirds of the human brain by volume. This is the seat of
what I call high intelligence. It is the seat of our capacity for logical analysis. It is seat of
language. In fact it is this part of our brain that allows the kind of cultures that we have to
be possible.
Let me cut to the chase here. There are several qualities that I think help isolate humans
from the rest of the pack as it were. The first is high intelligence – the capacity to reason
logically from the evidence. The second capacity is our unique ability for forward planning.
We have complete potential to take the evidence, to take the data, to understand the
situation, and change the circumstance so that we create a much better future than the
one that would otherwise unfold. No other species can do that. No other species has the
capacity for logical analysis and no other species can forward plan the way that humans
A third quality that we have, that is almost not present in any other species is our ability to
make moral judgments. Humans do have the ability to tell what is right from what is
wrong. There is no culture which condones meaningless murder for example. This is a
capacity which is there and is embodied in the law of any civilized country.
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Another thing that we have is an ability to empathize and sympathize with other
individuals and with other species. I suppose it is unique that humans are the only species
that can empathize with the fate of other species. And many of us, particularly those of us
with some training in biology or ecology, are enormously affected and are almost in
grieving because of the enormous increase in biodiversity loss.
As the human enterprise increases in scale, since this is a finite planet, we are literally
pushing the other species off the lifeboat so to speak. By taking over their habitats, by
using the resources that would normally be available to these other species to grow
ourselves, we literally eliminate them, so that thousands of species are going extinct every
year. Any compassionate person should be able to understand the moral wrongness of this
by almost any standard in civilized society.
There you have it, humans are uniquely capable of high intelligence, of forward planning
and of morality and of extending compassion to other individuals and to other species.
But, we are failing to exercise those capacities in the global domain that we are talking
about. Instead of looking at the data and recognizing that climate change is a fact, that
biodiversity loss is fact, that the oceans are acidifying and that if these trends continue at
projected rates, they mean chaos - the loss of thousands of species and the potential
undermining of the potential future of global civilization - instead of looking at that in the
long term using our rational capacity to analyze the data and to act accordingly, we are
acting instinctively and emotionally out of our short term individual self-interest to
capture the economic gains possible in this struggle for resources.
Humans are a conflicted species. On the one hand rationally and intelligently we
understand the dilemma. But on the other, we are falling back into ancient survival tactics
that are short sighted and individually focused. These are overriding our intelligence
capacity. I think this is a terrible situation.
And, if we don’t manage to raise to consciousness this reality, if we fail to recognize that
we are not using the qualities that make us truly human, that separate us from the rest of
the pack, then the same thing that happens to other species - that go through a plague
phase of population, explosion and collapse - will also happen to humans. This will be a
failure of a great evolutionary experiment.
Humans have been endowed with this intellectual capacity – this big brain – it is an
experiment. It separates us from the pack. But if we don’t exercise that in ways that give
us a selective advantage over other species, then we will be selected out. If we continue to
destroy the ecological basis of our own existence while the evidence stares us in the face,
then I don’t think there is any question that global civilization will implode in the same
way that regional civilizations have imploded in the past when they paid no attention to
their over exuberance, to their destruction of the resource base that sustained them. It has
happened over and over again.
When they allowed their administrative systems to become cumbersome, inefficient, non-
effective, corrupt so that leaders and elites were not responsive to the needs of ordinary
© Integral City eLab 9 January 27, 2013

people - those systems collapsed. So we see both the social and ecological rot at the core of
our current civilization that may well lead us to the same implosion that other civilizations
before us have followed.
So what I’m calling for is a raising of consciousness of the superb abilities that humans
have and for leaders to step forward and recognize that the steps we are taking, the global
cultural narrative, the development paradigm, is ultimately a destructive one when we
recognize that this is a finite planet on which infinite growth and all-out competition
simply no longer works.
It might have been harmless many years ago when the scale of the human enterprise was
tiny compared to the scale of the massive ecosystems and the ecosphere. But we have now
grown - the human enterprise has now grown - to the point where we are the greatest
geological force altering the fate of the planet. We are at the same scale as other major
forces in the ecosphere. And hence the fact that we are acting as a complete rogue species
matters a great deal. We have the capacity to push the global ecosphere beyond tipping
points into different domains of stability that may not be amenable to human existence.
And I think this is entirely possible if we maintain our current course within the next few
decades certainly within this century.
Marilyn Hamilton: And yet the four qualities that you speak of here, sound like if we did
lean into them, then we would have a chance to redefine our relationship with the earth?
And that opens up a way for us to be in a different relationship with the earth and with
each other and with other living systems on the earth.
Bill Rees: Absolutely. There are so many questions that are being raised here. People
either refer to the new emerging literature on human cognitive psychology and
evolutionary psychology where there are even questions as to whether we are capable of
exercising free will over these issues. But let me back up a bit before I get into that.
We have, like other species, certain innate tendencies. Humans do have a natural tendency
to expand. We have the largest geographic range of any advanced vertebrate on the planet.
We do have an inherent tendency to use up all available resources as does any other
species. Just think of the fact that we are now literally scraping the bottom of the barrel to
get the last reserves of oil and coal and gas and so on out of the earth. So those are
tendencies that are there in our biology. In ancient times they accounted for our enormous
success. We did those things better than any other species and hence have managed to
survive in evolutionary terms and have reproduced to occupy the planet. But the very
qualities that were highly adaptive 10,000, 100,000 and 500,000 years ago have become
maladaptive today. Those qualities on a crowded planet with increasing resource scarcity
can be fatal. And we have the intelligence to recognize that. That is why it is so important
to understand the four qualities I mentioned earlier. It is entirely possible for human
beings to create social paradigms or cultural narratives that override their natural
predisposed dispositions.
© Integral City eLab 10 January 27, 2013
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 11
We don’t have to follow natural predisposed dispositions. We can create cultural
paradigms that inhibit them and steer us in other directions. If you think again of what I
refer to as the human behavioral spectrum, people are capable of being selfish, of thinking
in the short term, but they are also capable of being humanitarian and having a long term
view. So we could draw almost a color spectrum of human behavioral characteristics from
dark somber colors to very bright lively colors. These are all inherent in us, we are all
capable of expressing selfishness or very open community type feeling for family, affection,
love and all that kind of stuff. Altruism is a potential in human kind.
If you create a cultural narrative in the darker colors then you are in trouble. So right now
we have created, particularly in the past 60 years, a cultural narrative that reinforces the
expansionist tendencies, the greed tendency, the selfish tendencies, the individual
tendencies of human beings. So we have both nature and nurture operating to create of us
a rogue species whose rogue behaviors are completely incompatible with the finite nature
of the ecosystems that support us.
The potential is there for us to work diligently together, a massive exercise of
international cooperation to rewrite our cultural narrative. To come up with a cultural
narrative that emphasizes cooperation, the sharing of available resources, the community
orientation, to re-resurrect the notion of family life, community life and so on and so forth
in ways that would be far more enriching to people’s emotional lives than the current
isolationist, individualistic every person for him or herself grab-it-all culture that we have
evolved in the last 50 or 60 years.
The important thing is to recognize is that we have the potential to re-write our cultural
narrative. We have the potential behavioral and psychological properties to rise to the full
challenge of using our unique human abilities but for whatever perverse reason, in the
past 60 years, we have in a sense conspired to create a world that reinforces the worst
dimensions of human behavior for the circumstances and to reinforce those aspects of
human biology, the expansionist tendencies that are wrecking the planet. That is why the
exercise you are engaged in is so very important as a consciousness raising exercise. We
will not pull through if we do not recognize that we are headed in the wrong direction.
It’s interesting to me that people say “listening to you Bill, you are so pessimistic, this is
such a downer”. And I say, “Nonsense, this isn’t a downer, this is an upper.” The downer is
the mainstream. The downer is the current cultural paradigm that is taking the ship down
the vortex. The bright side is what I’m saying to us. That we have this opportunity, we
have these potentials, we have this capacity to wake up from our somnambulance - to
snap awake and come to consciousness and recognize that unless we pull together we
won’t make it. Sustainability is a collective enterprise. The very idea that we can solve it as
individuals in an individualistic competitive society is an absolute absurdity. I think
anybody that thinks about it for 10 minutes will come to that realization. And therein lies
the potential for us to wake up from our long sleep.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 12
Marilyn Hamilton: Bill you are talking in the way that I am framing the conference, in
what I’ve called “radical optimism”. I invited you to be the opening speaker because I did
feel that the safest place in a threatening situation is with the hard truth. And you have
discovered the hard truth over the last decades. In order for us to grow up as a species -
perhaps we can even say the rogue species - might be the equivalent of a teenager not yet
aware of their power or of their consciousness.
My invitation is that our species not only wake up, but that we grow up and take
responsibility for our actions because our Mother Earth is not going to stick around and
support what we are doing now. As you pointed out earlier, there are consequences for
our current actions and as you have just shared, there is also this enormous potential in us.
And it is that potential, that I hope to help discover in the conference, so that we will
create a new cultural narrative.
And so I thank you so much for bringing to us to the hard truths - a way to think about
them - but also what lies at the heart of our the human species that distinguishes us in an
evolutionary way from the other life systems on the earth. And I think we are ready to
look into that for the rest of the conference. Thank you so much.

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013
Planet of Cities – Mother Earth @ Motherboard
What and where are we implementing ecosphere intelligence?
Speakers: Brian Eddy and Michael Zimmerman
Host: Eric Troth
Interviewer: Beth Sanders
September 4, 2012

Michael E. Zimmerman is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of
Colorado at Boulder. From 2006-2010, he was director of the Center for
Humanities and the Arts. Before coming to CU Boulder, Zimmerman spent
31 years at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he was a member of
the philosophy department and co-director of Environmental Studies.
Author of about one hundred scholarly articles and book chapters,
Zimmerman has also published a major anthology--Environmental
Philosophy: From Animal Rights to Radical Ecology (4th edition)--and four books: Eclipse
of the Self; Heidegger’s Confrontation with Modernity; Contesting Earth’s Future; and
most recently, Integral Ecology: Uniting Multiple Perspectives on the Natural World (co-
authored with Sean Esbjorn-Hargens). Zimmerman has also had a long-standing research
interest in the philosophy of technology, including the cultural problems and
opportunities posed by emerging technologies.

Dr. Brian Eddy is a research scientist with Natural Resources Canada at the
Grenfell Campus of Memorial University in Corner Brook, Newfoundland &
Labrador. He completed a PhD in Geography and Environmental Studies at
Carleton University in 2006, following a BScH in Geology 1987), and an MSc
in Earth Sciences (1996). Brian has over 25 years experience in the
application of geomatics for a wide range of areas including coastal zone
management; regional ecosystems analysis and land-use planning; and mapping
indicators of human and environmental sustainability and wellbeing. Both his doctoral
and his current research focus on spatial analysis and modeling of human-environment
interactions and ecological risk analysis in support of Ecosystems-based Management
(EBM) Decision-Making. Brian developed the concept of ‘Integral Geography’ which
presents ways of integrating both ecological (natural systems) and human dimensions
(human systems) for applications in regional development and planning.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 2

Beth Sanders: It's my pleasure to introduce this session by first framing it within the
theme of this first week for the conference. We believe that if we want a new future for the
City then we need a new operating system for the City. This week’s focus in particular is
on a planet of cities: thinking about Mother Earth as the motherboard [of a new operating
system]. Today’s theme is ecosphere intelligence and in Marilyn Hamilton’s book Integral
City she defines ecosphere intelligence as an awareness and a capacity to respond to the
reality that is the city's climate and it’s eco-region environment. This second session today,
has a focus on design leaders who are applying this intelligence to city design. So it is now
my pleasure to introduce to you all Brian Eddie and Michael Zimmerman. I'm going to
introduce them both and then the three of us are going to jump into a three-way
conversation that Brian and Michael have already started and I'm going to weasel my way
in on. They are full of energy.
Dr. Brian Eddy is a research scientist with the Natural Resources Canada in
Newfoundland. ... Both his doctoral and his current research focus on spatial analysis and
modeling of human environment interactions and ecological risk analysis in support of
eco systems-based management decision-making. Brian developed the concept of integral
geography. For Brian integral geography represents a way of integrating both ecological
or natural systems and human dimensions - the human systems - for applications in
regional development and planning.
Michael Zimmerman is a professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado in Boulder
and from 2006 to 2010 he was director of The Center for Humanities and Arts. … He has
published a major anthology entitled Environmental Philosophy: From Animal Rights to
Radical Ecology and four other books. Michael also has a long-standing research interest in
… cultural problems and opportunities posed by emerging technologies.
While I've been getting ready for these interviews I've been very curious about Brian's
take on the support systems that we need for decision makers and citizens alike. When I
get a chance to speak more with Michael, I want to talk about whether we are really able
to design for the design we're talking about. So to begin with gentlemen, Brian and
Michael, I’m going to first put a question to Brian and just to get it started, Brian what is
important about ecosphere intelligence?
Brian Eddy: To start things off, I was thinking of going back to some basic principles. I
think they are illustrated in integral theory as well as what Marilyn mentions in her book,
and the work of Ken Wilber and his development of integral theory. What’s important
behind the idea of ecosphere intelligence is having a level of awareness or consciousness
or the ability to think about problems in an ecological context. That we as human beings
and the places we live: cities, towns, even small places, we are not islands unto ourselves.
We actually depend upon the ecological processes and systems, that surround where we
live. We are going through a period in history where that has become a fundamental
realization that we have to take into account, in how we approach design planning.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 3
I provided a couple of figures that I'm assuming that those [listening] might be looking at
those figures now. Just to set the context for this, one figure, Marilyn included in her book:
Figure 1. And this is something I did a number of years ago. It's another way of looking at
emergence and evolution from the AQAL [all quadrants, all levels] perspective. And going
back to set the context for this kind of diagram, I would like to point out one of my favorite
quotes from Ken Wilber is from a book that he wrote in1984 I think called Eye-to-Eye: the
Quest for the New Paradigm. Ken mentions when he was talking about some theory and to
paraphrase or quote him in some respects he said, “In order to situate this theory in the
big scheme of things, one first needs a big scheme of things.” That’s what integral theory is
about in a sense. It’s kind of a humorous statement in a way. But if we were take the
question of today or the question of this eLab series, we might ask the question, “How
should we put cities in the big scheme of things? And what will the big scheme of things
If we look at evolution from the vantage point of what's shown in Figure 1, we come from
a universe in the solar system and the planet evolved with a lithosphere and a
hydrosphere and an atmosphere. Things kind of evolved or progressed and evolved in a
series of levels or levels of complexity. The key point to understand is that each level
depends upon the preceding levels that came before it. That is a fundamental principle of
ecology and certainly one of integral theory.
So we are looking at the point in evolution where human beings emerge and then
civilization formed roughly within the last 10,000, 20,000 or 100,000 years. Over the
period of evolution there has been a sort of space-time contraction from the broad
universe all the way up to the point where we have some very massive cities across the
planet. And those cities are focal points of a lot of energy and material that are supporting
human beings in the directions that they might want to go - and the way we want to live
with all that matter and energy that does come from the environment around us.
Throughout the modern period, when we were building a lot of major cities around the
world, the modernist philosophy was that resources that we used to supply the materials
to build cities were thought to be sort of unlimited. And, that nature was there to serve
human endeavors and not necessarily there to have any intrinsic value in itself. But I
think we can understand following Bill Rees this morning with the idea of the ecological
footprint, that there are limitations to the biosphere and the physiosphere and the other
aspects of the planet that we live on. These limitations do set constraints on how much
energy and matter we can draw from these resources.
Some of the most significant problems we face: whether it's urban planning, city design,
building infrastructure - whatever the case might be - some of those design issues have to
do with this sort of incongruent nature - that modernist ideas of mechanical approaches to
building things are now at odds with how the ecology of a region functions. We have to
take ecological design into account to make cities more sustainable so that we do not
undermine the support systems that we need to support cities. At the same time, there a
lot of human issues that we address simultaneously by taking those design approaches.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 4
How we do that is a big discussion or topic for this interview. I guess we'll get into that.
This is certainly Michael’s favorite subject. We talked about it number of times. How do we
take this level of understanding and work with it in a very practical and meaningful way
with many of the issues that we face in the urban development today?
The next slide (Figure 2) is also something of a repeat of a lot of the information that
Marilyn presented in her book from a theoretical perspective. But the challenge is because
such a significant portion of the population are not quite yet at this level of thinking, how
do you design for cities where human behavior is at some distance from this level of
understanding or appreciation of the contingencies? Where people in day-to-day lives are
more concerned about how they get food on the table at the end of the day. Cities are
preoccupied with not so much trying to create a utopian vision of the city, but how to
replace the infrastructure that was laid down 100 years ago.
Beth Sanders: Brian, you have put a really critical question to us. And I want to put this
question to Michael. How do we design for ecosphere intelligence with the life conditions
that we have today in our City?
Michael Zimmerman: Brian and I had a really good discussion last week. We probably
should have recorded it since we came up with all kinds of what I think we’re pretty good
insights. I also like to say how impressed I am with Marilyn’s book, Integral City. She
really made a huge contribution with that. There is a lot of material in there that is way
beyond my expertise. I don’t really do urban studies or urban ecological studies. I’m more
into environmental studies. Since we now have passed the threshold with more than 50
per cent humanity in cities, the future of environmental ethics and environmental
philosophy is really going to have to be about the city-nature interface as Brian was
suggesting a few moments ago. One of the things that Marilyn really brings out in her book,
which is subtitled Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive: first, she doesn't say
evolutionary intelligence (singular), she says intelligences is plural. So right away as a
reminder that there's not really one kind of intelligence - there is just vast numbers or
types of intelligences. This is something very important to keep in mind. Second, is the
human hive. One of the big themes that has come out in the past 20 years in cognitive
research of various kinds is the idea of “hive-mind.”
Kevin Kelly's book Out of Control came out in the mid 90’s and was the first semi-popular
stab at trying to make sense of the hive-mind. And that is to say how numerous individuals
interacting with one another without a particular plan in mind give rise to phenomenon
that they did not anticipate. I think this is a really important key to understanding what's
going on in cities - especially developing cities. As Brian pointed out to me last week, so
many of fairly old cities – cities that are 200 years old or so or even 100 years old - have
enormous infrastructure such as roads, buildings, electrical power-lines. Trying to retrofit
those kinds of cities with cutting-edge technology is a daunting task. Cities in developing
countries that are growing by leaps and bounds don't have this kind of investment yet. In
a way, they are probably the proving grounds for a lot of innovations which would be
more expensive to implement in first world countries.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 5
It'll be really interesting to see the extent to which they can take the lead [in developing]
through the hive-mind process going on in every city; generating to some extent
unintentionally, solutions that might be very much important for cities around the world.
That is I think something we have to hope for. It’s nothing we can control.
I do want to mention one other thing before going back to Beth and Brian. That is the
wonderful book Stewart Brand wrote a couple years ago called Whole Earth Discipline: An
Eco-Pragmatist Manifesto. This is in many ways an integral book even though Brand is not
really [framing] with integral theory or the integral movement. He has a wonderful
chapter on urban ecology and I highly recommend his seventeen minute TED talk based
on his book. It is a real eye-opener. This is the guy, who for me, really solidifies the notion
that the action in the future is in developing world cities. We see photographs of the
terrible conditions people living in these massive slums stretched out for miles up and
down the mountainsides. It looks awful. And it is in many ways. On the other hand, as he
points out the people in those cities are smart and ambitious. They want to get out of
those conditions. They want to innovate and create opportunities for themselves. And
they're going to do it. The thing that our integral theory and our evolutionary intelligence
can contribute to the picture is an emphasis on at interior side of the hive. We don’t think
bees have very much interiority. They have a little bit. But humans certainly do. If urban
planners are to make a difference in these developing cities, they need to emphasize the
cultural means - the first-person and cultural levels of experience - which are interacting
with one another as a major factor in the production innovations. Designers that consider
these factors are going to make a difference because they'll be accepted and affirmed by
people in the cities.
Beth Sanders: Thank you Michael. So I'm wondering Michael if I could dig a little bit
deeper with you around how we design for ecosphere intelligence. Can we design for it?
Michael Zimmerman: I don't know if we can design for it. I asked myself, how did I get to
where I got? How did I get to writing books about integral ecology, teaching courses with
this in it, and thinking this way? It took me a long time. It is not something that came
overnight. Maybe if I were 22 today or a senior in college these ideas would come easier
because they are in part of the zeitgeist. I think these ideas are starting to become widely
available. Even though they don't have the word “integral” associated with them, I think
there is an emergence taking place.
[Let me tell you about] One of the areas [where] this is occurring - and Brian is someone
who knows more about this than I do. But I know if you'd look back 20 or 30 years ago
how the World Bank and World Development Financing, and so on, used to take place, it
was all lower right [in the integral quadrants]. It was all about the economic incentives
and structures; social structures; and so on. These were more or less imposed upon
people. The claim being that they worked elsewhere so they are going to work here as well.
What was completely missing was taking seriously the cultural domain [the lower left in
the integral quadrants] in which these practices and ideas were being implemented. One
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 6
reason so many of these programs failed or never lived up to their potential, was that the
cultural mean - the interior aspects of culture and society - were not taken into account. I
think in the last 20 years this has changed a lot. There is increasing recognition that if you
offer people something which you, coming from first world, think is going to do them
some good, you better be sure you have on the ground conversations with not only
leaders but also regular people. Ask them what they think about it. How do their values
relate to this innovation or this idea? That is an increasingly important thing.
This idea of interiorities and the encounter with and taking seriously the interiorities of
individuals and cultures can really take hold in the social sciences and as well as in major
urban planning. That would really be a huge contribution to human-hive intelligence or
Beth Sanders: One of the things that Bill Rees was very clear about for me this morning
was the simple notion that there is a new cultural narrative that needs to emerge - where
we move away from the expansionist or the economic structure focus that we've had. We
shift into exactly what you are describing Michael about that the left-hand quadrants [of
the integral model] where we’re talking not only about on the interior of the inner
workings if the individual, but also of the culture. Brian I’d like to bring you back in. I
would like to check in with you about the ways of working that you have been exploring
with geomatics and that kind of thing. Are there ways we can work using technology that
brings a new cultural narrative out to the front for us to see?
Brian Eddy: Yes, absolutely. One point that I would like to make is that in some ways the
way we regard the ecosphere intelligence is already emerging. The things that are
happening on the Internet and what we call ubiquitous computing where people get their
maps on their cell phones, where they can walk down the street and find a restaurant they
are looking for and so forth. This is a new way of the generating information. It is a new
culture. There is no doubt about it. This culture is already emerging. What is important
about that is that information is now being contextualized around individual preferences
and behavior on a locational basis. And in some ways that's an ecological paradigm. When
it comes to things like city planning, if you bring up the [property of] scale, that is also the
sort of paradigm shift that we would see occurring there. We don't take one master
template of the city - whether [it]is a central place theory one or the standard grid
structure - and try to fit it into every corner. What we try to do is be innovative with the
region that we are working within. We try to see what kind of innovations we can come up
What it really comes down to, is a tension between the city management and city planning.
We’re still at the beginning of building what will be the planet’s long living sustainable
cities. Over the next 100 or 200 years, it's really up to the designers and planners to take
the ecological principles into account. Not too much pressure on the planners out there,
but basically, yes, it's really up to them. A lot of people may not be aware of a lot of this
stuff. The ones who are really leading the way are the innovative designs and thinking that
come from a planning standpoint.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 7
City managers and politicians on the other hand - 80 per cent to 90 per cent of what they
contend with is basically getting what needs to be done, on any given day. It’s the planners
that have to provide that kind of vision for the future.
Beth Sanders: What do you see city planners doing differently Brian? How can they work
differently to get different results so that we can design for ecosphere intelligence?
Brian Eddy: Well first of all they might start looking at local resourcing. Take the
ecological footprint for example. Try to minimize the ecological footprint being used for
the supply of materials and services within the city. Are we importing from around the
other side of the planet when an industry could be developed within their region that
could be sustainable to supply of the city with its resources? I work with the government
of Canada at Natural Resources Canada for example. Within the forestry sector [they
are]undergoing a fundamental change in [this kind of] transformation right now. There
are new forest products coming out that are actually replacing steel as the main structural
element in the new building, including high-rises. So these are things that they had - now
all of these innovations that are taking place - they have to be tapping into these. And see
where I'm going to bring those design elements into it?
The other major factor though, is they have to take the cultural element into account. One
of the basic tenets of the integral framework is that [with] the physical systems that we
design and develop, there is a corresponding cultural dimension to those. If there is
incongruence between the type of physical system that you develop with the culture that
it's intended for, than it is going to cause problems within that environment. That's why
taking templates from other areas and trying to apply them to the local area may not be
the best approach.
You really have to be take into consideration the local context, the history, the culture of
the people, the landscape, and the physiographic. And as best is possible [to estimate] the
natural resources within that region itself in order to see how to better optimize the use of
the material flows in the interest of human well-being not necessarily just economic
Beth Sanders: Thanks Brian. In my work, Eric revealed my life as a professional city
planner. One of the observations I would make, is we do an awful lot to bring new ideas
forth. Politicians are the ones that ultimately make the decision and of course those
politicians make those decisions in response to the climate, politically speaking. I have a
question for Michael around the left-hand quadrants we’re talking about - how can
citizens of civil society show up and influence the decisions that we make collectively?
What is the role of citizens and civil society as we’re designing and building for ecosphere
Michael Zimmerman: People need to be consulted. It’s interesting to think about the role
of the expert, and the drawbacks of expertise. There was a supposition in the 60s and 70s
into the 80s, that technical experts really knew how to handle problems on the ground
rather than local people. But this has proved in many cases not to be true. Experts bring
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 8
knowledge to the scene that typically local people don't have because the expert
knowledge is theorized and it is published in journals and has a certain kind of the reliable
status. But local knowledge is irreplaceable. I read a study a number of years ago, in fact,
which showed that in many cases when experts were required to testify at stakeholder
hearings, where the project was being assessed as widely as possible - in many cases the
experts thought the exercise was a waste of time, since that they really were the university
educated people who knew how to do things.
But in many cases – [including] the social sciences study of this and wasn't just anecdotal -
the experts discovered that what they found from local people really influenced, for the
better, their projects. Yes, it took more time to carry out the project, because local people
presented the obstacles and opportunities the experts often overlooked. Not out of bad
faith - it’s just that they couldn’t notice them at the granular level what the people at the
local scale could see.
So finding ways to include the first person and cultural viewpoint of local people in cities
and people living in cities who are going to be affected by various kinds of urban planning
proposals is absolutely crucial. Without it, a lot of big mistakes are going to be made.
Many people listening to this call will not remember the urban renewal that took place in
this country in the 1950s and 1960s. These renewal projects in many places were urban
catastrophes from which cities are only finally beginning to recover in some cases.
Building freeways right in the middle of cities, cutting off whole portions of cities from
other parts of town in order to facilitate the flow of traffic into the suburbs. Now people
who are affected in the core program - the areas by such and such plans and projects -
were never seriously consulted because they [were considered to have] had no point.
They had no perspective. Today you can’t get away with this, especially in the first world.
One of the things that would have to be emphasized by urban planners, who are working
and developing nations with their burgeoning cities, is the importance of transparency
and stakeholder meetings. Planners need to take into account the experience, values,
norms and expectations of people who are actually living in cities - the people that will be
affected by planning. I think that is so important it can't be over estimated.
Beth Sanders: Thanks Michael I am going to put a question out for both of you - Michael
and Brian - around the bottom right-hand quadrant [of the integral model], which are the
folks that basically go out and build the city. So if you are at City Hall, you’re a city planner,
or you’re a politician you can get fed up with the regulations of how it takes place. But of
course we can only regulate so much. Then there are all of us [in many situations] -
everything from when I'm rebuilding my home in my garage right now, right up to the
developer that's building a whole new neighborhood. What is the role of the city builders
and developers in this picture of ecosphere intelligence?
Brian Eddy: One comment I would make even following Michael, just to pick up from
where I let off - is that is one of the main challenges that planners have. Whatever design
approach they take, they have to realize that in order to get buy-in, it is really important to
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 9
consult with the citizens of the city. That way make them feel part of the process, but you
also invite them to use the ecological design approach even though they might not be
calling it that. I'm not suggesting you might not use those words, but to incorporate the
approach in the design. But also think outside of the box.
Even where I live right now we've got a big empty space next door. The City was going to
use it as an easement. They are no longer going to do that. Why not let us turn it into a
park so that the kids can have a place to play? In order to do that within the city I live in,
you have to go through so many different regulations. It violates this code or that code. I
think they need to go down to the regulation level and rethink about some of the
principles that are blocking the ability for residents themselves from being more
innovative. Instead, [invite them into participate]in the design approach.
Beth Sanders: Michael, what are your thoughts on that?
Michael Zimmerman: Well the challenges we are faced with here are enormous.
Everyone has to contribute to some extent; urban planners are really under the gun. I am
assuming that urban planning does take place in these gigantic new cities of the
developing world. Presumably, some of these planners come to international meetings
where they hear about what's going on elsewhere. I am making this assumption. I don’t go
to these meetings. But I'm assuming it takes place. The difficulty of course is in
implementation. Just think about the obstacles to making a significant change that would
have an effect.
For example, on the problem in terms of economic political domains which are highly
contested, one of the challenges in the first world is getting things done when faced with
political opposition. And in many, many developing world countries and cities there is a
problem with graft and corruption with the lack of transparency, with government
interference and so on and so forth. So a lot of great ideas really, really won’t get taken
very far just because of the conditions that are at work in other places and as well as in
our own society.
Everyone who lives in the city understands the politics involved in getting something done
and how difficult it is. It is not just a problem elsewhere. But I think that is something
really that we have to take into account. And then part of our mission has to be how to
transform the political context in which decisions get taken that are going to affect a lot of
people. Including potentially very beneficial solutions that often are offered that in some
cases are taken down simply because they create so much opposition from vested
interests who really don't want to see these things happen.
So everything is so complicated and yet … somehow these massive cities in the first and
developing [world] - somehow they are functioning. I think this is in part a result of the
power of hive mind. In other words, human beings, when they get in big groups,
spontaneously develop ways which organize themselves. What integral or city urban
planning approach wants to do is to shed more light on the process by which ideas are
generated and how they're implemented, and to find what [ways] to assist in the
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 10
generation of ideas that have the greatest possible positive impact. Now I don't know
exactly how to do that. Perhaps the conversation we are having right now with many
people listening in and who are interested in this topic is one of the steps that is needed to
make this happen. I hope this kind of conversation can have a lot of ripples and have an
effect elsewhere in generating the possibility of urban transformation.
Brian Eddy: I thought of a good example we may want to use. Before I moved to
Cornerbrook, Newfoundland I used to live in the City of Ottawa for about 19 years. Just
before I moved three of four years ago, going back four or five years ago one of the main
issues going on in that city at that time was the design of the light rail transit system.
Ottawa is one of the major cities in Canada that still doesn't have a subway system or light
rail transit system, so now it's become one of the biggest issues. The preceding mayor had
a design for the north-south segment of the transit system. At the time, there was a lot of
debate and dissatisfaction. The succeeding mayor, when he came in, put together a
committee of independent people - there were architects, planners, community activists,
and people from across the board - to look at the design of a light rail system that was not
only going to address the current needs but also have more of a future vision of how the
system will evolve over time. What they came up with was something that looked into not
just within the City of Ottawa, but it looked at transportation flow within the region as a
They looked into the big picture, growth in neighboring communities, and perhaps the
reduced ecological footprint of people driving in cars and instead maybe using light rail as
an alternative. They were looking for how they could connect those communities with a
major city. They were looking forward 20, 30 and 50 years into the future. In providing
context and vision they can then go back to the proposals and plans that they were
considering at the time for the downtown core and the more immediate needs of the
north-south link.
Those designs were being reconsidered in the context of this broader future-looking
approach. It wasn't without controversy; there were a lot of people who protested the cost
of it, the delays in implementation and so forth. But, for me, I thought that what they were
doing was laying down a good ecological approach to this problem which was more
sustainable long-term.
If you look at a lot of the issues that people deal with today, planners and city managers
have to deal with designs from 100 years ago. And we are from a generation that is very
critical of what the thinking was back then. The onus is on us today to think ahead into the
future as well.
Beth Sanders: Thank you Michael and Brian. It’s time to take some questions from our
audience. Thank you for articulating the delicate balance in here too, about the rules that
come into play and how the rules come to pass. Whether it is the city planners and the
politicians putting rules in place and how we consult with citizens.
Beth Sanders: Michael, what is the value of transforming the political scene at the city
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 11
Michael Zimmerman: Since we are dealing with cities and politics is still a key way that
things are organized at an urban level, then if politics are corrupt, inefficient and so on a
then lot of good things that could happen won’t happen and a lot of bad things will happen
Therefore, I think this is a very important dimension of this. And to some extent I think
this is partly a function of developing a level of consciousness on the part of urban
dwellers. If people are of a certain level of development they are more or less resigned to
having wealthy powerful elites run everything and basically let them walk all over them.
But, if you look back at the American and French revolutions, they were about the middle
class getting tired of being taxed and pushed around by the powerful and the elites. Finally,
they had revolution which led them to adopt representative democracy which has its
problems, but is better than what they had in place back then. I suppose every city is
different. You could look at a massive city in Brazil, Africa or China and each will be
different. But some will be run better because the politics are better and more open,
transparent with their decision making. This is not my area of expertise. I am putting this
out there to think about.
Beth Sanders: Brian what do you see as the political context in cities? What does it mean
to transform into and how can we make that happen?
Brian Eddy: One thing that we have all had a chance to observe over the past 10 years is
the impact of technology on citizen engagement. People are much more engaged these
days through technology when there is a new park going up or a redesigning of some
section of the city, plans are on the internet. People can vote on the internet, they don’t
have to go to a town hall session for example. Planners and politicians know that they
have this new mode of communication to deal with in order to take into account the
decision making as part of the democratic process. From my perspective, that is part of the
ecosphere intelligence that is emerging in the city.
Eric Troth: We have a question from the audience for Michael. Can you say more about
hive mind as emergence intelligence? Would you call this a form of natural design?
Michael Zimmerman: This seems to be how nature works in many ways. What is a hive?
The word comes from bee hives. They have a queen but she doesn’t tell the hive what to
do. Same with ant hills, they have a queen I guess, but they don’t take any orders. They just
go out of their hives and out of their ant hills and start looking for flowers and things to
eat. We discovered many years ago that if bees do leave the hive and come back with
pollen, they do a dance which the other bees can watch. This dance will tell them where to
fly to get the honey which is an incredible discovery.
I would like to give you an example from Kevin Kelly’s book about how hive-mind can
operate. There was a major cement company executive in LA who for a time would just
wait for customers to call and then he would send the cement out to where it was needed.
One day he decided to go the hive-mind route. He sent all the trucks out and as calls came
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 12
in, they diverted the closest trucks to go and take the cement to where it was needed. This
turned out to be more efficient.
This is not how people would normally think about doing things. So the way in which self-
organization takes place is another interesting hive-mind phenomenon. How does
something like this get started? How does anything get started? Part of the hive-mind
theory is that higher levels of organizations and order can arrive from processes that
appear to be chaotic.
If you look at the Game of Life, the computer game that arose 20 years ago when computer
programmers put a few simple rules in play inside a computer program and watched what
would happen. After a number of iterations incredible and unanticipated order and
complexities started showing up in the program that were amazing. And so, the way in
which cities are organized has a sort of unanticipated spontaneous self-organization that
looks like chaos to the untutored mind, but to those who know where to look they’ll see
that really there is organization arising there.
Eric Troth: Brian, with your map of eco-emergence, do you think it could help us unravel
the issues of sustainability problems that the cities face [referring to] that map you are
describing in your PDF and PowerPoint?
Brian Eddy: Well I think that the intention behind that map is to illustrate some of the
common principles or more fundamental principles. When we look at cities or human
civilization on any scale, we have to appreciate that there are these support levels that
have to be included within [them]. That [comes from] a shift in mindset. It’s a different
mental model than what we've been working with for the last 200 or 300 years.
Picking up again on the hive idea, one of the things we are doing is integrating
socioeconomic dimensions and human dimensions in regional ecosystems planning. We’re
looking at not just major cities but any places of human dwelling under the metaphor of
the human habitat. We're even changing how we map them as opposed to treating cities as
points on the on a map. They have very irregular shapes, they have different histories.
They fit into the regional ecology very differently. We are working to get beyond that
notion that there is an urban and rural dichotomy and beyond the humans and nature
dichotomy by looking at cities as more highly concentrated human habitats on the planet.
From this perspective, we start taking some approaches where other major urban areas
need more rural and more nature in them; and a lot of rural areas or outlying areas need a
lot more urban. So we have seen shifts recently – [we have] witnessed ruralizing urban
areas and urbanizing rural areas. It’s this kind of natural shift that we starting to see
happen and we have to continue with it.
Freed from Amsterdam: In regards to our Human Habitat and urban areas, how far
would you go? Could a whole country be urban area? I know of a fascinating project where
the whole country was redesigned that is Palestine. The project is called “The Arc”. It is the
most inspiring project. Instead of one city only it takes the whole country and completely
redesigns it in a sustainable way. Urban Architects from Santa Monica in California did
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 13
Brian Eddy: It’s a question of scale. It always depends on the size of the country. If it is a
small country that is predominantly urban or human settled, as a country it still has to
take into consideration what its regional environment is like. Palestine is a very
contentious political [area] with very deep history. I know some other researchers who
work in that area, and they traced the roots of a lot of conflict to not mainly religion,
although that is a major factor, but to water resources in the region. It’s related to how
powers have worked their way over time to favor some areas as opposed others. Bringing
it up to another scale, you have to think in terms of holonic principles. A city is part of a
region that is part of a planet. Then going downward there are internal parts of the city
and so forth. But you have to look at things on a multi-scalar basis as well. It’s quite a
unique situation in Palestine as opposed to Canada where our cities are very widely
dispersed across 4,500 km. In Canada we have very different circumstances.
Eric Troth: We are moving on to the questions for the breakout groups. [Break]
Eric Troth: Now that we have discussed these questions in small groups, I would like to
take this time to ask the presenters and interviewer what was being discussed in the
breakout sessions. Beth let’s start with you.
Beth Sanders: I was listening to a wonderful conversation between two folks one from
the west coast of Canada and one from the northeast of the United States. I was struck by
notion of the stages of life in citizens and generations of perspective that we have resident
right in a city and how we [need to take those stages of life into consideration]. There's a
huge range of perspectives on cities and city life and ecosphere intelligence and all the
other intelligences. Our view of those generations and the intelligence that they offer is
really critical and necessary for a city to be able to sustain itself. Accessing all of that
intelligence is the new part or can be a new part to the cultural narrative that we've been
talking about.
Eric Troth: Michael lets go to you. Michael, what’s coming up in the discussions you have
been part of?
Michael Zimmerman: One gentleman brought up that cities really have no boundary.
Whatever boundary cities have are really artificial since cities live off products,
particularly agricultural products, from other places. They get products of all kinds from
around the world. Globalization for good or ill is with us. Cities are in constant interchange
with their environment at different levels. All of that has to be taken into account in
calculating the ecological footprint of cities and the region in which they find themselves,
bioregions and all that.
One of the things that Stewart Brand pointed out in his book is the ecological benefit of
people crowding into cities. As people leave their little rural farms which really are a
source of a lot of environmental damage because people had to do things to make a living,
the land is left. Once the land is left it is naturally restored to its conditions. That is how
the northeast forest was restored. Photographs of New England in the American north
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 14
east from the 1870’s and 80;s illustrate that it was a terrible landscape. It was completely
deforested because people were trying to make a living on land that was really not
suitable for any serious agriculture. So they left for the cities and the agriculture industry
moved west and the land was restored to active forest. So that is happening in other parts
of the world now and will continue to happen.
How are people going to get fed? The National Resource Defense Council magazine One
Earth had a story this past issue about the agricultural innovation for and in cities. I think
one of things that's going to have to happen, I agree with Brand on this, is the development
and acceptance of genetically modified organisms that are going to be able to do well in
the saline soil and drought conditions and so on, especially as climate change alters the
tradition agricultural patterns. We are going to see tremendous innovation and
technological innovation in agriculture. I think it's going to be necessary to feed the
billions of people crowding into cities. I’m not despairing - I wish I had another 50 years to
figure out how to do this. I think the hive-mind is going to come up with a lot of really cool
solutions to problems.
Eric Troth: Thank you Michael, Brian do you have any reflections from what you were
Brian Eddy: Yes, there was some discussion around the role of celebrities and ecosphere
intelligence, some discussions around the noosphere. What that is and what that meant.
But that brings to mind another understanding that we need to keep in mind that most of
the urban areas, particularly in the west and Europe, in their design - the way that they
emerged over the last two or three hundred years – was really a product of the industrial
era and the need to concentrate nodes of economic production in a centralized location. So
there was a centralization move or shift that occurred. This shift continues to occur as
rural areas and agricultural natural resources becomes more mechanized.
However, the manufacturing mode of production that underlies the development of major
urban areas over the last few hundred years is one phase of development. We are now
into tertiary levels [where] sectors of development like tourism, recreation and things that
are really meaningful from a human being standpoint, are starting to emerge as well as
information technology.
The mode of economic production is shifting dramatically and it does not need to be
centralized in the downtown core of a major urban area anymore. This is something we
might want to start taking into consideration when we look at, for example, a national
level where we think about where we start directing immigrants in Canada. Do you send
them to downtown Toronto? Or encourage them to take up residence in other parts of the
country that are more sparsely populated? That can help release pressure on some of the
overpopulation of some of the urban areas and help with the regional development of
some of the smaller centers.
I think we will start seeing a decentralizing trend by nature if anything. The dispersion of
another 6 billion people over the next 10 or 20 years - we have to start thinking about
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 15
where we are locating ourselves and how sustainable that is if we are increasingly
concentrating people in the large urban areas around the world.
Eric Troth: Thank you Brian, I would like to pull in Beth as the harvester of this material
and ask her for a quick summary of what she heard here.
Beth Sanders: I am struck with the notion of hive-mind because there are patterns in
what seems to be chaos. One of our jobs over the month of September with this expo is to
take this really neat opportunity to discern patterns in our hive-mind as the group of
people that is gathering but then also looking outward in our cities and our planet of cities
to see that. That is one of the seeds that I can sense is growing within me.
I’m also curious about some questions that Brian has left me with and that is his comment
that the mode of economic production decentralizing and what impact does that have on
the physical form that cities take? I’m also curious about the role of technology and
analytics and how that as a level of intelligence is just hovering over the physical
infrastructure that we have in our Cities in terms of how we have made them up until now.
There is another layer that we are having access to now that will certainly adjust how we
make our decisions and the decisions we actually make. Thank you very much Brian and
Michael for their time today. I certainly learned a lot.

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 16
Solar System
Depth Depth
Years BP
~ 10E+03
~ 10E+04
~ 10E+05
~ 10E+06
~ 10E+07
~ 10E+08
~ 10E+09
? ~10E+20 ~10E+10 ~10E+5 ~10E+03 ~10E+02 -meters- ~10E-01 ~10E-02 ~10E-05 ~10E-10 ~10E-20 ?
(Big Bang!)
/ Entropy
Early Societies
Climatic Systems
Oceans, Lakes, Rivers
Rocks, Minerals,
Planetary Systems
Stars, Galaxies
Quasars, Pulsars
Complex Neocortex
Neocortex-Limbic Systems
Organic Compounds/Cells
Sub-Atomic Particles
(LR-UR External/Physical Perspective)
Figure 1
Copyright Brian G. Eddy, 2001

Integral Self
Sensitive Self
Achiever Self
Mythic Self
Magic Self
Instinctual Self
Self and
Integral Commons
Value Communities
Corporate States
Nation States
Feudal Empires
Ethnic Tribes
Survival Clans
Social / Governing
Figure 2.
Culture and
Mythic Order
Power Gods
Years BP
Depth Depth
Value Memes
Copyright Brian G. Eddy, 2001

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013
Planet of Cities – Mother Earth @ Motherboard
What and where are we implementing Ecosphere intelligence?
Dr. Karen O-Brien & Dr. Ina Horlings
Interviewer: Dr. Marilyn Hamilton, PhD
September 4, 2012

Dr. Lummina Horlings (Ina) is Assistant Professor, Wageningen University,
Rural Sociology Group. She is a researcher and lecturer in place-based
development, focusing on how people take responsibility for their
environment, encompassing aspects such as cooperation/coalitions,
leadership, inner motivations and sense of place. Ina studied land and water
management, human geography and holds a doctorate in policy sciences. She
has worked in policy and science and has specialized in rural regional place-based
development. She has published on issues such as sustainable development, passion,
regional development, cooperation and coalition building (farmers groups and public-
private cooperation), leadership (for example in Eindhoven Brainport) and place branding.
She is interested in the integral framework, Spiral Dynamics, appreciative inquiry and this
question: How can a value-oriented approach be applied in territorial development?

Dr. Karen O’Brien is a professor in the Department of Sociology and Human
Geography at the University of Oslo, where her research emphasizes the need to
frame environmental issues as social, developmental and ethical issues that
have implications for human security and well-being. She explores ways that
environmental changes interact with global processes; how values, beliefs and
worldviews influence the capacity to respond to change; and how integral
theory and integral approaches to sustainability can contribute to a better understanding
of both the problems and solutions associated with climate change. Karen is Chair of the
Global Environmental Change and Human Security project, and leads a social-science
based project that examines climate change adaptation as a social process in Norway.
Karen’s publications include Environmental Change and Globalization: Double
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 2
Exposures, co-authored with Robin Leichenko; and Coping with Climate Variability: User
Responses to Seasonal Forecasts in Southern Africa.

Marilyn Hamilton: It’s my pleasure to introduce this session first by framing it within the
theme for this first week of the conference. If we want to create a new future for the city,
then I think we need a new operating system, so this week’s focus is on The Planet of
Cities. I think of that in such an operating system Mother Earth is our mother board.
Today’s theme is on the intelligence of the ecosphere and I define the ecosphere
intelligence as an awareness of the capacity to respond to the realities of a city’s climate and
eco-region environment. In this session, I’m delighted to be able to interview two leading
practitioners who are turning this intelligence into actionable outcomes. So now it’s my
pleasure to introduce both Dr. Lummina Horlings (Ina) and Dr. Karen O’Brien.
The first question that I would like to start with is: Can you tell me your perspective of
what the relationship of the city is to its eco-region? I’ll start with asking you, Ina. Can
you give us a start on that?
Ina Horlings: Good evening Marilyn. I really feel honored to be at this inspiring
conference. About your question, if we talk about ecosphere intelligence, I think you see
an increasing awareness and capacity in eco-regions to respond to the realities of the
environment. I think the eco-region is not just for feeding and resources for a city.
Citizens are not bees merely collecting honey from a large pot of the eco-region, but
working together with people in rural areas. I think there are three important
developments emerging in the eco-regions.
 I would say that the first relation is the de-blurring of boundaries between cities and
rural hinterlands and the emergence of new urban-rural organizations. I see in my
work, especially in the Netherlands, citizens who take up responsibility for their
own environment and also take responsibility of their own food production and
energy production. For example, they take initiatives in urban agriculture,
gardening, consumer groups, renewable energy production, and also they take
responsibility for animal welfare. Recently, for example, 80,000 people in the
Netherlands protested against new large industrial farms for intensive animal
husbandry. So we see new urban relations that are creating more reciprocity
between cities and rural hinterlands. I think that all over Europe you see new eco-
strategies of groups of farmers, and groups of consumers who are taking
responsibility for food strategy or the quality of the landscape. These are the first

 And this brings me to the second trend, which is also really important. I see an
increasing self-organization in society and eco-regions. You could say that this is an
expression of a do-it-yourself democracy in all new levels of awareness and
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 3
consciousness. So, in terms of value systems, you see new healthy expressions of
postmodern and pluralistic worldviews. Recently in the Netherlands are emerging
new energy cooperatives with citizens producing energy together with farmers as a
form of self-organization. So, I think that these are really interesting and promising

 The last trend I would like to identify is the increasing interest for, what I call, more
“place based” developments. This would be what Marilyn calls the ecosphere
intelligence. So more response to the eco-region environments. How can we use the
qualities, the identities, and the storylines of an area as a motive for change? I think
this is a really important development which we also see emerging in European
policy. It refers to all kinds of processes like the re-appreciation of eco-regions and
places, the re-grounding of practices in specific efforts and resources to where
they’re more sustainable, and also repositioning towards markets, considering
alternative and diverse economies. So, I think [I’m seing] all kinds of new
interesting emergent developments, especially what I see in my research and
practices in Europe.

Karen O’Brien: I think I see all of that happening. And we also have to put it into this
context of the eco-region as the globe, because from the position of global environmental
change suddenly there are no boundaries, suddenly everything is connected. Cities are
really the hubs and nodes where environmental change and issues like climate change, are
both created and experienced. To me this is really exciting because Earth System Science
is fairly new in human thinking. What we’re getting when we start to connect all the dots
between bio-geo-chemical cycles, biodiversity loss, land use change, urban heat and
climate, all these things we see that although we have very much place-based
developments, we also have enormous ecological footprints, carbon footprints, flows of
people, flows of goods and things that are really having a global impact and not an even
impact, it’s not that every place is equally affected. So, in cities they are considered the
crucible of risk because of biophysical vulnerability and social vulnerability, I’m mostly
interested in how climate change will affect human security. With more than half the
world’s population living in urban areas, this is an enormous question because we have
not only sea level rise, floods, and heat waves; there is a confluence of different issues. On
the one hand you have the impacts and the other hand you have so many possibilities, as
you’ve talked about - of these being where changes will emerge, where new ideas for new
relationships with rural areas will come out.
So for me, the city has to be seen in a global context, and it really has to be seen in the
context of both impacts of change and vulnerabilities to change. But also resilience, in the
idea that people can actually create alternatives and this will be where new ideas come out,
new forms of institutions and new ways of interacting. And that’s why I like Marilyn’s idea
of the Hive because these are the happening places where the connections are being made,
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 4
and the kind of “key” nodes. But at the same time we have to really be aware that in the
next few years, were going to see more and more megacities especially in coastal areas
and in Africa and Asia. How these cities handle change is going to be interesting and we
might actually have to focus much more on adaptation and transformation of changes at a
real global scale in order to suitably adapt cities to the global eco-region.
Marilyn Hamilton: Thank you Karen. I really feel you both have contextualized the scale
of cities in a very useful way in order for us to think about both the challenges and threats
that we face from ecosphere realities. The hard truths that Bill Rees often referred to in
his presentation and at the same time you’re pointing to possibilities of innovation.
Well, I wonder if I could ask you to talk about - now that you've framed what you see
happening around you in the Netherlands and in Europe - how are you actually putting
this into your practice? What do you do with this information around ecosphere and how
do you work with the people that you work with?
Ina Horlings: What I personally do is try to connect ideas, and individuals and inspiration.
I work with people in areas, in regions, and try to enhance awareness. Try to create a
joint storyline about the area for example: I’m now working in an area close to my home,
where the landscape is very beautiful and which is also close to a big city and in this area,
it’s a very small area, 32 organizations are working on nature and landscapes. That’s a
huge group of organizations. And what we actually now are doing is trying to create a
landscape community and to cooperate and try to develop a joint storyline, of what the
reason wants to be in the future so what is the next step in the development? And if you
talk about storylines I think that this refers to, what you Marilyn call, the cultural quadrant,
dealing with different values, the diversity of people, trying to find what are the cultural
markers in an area, what is unique, how can you use the play space identities and values of
people [even as]most of whom change? This is always a shared effort, and if you talk
about leadership in the sense it’s also about shared leadership. Not ego driven, but
working for the common cause I would say.
Marilyn Hamilton: So Ina, can you just tell me a little bit more, if you’re able to even
identify the city, and tell me a little bit more about the storyline. How do you get people to
tell those stories?
Ina Horlings: I can give you several examples, but maybe I can say something about the
astonishing story of the City of Angels which had been declared last year as the “Smartest
Region in the World” by US Forum. This area, it was an industrial area, but from the 90’s
on, this area didn’t do quite well. There was a crisis, car companies broke down, there was
a financial crisis and Philips didn’t do quite well. So, in this area, some Change Leaders
stood up and said, “We have to cooperate as businesses, as science and as a government.”
They saw what was happening in the area and organized, and allied all people around the
storyline of Brainport, Eindhoven which was, you could say, a name, to label the
innovation and the diversity in the area. And how do you do this? I think it’s important
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 5
first to answer this question: What is unique in this area? What are you proud of? What
are the strong points?
And then communicate with all the parties, with the businesses, the governments, the
NGO’s and see: what is the common ground? And how can you find an agenda which
connects all these different views and different interests?
So that’s what they did in Eindhoven. They tried to align; you could say in a kind of triple
helix situation, science, in this case the University of Eindhoven, the local government and
the big private sectors with all kinds of international firms. What is also interesting is, you
know these international firms became more responsible for their own area. For example
businesses are working worldwide but they still feel responsible for their own
[home]region. That was a big shift I think.
Marilyn Hamilton: That’s a really wonderful story that seems to relate the global being
grounded into the local in the Eindhoven Brainport – that’s a really inspiring story, so
thank you. So I’m curious now Karen, when people think about working on climate
change and human security they tend to get the “lizard look” because they think it’s just
too overwhelming, so what kinds of approaches do you use and what are practices that
engage people to really become part of the solution?
Karen O’Brien: Well I work a lot with the adaptation to climate change which is really
looking at how we respond to changes that are going to happen regardless of what we do
with mitigation; on the reduction of greenhouse gases. Because climate changed the
process and what we’ve put into the atmosphere already is going to be having an effect in
the forthcoming future and although mitigation is probably the biggest adaptation in
terms of limiting changes in the future we do need to adapt.
So, I look at how communities and cities are adapting to climate change and we see that a
lot of the work is going on is very, kind of, technical oriented. What are the impacts and
how do we address them? How do we deal with more water, less water, higher
temperatures, increasing sea level or storm surges? And so, people are looking to manage
the changes and use their expertise and really deal as if these are technical problems.
My approach is to point out that climate change represents an adaptive challenge. It
means that we really have to look at our values, worldviews, beliefs, our habits, our
assumptions and really what I call adapting from the inside out.
From an integral perspective this is taking in those left-hand quadrants and exactly
looking at the cultural stories. As Ina points out, they’re so important because you get that
lizard look and people say, “Oh my God, climate change, we can’t think about it.” But if you
start to recognize that climate change really is about the fact that human beings really are
influencing their eco-region you know the global eco-system then you say, “Wow, we
really can change the change.”
Then you start to frame it in that idea of what kind of a revision do we want rather than
saying , “Oh my Gosh, we just have to respond and adapt to climate change in a reactive
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 6
way.” Instead, we can say, “Wow, we really are the ones in charge.” To me that’s really
good news because if we were dealing with climate change that humans had no influence
over, such as sunspots as the explanation for the magnitude of climate change that is
expected, it would be quite depressing. But the fact that it is humans and we are
absolutely capable of changing the system and the structures that are responsible for this,
I think that is the exciting thing to get across in the climate change work.
The idea that we need this more holistic approach to climate change and recognize not
just adaptation to particular climate impacts, but adaptation to the idea that humans are
part of the environment - this non-dual perspective that we really are a part of the system
and we’re creating that and come up with new and innovative types of solutions. Not just
solutions in the old sense, but really redesigning the way that we live and relate to the
Marilyn Hamilton: Thank you for giving us that frame. I would say that relates a lot to
my radical optimism that it’s possible to do things. I’m just curious because you’re so
connected with your projects in Norway, but you also mentioned the challenges to African
and Asian cities. How do you think in those two or three very different life conditions -
how do cities in those places develop that resilience you’re looking for that’s based in our
capacity to be consc?ious, to be thinking and aware that they actually are “changing the
change” as you put it. How would you describe your different approaches to those
different cultures?
Karen O’Brien: Well actually, it’s ironic because [on a visit from] Norway, I was just
recently in Helsinki at a conference on Nordic adaptation, and a lot of cities and countries
really don’t think that climate change is such a problem. They think we have the capacity
to adapt and we’re doing well. They believe we have the technology, resources, education,
etc. so they’re going on with the technical challenge. In many developing countries, people
are dealing with climate variability all the time and you have a much more powerful
movement, at community based adaptation. People are really responding from the
ground up. In many ways, you can argue that they are absolutely developing more
resilient and more creative ways for dealing with climate change.
Yet, I think that what is missing in any context is an understanding of the scale of the
problem. People have a very linear understanding when you say 1 degree, 2 degrees, 3
degrees, 4 degrees and they don’t recognize that there’s really nonlinear implications from
even small changes like that. So even in the Nordic countries, we think that we can be well
adapted to whatever changes. But the truth is, from a scientific perspective, we really
don’t have any science of adaptation to a 4 degree change. It’s unprecedented in human
history. And to get to the changes that are expected at the end of the century you would
have to go back 35 million years before humans were around so the challenges are
actually quite mind-boggling to actually grasp.
I tend to have a more realistic optimism that yes we can do things, but wow, we better
actually do them very quickly. I think the division and scale of problems in mega-cities of
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 7
greater than 20 million people is actually enormous where you have slums and people
building on very risky environments (on slopes and things). Addressing vulnerability and
the implications for human security is probably the best starting point and disaster risk
reduction and management is at the forefront.
We need to do it not as business as usual or like we’ve always done it, but in a more
transformative way that takes into account that not only do we respond to the hazards,
but also takes into account that we are changing the hazards. You know all of our
equations and solutions from the past might not actually be suitable for the future. So it’s
really going to take a lot of questioning of our assumptions as the starting point for dealing
with our future.
Ina Horlings: Karen, what you say about climate, I think you’re really right. It also
connects to the food crisis and the water crisis because they are all interconnected. Now,
we have more than half of the people living in cities. Also, the food crisis becomes more
urgent. How do feed the 9 billion people in 2050? Also, on this issue, I think you see many
technological responses trying to intensify the agriculture and increase production in a
technological way, but I think for a lot of cities connected to the rural hinterlands, for
example in Africa, more ecological approaches would actually be more suitable and more
embedded in the social and cultural structure in the area. So, I think we should really look
at the interconnections in these different crises – the climate, food, and water crises. Don’t
you think so?
Karen O’Brien: I agree. They all are one large crisis and underlying it is our relationship
with the environment and how we see ourselves in the world and how we see others.
I think that agro ecological approaches are really important, but also urban gardens and
we have lots of different ways of reconnecting the biosphere in urban areas. The minute
we start to frame them as separate issues and deal with them separately, we start to miss
the larger picture. In some cases, we might actually be increasing vulnerability like if
we’re dealing with the water crisis by digging deeper for wells in some areas we might be
actually be increasing vulnerability for rural populations.
We see that all over the world. In the Western United States, the Colorado River Basin,
that is satisfying the water requirements of urban areas is affecting people down river
especially in Mexico. So until we actually start to link all these issues, including energy, in
a more systemic framework and look at what the different feedbacks are with the
different solutions and how they can all be aligned, then our solutions could end up
creating bigger problems in the future.
Marilyn Hamilton: When thinking about the scale of what you’re talking about, Ina, you
described how you’re doing quite intensive work in several different regions in the
Netherlands. Can you talk a little bit about how something like the Eindhoven Brainport
where there are pretty large corporations like Philips have helped feed that project. How
are they bringing their own awareness of the globe to local conditions that are creating
innovation there?
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 8
Ina Horlings: Yeah, of course they can do more, but I discussed it with the CEO of Philips
in the Netherlands, Belgium in Luxembourg, and he said, “What we are trying to do is
create more sustainability in our designs to produce more products that use less energy”.
For example, they produced a lab which needs less energy. What you also see is the
concept of open innovation.
Because they know that there’s a need for speed in these times and they can’t develop
innovations on their own, they are cooperating more with other organizations to develop
innovations together.
There’s an increase in awareness on the regional scale where you need a landscape quality
and a social quality so you can provide your employees a good quality of life. So what I see
is a tendency to more intercreative practices and to more intercreative policies. Of course
that can be done much more I think. But I also talked to the Technical University of
Eindhoven and they are now cooperating with Philips to develop new infrastructure
systems which use less energy and space, and I think that we will be able to see much
more of these innovations in the future.
Marilyn Hamilton: So it sounds like your role is not only leading these sorts of research
projects, but as a catalyst who is connecting dots across organizations, people and sectors
that might not otherwise have come together. Would you say that was a fair assessment?
Ina Horlings: Yes, I think to align people around a common goal, networking is also really
important and as a starting point for this whole process all the businesses in the area
(small or large, international or local) to seduce them (as it were) in the process of
cooperation. I think this is really important. What you will also see is, by taking
leadership, transformative leadership, shared leadership, or leadership that is no longer
driven by ego but that works for broader sustainability. It wasn’t really a success factor in
this element of this area.
Marilyn Hamilton: One of the things I’m curious about is; you have a real interest in
innovation - your own way of designing research testifies to that, but how do you see that
the companies that might have been resistant to innovation – how do you open them up to
cooperating with one another? How is that driving new approaches, new inventions even?
Have you seen any particular examples?
Ina Horlings: A specific example is design students from a university now cooperate with
large businesses like Philips. What they both saw was that when you look beyond your
own boundaries, across sectors, across themes and scales, then you can really learn from
each other. In the 1990s, businesses like Philips were completely closed. There were
gates around them and they didn’t share knowledge. The awareness that knowledge can’t
be owned, but has to be shared was a breaking point, a turning point in cooperation. Now,
on the high tech campus, you see dozens of small businesses that benefit from this
cooperation. They are close to innovation and they see that cooperation on innovation
brings all of them forward. The concept of open innovation and shared knowledge was
crucial in a sense.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 9
Marilyn Hamilton: Well that makes sense in the particular life conditions you have there.
I want to circle back to Karen. It seems like in the Netherlands there’s a whole ecosystem
of innovation. Karen, you had mentioned the whole nonlinearity of climate change. Can
you point out any particular examples in your work where you’ve seen innovation arise in
places that surprised you?
Karen O’Brien: To follow-up on Ina’s story about the role of art in climate change and
adaptation. We’ve been working with artists in the art of adaptation. I think that this is an
area that is so underdeveloped in terms of potential. In the science community what are
really appealing is facts and figures and data and what appeals to the cognitive part of
their brains. Art really gets right to the heart. It’s emotional and gets people involved. I
think that if we want to start seeing more innovation (pause)
Marilyn Hamilton: I’d like you to finish your thought because that is a really inspiring,
unexpected approach to mitigation and adaptation around climate change. Who would
think that art is a way to open that up. So tell us a little more.
Karen O’Brien: We have to eventually connect the left and right sides of our brain and
come up with new ways of thinking. It goes right to the idea of innovations which is how
do we see things differently. In many ways we’re just downloading our solutions from the
past and improving them, but to really step outside and say, “Wow, what really works here
and what doesn’t.” gets to the idea of transformation.
What I described earlier is these global environmental changes are leading to large scale
transformations whether we like it or not, but we also have the opportunity to
deliberately create transformations that are ethical, equitable, and sustainable. To do that,
we need to step outside of the past solutions and systems we’ve created and really come
up with new ideas. I think that art triggers that and it’s not until we step outside of our
thinking and start to connect with all the senses. What you see is that when artists are
dealing with things such as new ways of dealing with excess water and how to make it
aesthetically pleasing, and water flowing through cities in different ways. In Helsinki they
were talking about using water to create ice skating ponds so that it actually is functional.
So, getting the designers, getting the creative people involved, really helps us come up
with practical and desirable adaptations that fit in with the vision of “what is a livable
city?”, and “what kind of a world do we want to live in?”
Marilyn Hamilton: This is a nice segue to bring in our audience. If art is a way of inviting
new ways to recognizing new patterns and trends in the world and also a way to jump and
have a non-linear way of expanding our consciousness and realizing “Oh, that’s a different
approach that we might never have considered before.”
Question from Alf in Ontario: Ina, have you come across the work of transition culture in
the Transition Town’s model developed by Rob Hopkins? Would you like to comment on
the bottom-up approach of this model?

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 10
Ina Horlings: Yes, I actually talk to students about the example of the Transition Towns
and I’ve also met some of the initiators, not Rob Hopkins, but his friends I met during a
conference; we talked about the Transition Towns.
What I really like and recognize with the bottom-up approach is that it starts with the
inner dimension of people - the passion of people, the inner driving motivations and the
will to change.
What you also see here is that leadership is embedded in social capital because if you only
have one or two initiators you don’t cause social change but here, we’re able to align
around a group of people or around an agenda.
What struck me when I met some of the initiators was that they also include spirituality.
It’s not explicit always, but spirituality is included in the search for new answers and
they’re very creative in that. They’re trying to learn from others and other cities and they
keep going with the search for more sustainability. It’s also an example of resilience in
how they deal with energy and food. They’re trying to be more resistant to shocks and
adapt to the current crisis. These Transition Towns are very inspiring, so these concepts
have expanded to a lot of different countries.
Marilyn Hamilton: One thing that I’ve noticed with Transition Towns, and I’ve actually
done the training in British Columbia and they’re actually quite active here. I was a little
concerned at the beginning because of the way they were approaching their hard truths
was through a scarcity lens. One thing I’ve noticed that has happened in the last year or
two is that they’ve moved to a much more positive approach and so they are focusing on
the social capital. This opens it up to a much more optimistic and abundance lens.
Ina Horlings: Yes
Audience Question: I’m one of those people who is on an integral journey and releasing
old ways of living and thinking. What is the new lifestyle that is sustainable for an eco-
region? What advice do you have for someone who can start over? How should they live?
Karen O’Brien: That’s a great question; because it often strikes me that those of us that
are working on climate change often have the largest carbon footprints. How do we come
up with a sustainable lifestyle? Calls like this are a great start.
In many ways, we do this just trying to recognize that we’re creating these new lifestyles
as we go along and things are emerging as we talked about with the Transition Towns, and
in some ways everything has to make sense not just for one reason (because of the
environment or whatever) but because of what we want.
So, reimagining our relationships with others and positions within our communities and
wider worlds is essential. The question puts it well, it is a journey that we’re all on and it’s
a collective thing.
A lot of the criticism for dealing with climate change comes with making it the
responsibility of individuals such as “Consume less” when it actually is systems, structures,
and social practices that are actually forming the way that we behave. So that dance and
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 11
interplay between the individual and collective is really important. I always stress to my
students that the only person you can really change is yourself, but the more you work on
yourself, the better you can work with others. It really is the collective connective actions
that are going to make a difference. The integral journey is an essential starting point
towards these larger scale changes that we need to make rather rapidly.
Ina Horlings: If I may add, if you want to practice what you preach and be more reflexive
and aware of the connections, we always discuss what you can do in regards to food. We
all eat every day and that is a good starting point. Are you conscious about what you eat
and where it comes from? It is sustainable and what sort of aspects does it include? Does
it include food quality? Ask about animal welfare, did it come from your own region, what
is the carbon foot print? So I think food is a good starting point.
Marilyn Hamilton: Ina, you have your own kitchen/garden so you can identify with this.
Ina Horlings: I was living in the city for 25 years and I thought I should practice what I
preach so now I have a garden to grow my food organically, and I also have solar panels.
I’m still not there, of course, but it’s a start.
Marilyn Hamilton: To Karen and Ina, I really feel this sort of generative tension in the
idea that you brought up, Karen, around the art. I just see so much possibility in that.
And also, once you brought food up, Ina, in that taking responsibility for self so that you
can take responsibility for others, I seemed very connected to your approach.
Karen O’Brien: I’m just thinking about the issue of scales and how we normally divide
and local and region think globally act locally instead of think locally act globally. And, I
think that fusion of how our operations at different scales have different effects across
[the globe] is really interesting and it really does change the significance of everything you
Marilyn Hamilton: Maybe when we’re listening into the breakout groups that we will get
to walk through, we can be thinking across the scales like, how does the global inform the
local and how does the local inform the global? Your point Karen that we are the climate,
we are the local region, we are the city - it is us and it is not out there. We are embedded in
it. Just gaining those capacities to zoom in and out of scales both as a witness of scale
that’s also part of what the practical approach that integral thinking allows us to do.
[Pause to visit break out groups]
Karen O’Brien: One group talked about art as galvanizing action and embodying
possibility. They mentioned that the narrative is “game over,” but not in its negative
pessimistic sense, but now it’s time for a new game. People that are used to video or
computer games are used to saying “game over” to play at a higher level. And that
involves more skills to play at a higher level. So the idea that younger generations have a
higher skill set left me with the idea that things will grow exponentially when we embody
change. It reminds me that social change, just like environmental change, isn’t exactly
linear and we don’t know exactly where we are on that curve - but you can see rapid
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 12
changes. Maybe that’s where the optimism lives. You could be right at the brink of these
Marilyn Hamilton: I think that that’s a great point Karen, I noticed that really strong
sense of radical optimism in this group in fact, a few remarks on how the whole approach
to creativity and to art actually changes the brain and so that when we do something that
creates something new, it actually “clicks” more neurons in the brain, there’s more brain
afterwards. I thought that was a really good example of a non-linearity that would
translate into all sorts of benefits, and when we multiply that into the hive’s mind, which
would be another way of looking at the social change, then we have the opportunity for
that internal change that you talked about to also grow an exponential brain.
Ina Horlings: I thought it was very interesting for example we talked about the
Transition Towns, they began at the local level in the UK but they are now a worldwide
movement and they use solutions from all over the world to apply at the local level. So you
could say the local is connected with the global intelligence. All of these processes become
more intertwined. If we talk about art and creativity we see the importance of creativity in
regional design; in creative spatial design which creates opportunity to visualize new
futures for the eco regions - sometimes it works better as these [local] designs than
written text or designs or bureaucratic processes. Creativity becomes more and more
Marilyn Hamilton: One person commented that the reason she liked the integral was
because it didn’t make the local a victim of the global. That is a reframe. That as a whole
feeling of innovation is also cool.
Somebody asked me “what level of art is acceptable?” What do we consider “acceptable?”
It’s like every time we introduce something new we’re just making more connections .
Talking with Brett Thomas who has been a partner in creating this whole conference, in
order to improve the health of a system, do you connect it to more of itself? We are
creating more of our “self-connections” inside. The more we can change ourselves, the
more that you can actually work with others. I see so many possibilities.
Eric Troth: There was something interesting, I believe it was Alf, that talked about the
movie “Home” and the line in there that it’s too late to be a pessimist. I thought that was a
really interesting comment in light of the overarching theme in this conference of radical
optimism. That we’ve come to a point where we’re starting to recognize the possibilities
and where we can move forward and there’s a bright new future out there for us to pursue
– we’vegot to get out of the gloom and doom kind of mentality and reframing our minds. I
thought that fit in well with the themes we’re starting to develop.
Marilyn Hamilton: What I notice is that in each discussion we have been able to see
possibility and hope and I’m so excited to bring in the younger generation that says it’s
time for a new game. That’s a take away line as far as I’m concerned. Also, what you just
added in Eric that “It’s too late to be a pessimist.” Well, I’m also going to follow that up
with radical optimism because if this is what we can discover on day one of the conference,
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 13
then I can tell you I am becoming even more optimistic about what we’ll be discovering
and what will emerge over the next 11 days.
Both Karen and Ina have brought up this lived concept of non-linearity and emergence.
We would expect that these conversations would make a difference and the difference
that makes a difference has already started. This kind of creativity is contagious.
Thank you so much Ina and Karen for joining us in this conversation. Your awakeness is
inspiring because that’s what we’re trying to do: wake up and grow up. And you are
wonderful exemplars. Thank you so much for your contributions today.
Ina Horlings: Thank you Marilyn, it was very inspiring to be here.
Karen O’Brien: Thank you and wow, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to go to sleep right now
because I find them very uplifting. [Note: Karen and Ina spoke at midnight and 1 a.m.
European time.]

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013
Planet of Cities – Mother Earth @ Motherboard
What and where are we implementing emergence, complexity &
resilience intelligence?
Dr. Buzz Holling, OC
Interviewer: Dr. Marilyn Hamilton PhD
September 6, 2012

Dr. Crawford Stanley (Buzz) Holling, OC is a Canadian ecologist and
Emeritus Eminent Scholar and Professor in Ecological Sciences at the
University of Florida. Buzz is one of the conceptual founders of ecological
economics. He has received two major awards from the Ecological Society of
America, the Mercer Award given to a young scientist in recognition of an
outstanding paper in ecology in 1966, and the Eminent Ecologist Award for
‘outstanding contributions to the science of Ecology’ in 1999. He is a Fellow of
the Royal Society of Canada, a foreign Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and
has been awarded the Austrian Cross of Honor for Arts and Science. In 2009, he was made an
Officer of the Order of Canada ‘for his pioneering contributions to the field of ecology, notably
for his work on ecosystem dynamics, resilience theory and ecological economics’. Buzz has
introduced important ideas in the application of ecology and evolution, including resilience,
adaptive management, the adaptive cycle and panarchy.
Marilyn Hamilton: I think that if we want a new future for the city then we do need a new
operating system for it. So this week’s focus is on a Planet of Cities and thinking about how
a planet of cities is actually about how Mother Earth is our mother board for a new
operating system. Today’s theme is the intelligence of emergence. When I wrote the book
Integral Cities I defined that intelligence in terms of how the city as a whole is being
embraced as a whole unit, a living system through the lenses of aliveness, survival,
adaptiveness, regeneration, sustainability, emergence and resilience. As often happens
when you write a book, you commit it to print and then you realize emergence relates to a
cluster of intelligences that belong with complexity and resilience. So that is a wonderful
segue for me to be able to introduce the person who we will be talking with this morning
as our key thought leader on the subject. It is my pleasure to introduce Dr. Crawford
Holling – better known as Buzz Holling. Buzz is an eminent scholar who Arthur R. Marshall
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 2
chair in ecological science at the University of Florida. There he has launched a
comparative study of structure and dynamics of ecosystems. The Boreal Forrest and the
Everglades provided the initial focus for modeling and analysis. Buzz has worked at
laboratories for the Department of the Environment for the Government of Canada where
the focus of his research was a mathematical and experimental analysis of ecological
systems, particularly predatory prey dynamics. He was also a professor and director of the
Institute of Resource Ecology at the University of British Columbia and the director of the
International Institute for applied systems analysis in Vienna, Austria.
His research emphasis was the theoretical and applied aspects of ecological systems –
their assessment and management. His goal was to blend concepts of stability theory and
ecology with modeling and policy analysis. Through his research, Buzz has introduced
very important ideas in the application of ecology and evolution including: resilience,
adaptive management, the adaptive cycle and panarchy. Now something I really
appreciate about Buzz is that he is able to make very complex ideas understandable and
accessible to a wide audience. He joins me today from Nanaimo, BC, Canada where he now
lives. Welcome Buzz.
Buzz Holling: Thank you that was a very gracious introduction.
Marilyn Hamilton: I was inspired by your book Panarchy because of its evolutionary
view on ecosystems. Yesterday we listened to speakers on ecosphere intelligences. It is
very connected to this cluster of emergence, complexity and resilience intelligence. Today,
I wanted to remind our audience that in fact I already interviewed you as a prologue in
preparation for the conference. This interview, in which we talked about many of the basic
concepts that you used in thinking about resilience, is available on the website. Today, I
wanted to build on what we talked about in this interview. Can you help our audience to
understand that resilient systems have cycles that they go through. Could you start off by
telling us what those are?
Buzz Holling: In fact there are cycles at a number of different scales. For example, who am
I within sight of Vancouver (as Vancouver is just on the horizon). But right in front of me is
a bush and a tree with hummingbirds fighting around it – this bush and tree. And I see
everything from those small cycles of the tree, the vegetation, and the birds to the larger
cycles that intersect with the city on the horizon.
The basic cycles that have emerged in our comparative study of various ecosystems and
human systems is called the adaptive cycle. It is one of the three or four key elements of
this particular view of the world and of complexity. The adaptive cycle is really self-
evident. It is built around the argument and demonstration that if change happens in
abrupt jumps then there will be a collapse. Out of that collapse, something will emerge
that either repeats what occurred before or moves in a new direction. The collapse occurs
because there had been an accumulation of productivity - essentially which increases
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 3
By capital I mean, in the forest it can simply be the accumulation of biomass in the trees
and the vegetation. In a human system, say a business, it can be the accumulation of
understanding of technique or process. As that capital accumulates, the system becomes
more productive. It becomes diverse. But it also gradually becomes more rigid. The very
success of that stage of growth leads to decreasing opportunity for unexpected things to
come in, to inoculate a process of innovation. The rigidity accumulates and there is a break
of some kind. For a forest, the break might be a forest fire or an insect outbreak. In a
business it may mean loss of market share and the stockholders get upset. For a nation or
a set of nations, it might be the kind of collapse that we saw in 2008 – financial collapse
that we are still living with and will continue living with for some time.
So there is collapse. But with the collapse comes open opportunities, because with the
collapse is the release of this accumulated capital. It’s no longer controlled. It is sloping
around open and available for other kind of surprising connections. It’s a time when
reliance emerges, when experiments become possible and at the same time there is great
resistance to change from the accumulated vested interest that has existed up to that time.
So we have this wonderful period, which in a natural system occurs rather quickly and in a
human system occurs slowly. A period where there is great uncertainty, a great sense of
the unknown, a great opportunity for experiments at a number of scales. The fact is we are
now seeing those collapses at a time when we have a technology that can integrate us over
the planet. Witness what we are doing right now, or witness the internet, or email, or
Skype calls; and we have a situation where an experiment initiated in one place, can be
easily tested in many places.
Now the feature of experiments is that they will fail. Probability of failure is high. But
when they do succeed, if they link with other successful results of other experiments they
can synergize a new nucleus of growth. The adaptive cycle would then continue in another
What can one do during that time? One can understand more deeply where the forces of
resistance occur and vested interest. That is evident to you every time you pick up a
newspaper. You can alert yourself to the variety of innovated experiments all the way
from social relations to technological inventions, to political experiments of various kinds.
And to be alert to those and synergize with them, become involved with them.
The experiments that I am currently involved in are experiments that have to do with
monitoring dramatic changes that are emerging because of climate change. These are
impacts that occur at a planetary scale but, are manifesting themselves at local village and
city scale.
We have a good colleague, Eddy Carmac, who was in charge of the three oceans study: a
monitoring scheme of the three oceans in the arctic. They flew three planes in an east-
west and west-east trajectory to measure attributes of the ocean and the surroundings
from an icebreaker. At the same time, on that icebreaker, Eddy invited a group of maybe
20 to 25 people on what he calls the philosophers’ cruise. It is quite lovely, quite excellent.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 4
People are invited from a variety of backgrounds to talk about what their discoveries have
been. About what opportunities they see. About what experiments they are involved in. It
is working towards a new synthesis of understanding.
From that idea, came our idea for a mosquito fleet. The individual mosquito is a harmless
little creature. But as a flock, the mosquito can bite and make the society or the person
aware of larger scale phenomena.
The mosquito fleet in our case will be made up of a fishing boat in aboriginal villages
located at the mouth of rivers along the coast in Northern Washington, BC, Alaska and
with the Inuit on the ice sheets throughout the Arctic. So imagine then a fleet of boats.
Individual boats, maybe they are staffed by some school kids as well as the captain and the
crew, and they’re measuring, using instruments that Eddy has developed - exactly the
same sort of things that are used to measure from the icebreakers sweeping across the
planet from the North Pacific, through the Arctic oceans to the North Atlantic.
The same thing is being measured in an environment. That information can be shared
among the citizen groups involved, the schools and the scientists studying climate change
in the Arctic. The Arctic is a great place because there it is unambiguously clear that the
climate is changing. Thirty-five years of satellite imagery shows that the ice has been
“summer-ized” and is then gradually thinning and disappearing. This changes the heat
balance between the planet and the space, such that the overall top of the planet in total is
warming. That inevitably is going to percolate down to affect the lives of people living on
the coast in the various villages.
Now those are villages not cities. I argue that the changes that are going to be happening
have to first be detected and understood at a very local level. With that local
understanding – a network of that understanding – connecting to move then into the
larger cities, to become an environment to discuss what is happening.
The key thing in such changes - in such dramatic planetary changes - is that the future
becomes very unknown. The ability to predict what will happen becomes very small. The
unknown becomes very great. Surprises are inevitable. The way to deal with that is not to
plan the unknown out of the system, but to embrace the unknown through experiments
and through the sharing of knowledge that comes out of those experiments.
That is the heart of this theory of complexity. Let me tell you a little more about where it
came from. The formal research work we have done, concentrates on ecosystems around
the world: Everglades, the Boreal Forest Savannah of Africa, small lakes of Europe,
wetlands, dry lands, warm places, cold place. It is rooted in natural system. As we (a group
of about 40 people) did this work, we met in workshops. The great thing about workshops
is you can get good people together and talk deeply and significantly about some emerging
issues. You can set up the protocols necessary to do the work so that the following
workshop can advance things further. The workshops have always been held on islands
somewhere in the world like Herring Island in Australian, Malta in the Mediterranean, or
the Georgia Island in the US. They are held on islands because that helps people
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 5
concentrate. You get 25 or 30 people on an island and add in fun and limericks and you
establish a relationship amongst people, out of which comes a core of individuals that are
characterized by the joy of mutual discovery really. Each person brings something unique.
The individuals concerned are the type of people who don’t fight about these other views,
but become curious about them and begin to embrace them. So out of it emerges a natural
We have done nothing on cities per se, except we have been involved with cities inevitably
as the work progressed. The first time this visibly happened was when I was flying from
Venezuela, where we had a workshop, around 1971 and flying all around Managua,
Nicaragua. In the plane, I was sitting in the chair wondering which names we could attach
to these emerging ideas. The story of the Managua earthquake came up. The Managua
earthquake hit in the early 1970’s. It was an enormously destructive process, but also
extremely constructive because it severed the constipated authoritarian political system
that had embraced Managua. People were suddenly in a situation being freed from control
and searching for ways to support themselves. The search, the experiment, focused on
neighborhoods. Neighbor helped neighbor. Relatives helped relatives. The foreign aid
money didn’t do any help at all. It was all local people helping each other. Out of that
experience, young people and old people built, out of that local experiment, the next phase
of growth of Managua and the next phase of renewal.
It reminded me of how when our work shifted from British Columbia to Vienna in 1970.
Vienna successfully established a new institute called International Institute of Applied
Systems Analysis - clearly a committee name. It was established just outside Vienna at a
time when Vienna was just recovering from the Second World War. The collapse that
occurred from the Second World War [was devastating] and many of the cities received
the enormous benefits of the Marshall Plan, but Vienna was occupied by the Germans,
British, Americans and the Soviet Union. It was split into three independent entities.
Through the brilliance of a chancellor at the time, gradually that was broken down and
Vienna was united, after a long period of time, into one city under one Austrian form of
That happened a few years before we arrived in 1970. It was a city that was gray,
dominated by old people and young people but mostly people who had been scarred.
There were many crippled people walking on crippled limbs as a result of the horrendous
experiences they had during the war.
It was also a place that the existing chancellor, Bruno Kreiske, developed this quite
marvelous policy. The policy essentially said “there is no point in putting money into the
military to defend Austria. Whatever money we might put in would be overwhelmed if
there was a breakdown. Rather put the money into the historical castle. The memorable
buildings restore them, reinvent them. Invite international organizations to become part
of them.” So that is why IIASA ended up in this place that was the summer palace of Maria
Teresa. It was still undergoing restoration, but was also where scientists from 15 different
nations – east and west – came together to understand and deal with problems that were
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 6
shared by all nations independent of political ideology. It was an ebullient time for us. It
was a time of discovery of new ideas, discovery of new friends, the implementation of new
ideas and the generation of fundamentally new approaches to change.
Around 1989 came the collapse of the Berlin Wall. The events that led to the Berlin Wall
happened over a long period of time. The freeing of the people in Berlin took place over
one weekend. It was sudden and explosive - the essential restriction of the Berlin wall
collapsed. Germany was then launched on a new phase of union between what was called
East Germany and West Germany. A union that was in retrospect a remarkable
commitment from the wealth of West Berlin and to [hospice] the deprivation in East
Berlin. A series of innovations and inventions occurred to make it one country which it is
Each of these cases, as you examine them are examples of resilience. What happened were
the results of a major crisis. But the responses were multi-scale, experimental, and highly
inventive. They created a new phase for the start of the next adaptive cycle.
In the west, we have been involved in the growing expansion amongst countries and
nations … since the early 1990s. That phase of the adaptive cycle is where we are
accumulating more and more capital – more and more interaction. But, also a narrow
emphasis [is] global – true - but narrow in the sense, in that it was dominated by economic
advance. The opportunities for social expansion and for environmental expansion were
there. However they were only partially explored hence, some of the problems in some of
the Euro countries now.
But it was a major expansion which was rather narrowly focused. It is inevitable that good
things and bad things happen within such a process. The bad - this was the other break -
the other crisis that occurred in 2008 - which was the collapse of the tottering, extreme,
manipulative (I’m being very judgmental here) financial system emerging in the US
particularly. A break that occurred in 2008 is still persisting and, still affecting us and will
continue to do so for the next decade at least.
What we saw as we moved from workshop to workshop - we saw people in various cities
and countries - was the response to a crisis which drew upon the resilience of the system
and inventiveness of individual human beings to create little nuclei of opportunity that
then could expand. But that expansion, while inevitable, is always limited in some way. It
is always targeting itself through its very success on one kind of capital accumulation and
forgetting about the balance needed. So if anything is needed now, it is balance – that is
recognizing that there is ecological, environmental, social, and economic dimensions to all
the problems we are facing now within each of our countries around the world. Balance is
needed amongst them. Understanding of what that balance might be is needed along with
recognition that there will be resistance to whatever you might want to do because of the
vested interests of the base. Third, the resistance will be directed towards the experiments
that you launch.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 7
Those can be done in an atmosphere of great fun and creativity. Their key feature, besides
being inventive and novel, is that they must be ready to fail without the people doing the
experiment being destroyed in the process. So small scale, low cost, but enormously
inventive and expansive in potential, experiments are needed.
Marilyn Hamilton: Buzz, these are very practical ways for us to notice the cycles that are
going in the city. Also, you are pointing at a number of ways that we can choose to interact
in the city. So the experiments give us hope. You actually sound full of radical optimism
which is one of the ways we described this conference. It sounds to me like your adaptive
cycles allow us to see that just because we are facing resistance, doesn’t mean that that is
the only thing that is going on. That in fact there will have been cycles before that and
there will be cycles to follow it. It sounds like what you are suggesting is that we actually
have a role in seeding the next cycle. Do I understand that correctly?
Buzz Holling: You got it right on Marilyn. Very good.
Marilyn Hamilton: So I really like the idea of the examples that you have pointed at
because the Managua earthquake is something that often we would think about cities that
are impacted by natural disasters and that we can’t do anything. I appreciated that what
you saw was the neighbor helping neighbor that made the difference. So this whole idea of
social capital being released - as the result of natural capital having its own agenda - is
itself really generative. I’m curious, how can you suggest that we look at regenerating our
own relationship to the city? Many of us seem to get locked in to only one way of doing
things. In this way of looking at the city as resilient and emergent, is it something that we
have to take much more responsibility over realizing that anything we do in the city
creates feedback loops? Can we become more intentional about that?
Buzz Holling: Yes. My wife and I have moved probably five major times to various cities in
the world. Every time we’ve moved, whether it was to a large city or a small city, we’ve
always looked for associations with other people. We always look for associations within
the city of other people who have the features of being “good on islands”. That is people
who are imaginative, who are open, have very different experiences in business, in
academia, in all the social and economic dimensions of human activity. But share a
common purpose, a common goal. The goal has to do with equity, balance, and
sustainability. The goal is never achieved, but by being there is always approachable.
So in our case, although we have no religious associations, we decided that when we came
to Nanaimo (which means “meeting place” by the way) that we would explore and see if
the Unitarian fellowship had the kind of ingredients and people that are “good on islands”.
Turned out they were just wonderful.
From that came discussion groups and groups also that helped in an active way in dealing
with homeless people. We established a homeless shelter. These are all small scale, all
terribly important and all sharing the same values. But they are all small scale. Out of that
grouping of people (and they involved people of different ages and different background
who were all “good on islands”) has emerged a movement of intention that is growing
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 8
within our little community of Nanaimo, but also in Vancouver and other cities that we
interact with. So doing what the Managua people do of looking in your local neighborhood
for people of like-mind and like-spirit is a way to start and identify the experiments that
could be moved into a new transformative phase.
Marilyn Hamilton: This ties in well with what we heard at our last session with Karen
O’Brien who is with the IPPC and Ina Horlings in the Netherlands. We had a very
generative discussion about how local action can include even art and creative
opportunities. I love your idea of the island. I think that in this experiment of the Integral
City 2.0 Online Conference it is kind of like a virtual island where we have invited people
who have the qualities that you are talking about. We are good on islands I think. Little did
we know that we would have someone that would frame it for us that way. I hadn’t been
thinking of it that way. I have my own personal experience with islands - everything from
Bowen Island, to having lived in the Bahamas on a couple of islands. It does bring a real
special focus to thinking about how you are going to face challenges or how you are going
to enable sustainability and the cycles of life. It is as if it creates a special membrane or
boundary – a systems awareness perhaps. Is that part of how you think that the
experiments that happen on islands can help inform the larger system?
Buzz Holling: Exactly - it is not just half of our brain; it is not just the intellectual part of
our brain, but also our artistic part of our brain. Every one of our workshops also has
some dimension of art, often music. One of the guys involved says he never knows
whether to introduce himself as a scientist interested in integration or introduce himself
as a musician concerned and interested in his compositions. So music and art become as
much a part of the process, as inquiry and discovery, as does the science behind our work.
Art provides the kind of richness that is needed to get the balance required as one
progresses in a world where the unknown is very great and the known is useful but small.
Where traditional approaches will lead you astray and several different novel approaches
will point the way.
Marilyn Hamilton: It reminds me of a musician that I met in a workshop related to self-
organizing systems. His name is Miha Pogacnik. He told me that the true artist is only
interested in the impossible. And that sounds like the kind of attitude that you need in
approaching the unknown, setting up experiments, and allowing the creativity to flow
without necessarily knowing at all, what will come out. But something will if you create
this habitat for it.
Buzz Holling: Precisely.

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013
Planet of Cities Mother Earth @ Motherboard
What and where are we implementing emergence, complexity
and resilience intelligence?
Jan de Dood & Harrie Vollaard
Interviewer: Dr. Marilyn Hamilton, PhD
September 5, 2012

Jan de Dood has been working in the financial industry for more than 30
years. Currently he is head of risk management of the private banking
division of the Rabobank in the Netherlands. Within the Rabobank, he is
also involved in a variety of activities all related to the creation of a more resilient
financial industry. Besides his work for the Rabobank, Jan participates in (and advises)
several foundations and working groups, including the Center for Human Emergence in
the Netherlands. Jan is also a philosopher and integral thinker. In this respect however, he
is always looking for the connection between a great vision or philosophy and the “real”
world, trying to make ideas work. He is co-author of the book The Future of a Truly Stable
Economic Order, published in 2009, and is a frequent speaker in the

Harrie Vollaard is the Head of Rabobank’s Innovation Department, heading
up a group of innovation project managers. He is responsible for:
innovation management; innovation process, idea management, open
innovation, enhancing innovation capacity, creativity, and building up
internal and external networks. Harrie manages Rabobank’s Innovation Program which
includes new business development projects on e.g. mobile, social media, p2p banking,
and green IT. Harrie watches trends, especially IT trends. He designs Business IT strategy;
e.g. the new ways of working with Mobile, Social Media and Sustainability. Harrie is
considered to be very skilled and passionate in shaping unexploited areas with a vision for
the future, especially from a helicopter view where persistence, creativity, vision, problem
analysis, and cooperation are required.

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 2

Marilyn Hamilton: Jan, as a person working and representing a financial institution, how
do you think about resilience and emergence in the City?
Jan de Dood: It’s certainly a very interesting question, and before I go into this let me first
point out that all the things I’m going to say tonight will not necessarily mean it’s the
general opinion of the Rabobank but I can assure you it certainly aligns. I don’t have to
worry about that. Sometimes I have a different view on some details, let’s put it that way.
Back to the question; I think that first, I want to give you an overview of my thoughts
about all this and then I’ll hand it over to Harrie so he can tell us more about a specific role
of himself and of the Rabobank.
I don’t think that you’ll be surprised when I say that I think we’re in a severe, financial and
economic crisis at this moment. Maybe it is a surprise when I say that this financial crisis
will just look like a minor crisis compared to the crisis we will see in the near future if you
don’t take the appropriate action on the right level and as soon as possible. I will come
back on that later; let’s first take a look at what’s going on right now. What we see is a
financial crisis that has, at least according to the experts, two main components:
1. First we have the problem of too much government debt.
2. Secondly we have the problem of deficits.

Now looking at the debt problem there is a kind of base rule that says “the way you have
debt to the GDP ratio at or beyond 90 per cent, you are or soon will be in trouble”. And as
we all know now a lot of western countries are somewhere there, and it is also one of the
things that caused the problem we have here in Europe. Now at the same time we see that
the 2
problem is not really addressed. Most countries we are seeing are still running
deficits and it looks like they will do so in the next few years.
Now the question is: are the ideas proposed by all the financial experts, economists and
regulators or politicians - are they enough to solve the problems and stop the danger of
this crisis? Although, it looks like they are good willing and pleasant people I’m afraid that
what they do will sometimes, and somehow, work in the short term but I think it’s, by far,
not enough to solve the real crisis, and to save the world from a disaster that is looming on
the horizon if we don’t take appropriate action. Now the reason I’m saying this is that
when you look for solutions you first have to have the right picture of the underlying
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 3
As far as I can see and hear, most people in charge don’t have that picture. To make clear
what I’m talking about is that we first have to look at the debt problem. As I said, a 90 per
cent debt to the GDP ratio is worrisome, and a lot of western countries have almost
reached or breached that level.
The question remains, are we looking at the right figures? Because when you are looking
at the debt levels you should also take into account the other obligations you have. In
effect we should take into account all the future obligations of the government, which they
have to the people and then distract future tax payments from that. That’s what they call
the fiscal deficit.
I have to admit that I don’t have all the figures here at hand - as far as I know when we
make this calculation and take into account the demographics of the next decennia, the
total deficit of the US is not the 13 trillion US dollars we are worried about now, but it’s an
astonishing deficit of 200 trillion. According to my knowledge, all western counties have
such a hidden deficit.
So you can ask yourself, does it make sense to worry about fiscal deficits or should we
focus our energy on the real deficits. I think it’s the latter. By doing that we have to
realize that current financial and economic systems can never meet the obligations that
different governments have. So the only way that’s left is to re-organize or re-design the
current system, and not only the financial system, but our whole society. That’s why I
think this [Integral City 2.0 Online Conference] initiative is really worthwhile.
Now, I said a few minutes ago; that when you want to address the problems we’re facing
and re-design society, you first have to find out what the real problem is. You have to have
a clear and total overview of the whole situation. To create this overview, let’s take a look
at the different crises in our world.
According to the media, and also my knowledge, we can speak of having five big crises.
1. First we have the water crisis. On one hand we are polluting our water resources
with toxics, fertilizers, medicine residues, etc. On the other hand, we are depleting
aquifers with the water tables falling because of over-irrigation and we have to face
the fact that glaciers, the final fleeting water systems, are diminishing because of
climate change.
2. Secondly we have a food crisis. Every day, more than 200,000 new citizens are
joining us on this world, and they all want to join us at the dinner tables. At the
same time, we see more and more people changing their eating habits. They move
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 4
from eating vegetables to eating meat, and I can assure you, we are not really
resource efficient.
3. The third crisis is the energy crisis. Sooner or later we will run out of fossil energy -
it can be 30 years; it can be 50 years; I don’t know. As long as we’re using fossil
energy, we have to cope with the negative consequences in terms of environmental
4. Then we have a financial crisis. Since I spoke about that earlier, I will skip it for
5. Last but not least, we have a climate crisis. And although there have always been
arguments about the warming of the earth, it’s clear to me that we can at least speak
of a dramatic climate change.

Now looking at these five crises, we can see that they appear at random. But if we take a
closer look, philosophically, we can see a clear structure. What we are seeing here is a
logical sequence in complexity, in effect, a kind of pyramid of Maslow of the evolution of
mankind. I will give you a short introduction to it to make it clear.
Because water is about the existence of life on earth, without it life is not possible. Once
we are living on this planet we are looking for growth, and food is about growth. Once we
have growth we are looking for creativity and dynamics which is about energy.
Finance is about structures. Once we have these dynamics and creativity we are really
looking for structures and out of these structures a system will occur, that’s about climate.
So if you look at it from this perspective, it doesn’t make sense that we think we can solve
our current and future problems by focusing on the climate issues. As far as I know, bees
and ants are one of the oldest species here on earth, and it’s not because they were
holding climate conferences. They adjusted their way of living and behaving. And, it also
doesn’t make sense to start the re-structuring or re-designing of our society by first re-
creating a new financial or economic system. A financial system should serve society and
not, what’s now the case, the other way around. It’s because of this you first have to look
at the basis and the basics of human life and that’s in fact the basis of the pyramid of
evolution, mainly our water and food systems. Once we have a solid basis on these levels,
all the other systems will adjust and transform in a way that’s aligned with the new reality.
So, we have a starting point, but before we run into a total new design we have to wonder
if there is something of the old system that’s being used to create something new. The
reason I mention this is because I think that our current financial system has something
that’s of great value for the development of our future system.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 5
In this case, and in alignment with this Integral City Initiative, I believe that in order to
create a more resilient society we have to organize our society in a local way but still with
a global perspective. We have to create communities that are as much self-sufficient as
possible and especially in relation to the basic needs like water, food and energy. If a
community can’t do these things on its own, we’ll have to create a truly vital cooperation
with others. With that we create a kind of cell-structure which will be much more
resilient than a total open system. In fact we create a new human ecological system with a
greater bio-diversity in terms of structures, not only for water or food but for example
currency systems.
Now, coming back to what I said about things of value from the old systems, let’s look at
the most valuable asset of the financial institutions. This is not the amount of money they
have access to. It is my opinion it is their client base. And to link it specifically to the
Rabobank, the bank we work for, we have access to all kinds of people and businesses in
society, including SME’s, big corporations and governments, on every level and as well on
a national as on an international level.
The great value of this is that when it comes to think about a new design for our society,
we are able to connect the right people and businesses and facilitate the organization of
solutions. And in fact that’s what’s we have to do now, because as a good friend of mine
always says: all the solutions for the problems we face, are available. The only thing we
have to do is organize them. And by organizing solutions on all kind of levels, and from all
kinds of different and new perspectives, we can create a new world-wide web, a world-
wide web in which we can catch our future.
Harrie Vollaard: The Rabobank system currently operates on cooperative systems and
that really distinguishes us from all of the other banks, and that means our members and
customers are our shareholders. As a cooperative bank our core objective is to create the
highest possible customer value instead of raising profits like all of the other regular
companies. Part of our mission is to deliver excellent services to our customers on the
short term but also on the long term, especially in this difficult financial time. The most
distinguishing factor is how evidently as an institute, a part of a society with the
ecosystem of our customers, can we initiate or participate in projects and joint ventures?
We’ll collaborate with all organizations and institutes to create a sustainable economic
environment where our customers can realize their ambitions. So creating the right
context for our business is a very important part of our mission. I think this distinguishes
us apart from all the banks.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 6
At the moment, because of the financial crisis and the role of the banks, a lot of attention is
paid to the first part of our mission on delivering excellent and transparent financial
services. The way I look at it is from more of a hygienic factor. It needs to be done more
yesterday than today and as quickly as possible. I think that the real solution, that Jan was
saying, that solution is enclosed in the second part. To realize we are a part of a bigger
ecosystem, and we’re not alone in this world. You need to be involved within the context
of your customers and the society and look at how you can stimulate them within the
context. Create the condition to flourish and help [our customers] reach their greatest
ambition. That’s why sustainability has always been at the heart of the Rabobank and
even more right now. I think that’s the context from which we’re operating.
Marilyn Hamilton: Can you give us examples of ways you’ve been experimenting with
this in the Innovation Lab?
Harrie Vollaard: We look at it from a different perspective. From a hygienic factor you
need to look at yourself and set a good example. Sustainability within our company is a
big theme; to lower our carbon footprint and create awareness within our company (as an
employee) by using public transport or using video conferencing.
Jan de Dood: Within our bank there are many departments working on all kinds of levels
to live up to our values. Rabobank’s name comes from Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank.
Raiffeisen was a Major in Germany who never started a financial company but he started a
bakery for the farmers in Germany because they weren’t getting paid for their grain
harvests alone. The bakery allowed them to sell their own bread and make more money.
That’s what I mean when we look at Rabobank at this moment. We’re seeing more and
more that our local banks organize with their employees and clients for solutions in their
local communities; a future role that Rabobank has to play, and will play, also because of
the current crisis that’s getting worse.
The government will do less and other stakeholders have to stand up to organize the
solutions we need in local communities. I think we’re well prepared to do that as we have
direct clients and money to not only organize but to facilitate these kinds of things. I see
all kinds of cooperative energy companies emerging in the community as well as farmer
organizations. And so we’re organizing or re-organizing communities in a more
cooperative way with a lot of work left to do yet in the Netherlands and even our bank. I
see some projects, some I’m working on in fact, that we’re just organizing in the
Netherlands and around the world.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 7
Our bank is the fourth leader of the food and agriculture business. I think we are actually
the largest agri bank in the world. We’re the also the 4
leading financer of renewable
energy so we have a lot of knowledge and context in all the future change which are really,
the basis of our society. I think we can do a lot of work there. What we are trying to do is
create the solutions from the Netherlands, for the world.
Marilyn Hamilton: That’s really inspiring; thank you for giving us that insight into what is
old and new again. You have the roots of your company in the cooperative movement
from the original founders of farmers, and now you are going back to those roots and
bringing that forward. Is that something you see worth keeping and can expand in a
whole new way?
Harrie Vollaard: I see a lot of self-organization happening in the cities and it’s all around
societal issues on generating energy or healthcare or very practical things. I think the
interesting thing is the self-organized groups or communities always come to our bank
first. They recognize the cooperative structure and these local communities are also
based on cooperative principals so they link very well together.
We actually bring in the knowledge of how to organize the communities and we can also
facilitate with the financial instruments. We can link them to other clients of the bank; if
you look at generating energy, we can bring knowledge to these local communities about
finances and through our clients, knowledge on how to generate electricity to the network,
etc. So there’s definitely some value there that’s interesting to see how it’s linked to the
roots of our banks and it’s the way we actually started 100 years ago in the rural areas but
now it’s happening in the cities.
Marilyn Hamilton: So Harrie that’s also really interesting because I don’t think most
people would normally put the words “bank” and “self-organizing” together. And there’s
so much capacity in people knowing each other in their local neighborhoods and you’re
now proposing that’s actually a capacity that Rabobank is rich in. Instead of mining that
information for the bank’s profit-making purposes, you’re actually stepping into a much
fuller understanding of what it means to generate value for your customers.
Harrie Vollaard: That’s correct because in the long term if the people are doing “ok” then
we are doing “ok” as well, and that is what happens by creating a rich context for our
customers. Again it really links to where we are coming from.
One of the initiatives that we’re currently working on is related to healthcare, [in respect
to] a couple of … organizations in the Netherlands. We try to empower the people and
leverage their power to do something good for their neighbor. And we facilitate this by
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 8
our website or marketplace, more or less, where people can ask for help or contribute to
their neighbor. If people are responsible in taking care of each other, it creates a better
neighborhood and improves the liability of the neighborhood which makes this such an
interesting topic. I think it’s definitely something valuable with a big impact on our
Marilyn Hamilton: I can see there’s a question from our audience that is curious about
alternative currencies. If I recall correctly Jan, when we were talking about your
healthcare initiatives you were actually talking about a form of local currency related to
the healthcare. Could you tell us a little bit more about that initiative?
Harrie Vollaard: A lot of the problems people are facing [occur] when they’re giving care
to their relatives, they feel undervalued. So we thought to show our appreciation if you do
something good for your neighbor or your relatives you can actually earn credits, which is
actually community currency. So it shows appreciation for the work that is being done,
and with the earned credits you can actually, more or less, buy activities that are needed
by your relatives, purchase products from local organizations, or local services. This
really stimulates the local economy and local diversity, and gives an extra boost to local
organizations in the neighborhood.
Jan de Dood: May I add something to that Marilyn? Because in general when you speak
about local currencies and when you look at Europe we have a real problem with our
deficits, with our debt and with all of the countries running around and trying to do their
thing to help with the problems. One of the key issues here is that we have one currency.
If you really look at biodiversity and the ecological systems we don’t have that in our
currency system. And I think it would be a great thing to create more alternative
currencies in Europe - and you still can have the Euro for general or trade purposes - but
when you have more local and alternative currencies and one system collapses then the
other can take over. And then you have much more resilience in your economic and
financial systems also. So I think there’s two ways; one to create biodiversity and create
resilience overall, the other way that Harrie said is about creating more activities and
responsibilities in the community.
Marilyn Hamilton: So what I see that you’re speaking to here is what I would call a
feedback loop. You’re taking this initiative to put the financial institution in service to the
wellbeing of your customers, and those customers are key organs, if you will, in this city
itself and their communities in the city. By setting up these feedback loops you’re actually
going to create something that I would guess is going to be fairly re-generative, especially
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 9
if you’re starting in places like healthcare and well-being. Have you seen any examples of
this happening with your clients so far?
Harrie Vollaard: Well not at the moment. But we just started an experiment in
Amsterdam and since it’s so new we don’t have real results yet. I know from other
experiments though, that using a credit system within healthcare or the well-being within
the neighborhood, really activates people to do good things.
Marilyn Hamilton: Well I really applaud you for the experiment because, again, that was
something that Dr. Buzz Holling spoke to us about earlier today; that resilient systems,
human systems, really have their start in experiments. That doesn’t generally mean a
whole city that shifts into new structures, but he gave examples of cities that have been
the victims of natural disasters and the governments were useless as were the emergency
response systems. What actually enabled people to move on was because they helped
each other with peer-to-peer support. And now what I’m hearing is that you’re using your
capacities within the bank to feed that opportunity and allow self-organizing among the
customers to actually have a chance to change the system. So thank you very much for
coming to share that story. Are there any other ways that you would like to share on the
type of innovation systems Rabobank has been creating to develop whole new
relationships of the financial system with the city?
Jan de Dood: Well maybe I can add one thing that’s made possible by the Rabobank.
When you want to create a whole new society or re-design your society, or transform it,
one of the things you have to do is think in a different way. I think Rabobank really offers
the possibility to do that. Although, as you said in your introduction sometimes it’s hard
to bring it up but eventually they will listen. For example when you look at the pension
riots we have in the Netherlands, we should redefine our thinking about all of these
indexed linked pensions. Because we can ask ourselves what is more of a value, €40,000
in money in an environmentally unstable society or should we invest the pension capital
into these kinds of things? So there’s more assurance that our basic needs can be met, but
maybe there’s a little less money to spend? And that’s what Harrie was referring to. You
have to create other things, a whole new way of thinking, whole new ways of doing, and by
that you can create new things.
Marilyn Hamilton: So what I hear you saying is that you’re not only engendering the
relationships you see are core to a healthy community, but looking at the considerable
financial capital that you do have on hand? You pointed out that unlike the governments
who are duking it out, and almost descending to the bottom of the barrel these days, that
in fact the bank is in a position to look at its capital and make both foundation and
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 10
investment fund decisions that are grounded in really good sustainability principles and
therefore create the conditions for capital regenerating in the future. Is that a fair
restatement of what your intentions are?
Jan de Dood: Of course we are a big bank and an important bank. We are heard by the
government, the people and other institutions. So then we can cooperate, and when we
have ideas for these kinds of things we can align them together to see how they’ll work in
Marilyn Hamilton: I think that what we should be watching for is how Rabobank is
making decisions about investing in the pyramid of evolution you are talking about; food,
water, energy, and all those things that are foundational to our well-being. Again, I would
just like to applaud you for this initiative. As I said in my introduction, you’re taking
initiatives that we don’t see on the front pages or even in the financial pages of our papers
and you’ve provoked a lot of interest from our audience today. We have both, hands
raised and written questions so would you like to host those for us Eric?
Question from Graham Boyd: I’m curious about the role that alternative currencies can
play enabling, in particular, Gen Y young entrepreneurs to both start up their businesses,
start off their ideas and trade perhaps between each other in ways that free them from
one of their current limitations mainly the difficulty today of obtaining bank credit or
traditional investment from any other typical investment vehicle.
Harrie Vollaard: That is currently not the way we’re using community currencies within
the pilot cities. Community currencies are currently being used to stimulate the activities
of people within the neighborhoods to look after each other and look after their street, it’s
very practical. I understand what you’re saying - it’s definitely an interesting topic to look
at. You’ve probably heard about Time Banks and the way you could exchange activity
between each other. It’s actually an interesting topic to look at and to use Time Banks
alone for starting companies or together with community currency. But again, the setup
within pilot cities is not been used yet for companies or Gen Y.
Question from Steve: It’s been a fascinating conversation, I was wondering if either of
you were very familiar with the writing of Charles Eisenstein and Sacred Economics. How
does your system of banking maybe deviate from some of Charles’s understandings and
notions of resource based economy and or gifting and a negative interest rate
functionality that he describes in Sacred Economics.
Jan de Dood: I have to say that at Rabobank we’re really ahead of a lot of things but I don’t
think we are ready for his way of thinking to incorporate that into the real world.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 11
I still think there is this kind of initiative somewhere in Austria which is using negative
interest rates in the system at least they did (in Vienna) sometime in the 1930s. It’s really
a very interesting thing - before a negative interest system [operates] you really need
government assistance because as a bank you can’t create a real business model in the
current situation.
What we are thinking about is a way to look at impact investing, where you’re looking for
both financial and societal returns - but you have to measure. The next step is to create a
tax system which is based on this principle because then you can create some companies,
on the one hand they can be financially profitable and on the other hand have to pay taxes.
But as a society they are not very profitable. But you also can have it the other way round.
If you create a tax system that’s really socially profitable, a company can get taxes from
companies that are financially profitable to create a kind of economic system that is also
based on giving. Not giving to another, but giving to the whole system or shall we call
Earth. That is something we’re looking at together with some universities at this moment
– [to see] if we can create such a system in the future here in Holland.
Marilyn Hamilton: Jan, just for clarification for the audience, when you’re talking about
negative tax systems are you meaning the kind of system where you’re taxing money for
not circulating as opposed to paying interest on principle as we’re calculating now? Is that
the kind of thing you’re talking about so we can have a wider understanding?
Steve: Charles Eisenstein talks about a negative interest rate where money actually loses
value and forces lenders to quickly lend it out and circulate it.
Marilyn Hamilton: That’s just what I wanted to clarify and Jan that’s also how you
understood the negative interest rate?
Jan de Dood: Yes. I don’t think it’s a very suitable business model at this moment, as you
said it’s always good to look for things you can implement now. We’re still in a transition,
when we move 10 years from now maybe it will be a suitable system then. It’s not the
accessibility of money that’s a problem in this world, there’s a lot of money, investment
possibilities so it’s not really something in my opinion we need right now. When I talk
about societal return and financial return and the combination, mix that with a kind of tax
system but not in terms of negative interest systems.
Marilyn Hamilton: Well it’s looking like something like this might definitely emerge in
the next 10 years if not earlier. I know that Mark Carney, who is the head of Canada’s
central bank has been berating our Canadian companies for what he called “dead money”.
You know, like you’re sitting on a bunch of money and not circulating it because you’re too
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 12
cautious about what is going on in the overall economic system. So it is almost like a call
to arms for the commercial interests to get those financial returns moving. But, perhaps
it’s been completely dislocated from what you pointed out Jan, the societal returns. So
thank you Steve for your question and thank you Jan for your answer. Eric do we have any
more questions?
Eric Troth: Yes there’s another one here that fits along with these themes. What are the
new emerging practices that will help Gen Y and social entrepreneurs? For example, de-
coupling from traditional capital investments.
Jan de Dood: Yes well, I think this is a very interesting topic at the moment now especially
in the Netherlands it’s all about crowd funding. Crowd funding is based on social media
techniques and is related to the future community. So it’s quite easy to link to each other
and share moments and share money. At the moment in the Netherlands I see quite a lot
of different forms at the moment, the crowd funding model really links to Gen Y. …because
they are used to these tools they are used to communicating through the Internet and
social media, and maybe that answers your question.
Harrie Vollaard: Maybe I can add something else. It’s not only crowd funding but I also
think the new investment theme that is coming up is called impact investing. And
although there are already a lot of initiatives, there also the JP Morgan’s of this world
which are moving into this area of investments. And I’m not really sure if all these banks
have the same attitude with it or the right attitude but I think impact investing is also
about discrimination of financial and societal return and social entrepreneurs are really
coming into this transformation world and new initiatives that we need. I think there are
more possibilities to get financed by these kinds of investment firms and communities. So
what I see is, we’re looking for small initiatives that are scalable. So first we have small
initiatives for the social entrepreneur with financing that together with some foundation
or NGO organizations - those which we see that are working financially and societally -
then we can scale it up with the investment firms which are located in the impact
investment funds. I can also see that the social entrepreneurs have real access to a lot of
money which is in the impact investment industry at this moment.
Marilyn Hamilton: Jan and Harrie, I want to thank you for bringing such vitally inspiring
ideas about how Rabobank is drawing from its cooperative roots and designing resilience
into its community-based relationships with customers and corporate clients.

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 13

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013
Planet of Cities - Mother Earth @ Motherboard
What and where are we implementing emergence, complexity &
resilience intelligence?
Dr. Ian Wight and Will Varey, LLB
Interviewer: Beth Sanders
September 5, 2012
Dr. Ian Wight is a Canadian of Scottish descent working at the University of
Manitoba’s Department of City Planning. He has worked as a professional
city planner in Western Canada in the fields of regional planning, municipal
affairs and islands planning/governance. Ian is a founding board member of
the Council for Canadian Urbanism, an inaugural member of the Integral
Institute, and a member of two 'communities of practice' - the Ginger Group
Collaborative and Next Step Integral. Ian promotes city planning as place-
making (as wellbeing by design), and regional planning as common-place-making on a
grand scale. His current action research is focused on 'evolving professionalism - beyond
the status quo', prospecting an integral form of planning that transcends and includes the
best of pre-modern, modern and post-modern planning. Building on the social
technologies of presencing and meshworking, Ian delivers workshops on praxis-making
and ethos-making – meshing the personal, the professional and the spiritual.
Will Varey (B.Juris., LLB (Hons.), MLM) is the principal of an ethical
sustainability consultancy that focuses on societal generativity. His
specialist research area is the formation dynamics of thought-ecologies. His
advisory work principally concerns sustainability policy and project design,
primarily for water security, waste management, telecommunications,
energy planning, natural resource conservation and community
development. He has recently completed his doctoral research into methods
for visualization of the psychodynamic capacity of sustainable social systems. He is the
founder of the research field of apithology, which examines the generative growth of
healthy societies and is the convener of a world-wide community of practice undertaking
work empathetic to these aims.
Eric Troth: Our leading practitioners for this session are Ian Wight and Will Varey, who
will be interviewed by Beth Sanders.

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 2
Let me introduce our interviewer. Beth Sanders is a freelance professional city-planner in
Canada. She is very attentive to the various levels of scales that she works from, being a
citizen, family member, in the neighborhoods and all the way up to the provincial, country
and planetary levels. She is a co-designer of this conference along with Marilyn Hamilton
and is our Harvester-in-Chief, working with all of the themes and topics that are coming
up and weaving them together, trying to make meaning for all of us as we partake in this
very reach feast of the Integral City 2.0 Conference. Welcome, Beth!
Beth Sanders: Thank you Eric for that kind introduction and thanks to you Eric in
particular for creating this space over the phone across the planet for us to have an
opportunity to weave all of this intelligence together throughout the conference and,
It's my pleasure to introduce this session first by framing it within the theme for this first
week of the Integral City 2.0 Conference. If we want a new future for the city then we need
a new operating system for it. And this week’s focus is on a Planet of Cities - Mother Earth
as the Motherboard.
Today's theme is emergence intelligence. Integral City defines emergency intelligence by
looking at the city as a whole through the lenses of aliveness, survival, adaptiveness,
regeneration, sustainability, and emergence and, of course, resilience. In this session in
particular we will focus on the leading practitioners who are turning this intelligence into
actionable outcomes. It's my pleasure to introduce you to two leading practitioners: Dr.
Ian Wight and Will Varey. Ian and Will and I are going to bop around a little bit amongst
each other in the conversation.
I'm looking forward to the discussion with Ian and Will. In the spirit of full disclosure - Ian
is my former thesis advisor, where he got to drill me. When it comes to Will I'm really
curious about his interest in communication breakdowns and how when they occur the
functions start to function a little less effectively and how the reverse can be the case
when our communication relationships are strong perhaps the emergent really jumps
forward for us.
I'm going to begin with Ian and a simple question – or maybe it's not so simple. What are
the stages that living systems cycle through?
Ian Wight: Thank you, Beth. I don't think it's necessarily an easy question. If we are
talking about the living systems in our context of looking at the version 2.0 of Integral City
that could be, looking at it through an emergence perspective, we are literally talking
about the spiraling dynamics to these living systems. The basics of Spiral Dynamics™ has
been well articulated in Marilyn Hamilton's work. We are talking about stages there, that
might go from a very early, initial and very survival oriented structuring of society,
moving through more tribal forms of organization, moving through the cycle further into
power based hierarchies, then the cycling probably goes to authority based hierarchies,
very much concerned with order, continuing on to what would be more strategic business

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 3
oriented hierarchical systems; moving on, getting to the top of what in Spiral Dynamics™
we call the first tier, we are getting into an organization that very much involves social
networks. What's interesting about an integral framing for living systems is that we start
to think of a second tier of these initial six stages, that's where we're starting to anticipate
a lot of the context associated with emergence.
We are talking now more about self-organizing systems; going even farther I've seen
discussions in terms of a global noetic field. These later two are just emerging literally.
The previous six - we see forms of them in many societies, some more than others. The
distinctive thing about the integral ones, the last two, is that they acknowledge and
attempt to include all the stages in the previous tier and operate on from there.
I like to say, that first tier is very much survival oriented. For me sustainability is very
much a product of that first tier of evolving structures. I have a hunch, that the second tier
has possibly more to do with thrival rather than survival. But it's something that’s still to
be emerged. I think we are seeing in common when we are talking about living systems
that are complex, adaptive, self-organizing. These stages are forming tiers, this integral
signaling, what I would say, to be the upper tier, which attempts to be inclusively
integrating of that previous tier and stages. Did that cover it or do you want to add
something else?
Beth Sanders: No, I think that's great, Ian. As you are looking at all of those stages how do
you see the city’s key players showing up?
Ian Wight: For me, I guess, it goes to how I have to reframe the system and living systems
in my own terms. I see a lot of that through a professional lens. You mentioned my interest
in evolving professionalism. I think the way it shows up could involve folks who are just
simply in the system's maintenance business. I think, a lot of modern professionals are
showing up in that area. Some of them, though, are also getting into the system change
context. They are more interested in changing the system than in maintaining the system.
Then there is another group, maybe smaller, literally a potential leading edge, that would
be casting themselves in more of a system transformation business.
In my field we have a lot of planning, for example, that is essentially system maintenance. I
usually argue that the best planning will at least be engaging a large chunk of system
change. It would be doing so with an eye in part to the possibilities of system
transformation. That happens to be the way it would show up in my field.
Beth Sanders: Your field as a professional city planner - where do you see citizens fitting
Ian Wight: Citizens take part beginning in their neighborhoods, where they are living, also
in the communities of interest that they share. Usually I context it in terms of the places
where there are people operating in place, making those places, to the extent of an
openness to actually engage to be neighborly and to commune. I think that's where I
would see the participation happening.

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 4
Beth Sanders: Now when you are describing the professionals and citizens may be
distributed in a similar fashion, that most of us are in the system’s maintenance business,
some of us are in the system’s change business and a few of us are in the transformation
business or maybe even the transmutation business. I'm wondering how you see the
relationship amongst these three roles, and of course I'm making a connection to Marilyn
Hamilton's roles that she sees in a hive and the city. And that there are conformity
enforcers and there are diversity generators. She's added two other layers here which are
the resource allocators and the inner judges . I'm wondering before we move on to Will
here shortly, what do you see the relationship between these roles in that dance in the
hive, that is the city?
Ian Wight: I think if we are talking conformity enforcers – in the terms I was speaking to,
these would be the agents of order, the agents of a status quo. They are very much
associated with continuity and with a healthy existence, there would be some content
around it. If you move on to diversity generators, I think we are looking there for citizens
who are more comfortable playing a role of artists, these could be artists of all stripes,
these could be folks who cast themselves as iconoclasts, some contrarians, sometimes I
would identify as a sort of counter pointer looking literally for counterpoints to what
might be the conformist position. In integral terms diversity generators might involve the
Those resource allocators to me are more obviously councils, who are in a government
position, the boards, the institutions, it could include the chambers of commerce, they
literally have a role and allocating resources that community might confer on them.
Who are the Inner Judges who have always interested me - they are not necessarily so
obvious and so institutionalized. But these would be the folks who have gained the status
of comparative sages. These would be the Margaret Mead’s sapients in her sapient circles,
the wise ones. May be that's too simplistic, but may be that helps to make a connection
with some of the terms that Marilyn has used in the book.
Beth Sanders: Beautiful. Thank you, Ian.
Will I’m going to pull you into this conversation at this point. I'm curious, as we are
describing these roles, about your take on how the interrelationship of roles works,
because I understand that's an area of interest for you.
Will Varey: Thanks for the question Beth. I was listening to Ian describe the landscape of
the city, I’m recalling how we see different cities, and when listening to Buzz Holling's
prerecorded [Prologue] talk, we are looking for an inspiration for a resilient city. One of
the things we might think about is different levels, and also different time cycles, different
temporal cycles.
We see conformity enforcers in different cycles, at different levels in the complexity of a

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 5
For example I live in a city within a larger city - about 65,000 people within 1.2 million
people. My local city has a history, a bureaucracy, it has short distance commuters and in
the larger city it has larger things, relationships, and larger policies. We have two levels of
conformity enforcers. We have diversity generators at two levels: some of my colleagues
and friends work in community hubs and sustainable innovation hubs, but locally, and
then also with the larger city diversity generation in sustainability at a policy level. And
the resource allocators are blended between two. Just a simple example - one of the roles I
see enabling emergences, particularly harmonized emergences at cross-scale levels, is
around communication between these different roles, between these different levels.
Beth Sanders: Will, how does that take place?
Will Varey: This is the meshworking. As Marilyn points in her book, information is largely
data, we are also operating “in formation” - all of our different roles and functions on
different levels in cycles of a system. And mostly it's because of information silos and
information stove pipes, but perhaps more information, wetlands, ponds, if you like. So
that in the ecology of thought everyone is doing what they need to be doing - the question
is; how do they link up in the larger scale system? There are roles in systems to those
people that are facilitating the conversations between all of those parts of the ecology.
Largely it involves generating the connecting information flows, which is what ultimately
keeps the complex system resilient, and a lot of face-to-face meetings, large collective
groups, specifically designed around topics that are common to all. An example is water
sustainability - it's a critical issue in most parts of the worlds but, not so much in Canada
but for most other parts of the world this is the honey and the pollen of the hive, without
that the hive begins to stress and suffer.
Beth Sanders: So, when you talk about generating connections for information flows, how
do you design for that?
Will Varey: First, I'm going to use a practical example, as this is the main focus of this
session. What might be a big issue in large scale cities with water stress is water recycling.
Usually we harvest water from somewhere, in most parts of the world that would be from
subterranean aquifers. We use it, pollute it and expel it into the ocean, where it becomes
Over a period of two or three hundred years we can use all the water in the aquifer quite
quickly, usually the last part of collapse comes very swiftly. In something like that, the
industrial users of water, the agricultural users of water, the domestic users of water , the
people who plan 50 years of watering for [infra]structures all need to get together to
develop a collective plan on how to manage sustainable futures at the city level. How you
do it - is you have to get them together and set a different question on a different agenda,
the one that might be enforcing conformity on a daily basis.
Beth Sanders: There is an interesting word which came out earlier today - when we were
chatting with Buzz Holling. Part of the conversation was about the need for people to have

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 6
really good island characteristics, and by that, what he was speaking about is people need
time for [being in] circle and work really well together, as if they were stranded on an
island. I'm playing with the metaphor a little bit... You need to be able to have relationship
such that you can withstand stress. The other way to look at these island characteristics is
that people of like-mind need to have an opportunity to circle up and be on an island,
separate from the world, figure out what they are going to do, and then leave the island
and go into the outer world and do what they need to do, but also have the resources to
come back to the island. Ian used to work as a planner on islands - Ian what's your take on
that metaphor in terms of how we organize ourselves in cities in the notion of island and
island work, and island time, maybe?
Ian Wight: I think islands can be quite a fruitful metaphor for folks. I’ve actually seen
islands, talked about, very small islands – the Isle of Eigg in Scotland became very famous
for community energy sustainability. It really did do a good job within its own setting and
then to its credit it became interested in how it could share its experience outwards. It
came out with a program called "Islands of Green". And "Islands of Green" - the way they
interpret it did not mean necessarily literal islands; those islands could be in our case city
blocks that could basically conceive themselves as an island that wanted to become
I’m recalling that metaphor now and being impressed by it, how the experience of Isle of
Eigg, seeing these folks that are reaching out in those ways, it certainly has stayed with me.
I have a lot of history in trying to get my head around islands; I now live on an island again.
I'm aware of islands having, what I call... there is something about insularity that makes
autonomy an imperative as well. There is an individuality that comes with that. We are all
in it together. It's really a place where individuals can have their way.
I think islands can stress that angle too much and overlook the fact that they are part of
broader worlds. The way I'd like to think about the islands is an archipelago of
autonomies in a sea of interdependencies. That's where I was going listening to the
conversation this morning, when Buzz was talking about islands, from an integral
perspective especially and, from a complexity perspective, I wanted to go there. So I
wanted to go farther than a literal notion of islands. Literally they are the ideal container
or systems - that is where we start off with systems thinking. I think we have got to loosen
up that thinking, broaden it out, as well. That's my take on the island aspect.
Beth Sanders: Will, what's your thinking on playing around with this metaphor of island
and its relationship to our take on cities and even when we talk about the city’s 40 pounds
of honey like a hive - that what's it's got to generate in a year, no more no less. What is the
equivalent for us?
Will Varey: I have a bias toward social capitalism, human capitals, in particular the
capitals that enabled future planning. In a description of a healthy city which Marilyn
mentions in her book - healthy cities can take that landscape view of the archipelago and

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 7
assess proactively where resources might need to be allocated. So there are many types of
honey, there is the raw nectar that's collected, pollen and the mixing of the pollen and the
honey and multiple other compounds. So, the 40 pounds of honey in a human’s world is
really this capacity to see the resilience of the whole city. We can produce many other
things, we can produce GDP, traffic miles commuted, goods consumed, but if the
archipelagos as a whole isn't enhancing its region, it becomes like the hive starved [in and
despite]all its surrounding environment.
Beth Sanders: Super. I want to just check and see if Ian or Will, if either of you have any
questions of each other as we have this unique opportunity being here in a conversation
Ian Wight: Certainly in some of the comments Will was making there is some resonance
for me - it might be worth exploring a little more, especially since our theme involves
emergence. It's actually interesting trying to think about what the city's 40 pounds of
honey is in that context. Will was taking it into an arena which has also occurred to me.
I've struggled for different ways of expressing it. When I was trying to think this one
through, what I came up with: I'm looking at the city, the honey is something that has to
come, but the city is the venue where it might be produced. I basically see the city as what
I call an extelligence generating organism. I know a lot of our concern in especially
Marilyn's concern in Integral City 1 is with particular discrete intelligences, but I have this
hunch that the emergent city it’s really going to be the future repository of the extelligence
to come.
Another way I found myself looking at it in another setting was: it’s almost the venue of
outing the heritance that is to come. I'm playing a lot with this word "to come". I think it's
because my sense is that the Integral City 2.0 would be very much about something that is
in service. Not simply to our current well-being and that is really important, but also it’s
going to be of service to our future well-becoming. I just wanted to put that out there into
the mix.
Beth Sanders: Will, with your take on emergence and your practices working with folks:
what ultimately is the city in service to?
Will Varey: I'm thinking about the different cities that I'm familiar with, and what their
commonality is. I remember in a conversation with Marilyn once, describing how cities
can have unique character, it has a particular sense of what thriving is, in the interest of
the people within it.
Perhaps the city’s role is to create an island space where the fulfillment of human purpose
can occur. My focus as a sustainability practitioner is to see that we are able to continue to
the future, not to prescribe in the planning, the form of that, so the creativity and novelty
can create new histories. That's really going to ensure that there is enough capacity within
the city to enable its own emergences. So, I have a bias toward a potentiality to human

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 8
systems. My personal answer to the question is the potential for human city is an island
that enables potentials for the human thriving.
Beth Sanders: The question that leaves me with - and either of you feel free to jump in on
this. This conference is about articulating a new operating system for cities. We all are
feeling this bias toward the potential for humans. What does the new operating system
look like for cities that enables that and creates the conditions for our full potential?
Ian Wight: I think at the very least it's something beyond and past the operating system
that we've relied on in the past, which has been very much a linear system, for the
particular view of progress. It's a very top-balanced system, which has almost precluded a
lot of the healthy self-organizing, that we would want to see happening in a new operating
I'm very aware in my field how much especially the systems maintenance folks are
involved in making rules to constrain the system. What I think we need to consider is - yes
we might still want to be in to making rules, but if we had ourselves thinking on rules and
working on rules which basically further enabled, even fostered more self-organizing,
then that would be a feature of the operating system which I would like to see developing
and that sort of shift of perspective around rule-making.
Beth Sanders: Thanks, Ian.
I want to check in with Eric. There are some questions which come from the audience and
I would love to give folks a chance to put those questions to both of you.
Eric Troth: There are a couple of things. Ian, you were talking about extelligence. I’m just
curious if you can relate that extelligence, how that may be related to the collective
intelligence, a quality of hive mind?
Ian Wight: I think it is, that's a good way of putting it. We have to conceive it in terms of
the intelligence to come but from an emergence perspective, it's the intelligence that is
very much in prospect, it's very much potential.
I've ended up trying to think beyond the current system, which involves us trying to
capitalize on plurality of singular intelligences and that led me to an interesting thought –
would city 2.0 actually involve a shift to singularity of composite extelligence? People that
know me, know that I like playing with terms. Extelligence, I feel, is something that merits
a lot more attention. It may be difficult to conceptualize, given just the weight of our
thinking around intelligences in the plural.
Extelligence would be something that would be embracing past and future, as well as the
past being of the experience that culture represents. Also trying to think about in term of
the future becoming and the city to me is what’s going to be the most developed venue, or
organism for generating that? It's a good thing having an operating system that cultivates

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 9
Eric Troth: Another question from the audience. You were talking about not too long ago
about the rules and way in which self-organizing somehow held back. Can you give some
examples of rules that we need to enable self-organizing?
Ian Wight: I’ve got this perspective, I guess, where I got most of my intelligence on
emergence - from Steven Johnson's book of the same name. I was very impressed with
how he articulated some principles of emergence, how much he drew on Jane Jacobs’ work,
someone who was early on, very much into emergence, although was not called that at the
I think you can see some examples in Jane Jacobs. She was coming from pointing to - I
guess, she was much very much against the official plans and rule-making getting so much
attention. She basically wanted to empower and enable much more literally the folks on
the street, on the sidewalk. And, appreciating that those interactions at that very scale
could be really informative, deserved to be used by the otherwise planners as the basis for
any planning. I have interpreted that, I've developed that through the concept of place
making. And I think what I take from Jane Jacobs’ work – to the extent that she promoted
planning it was planning as place making by the people in and of the place. And in that
case they were, I guess, through self-organizing, they were making rules that were
working for them as a collectivity, literally on that street, on that sidewalk.
Beth Sanders: Ian, are there any rules in there which you can point us to?
Ian Wight: Not off the top my head. Maybe I can think about them if Will and yourself has
any hunches.
Beth Sanders: I'm going to check in with Will and see what your take is and if there are
any examples you can provide about rules that enable self-organizing.
Will Varey: As I was listening I have here next to me Chris Alexander’s collected works on
Architecture, the elements of a living system and living system design to cities is a very
interesting metaphor for planning. You work with very rich social conversations in terms
of sense of place. I think that some of those rules are natural rules. If we create a living
center, a city can thrive around that, people come into that center to be renewed and then
go out into their communities or their local neighborhoods. You get a sense of identity of a
city, while not having this condensing in the centers, so that has too much gravity and
collapses. So, there are many rules. If you would take two [from] the list, they might be
paradoxical – but when seen as a whole there is some sort of playfulness in that, more
interesting dance. So, I’m wondering if those are some rules.
Ian Wight: I think these are good points. I would translate them in terms of mixing and
mashing, being, I guess, pro mixing and mashing in terms of our strategies rather than
segregating and spreading things out, would be in planning terms a distinction that might
be worthwhile. I'm really getting into diversity and density here. That's what cities are
very good at - coping with diversity and density at the same time. It translates into some
positive social consequences - cities are literally where strangers become neighbors.

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 10
Question: Will, could you comment on reflexive thought ecologies, generative learning
matrix and how that could be applied in a practical way? You have a PDF, posted on the
web-site. Just for future reference, can you give us a few ideas around that which can be
woven into the discussion if not fully, but at least as a conversation form.
Will Varey: Thanks for the invitation. You asked about the criticality of cities - one of the
things I see often that gets forgotten is that cities consume from their surrounding
environment. I remember reading some work on bee ecologies that bees through
pollination are actively managing the renewal of their surrounding environment. The
problem is when we use the metaphor of the hive we forget that a hive is actually
reflexively nurturing its surrounding environment.
Cities do have a habit of growing, consuming and polluting their surrounding area, their
water resources, their agriculture resources, their mineral resources and condensing it.
It's one of the topics that I hope will come up in this conference, that cities to maintain
their futures need not only consume or generate from within but also manage its external
environment. And then this archipelago as [a thought ecology] - it's the connection
between cities, which I know, Beth that you are thinking about, having this overview of
this entire conference. It comes that a reflexive thought ecology is really about learning
that a city can go through in terms of it's thought not just about its intelligence as
individuals and its extelligences between all of its functions, but then how does it relate to
its external environment, and that includes other cities as part of their environment. That
would be a short overview of that area of work and research.
Beth Sanders: Thank you Will, that's juicy.
Shanti: Hello! My question relates to the islands metaphor. In my opinion, the island
metaphor in relation to cities isn't so terribly helpful because the classical island metaphor
has to do with a completely closed system, and cities by their very nature are open
systems and never really will become a closed system, unless they become something
totally different than what they are and what I think we’re envisioning them to be. At the
eco-village where I live we have a mixture of an open and closed system and by no means I
or where I live have any answers as far as cities, but I see the cutting edge being more
towards a combination of a closed and open system. And the island metaphor does not
work so well for cities. I’m wondering what both of you think of that. Thank you very
Beth: Thanks, Shanti! I think Shanti is giving us a mission to find a better metaphor. Do
you know of one or maybe the hive is it?
Will: I appreciate the question. Through a lot of the distinctions that I work on – I’m
realizing that living entities tend to be operationally open while being functionally closed.
You can identify them as discrete. I've been on a tropical island, I used to live and travel in
Indonesia. Things are continuously washing up on the shore line. Islands are connected
usually in coral reef systems of migrations under the sea. They are surrounded by currents,

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 11
weather patterns. And the reason is they have diversity but connectivity in terms of their
novelty and the generation. And perhaps one of the things we are doing in this conference
is in the many islands of our community of thoughts we are connecting up the archipelago
of ideas of extelligence and place making and thought ecologies. Yes, the island metaphor
can work as long as we are realistic, rather than view it as a static map, they are very, very
dynamic open systems.
Ian Wight: I'm not sure. I think islands are a very systems friendly metaphor, but in an
integral systems perspective it has to be loosened up. In terms of what an alternative
metaphor might be, I've just suggested we have to play with more complexity. Looking at
islands as classic autonomies, it might serve us to try get our heads around a notion of
cities involving an archipelago of autonomies in the sea of interdependencies, in Will's
terms that would be territorial autonomies in a sea of mainly functional
interdependencies. Basically the two are operating together.
Ideally we need really excellent communications between the representatives, those
favoring one over the other. I think I see islands... I wouldn't spend a lot of time perusing
that metaphor, but I think it's a good base to take off from, to explore what a better
metaphor might be for an emergent city 2.0.
Beth Sanders: What strikes me when I'm listening to you Ian and Will is we, behind the
scenes as interviewers have a script, which we are operating from to make sure there is
some consistency, and of course the theme for the week is Planet of Cities. We had a slip
when we wrote in the script "City of Planets", so we were having a chuckle about that. I
wonder if what we have now is Cities of Islands and we can flip the metaphor around
maybe that [would work]?
Shanti: Thank you! The only tiny follow up to that question - I do realize that in nature
islands aren't really closed systems, but they are almost completely closed systems, at
least they were before the modern industrial age. And the city is such a massive kind of
like resource sink... you can never feed all the people in the city just within the city limits.
That's all. Thank you for those excellent answers and an excellent call!
Question from Melissa: How do you get self-organized groups to work with and not butt
heads with local governments?
Ian Wight: We are assuming that these local governments are resistant to what these self-
organizing interests might be pursuing. I don’t know if it is about the self-organization or
if we have a clash of agendas, maybe we have a clash of the value sets, that actually
characterize the different organizing structures that I tried to lay out at the beginning. It
would certainly help if this operating system we are talking about was integrally informed,
and it would have an opportunity to get what the local government in this case and groups
that are interested in a different outcome may be getting what values they may share, that
could be built on. I think it goes to working at communications that are sensitive to the
fact that there will be different values in play. It could see that there is a lot of clashes,

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 12
especially if we are in this first-tier set of organizing structures. I don't have any magic
bullets, other that I feel there is a need to look for what the interest is shared in common,
and in this case it might be that they would recognize they share in common a valued
literal common place. And if they probe further through the differences they might find
that they have a common interest in a superordinate goal around their communities well-
being. That's may be a little simplistic, but actually I would call myself an advocate of
rethinking planning as place making, and that involves well-being by design. I would look
at the situations like that as an opportunity to cultivate some place making in service of
Beth Sanders: Will, I’m wondering about Melissa's question about how to get self-
organized groups to work with and not butt head with local government. I wondering how
the different roles of folks in the city that we touched in the beginning of the talk fit in. The
diversity generators and the conformity enforcers, maybe that comes in the mix here?
What's your observation?
Will Varey: Thanks for the question. I'm fortunate, living in the area where I get to see
this work. Simple principles of sociocracy where at each level of organization people are
represented partially across-levels; this is cross-level integration. I think it’s so important
in that the communication makes us to see resilience for example, in my local area a city of
65,000 within a bigger city. My local community gardener is down the road, one of the
people who are invited is on the city board, and he was elected as a city councilor, a
sustainability practitioner. They have an influence in council planning. Some other people
on that council represent the state government, a community of inquiry into the future of
resilient cities.
Often self-organizing groups will come together around an opposition, a lack or an
absence that is not being picked up by local government. The funny thing about these
groups is that they involve people who live near parks and act in community. Usually we
find these interests not so much oppositional, but contributive.
One of the things that tip the balance practically is when a self-organizing community
group around the absence realizes they are actually providing an important service to the
city. Suddenly the local government sees them in another light. Oh here is a group that is
self-funding. What can we do to support the space around them and then link that to the
wider policies? So often a shift in stance or shift in mind can change the nature of the
emergence across all of these levels in a city. I have seen it happen - it does take a period
of years and a short period of persistence. We are talking 130 years of history of reversal
that transition into the next 100 years that’s what I enjoy in my work.
Eric: We are going to go into the breakout groups. We have the following question for
breakouts: How does thinking about city as a hive or an island help you generate new
ways of thinking about problems in the city?
[Breakout groups]

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 13
Eric Troth: A question for our guests and Beth - what did you hear that opens new doors
and shifts the way we think about the new capacities for the future of the cities?
Beth Sanders: I got the opportunity to listen into a conversation with Melissa who asked
the question about self-organizing groups dealing with city councils. We got a little bit
more details: when you are in city council chamber and folks show up, it gets really hot,
are there other ways ahead of that to make the things a little easier? The conversation was
about the integration and future integration of technology and culture, and how we can
self-organize ourselves and our emotions and our anger and self police it long before we
show up in city council. I'll stop there – Will do you have something to add?
Will Varey: So, just adding to that - the link to this is the generational aspect, if we have
the municipality where 10 per cent of the population is over 85 and 15per cent of the
population are under 25 - the future city will need to find web 3.0 facilitation for this
meshing of the generations. That is the theme that comes after.
Beth Sanders: Ian, what did you hear and what struck you?
Ian Wight: We took a direction around about hive and islands as metaphors. I think we've
a range of opinions on it. One of the discussions felt this metaphor even locks us out, but
they could have value if we had them loosely. Another enjoyed both and could see the
potential for each of them, and actually came up as a very good distinction: she sees a hive
as a place of coming and going whereas she sees islands as places where she would land or
Another participant - neither [metaphor]was working for them and may be because the
discussion held yesterday around how consumptive the city is. That got us into a general
discussion around - yes there is a consumptive and exploitive aspects of the city but when
we think about it the city is our humanity creation that have got us here. And to get there
we've also been very generative, especially if that’s seen as being in service to something
larger. We actually finished our discussion just opening up a kind of spiritual front. It was
clear that for several on the call that is a dimension we have to pull to the surface and hive
and island do not necessarily easily engage the spiritual.
Beth Sanders: I'm taking away some significant insights - there really is something in
playing around with words, to figure out what it is we are carving out here in terms of a
new cultural narrative as we talked about it yesterday with Bill Rees. Words get us there -
playing around with the word hive gets us there, playing around with the word island gets
us somewhere, and I’m curious about what our next metaphor would be that can open up
to the spiritual front. I am curious about all of these relationships that are intermingling.
Thank you Will for bringing your insight about those relationships, and thank you Ian for
bringing your new words for us to explore. Thank you very much to both of you for your
Ian Wight: I've doing some writing about place making and well-being, if folks would just
like to contact me if they have an interest I'll be happy to share that with them.

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 14
Will Varey: My work tends to move on periodically. The themes we've been talking today,
if people search for “thought-ecologies”, that will bring them to any material we've
discussed today that’s relevant.
Eric Troth: Thank you all! A lot of great ideas are coming through!

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013
Planet of Cities – Mother Earth @ Motherboard
What and where are we implementing living systems
Speaker: Dr. Elisabet Sahtouris
Host: Dr. Marilyn Hamilton, PhD

Dr. Elisabet Sahtouris is a Greek-American evolutionary biologist, futurist,
business consultant, event organizer and UN consultant on indigenous peoples.
She is a popular lecturer, television and radio personality, author of
EarthDance, Biology Revisioned co-authored with Willis Harman and A Walk
Through Time: From Stardust To Us. She has been invited to China by the
Chinese National Science Association, and consults with corporations and
government organizations in Australia, Brazil, and the United States. Elisabet
taught at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and MIT. She was a science writer for the
Horizon/Nova television series. She promotes a vision she believes will result in the
sustainable health and well-being of humanity within the larger living systems of Earth and
the cosmos.
Marilyn Hamilton: You are so welcome to the conference. I have always been intrigued
that I describe cities as cells and you describe cells as cities.
Elisabet Sahtouris: One of the reasons I am especially interested in your work with cities
on the planet is that cities look so much like cells. Especially when you’re up in an airplane
and you see cities by night or by day with a central hub like a nucleus and then spread out
with kind of pseudo-pods that move into their ecosystems around them.
I have always seen cities as cells and I know that cells are absolutely the most important
life form of our planet and the reason I say that is that early in the planet’s history, in fact
for the first half of evolution, there were nothing but singles cells and they were bacterial
cells or the ancient bacteria and now they are called the archaea.
These bacteria had the earth completely to themselves and did something very amazing
about half way through their life cycle, in a sense, as a species…we can’t actually speciate
bacteria because one of the technologies they invented was the first world wide web and it
was that web of the information we know as DNA exchange. To this day any bacterium can
exchange DNA messages with any other bacterium on earth. That was all invented in the
first half of evolution when there were no other creatures on this planet.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 2
So all species it turns out now have life cycles in which basically they have a juvenile phase
and a mature phase. In the juvenile phase they get into some very hostile competition very
much like what you learned in Darwinian evolution and they are very creative about their
hostilities. They invent technologies like electric motors that are over 90 per cent efficient
which is something we can’t even dream of yet in our human made motors.
You’ll notice that I draw all these parallels between bacteria and humans because we
actually are more like those ancient bacterial ancestors of ours than any other species in
between them and us. And we, as Lewis Thomas a scientific essayist once quipped, may be
giant taxis the bacteria invented to get around in safely. But back to their story on their
own I am going to tell you that 90 per cent of the DNA in your body is in the bacteria that
rides in your gut and on your skin and recently we found out they run most of your
immune system, they digest your food, they do all sorts of wonderful things for you. I want
you to develop a friendly attitude toward bacteria; the vast majority of them are friendly.
Now, back to their original story. They had this long juvenile phase of invading each other
and causing problems on earth. They became so successful and so prolific that they coated
the whole early earth and eventually they ate up all the free food in the form of sugars and
acids that had formed naturally and caused a global hunger problem. Which they then
solved by inventing photosynthesis which is a way of making food from what was left –
sunlight, water, and minerals – and then went on to cause a global pollution problem, and I
won’t go into more details but they solved that one too…. So those are two things for us to
remember as humans.
The most exciting part of their life cycle I want to talk about is when they formed the
equivalent of our cities. And it was a division of labor, a central hub, where all the
participants with different bacteria lifestyles gave up some of their DNA information into a
kind of library nucleus and that became the hub of the cell from where instructions went
out and information went in and resources were used – all the things cities do.
The ‘city’ itself the whole cell - what we are made of - invented by ancient bacteria - are
very much like cities and in our own bodies those cells are as complex as large cities. I will
just mention two things about them to give you an idea. Every cell in your body (and there
are 100 trillion of them) has about a thousand banks giving out free money, and about
30,000 recycling centers that are kind of like our chipper machines except that the ones in
your cells do the equivalent of putting a dead tree into a chipper machine and getting a
live tree out the other end. It is way beyond our technology.
Your body is an amazing collection of a hundred trillion city cells working in harmony.
That is where my big optimism comes from. We can do it if that many entities, the
complexity of large cities, can work in complete harmony with each other - surely we can
find out a way to network the cities of our planet into a harmonious network that can live
So just a little bit more before I stop on this background biology. Those large cells, the
equivalent of cities - when bacteria invented them, now coexisted as entities in their own
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 3
right with the bacteria that was still free living. That took two billion years before those
“city” cells were invented. For another billion years - because those big city cells were new
on the planet they - they had to go through their own juvenile phase and get in to all the
predatory acquisition of resources and hostility against each other and stuff before they
formed their version of a collective - the multi-cell creature. Then we go on the biology
you learned about evolution as it was taught to you in school. But remember that the
Darwinian Phase is only the juvenile phase. Then they can grow up to a point where
species figure out that it is cheaper (meaning it takes less energy) to feed your enemy than
to kill them.
That is something that we need to learn about today in our world - that it takes less energy,
less money to make friends than to maintain enmity or kill off your enemies. That’s a big
lesson that we need to learn because we humans are right, in that adolescence crisis stage
where we brought these problems of hunger and pollution and you know peak oil and
climate change (all these things we know about) upon ourselves. And now we have to
learn how to grow up, cooperate, network our cities - which is half the population of the
planet. That is where we are. This is the most exciting time because the bigger the
challenges to us are, the greater the opportunities for our mature cooperation.
I live on the island of Majorca in Spain. Most of our population is in one city called Palma.
We have a big airport. We have 1 million people living in the city. The rest of our island
which is most of it, is therefore, much less populated and would have the capacity for
actually feeding everyone on this island. But we are in an addiction to mass tourism that
has prevented that from happening - again as it has happened before in the history of the
island - not so long ago.
I thought you would like to know that I am speaking from a place where there is a very big
important city and yet also a beautiful ecosystem around it. Thanks Marilyn.
Marilyn Hamilton: Elisabet, I love what you just framed for use. Both through the
evolutionary biology of our ancestors which are in fact alive in us as we are walking
around, but you also have picked up some beautiful threads from what we have heard in
the last couple of days. The idea that we are in a stage of the human species where you are
asking us to grow up - I think this conference is even starting at a wake up stage. My call is
to “wake up, grow up, and take responsibility” for ourselves. (But we can get there and go
there in a few more minutes.)
The other thing you just mentioned about being on an island. Yesterday we heard from Dr.
Buzz Holling who also lives on an island now, on Vancouver Island on the west coast of
Canada. He said there is something very special about people on an island. That when he is
looking for experiments and for people to associate and people who have the qualities that
he would like to be on an island with – these kind of people have a special way of looking
at the world. So thinking of you in Mallorca now, we on the west coast of North America,
in the morning, while you are in your early evening. It is another way of thinking about
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 4
this Planet of Cities that is interconnected in the kinds of ways that you are telling us that
at a fractal level, cells are interconnected.
I know that one of the ways I was attracted to your work was when I started to read it and
thought that you described a cell as a city. At that point there was a lot of sketching and
notating on the margin of the book!! I have been thinking about the city as the living
system. So I was so reassured that I wasn’t off base - [when I read your work] I realized
that you had been thinking about it from the same perspective. I too fly and look down on
cities and I saw them, especially at night, where you can see the energy of the lights alive,
that they were living systems.
I wonder if you could just take us further along this trajectory of evolutionary biology. Tell
us a little bit more around not just the cell, but what are the characteristics of living
systems that you come to observe because you look at them in so many levels of scale?
Elisabet Sahtouris: Yes it is just so wonderful that we can find guidance in nature. The
ancient Greeks called science Philo Sophia meaning lovers of wisdom. And the whole point
of science for them was to study nature in order to find guidance for human affairs. And
that is exactly why I went into science. Not all my colleagues agreed that that was what
science was about. But I’ve always seen it as, if we could just understand nature, then we
could see where it is possible for us to go and draw on the experience of so many species
that have gone through what I have discovered as this wonderful maturation process.
Now in my story of how things are in this universe it is the living universe. It’s a conscious
universe. Humans have never had any experience outside of their consciousness so all of
our models of nature are built within the human consciousness. I think it is important to
recognize that. Also to recognize that science can be built on very different stories.
Western science was built on the story of a non-living meaningless purposeless universe
that came together based on accidental events in a purely physical energy universe
without meaning or life and somehow life magically evolved within that configuration.
There are other older sciences on the planet that started with very different assumptions.
It is not possible to have a science without a set of cultural beliefs because you cannot
make theory about nothing. You have to make a theory about something. So you need a
story. I was very interested that on the first day of your conference Bill Rees was talking
about [the idea] that we need a new cultural narrative. It reminded me of when Joseph
Campbell, the great mythologer, before he died - which was I think now 20 years ago - he
called for a new myth for the whole planet. He had studied all these different cultural
myths. Many of them are about maturation cycles and heroism and facing challenges and
all those things. So to me the new narrative comes right out of biology showing us that we
creatures of this planet, perfectly natural, have it in our DNA not just to compete with each
other but to cooperate just as well.
Not only can we draw on the experience of all these ancient bacteria and all these other
species that arose - and some of them fell out that never got past the juvenile stage, that
went extinct and never matured (that’s always an option). That we can also draw right on
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 5
our own bodies, that is amazing. To know that in early human history and the tribal level
we already went through this maturation process when tribes got together and formed
the first cities.
Archaeologist are only now finding and digging up these ancient cities. There is one big
one in the Middle East. There is one on the Orkney Island of Northern England. There is
one in the Amazon where Amazons got together and formed these incredible network
cities. So we know that humans have already done this once. But just as the nucleated cells
when formed were the new entity that had to go through its own maturation [cycle], so
did cities. Those ancient cities, some of which are thousands of years older than even
formations like Stonehenge. They had to go through their own juvenile phase and what
did they do? They became empire builders. That is the competitive phase.
So now for about 6,000 years, we humans have been in this empire building mode where
first they actually were ruled by emperors and then much later they were ruled by nation
states which had the British Empire and the Dutch Empire, the Portuguese Empire …. Now
it is corporate empires because so many corporations, now, are economically larger than
whole nations. So we have gone through this cycle once before as humans. So that is why
we find every time there is a natural disaster, the most recent one being like [the tsunami
and nuclear disaster in] Fukushima [Japan]. That was a combination of a natural disaster
and a manmade one because it was a meltdown of the nuclear plant.
You found people 100 per cent cooperative without training when that disaster happened.
That is a real demonstration that it is just as much in our blood and bones and DNA and
protein and everything else that we know how to do this. We are not a purely Darwinian
species. We are not just in an endless struggle against scarcity in a universe that is being
run down by entropy. My universe isn’t running down. It is a self-creating living universe
that keeps replenishing itself in every split second.
Other sciences in India were based on the idea that the universe is consciousness.
Everything in the material world arises within that consciousness and it is still conscious.
Then Islamic science has a creation of a living universe where self-creating living systems
happen all the time. The Koran tells you that you need to study those. So those are other
sciences that I think should be on an equal par with western science. Not replacing it in a
paradigm shift. But rather working side-by-side coming from university hubs and the
cities of the world.
It is something that the cities of the world could get together and talk about - what is the
best narrative for us as humans today? What is the story of cities in biological terms as
well as in human historical terms? So there is so much that could be done here. Could the
cities promote cooperative dialogue among their universities? Recognizing, let’s say if they
are in Islam, or if they are in India, that they could be teaching their own cultural science
side-by-side with western science and having friendly dialogues from city to city from
university to university around the world.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 6
I keep going back to [the idea that] cities are a much more natural [phenomenon] than
nations are. Nations draw artificial boundaries. Cities tend to have not so artificial
boundaries. At least at one time they were built so much like cells; they had cell walls
around them. But eventually we dropped those walls and we got much more like living
I have been looking at what are the features of healthy living systems? How can we apply
those ideas, those features of systems whether they are cells or they are organisms or
whether they are ecosystems or whether they are living planets, they all operate by the
same principles. I don’t particularly like the concept of natural laws. I think self organizing
living systems develop their own habits and regularities. They learn what works and what
doesn’t work. So I call them the features of living systems that you always run into no
matter how big or small that living system is. Is that where you would like to go next
Marilyn? Would you like to make some comments on what I have already said in the
Marilyn Hamilton: I just would like to comment on your way of integrating the narrative
of the city with the science of the city. I think it is really intriguing. You are setting us up
for conversations that we will have over next week and the week following. You
mentioned Joseph Campbell and we will have Jean Houston, who was one of his students,
to help us explore a new narrative of the city. What I also think you brought forward in a
beautiful and inspiring way was that the narratives already existing in multiple cultures.
And how those actually do set up the function of how even science is approached in those
cultures. That gives me another way of picturing the microcosm of the city. Our large cities
these days are so much actually a microcosm of all the cultures in the world. So in some
ways the story you were telling us about cells - the [adolescence]stage that we are at now.
The entire world has come into our cities and we’re not quite sure (in the cities) how to
actually govern ourselves. We have not figured out the principles that we need to have a
healthy vibrant city. We are still kind of clashing and having the rogue wars within our city
streets. I am very curious about what you have noticed in look at in looking at healthy
living systems - what features or principles you have come up with, that we might learn
from for cities?
Elisabet Sahtouris: I would be glad to do that. Marilyn do our participants have access to
the features of Healthy Living Systems? (See Endnote (1)).
Marilyn Hamilton: That is up on our website or will be up after this session. Elisabet has
brought us a list of the Healthy Living Systems. They are reproduced in Endnote (1). I think
we can assume that not everyone has them in front of them.
Elisabet Sahtouris: Okay that is fine. … The first principal is the principal of self-creation.
I noticed that you have already talked about how cities create themselves. Science didn’t
even have a definition of life for a long time. The chemists thought the biologists had it.
The biologist thought the chemists had it. No one actually had a good definition of life until
two Chilean scientists came up with concept of autopoiesis (“auto poiesies” in Greek)
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 7
which literally mean self-creation. The definition went: a living entity is one that
continually creates itself in relation to its surroundings. You have also talked about the
interface of cities with their ecosystems. So cities self-create and you have already covered
that one.
The second one is easy. It is complexity. There is always the diversity of parts. Nature
doesn’t like monocultures. Humans invented monocultures. One of the things that is
wonderful about cities is that cities still have their characteristics even though in our age
of mechanism and our wanting to make everything alike and copying and manufacturing
things so that they all have Hilton Hotels and they all have certain things that are very
similar around the globe, they still do have their own characteristics - especially in their
older centers and things wherever they have been preserved. So complexity is absolutely
necessary to a living system and all cities as we know really show that. You can never have
a city where everyone is doing the same job where it is like a field of wheat where all the
plants are almost identical. Cities will always necessarily have complexity.
So there are two features that are built in already in cities. And so is the third one. Because
the third principle is the principle of being embedded in larger entities and depending on
them, we call this holarchy. Because every entity in our world that is reasonably
identifiable by itself is called a Holon and they are always embedded within larger systems.
In your body you have particles in atoms, atoms in molecules, molecules in cells, cells in
organs, and organs in the organ system. So you have quite a lot of steps already within
your own body and then you are within a family, within a community, within an
ecosystem, within a city, possibly within a nation, within a continent, within a planet
within a solar system, and so on all the way up to the universe. So that is [how]
embeddings [evolve].
So already we have the first three features which every city shows. The fourth one, I call
autognosis which means self-knowledge, self reflexivity. Now that one may be the case in
some cities - maybe it is partly the case in all cities - but probably not very much so in old
cities. Because it implies that all the parts of the city know themselves in relation to the
whole. That is more likely in a city than in a nation. But it is something that can always be
improved, for cities to become more transparent to themselves. The way we talk about
transparency coming into our culture now. And that is big. We had corporations exposed
and their secrets were let out. And then religions started getting their secrets let out. And
then governments (the wiki leaks) started getting their secrets let out. In the healthy
future we want as much transparency as possible. The more everyone knows about how
their entities in which they live, their cities, and their ecosystems [the better].
Nature is always transparent. Things in nature do know each other and know their roles
or it would never work. The cells in your body not only know themselves in all their
complexities, but they know what every other cell is doing in that body. They know their
role in relation to the whole. But our kind of consciences, which evolved more recently,
have blocked out so much information in order to think the way we do, within the time-
space world. To work with linear time even though we have never had an experience
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 8
outside of now. So we have to re-learn this transparency because we keep blocking out so
much and we are able to keep secrets. And that is a good thing to end us as much as
possible in the city.
So the next one, the fifth one, is self-regulation or maintenance or what I call “autonomics”
or self-rule in a city. That is about how do we elect our city officials? How do all the
organizations, the businesses and the families within a system as complex as the city
relate to each other? How much do they have to do with the governance as a whole? Is that
set up so that everyone has access to City Hall? There were some nice examples in the 70’s
when small communities, small cities, started making themselves more transparent and
expanding their city halls, allowing people in on more meetings, having more of the people
join into organizations that had regular communications with City Hall and so one. So that
is a good one to work on.
Then the sixth one is the ability to respond to both internal and external stresses. That
again is one that is extremely important to work on nowadays because the stresses are
getting greater. As these huge challenges come upon us with climate change that within
the next three to five years is going to get a whole lot more dramatic. We have had a kind
of lull, but we are going to kick in a popcorn-effect. We are going to have to figure out how
we recover from disasters; how we help each other recover from disasters even more than
we have up until now. How do we withstand those stresses? How do we make sure that
each city has as much a self-sufficient food base around it as possible? How do we make
sure [it has]as much of a self sufficient energy system around it as possible? How can its
suburbs be organized? How can we build more city gardens, more rooftop gardens, more
rooftop windmills? All of those things that will make any city more resilient through its
ability to respond to stress and other changes?
Then number seven (and we are almost halfway through) is the input-output exchange of
matter-energy-information with the other Holons. Meaning, with its internal groups and
its external environment, its suburbs, its larger nature around it. If we start to look at that
input-output exchange of matter, energy, and information with other Holons, we will see
more about how we can build responsibility.
Let’s say that you want to look at what is all the matter that comes into your city? How is
the energy supplied in your city? How are information streams brought into your city?
What do you put out as information, as energy, as matter? Are you producing more energy
in the city than you need? Can you feed a larger grid with the energy you are producing?
You can look at the entity within your city as a living system by taking these principles and
seeing how they apply. If we are going to exchange with other Holons, these 16 principles
have been applied, for instance, in the European community’s cross-border compliance
networking system. Also, these 16 principles have been applied by some businesses. So
you might know a business in your city that would get interested in seeing how much like
a living system it is, by looking at how many of these features show up in that business? I
will tell you there are a lot of businesses in which very few of them show up. But then you
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 9
can pick some to work on. You won’t be able to change them all at once. But you can pick
some to work on.
Marilyn Hamilton: May I just interrupt you for a moment Elisabet? I just wanted to ask a
question. I am looking at our time and I am aware that since we will have this on the
website that perhaps the other very important principles, we might have to defer for a
further conversation. I have some questions coming in from the audience. If you are open
to it, we will tantalize them with the first seven principles that you have just given us in a
way that ties in beautifully with what we have been looking at in the first day when we
were looking at ecosphere intelligence and yesterday when we were looking at emergence
and resilience intelligences.
One of the questions I have here goes back to our tribal connection with radical optimists.
The question related to the crisis that the cells underwent. The question was - is that
related to a pollution crisis? Was it related to what to do with too much oxygen? The
question was also brought into a landing spot related to all these crises we face now - why
do you think we can afford to be optimistic? What is telling our living system that we
actually have a basis for not hunkering down and going into denial and worrying about the
chaos? What is your suggestion on how we approach this?
Elisabet Sahtouris: On the question about the oxygen crisis, that is exactly how the
ancient bacteria created the pollution problem. Because, in solving the hunger problem
inventing photosynthesis, the out-gas of photosynthesis, as you all know, I think, is oxygen.
And oxygen was an extremely corrosive gas that was not present in great quantities in the
atmosphere. Because the photo synthesizers (the food producers) were so successful, they
expanded their numbers hugely by created food for themselves and in some cases for
other bacteria as it turned out. The oxygen was absorbed by the seas, by the land. That is
why you see these banded iron formations. Iron when it oxidizes rusts. So the red soils of
the planet were created by those ancient bacteria in the pollution phase. Then it
eventually piled up in the atmosphere to the point where it is about 21 per cent now. Then
it opened the opportunity for developing yet another lifestyle in which the oxygen was
used to breathe literally. [An opportunity emerged] to become breathers. Everything since
then in nature, in the animal kingdom, became breathers. The animals and the plants
evolved to beautifully complement each other with the one producing the oxygen the
other needed and the other one producing the carbon dioxide that the first needed. This is
the beautiful reciprocity in nature.
Nature is full of these wonderful reciprocities. For example, we are always as humans
doing these either-or things. We think you have to be either a radical or a conservative
politically. In nature, nature is profoundly conservative with things that work well and
radically creative with the things that don’t work anymore. So imagine our political
system instead of trying to kill each other off as in the US election campaigns at present.
Imagine that our government said that the radicals and the progressives, or the
progressives and the conservatives, were going to work in complete harmony and
cooperation, dividing up the things that needed doing between what needed protection
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 10
and what needed change and then helping each other on both. That would be the mature
thing, the mature way that your body works. We can do that. It is these kinds of things that
give me such hope. If we look at nature and we see that crises every bit as large as those
that we are creating now were created by the ancient bacteria, that had no benefit of
brains, then surely we can solve these problems, especially since there are so many
bacteria inside us. We should be able to get this thing right. So I almost just think it is
exciting to be an adolescent species. That is the brink of maturity. That is when you get
over the childish thing. Get over the hostile competition and behave in new ways.
Let me tell you a wonderful little experience I had in China. I was taken to a basketball
game there. Fortunately, it was played exactly like our basketball game so I knew exactly
what was going on and what the rules of the game were. But the Chinese guide next to me,
when he cheered for the first basket, I knew who his team was right? Except when the
next basket was made he leaped up and cheered with the same enthusiasm. And he kept
doing this. I got our interpreter to ask, “Which team is yours?” He looked at me in
complete puzzlement. Eventually he explained to me. No the reason you put two teams
against each other is to drive excellence. We cheer the excellence. We cheer all the baskets.
And at the end of the game the team with the most points takes the other team out for
dinner to thank them for driving them to so much excellence.
Now imagine our children in our city schools all learning their sports from that framework,
that context. The game is the same and the context is the opposite. It is a friendly
competition now not a hostile one. Now there is a principle they can learn in nature that
there is loads of friendly competition.
Even predator-prey species are in a very tightly woven cooperative relationship where
each of them is keeping the other one healthy. The predator species keeps the prey species
healthy by only taking the weak. And the prey species is feeding the predator species as is
obvious. The other side isn’t as obvious. But no predator species ever goes for the big
bucks. It only takes out the weakest members and that keeps the species healthy.
We can learn so many things from nature. We can see that this Darwinian story is totally
incomplete. If we look around the planet now we can find loads of instances of
cooperation. From the United Nations, we can exchange money across all cultures and
languages now through our cards. In your body you never have to repay your debit or
credit cards that are given out by the bank. In our world you still do. Nevertheless it was
designed by Dee Hock Visa as a cooperative system of exchange across languages and
cultures. We find more frequent World Parliaments and religion. We find science projects
that are cooperating in international space stations. There are over a million NGOs as Paul
Hawken [in Blessed Unrest] has pointed out, most of them cooperating to build better
worlds in some way; whether they are cleaning rivers or doing conferences or doing
microfinance to build up local cultural or planting trees or whatever. So the world is full of
examples of how we are moving directly into the cooperative mode. But the media tends
to be owned by the corporate world which is still in the juvenile competitive phase.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 11
So if you research ethical markets, you will find that just in the past years we have got
three trillion dollars worth of investments in green companies. More and more companies
are trying to behave better socially. Have better relations within. Which to me means
more functioning more like a living system. They are worried more about how do the
recycle things. I could go on all day about the amount of cooperation that we are seeing in
the world.
So much of the sources [for this good news] like Utne Reader and Yes magazine - they are
all free on-line. You can read all these articles. You can just Google the cooperative
ventures and easily find that you can get any kind of information you need today about
how to make transitions and how to build ecologically sound unity. How to grow your own
food? It is all there for us to find so easily. The internet by the way is the largest self-
organizing living system on the planet. Fortunately no government yet has figured out
how to control it.
Marilyn Hamilton: That is a saving grace in my opinion as well. I would say that horse
has bolted out of the barn door and they are not going to get it back in my opinion…..
Thank you, Elisabet, so much for joining us.


(1) 16 Features of Healthy Living Systems (Sahtouris)
1. Self-creation (autopoiesis)
2. Complexity (diversity of parts)
3. Embeddedness in larger holons and dependence on
them (holarchy)
4. Self-reflexivity (autognosis/self-knowledge)
5. Self-regulation/maintenance (autonomics)
6. Response ability to internal and external stress or
other change
7. Input/output exchange of matter/energy/information
with other holons
8. Transformation of matter/energy/information
9. Empowerment/employment of all component parts
10. Communications among all parts
11. Coordination of parts and functions
12. Balance of Interests negotiated among parts, whole,
and embedding holarchy
13. Reciprocity of parts in mutual contribution and
14. Efficiency balanced by Resilience
15. Conservation of what works well
16. Creative change of what does not work well

(2) Sahtouris, E. (2010). Celebrating Crisis: Towards a Culture of Cooperation A New Renaissance:
Transforming Science, Spirit & Society, . London: Floris Books.

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013

Planet of Cities – Mother Earth @ Motherboard
What and where are we implementing living systems intelligence?
Speakers: Darcy Riddell and George Pór
Host: David Faber
September 6, 2012
Darcy Riddell lives in Vancouver, Canada, where she develops leadership
training and capacity-building programs for non-profit organizations
(previously for Hollyhock Leadership Institute, and now for Drishti.) She
is also a strategic consultant on environmental campaigns
( Her current focal points include applying
integral theory to forest conservation issues on Canada’s west coast, and
leading groups of inquiry for activists connecting spirituality and social change. She is
most passionate about addressing the world’s pressing ecological and social problems
with emerging second tier frameworks, and is working to build a community of similar
practitioners. She has a M.A. Philosophy and Religion (Philosophy, Cosmology and
Consciousness), California Institute of Integral Studies and a B.Sc. Geography/
Environmental Studies, University of Victoria. She is currently completing a PhD in the
School of Social Innovation at Waterloo University, Canada.
George Pór is an evolutionary mentor, social architect, and strategic
learning partner to visionary leaders and changemakers in local, national,
and international government bodies, business, and civil society. A
pioneer of the field of collective intelligence, knowledge ecology, and
collective wisdom, he facilitates transformation in self, systems, and
society. Former Research Fellow at the London School of Economics,
Senior Research Fellow at INSEAD, he is a Co-Director of the School of
Commoning and Fellow of Future Considerations. George is also the Chief Architect of the
Collective Intelligence Enhancement Lab of the International Society for Systems Sciences.
A community architect for global, multi-stakeholder events, he integrates electronic,
knowledge, and social process tools into a coherent, well-crafted whole of online and on-
site work sessions. George’s own life’s journey enabled him to combine European values
with American “can do” spirit and ancient wisdom traditions. He believes in learning from
nature’s designs for the simplicity that underlies complexity. He is a Hungarian-born
American, who lived in 7 countries, speaks 4 languages and, resides in London. He is the
author of over 100 articles published in 6 languages and co-author of several books.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 2
David Faber: I would like to talk about with you, get your insights and further
understandings on living systems.
George Pór: Thank you David for the introduction and your questions. Well my starting
point is that none of the five big crises that Jan De Dood talked about yesterday, the water,
food, energy, finance and climate crises can be solved at the level of collective intelligence
that we have demonstrated so far. So maybe that’s why we have in the centre of the
Integral City compass evolutionary intelligence; and maybe that’s why Marilyn Hamilton
wrote: “Evolutionary Intelligence is the capacity to transcend and include the intelligences
we currently demonstrate in order to allow new intelligences to emerge.” So to fan that
emergence I would like to start co-exploring three important matters with you all who are
on this call, or who will listen to it later. The first is how the Integral City and the collective
intelligence frameworks can mesh and contribute jointly to the emergence of a new level
of intelligence and consciousness that is required to match the level of our global crises.
The second matter is why and how the learning city is a pivotal model and metaphor for
the contribution of systems intelligence to citu’s design; and finally the third is the
distinction of the virtual city and why our eLaboratory community needs to become better
at being one.
To start with the first let me state a well known fact: the vitality of any living system and
its capacity to evolve depends on the diversity of its sub-systems and how well they are
connected and communicating with each other. So if our cities as living systems want to
show their resilience, they need to increase first of all their cultural intelligence. Cultural
intelligence sits in the lower left quadrant of the four integral intelligences that Marilyn
wrote about in the Integral City book. Cultural intelligence represents the bee life of the
city, it is the beating heart of the human hive. In living systems, relationships are the
bonds that link identities and information. Relationships make exchanges possible. The
formation of relationships is central to the emergence of new patterns, new
intersubjective intelligence and new complexity.
We make sense and meaning of our world through relationships and conversations. The
quality of those relationships and conversations will define whether we can generate the
breakthroughs we need. It is a question that leads us to one of the three strategic
intelligences that Marilyn termed inquiry intelligence. Inquiry intelligence is about asking
good questions that reveal the meta-wisdom of the city. For example how can the city
discover its vision for its contribution to the planet? If you want to explore such big
questions you need to have the whole city in the conversation. The people, communities
and organizations making up the city need to develop the capacity to learn together. That
is because only together will they have the requisite variety needed in their thinking to
pass the evolutionary test of our times. That’s why I believe that the learning city is a
pivotal metaphor and model for what the city as a living system can contribute to city
design. By learning city I don’t mean only a city of learners but also a city that learns. In
the first, a city of learners, cities take advantage of the opportunities that the city offers to
support their life-long learning. In the second, the city that learns, the collective social
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 3
body of the city has its collective memory, sensory and meaning making organs such as
processes and centers of collective intelligence. Those centers will be holistic learning
environments, open and inviting to people of all walks of life, and all our ways of learning.
When the city of learners type of initiative are powered up to realize their fullest potential
and become cities that learn, then they will become key drivers of the learning society. I
see that development not as a luxury, but as a condition of our planetary survival.
The third matter I wanted to talk about, engage, and co-explore with you is the distinction
of the virtual city, and why we need to become better at being one on the eLab platform.
The eLab city 2.0 community and the post-conference life has the potential to become a
virtual city that can experiment with increasing all sorts of collective intelligence. I
imagine various forms of co-evolving intelligences of place-based and virtual learning
cities. For example, direct connection with learning cities around the world, where we
could orchestrate synchronicities, collaborative learning processes focused on questions
that matter most, to the most of us. The current platform of the eLab was not designed to
support that kind of collaboration, but I believe that if enough of us become excited about
the shape that the globally interconnected learning cities can trigger, then they will be
able to make it happen.
These are my thoughts about the connection between cities as living systems and what are
the opportunities that city designers, activists and civil society can learn from moving the
edge of evolution. Moving the edge of our collective development and meeting the
challenges of the global crises. I will be open to any questions and I am very much
interested whether what I was talking about makes any sense, particularly the last part
about the virtual city and its connection with the potential of a network of globally
interconnected learning cities on the ground.
David: Thank you very much for that George. I do have a question here to start a bit of a
conversation as well, and it does relate to your third point of creating virtual learning
cities. I found that very fascinating in terms of how you described that. One of my personal
observations working in the municipal government for the past twenty years, is that even
within the organizations that exist within that city there is a lack of interconnectedness or
collaboration. There is very much a will or a wanting to be connected with other groups or
organizations that exist within that city, but there isn’t a mechanism to be able to bring
them together, and I am wondering if you can share with us where you have seen
examples of groups coming together in a virtual learning environment.
George: The virtual learning environment is just an enabler and I wouldn't say that the
most important enabler. Without a virtual learning environment, of course, it would not
be possible to deal with the complexities of what we need to learn about cities and city
agencies and citizens who need to learn together. But the main enabler is the quality of
relationships, that is the community’s formation of learning commons, and commons is a
practice where people are self-organizing for creating the knowledge resources and other
resources essential to their livelihood. Once you have that kind of self-organizing
momentum across city agencies, across organizations that work in the city, NGOs and
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 4
private sector organizations, once people start discovering that none of us is as smart as
all of us, and want to benefit from the collective intelligence, wanting to create more
conversations that matter, then and only then, can the technology platform make a
David: Thank you George. From my perspective, I definitely have been in that type of
environment where you have had those moments in time where true collaboration takes
place, and as you’re saying, outside of the system processes there is a space or a place that
is created where people can share their ideas that are brought together. I guess what I
have tended to notice is that who is accountable to bring people together, and maybe it’s
not accountability, but in Edmonton, for example, we have a structure called a community
league. A community league is a collection of individuals within a city, typically no larger
than ten or fifteen thousand people, and that community league works with that
community at the micro-scale. Where I see this connects up to happen are from the micro-
scale to the macro, to the larger city decision-making, and the impacts that the larger city
or the decisions that the larger city is making. I wonder how are we able to bridge those
going forward where you have groups, activist groups, or whomever within a city who are
able to sit down and perhaps talk with individuals who don’t want to hear that.
George: One way of thinking about it is, what can we learn from new ways of managing
inter-organizational complexity. By new ways, I mean one of the examples that comes to
my mind is Holacracy, which is a way of decision making that goes beyond the command
and control or consensus alternative, and involves connecting with representatives from
the higher levels participating in meetings with activists, and vice versa. Representatives
of NGOs and activists are invited to represent truly the point of view of their
constituencies. Of course the whole thing can be bureaucratized, and you can have all
those representatives, but they may remain in a rather fictitious role without any power,
so what can make the difference, what can add the requisite power for creating more
power symmetry is transparency, is having all those meetings communicated widely
through social media, local and hyper-local social media, and also traditional media,
enlisting the support of journalists who care for the vibrancy of their cities to be present
with the intricacies of how the different layers in this conversation, how they can hear
each other better and work better together.
David: That brings up something you mentioned as you were going through your three
points and you have reinforced here in your answer, and that is of transparency, and I
wonder what role reporting back to citizens on what matters most. The outcomes of their
communities, how that plays into this. I have been involved in some work across Canada
and across the globe of putting in place a recording system where you are actually focused
on the outcomes of the community. Those outcomes are actually co-created with the
community, and there is then a reporting that then takes place back to citizens. I just
wonder how you close the loop. Is reporting a piece of this, George? Is that something that
the community then needs to seed, to build in that transparency?
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 5
George: Absolutely, so developing the issues list and issues monitoring that is an essential
part of the transparency. Again it is just the tracking issues and the response of the
authorities that itself may not be enough, but it is definitely an enabler. Just a couple of
days ago I came across the Commons for Europe, which is an initiative of the European
Commission in the context of which they are just like the code for America, very similar to
it. They are developing software applications that are fostering the self-organization of
citizens, and that kind of transparency, and one of them is an issues tracking software that
allows citizens to follow what is happening with the priorities of issues that they
David: In terms of going to your first point on inquiry, as your three strategic points you
had mentioned: relationship, quality, and inquiry, and the importance of that inquiry with
everyone within that community. How have you seen engagement done or conducted to
do that inquiry?
George: By engagement, do you mean how to get started with that inquiry, or how to
follow up on that?
David: How do you get started?
George: Well in a learning city, any member of the community, any citizen, is a source of
the inquiry, so as Jane Jacobs said once: every city is continually sowing the seeds of its
success. Diversity being the seed of a successful city. Diversity is not only in a practical
passive sense of age and demographic diversity, but also the diversity of questions that
can become alive only when citizens voice it; and of course many of us, including myself,
feel that “Who am I to raise an issue at the city level? I don’t have much power as a
individual.” That’s true, but when we come together and form values communities of
engaged citizens, even a small number of committed citizens can make a difference, so that
the engagement for the inquiry starts with the individual who cares about something and
starts talking with others to discover fellow citizens who also care about that matter. Then
they bring their hearts and minds together to decide how they are going to get that
conversation going.
David: Thank you George, that is actually a wonderful segue to bring in Darcy into our
conversation as well. Darcy, in reviewing your background in what you have done, I was
very intrigued in terms of how you have done work in terms of forest conservation on
issues in Canada’s West Coast. I can only imagine the complexity involved in bringing
groups together to be able to do that, so I am curious as to your thoughts on the system,
the life cycles that we have been talking about.
Darcy Riddell: Actually my research is looking at how some of the forest conservation
efforts have scaled up and led to the largest forest conservation agreement in the world,
which covers all of Canada’s Northern Boreal forests and covers eight jurisdictions, and
includes Canadian and US forest companies, and many, many environmental organizations,
and many different layers of political jurisdiction.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 6
I have been looking at that, and I think just to frame some of my comments, one of the
major challenges facing humanity, or the question of how we are going to survive and
thrive together at all levels, and in the context of a lot of very powerful global forces, many
people have focused on the city as a place where people are close to the consequences of
decisions, and that there are strong local feedback loops, so that citizens can actually feel
empowered, compared to, say, acting on a global or national stage can.
One of the things that I think is a really healthy and creative tension is the tension
between helping people think and act across all scales. Some of the biggest barriers facing
cities to reinvent themselves is that they have a very limited amount of power, and lots of
very strong vested interests, and also limited resources in terms of the power of taxation,
and so on. What I like to think about is to start to try to think about cities within nested
systems of larger scales, and so while I have focused a lot on how groups can come
together and solve problems maybe at levels of provincial, national, or even international
jurisdiction, oftentimes there really are still groups of interested people representing a
much smaller subset of that, and trying to develop in more of an innovation or niche
experimentation model, trying to find solutions to real problems. The key is to get enough
diversity into the room when trying to convene groups of people who may have different
perspectives of how a given issue is solved. So you want enough diversity so that you are
going to start getting a good comprehensive sense of the challenges and the issues at
hand; but you also want a nimble enough group of people so that they can be responsive
to good facilitation, develop trust, and shared capacity and relationships to work together,
and also be a functional communicating body.
So I have been studying and doing a lot of facilitation and convening of such change efforts,
and the things that I really identify as critical, and it’s part of the theme of the human hive,
as Marilyn points out, is treating each other well, and learning how to be together in ways
that we may vehemently disagree, but we are passionately interested in what it is that the
other person is seeing, that we may not be seeing. I think that capacity is cultivated by
exposure to examples of other solutions that have worked, cultivated by exposure to
whole systems thinking that enables people to get out of their own narrow perspective;
and at the same time have their values be acknowledged, and have a place made for what
they consider to be sacred, what they consider to be primary, what they consider to be the
most important thing. And then be able to situate that within the large context of other
perspectives, and then begin to work together across differences to find solutions. Then I
think that sort of model can work really well in cities, and it can work virtually, it can work
face to face, it looks a little bit different in different contexts. Then new technologies
enable much greater numbers of people to be convened to find out ideas, and have
friendly competitions, and see how solutions to problems people are facing every day can
be solved, just through getting our arms around the whole system by hearing different
voices. So I think there is an array of appropriate ways to convene people to solve
problems and find opportunities for growth, depending on the exact context of the
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 7
One of the other things that I think being a systems-aware integral citizen involves is
understanding where power lies. One of the fascinating things about cities being situated
within these other higher contexts that influences us, and having/bringing a living
systems awareness to that, is that the impact on Main Street of the 2008 financial crisis
had nothing to do with Main Street. It had to do with decisions being made very far away
from those people, and so how vulnerable the city is, in certain ways, to these larger forces.
A lot of my work has been working with advocacy organizations to try to look at systems
through multiple levels, and understand where the most powerful high leverage scale of
the system to intervene within, is. To make that really concrete, I have been interested in a
friend and colleague of mine, David Eaves, who does a lot of work on open data in cities.
This movement is a fascinating movement, and we might consider it as being something
that an individual city can take on, but the implications are that there is an opportunity for
cities to collaborate globally, especially small cities, to share infrastructure - IT
infrastructure and software, developed in open source ways, that requires a level of
coordination that is much higher than the individual city, and yet it yields benefits at the
city level that requires infrastructure globally. So I think there are some interesting
examples of how, in order to address city-level problems, we need to go up a lot of scales
to engage creative thinking and innovation.
David: Well Darcy, that really connects with me personally, actually, on a whole number
of fronts, and I have a similar path as yourself, as you’re describing it to me. Some of the
most innovative and creative things that I have seen come together were when we
brought engineers, artists, planners and musicians and a diversity of culture and age
groups together. One of the things I have experienced in Alberta is they worked very
closely in the indigenous or aboriginal communities, and they were very much struggling
to raise their voice to a level where it was actually heard and listened to, and not placated
to. It is something that has been a real challenge working in the community. My
indigenous brothers and sisters use the term called “lateral violence,” where there is
violence to each other in doing this, because ego, power and money come into this, and it
starts to impact their overall community because of it. It’s something that I see being
within it, and I guess one of the questions that is surfacing for me here is: what are other
people seeing that we might not be seeing? I’m wondering about that; we see something,
or we are unable to see something that others are seeing. How do we bring that out?
Darcy: I think that’s really a powerful question. I was recently doing some leadership and
capacity building work for women serving organizations, working for women, working in
the front line in Vancouver downtown East side, which in a global context is both a vibrant
community, and a community that has some of the highest rates of HIV in the Western
world, and the highest rate of intravenous drug use, and the highest rates of homelessness,
and sex work and child sex work, and a lot of first nations people who are embroiled in
that. The community, due to lots of historical reasons of colonization and residential
schools and so on, it was fascinating to work with some of these front line workers,
because they were really struggling. Their daily experience was, it was much more
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 8
rewarding to work with the populations they were serving, and where they experienced
their most frustrations was in dealing with provincial bureaucracies . So it was interesting,
because they had so much passion to include finding venues to include the populations
that they were working with, to get their voices into the system. Our work was really
helping them to find some spaces to turn up the volume on the perspectives that they had.
Part of it was really helping them to break down the silos between the organizations that
didn’t really communicate with each other, even though they were down the block from
one another. So sometimes it’s the most basic relationship building, first of all, and then
helping them think about how the barriers they’re facing, or the populations they’re
serving or facing are not alone, and that there is power in collaborating to give voice to
those concerns.
So then what does that look like? Sadly, in the short term, there have been a lot of
government decisions that have increased the disenfranchisement of people that were
extremely vulnerable already in urban populations in Canada. What that means is when
people have more connection with each other, they are able and can really start to
articulate some of the challenges, for example, facing aboriginal, sex worker drug users in
the downtown East side, and how they face so many barriers of getting their voices heard
in a political process where they may have really important things to share about how
their community can grow and thrive. So through really small level connections across
organizations, and helping empower some of those individuals to take leadership roles, it
kind of trickles up. Yet at the same time, people have to be able to engage politically,
whether it’s municipal infrastructures, and often linking up with provincial and national
decision making bodies as well, to be able to address some of the structural and policy
environments they’re facing. I don’t know if that really answers your question, but
certainly the challenge of including vulnerable voices in public policy; I think that the
challenges are there, and I think the opportunities are huge.
David: I very much agree. I think the most profound experiences in my personal life are
when those voices actually are heard; to see the difference that it truly makes within that
community, whatever that community is. In this case, we’re talking about indigenous or
aboriginal communities, first nations. But in any community when their voices are actually
heard, it’s a matter of lifting that out.
I am very intrigued, actually, at something you brought up that connects with George as
well, and that is “open data.” I have worked in open data environments as well, and have
actually helped establish… the city of Edmonton has an open data approach that is being
undertaken as well. One of the amazing opportunities that I have witnessed happen with
open data is, when that information is put out there, people start to use that information
in different ways that you would never have thought of. Sometimes there’s very practical
examples of… public transit - i.e. you put your public transit times out, and then people are
able to better create little applications, so that you’re getting real time notices of bus
service or train service coming through. We’ve seen some very profound things, in terms
of community issues that maybe going on, and putting that information, or call centre data
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 9
that isn’t confidential, putting that out for the public to take a look at. I wonder how, with
what you were saying, George, about using virtual learning cities, and this concept of open
data… if those two are tied. I think sometimes of these gold mines of information sitting
there that are untapped, that we could start to explore. What are your thoughts on that
George: Talking about unmined information and its potential for making a difference, yes.
Connecting the open data movement with various streams of activists working on the
regeneration of the cities, is, of course, desirable. I just want to point to another related
phenomenon, where technology enabled data mining, combined with citizen democracy,
can make a potentially even bigger difference. Big Data, I don’t know whether you’ve
heard of that? Big Data refers to the huge volume of information about everything and
anything that becomes available to the internet when we start to connect it to “things,”
which are the sensors… physical sensors placed on buildings, electricity grid,
transportation, and just about everything that can be measured.
The city can connect them, and there are big companies like CISCO and IBM that are
pushing the concept of the “smart cities,” which is basically increasing the artificial
intelligence impact on top-down city design. I was at a conference here in London where
futurologists talked about the “smart city” and I raised the question, “How about wise
cities?” By “wise cities,” I mean the possibility - because technically it’s possible to connect
all the big data that is available. To connect it, make it open, make it visible, readable,
audible, watchable by everybody in the city. Then comes what I refer to in my little talk as
the “need for connective meaning-making organs”; collective sensing organs that citizens
decide what is the meaning, what are the implications of all the data; information that they
can receive through the open data policies, and through the Big Data technologies.
David: Thank you George, I want to ask and build on that, and Darcy please jump in as
well, related to improving the health of a system. I feel we’re talking about things across
many scales right now; from the macro all the way through to the micro; and I am
wondering, how do you see this contributing to improving the health of a system? Having
this information, how do you see that contributing to improving it?
Darcy: Well, it fulfills a lot of living systems principles to have information flowing up and
down and across different domains of knowledge. But I think that individuals and people
working within various municipal systems experience the frustrations of not being able to
get information that’s vital. The Open Cities movement, in some of the cities that have
taken open data, some of the reports that are coming out of some municipalities are
actually that it’s the colleagues down the hall that are finding the most utility out of having
their colleague’s information that they didn’t have before, due to siloing within even the
city hall scenario. So from a very specific urban governance perspective, people within
those silos all of a sudden have a lot more freedom and creativity, and begin to see the
cumulative impact of their decision making, that might flow onto other individuals in
other departments. So I think you can get a real synergy coming from policy that way, and
better decisions.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 10
But then on the smallest scale, there are a lot of different stories of data being released
where people, neighborhoods, are looking at accident data that happens in their regions,
and they’re able to mobilize to get different safety inclusions happening. Traffic coming, or
other things like that. That empowers people at a really micro level. I think there are
examples of being able to look across entire cities and identify where there’s various
underutilized land; people can have more access to growing food. The decisions can be
made at city level, and open up areas for local communities and individuals to start
growing food or flowers that beautifies and makes cities more healthy. This also urges
people to have [more local] access to food, and it cuts food costs, and provides a lot of
fresh vegetables and things for people.
I think from some of those examples, it can affect people’s lives really directly. But it can
also go up the scale. What I was discussing earlier around open city data is, if you think
about how little money cities actually have. Given the fact that in Canada, 90% of the
people live in cities; the cities are very underfunded; and they face up-front costs and
ageing infrastructure, and all kinds of challenges. But the pattern over the last decade has
been to sink additional money into very technologically intensive IT systems, management
systems, and a belief that each city’s problems are so unique that they can’t be solved by
using someone else's software. So they get into very expensive contracts with IT
companies. They’re locked into these expensive relationships, and so the opportunity for
open data, in that context, is for cities across the world to collaborate and have a shared
platform where open software becomes available. Then that can have really powerful
impacts, as well, in places. It can spur local IT industries in small municipal settings, but it
can also be available in different continents and places where, in African cities or in Asian
cities, they might not have enough money to invest as much. So the power of open data
can go up and down across scales.
David: Thank you very much Darcy for that. We’re getting to the end of our regular time,
and moving towards Q&A. But before we move into that, I just wanted to make a brief
comment in terms of the themes I was hearing from both of you. I think I heard similar
language and conversation around accountability - that there needs to be accountability to
the systems, accountability to each other, accountability to this earth.
I also heard collaboration and the importance of building those relationships, and working
together regardless of orders or levels of government. Those types of things where
collaboration is so critical to be successful.
The third that I have heard clearly from both of you is transparency. The transparency in
the decision making that’s happening, transparency in the information that is being made
available. I think those three certainly resonate with myself. So with that I thank you again
so much, and I look to Eric to start a question and answer session in the breakout rooms.
Eric Troth: There’s questions coming in around the notion of power, and where that
resides. Darcy was making the point about the power of open data. Also thinking about the
power of the inquiry. I was hearing in what George was saying a lot of focus on that
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 11
process perspective. I’m wondering how we can bring that dimension into this as well.
What is the connection between information and inquiry processes, as a new expression of
power? That’s a question that came up for me. And we have a hand up from Alia.
Alia: This is a complex question, I’m going to do my best with it. I want to pull on a thread
that has been implicit in this remarkable conversation. It’s a thread that was triggered by
notions like issue-tracking software, communities that engage citizens, individuals who
care talking with others. It seems to me that we can look at people connecting, at
individuals sharing ideas, at making voices heard, as of extraordinary value. And in many
cases, steps forward. There’s something else in there that could be teased out… for me the
phenomenon of collective intelligence is something more than combined intelligence. I’ve
been asking my local friend, Stephen Walker, on his take, and he said that there’s a
perspective of seeing individuals talking, and there’s another context in which you can see
a conversation happening, and it’s being co-created by the participants. But the
conversation is the whole. It’s not just whole individuals interacting with each other. The
conversation itself is the whole unto itself, and we are parts of the conversation
interacting and drawing out inspiration from the conversation itself. It’s kind of like the
difference between a linear conversation and a mind map. I wanted to note that both are
valuable approaches to the kinds of interactions we’re talking about here. Ideally we’d
have both. Any of us can shift into that perspective at any time, with any others we’re
involved in. It’s something we bring; something we create. Rather than being handed to us.
Eric: Thank you Alia. That’s a rich question you’re posing. I like that you’re bringing it
back into more than just combined intelligences, but something different. A new kind of
phenomenon, as George was speaking to earlier in the session. About the eLab and the
potentials of that moving forward. The evolutionary necessity of that, as well. To keep in
mind, too, that this conference has been framed by Marilyn in terms of the twelve
evolutionary intelligences in her book. This theme of “intelligence,” and what really does
that mean? I think weaves through this entire conference.
George: I appreciate very much the distinctions of individuals talking, vs. conversations
happening. We know that both things occur at the same time. But we can see different
perspectives. For example in this conversation right now, I can notice that I’m listening
and I’m talking. I can also notice that not only you and me are listening and talking, but
also something is unfolding; the conversation is happening. So it’s a question of the
perspective. Whether I’m taking the perspective of the part, the individual, or the we-
space, the collective perspective. The interesting thing is that when I’m taking the we-
perspective, in which it is the conversation that is happening, then I’m going “meta“ to my
individual perspective, but that is not the end of the story. Because what we can also
notice, all of us who are participating in this conversation right now, that whilst we are in
conversation with one another, something else is also happening. That something else is
the awakening of the collective intelligence at the larger scale, that includes all of us who
are not in this call, but who are passionately interested in learning cities, etc. and who will
be able to listen to this conversation’s recording, [read the transcript], correspond and
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 12
make comments on it. So the larger conversation is happening, also. The larger
conversation which is, in a sense, the global brain organizing itself. All those different
levels happening at the same time, and it’s just a question of perspective and choice to
what we are paying attention to.
Darcy: I’d like to add to that. I appreciate the distinction, as well. I think that the kind of
work we face as humanity is requiring and calling on us to inhabit that emergent
intelligence’s space, more and more. The capacity to be in conversations with one another,
I also believe it has a state and a presence quality to it, in that we can invite that
awareness into a room, with people who feel it, whether or not it’s articulated. It’s
possible, and important, to infuse decision making and conversations and searching for
change discussions with that quality of presence that you’re speaking about, and that
awareness that we’re inviting the future to be inhabited now, and we’re inviting new ways
of thinking and being. And we’re inviting this co-evolutionary participation in our
discussions. That’s very much an energetic, individual presence that can be in ourselves;
that we can then subtly invite others to co-create with us.
Eric: Very rich. I notice I’m feeling perked up by what’s stirring in this space. Just to tag on
one of George’s terms, “going meta.” That process of simply stepping back. We’re often
embedded in a perspective, and as we step back a little bit and ask the wider question,
“What’s really going on here?” That leads into new domains. As we explore what it is to
create a new paradigm, to design something that’s just a linear continuation of the old, but
to take it another step. We need to be able to step back from our own process, and Darcy
spoke to that very beautifully, as well.
Question from Diane: Hi Eric. You said a minute ago that you really perked up by what
was stirring in this space. I just wanted to try to bring attention to that kind of emergence
of energy that does happen when conversations like this are between people. In the
moment, you know? Paying attention to that energy, I think, really helps to keep us going
in that direction of interconnectivity. I really appreciated Alia’s comments and George’s
after that, and Darcy’s. Just trying to shift from this old paradigm, this old way of looking at
things. To trying to be in this kind of living energy that’s available when people are
attentive to it. Trying to grasp what’s coming up that is new. One of the words that struck
me as being kind of from an old frame is the “vulnerability” of people. Because what we
sometimes think of as being vulnerable is huge, immense strength. What we think of as
being “strength” is sometimes a fear of vulnerability. I just wanted to throw that in.
Eric: Thank you Diane. I’m appreciating the richness of this. Drawing in our speakers…
what’s really going on here, in this moment?
David: What I found in listening to both George and Darcy, and sharing what they shared,
what it’s really done for me is inspire me to reflect back on the processes that we currently
use. What is happening around me right now within my own community? I’m very active
in our local community, and in fact this weekend we’re doing a march against a
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 13
development that’s happening, to bring people some awareness to what’s happening there,
and a lack of collaboration and transparency in conversation. That has not taken place. So
much so that there were votes on Council to bypass public consultation that then had to be
approved provincially, as part of our municipal government act, to then approve the fact
that we weren’t doing public consultation. That there wouldn’t, in fact, be public
consultation. The outcome of that is a break in trust at a very profound level. I just feel
what’s happening, in terms of this dialogue, is that for myself, that reaffirmation and
confirmation that this is about relationships. This is about sitting down and having honest-
to-goodness dialogue. Discussing issues, bringing different viewpoints together, and to not
be afraid of those conversations. To continually welcome, even though people will come to
you and say, “we don’t want to be part of this conversation.” But they continue to welcome
everyone to the dialogue. And to be part of building whatever it is that the community
wants to build.
George: I’d like to add to this. I felt very inspired by Diane’s attention to the importance of
the energies of the present moment. Just paying attention to what’s present. Then Eric
coming back with your question. All that makes me more aware of my own experience of
this moment, which is that I’m noticing how inspired I am by the direct give-and-take of
questions and contributions that triggered new things I hadn’t thought of before. With all
that, I’m also aware of the limitation of the present-moment-ness. That limitation that
here we can listen and talk only sequentially… one person at a time. That just limits all
what I can hold in my short-term memory. I know that Darcy was sharing many insights
that I would love to be able to review, and revisit. With all the richness of the present
moment, let’s not forget that the real emergence and breakthroughs happen more from
the interconnectedness to very different modes of communication in real-time, as we’re
doing now. Online we can start doing after the call, and in the next few days, by posting
comments on the page of this session, and continue keeping the ball rolling to see where it
wants to go.
Darcy: That gives me a beautiful metaphor of the ripples coming out from this
conversation, and the unknowns even… this is an unknown space. In a certain way we can
tune in to who might be listening, but we don’t know, really, who is listening in this
moment, and who will participate again in their own time. I do think and feel that the
quality of awareness that we bring to an inquiry can enliven it and invite new insights, no
matter if it’s in this present moment, or the present moment where none of us will be at.
Where somebody else who’s listening [or reading]. For me what falls out of some of the
inquiry around how to be fully present, and invite the fullness of what’s possible in
speaking about new ways of living together in cities, is the quality of the awareness that
we’re able to bring is the most incredible, powerful gift we can give to the question of
“What is the future of the city? What is the future of all of us?” To use that quality of
awareness to benefit others, and to benefit the whole, is something I take in my heart as
my main purpose of life. So I thank you for bringing those questions up and highlighting
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 14
Eric: Thank you Darcy. I love the way that you said that.
Comment from Cheri: I am appreciating the space that’s created here, and in the inquiry
of what’s actually happening here. For it allowed participation in this way, and that is that
collective intelligence, I agree, is not combined intelligence. I think that’s a great
distinction that Alia brought up. There are spectra of intelligences out there, and part of
the benefit, and one of the reasons we’re looking at Integral City and what Marilyn’s put
together is because she’s differentiated twelve “evolutionary” intelligences. Which in my
mind say that they are emergent, and we’re just starting to get a handle on these
intelligences. I’ve spent ten years, really, getting a felt, body, lived experience of what
Spiral Dynamics™ is, and adaptive intelligences is one other domain.
I think we want to also differentiate the people who are in this conversation. We, I can tell,
tend to have a value for conversation itself. When we’re looking at cities, one of the things
that we might have to let go of is this value of conversation. Because as a city, I know that
people actually value conversation. I’ve heard even in the last several sessions I’ve been in
that it’s really difficult to facilitate. The different intelligences, the different perspectives,
the emotional motivations for things, the distortions that happen, the unconsciousness
that comes out. To try to sort it all out is really tough. So I think where we’re getting
pointed here is to the intelligences themselves.
I had an experience while out with a friend of mine who I’d been working with for quite a
while, somebody who I’ve actually learned to think with. She put a question to me, “What
kind of intelligence do you think is in this room, Cheri?” The whole question just sent me
into another zone. Because as much time as I’ve spent thinking and working with
intelligences in myself, I hadn’t been looking around me. In that moment, in this
restaurant we were in, what is the intelligence that was here? I swear it just opened up
something in me, just the physicalness of the inquiry. My comment is that for people here
in this space, one of the competencies we might want to point ourselves in is, rather than
valuing how do we bring people together to have conversations, how do we understand,
filter out, work with, use the intelligences we can sense in the space, and then use right
relationship to those intelligences as to how we actually assert ourselves in it. That’s an
entirely different way of being, of interacting in the world.
Eric: Thank you Cheri. It points us to next week, with inquiry intelligence, one of the
twelve. Understanding how all this fits together in our session beginning next week will be
with Ken Wilber on the integral map, a way of getting that meta-perspective, and how all
this fits together. Because we have some very practical things of infrastructure
intelligence, and how do we get down to meetings in city councils to get things done in a
lower-right quadrant kind of way? Then we have this other kind of process, and blend all
of that together in its appropriate context, because it might not fit everywhere. There’s the
space to hold it all. That seems like a really exciting prospect to me.
Darcy: I appreciate the embodied “trip” you just took us on. I feel what you were feeling in
that, and love what you said about finding ways to be in right relationship with the
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 15
intelligences that different people are bringing. I do think that’s the central question of
how we improve our cities, and how we work in relationship toward that goal. Just
attuning… going back to living systems principles, one of the things I’ve found in looking at
the role of sense-making and convening conversations is that there’s a time and a place for
that. It’s a systemic timing, as well as timing for individuals. It can be something as simple
as city council meetings happening at 7:00 at night, and I’m a young mother, and that’s a
really bad time for me to go. So who shows up at things, and when.
But on a much deeper level, attuning to what the right timing for conversations, and when
there’s ripeness. I think that’s where being responsive to concerns as they’re raised, as
opposed to driving agendas from the top-down, is a really powerful stance that cities can
take. Where there’s readiness. Also there’s a tendency, certainly among some more
inclusive, pluralistic-minded people, to think that everything has to be done by trying to
include every voice at all times. That can be draining, can be trust-destroying, and can be
the wrong timing. So attuning to cycles of when to engage, and listening to the system, of
who’s saying they want to be engaged, are really important to timing conversations, then
attuning them to what works for people, and how they would like to participate, if at all. I
think all those things are really important in a culture where public engagement, and
different engagement processes are becoming such a primary way of doing policy and
governance. I don’t think that having a conversation is always the solution. I appreciate
some of that perspective, and then tuning in to what is a way to tap in to the different
contributions that people have.
George: I interpreted Cheri’s comment about the relationship with the intelligences in
two ways. One is our relationship with each other as we hold different intelligences to
different degrees. The other is our relationship to those intelligences themselves. One is
with each other, the other is to those different types of intelligences. At first what I’m
present to is that not every one of us has the same level of development in each of the
different types of intelligences, or if I step back and take a bigger picture, I would say that
not each of our communities and organizations have equally developed all the different
types of intelligences. Given that, what is worth paying attention to in any conversation
with multiple stakeholders, including stakeholder organizations, is that who has the
particular gift that can further the conversation, that can further the action in this moment.
And then bring our attention to that person, that organization, and encourage
him/her/them to bring forth their gifts. That also reminds me of a very interesting e-mail
exchange I had with Alia about the different divisions of labor. And how does that relate to
holding different perspectives. I enjoyed it so much that I asked earlier to post the
exchange on the webpage… a placeholder for those of you who are interested in another
take on all this, to take a look at it.
Back to Cheri’s comment, and my interpretation of it as what is our relationship to the
different types of intelligences, let me tell you a story of how I came to this outline of my
conversation. To summarize it in a couple of points, that related to three of the twelve
intelligences that Marilyn outlined. I was very impressed and inspired by the Integral City
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 16
Compass. I don’t know whether you’ve all seen it; it’s a logo on the website that visually
lays out the twelve intelligences as a compass. It’s a pretty complex picture, but at the
same time quite elegant. It has a simplicity to it as well.
When I first looked at it, it conveyed to me like
architecture, frozen music. It’s something that if I really
want to immerse, it would take many months or even
years to absorb what Marilyn’s been working on as her
life work. I would love to do that, but don’t have the time. I
wanted to use this in my talk, so what I did in a kind of
irreverent way, I did orbit hopping. I call it orbit hopping
because the twelve intelligences are present like electrons
orbiting the center, the evolutionary intelligence. So I
started with evolutionary intelligence, because, to me,
that’s where it all starts. Where are we coming from? And
where are we heading? Then from that, I hopped on the orbit of Integral Intelligences, and
chose the Cultural Intelligence, because that’s what I felt the most relevant to the theme of
my talk about mobilizing the collective intelligence in the learning city. From there I
hopped to one more external orbit, on the orbit of strategic intelligence, where I chose the
Inquiry. Just to give an example that we can relate to this multiplicity of intelligences in an
improvised way; the orbit hopping way. That means we can touch down on any of them as
they bring the harvest of their fruits, what they can bring to the present moment.
Eric: Thank you. I’m aware that we’re coming to the end of our 90 minute session. I have a
sense that there’s something stirring here that’s of interest. Perhaps there’s something we
can do to continue that. As George pointed to, what’s put on the website. There’s
synchronous and asynchronous… we need both of those. Right now there’s a limited
number of perspectives we can weave into the live environment. To bring in all the
streams, I want to invite people to comment on that further on the website. David, is there
anything you’d like to say to wrap this together? Our theme for today has been Living
Systems Intelligence. It seems like we’re finding that operational right now in what’s been
David: Very much so. I really appreciate the conversation from everyone. It’s been a
wonderful dialogue. Going back to living systems intelligence, this being an actual example
of that, as I reflect on what we just went through in the past 90 minutes. I’m also struck by
the importance of timing, and right relationships in engagement in the conversation that
centered around that. Your example, Darcy, of being a young mother, and I’m a single
parent with two boys, and have similar challenges. What I start to wonder is about the
necessity of multiple channels for discussion. I think that’s what you’re pointing out,
George, in terms of creating these virtual learning cities. An ability for people to have
multiple channels to be able to interact with each other. That it’s not only in-person all the
time. With that I want to thank both of our speakers for their attendance today, and
everyone else who was able to join us on the call.

© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013

Planet of Cities – Mother Earth @ Motherboard
What and where are we implementing
living systems intelligence?

Speakers: Bjarni Jónsson, Roberto Bonilla-Nuñez
Interviewer: David Faber
September 6, 2012

Bjarni Snaebjorn Jónsson works as a high level organizational
strategy and change consultant with emphasizing systemic change
within large scale human systems. He is keenly pursuing culture and
values research and engineering in his homeland of Iceland. He enjoys
providing leadership support to those involved in complex problem
solving. Bjarni offers a base of knowledge built from exposure to diverse
business and social structures during his tenure at Capacent.

Roberto Bonilla-Nuñez is currently working on the most important
project of his life: he calls it Mexico Project, Integral. Briefly, this work
involves the application of Spiral Dynamics Integral technology to align
actions (energy) in Mexico to enable the country individually and
collectively to take the next step towards a sense of responsibility for
our home, while respecting the law and work systems. Roberto has a
Masters in Mechanical Engineering specializing in Design and
Manufacturing from the Institute of Technology Monterrey. He has 30 years experience in
industry, education and consulting.

David Faber: Thank you very much for being part of our conversation today. It is focused
on living systems, and what and where are we implementing these living systems. In
particular, the point of the session today is around focusing on the practices that exist
within those living systems, and in particular, within municipalities.
Bjarni, what cycle of life are you working within the city, and in what scale?
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 2
Bjarni Jónsson: Well, as a matter of fact, I have been working with the whole nation. So
it’s equally applicable to a city environment, and I’m not quite sure what you mean, what
cycles you mean, could you elaborate a bit on that?
David: So in terms of cycles of life, what we are referring to is, someone is born, they age
over a period of time, and become a senior. So you move through your lifespan, and in that
time, in that cycle, what are you familiar with, in terms of living systems; so that
individually it would scale? And you mentioned working more on the national level; I
would really love to hear more about that.
Bjarni: In terms of cycles, the life cycle I’ve been working with is a human system of a
fairly young democracy that’s sort of finding its way into a more structured approach. So
it’s a young system in that sense, that during the financial crisis it was hit very hard
because it was sort of reckless, or let’s say all the structures were all weak, so it was a big
hit. On the other hand, because the system is fairly young and flexible, it has done a
tremendous job resurrecting itself, in a way. So where I’ve been involved is in organizing
citizen communicated engagement, to talk about what’s happening, and what does that
mean for our future, and doing it by trying to harness the intelligence and wisdom from
the ordinary people. We are doing it in a crowd of 1,000 to 1,200 people, a random sample
throughout the nation. So that’s what I’ve been involved with, and what we are trying to
explore is how can we learn from this experience, and how we can strengthen the social
structures to really be strong enough to cope with the rapid economic growth and
expansion in Iceland, in the last 11 years or so.
David: Thank you Bjarni. Roberto, taking a look at your work as well, it seems it connects
too, so I wonder if you could elaborate a little bit further on the human lifecycles you’re
seeing in Mexico.
Roberto Bonilla: In my case, I am working both nationwide, and in the city where I live.
At the nationwide perspective, I started along with Don Beck in 2007 doing some research
in order to understand the life conditions and the reality of Mexico, and I think that maybe
due to the size of the country, we are talking about 112 million people in Mexico - we have
a blend regarding the lifecycles, maybe in parts of the country we are like an aging nation,
with a lot of structures and institutions lacking the capability to have enough flexibility to
adapt to the changes. Even some institutions are not operating very well, but the
government still feeds them with money to keep the institutions going. On the other hand,
there are more “younger” manifestations, because of groups of people that are asking for
changes and looking for better futures that the current systems are not able to deliver —
that’s talking about the nationwide perspective.
On the other hand, along with Marilyn Hamilton, this past June we just started a project in
my city that is in the center of Mexico, León, Guanajuato. We are just taking the first baby
steps in order to awaken the minds of leaders, from NGO’s, governments, business, in
order to explore the possibility of how this city could use an integral approach like
Integral City. So we are offering the first steps, and also at the same time, after Marilyn
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 3
was there, we had the election process. So, coincidentally, both the country and my city
are changing the political party. We were ruled by the right party, and now it’s forming
more from the center. So this transition also will affect the evolution of the city and the
David: Well Roberto, building on what you said, I personally experienced, as you were
describing, an awakening or awareness for these issues and really making them visible.
I’m curious as to how you are able to do that with such a large group of people.
Roberto: Well, I am going to focus on my city. We made two important alliances in order
to keep myself and my group in a low profile way of acting. In our case, in our city there is
a Citizen Observatory that has been working for three years. The main purpose of this
Citizen Observatory is to look at the way the government rules the city, so they have a
system of indicators that they are monitoring on a continual basis. Every six months they
deliver to the citizens the results of the indicators, and show, in a traffic light manner, the
performance of the local government. This Citizen Observatory is starting to win respect
with the citizens, and on balance is a well-respected institution, despite being a very
young one. So we made an alliance with them, and also with one of the main private
universities in this city, Monterrey Tech. So three institutions, the Observatory, Monterrey
Tech, and my company called Novarumm, we organized a symposium, resembling in a
way what Bjarni did in Iceland. When the Observatory people looked at the work that
Bjarni has been doing and the picture of the assemblies of 1,000 or 2,000 people, they
wanted to replicate that in León. But in León, we have 1,500,000 people, and we didn’t
have the mechanism to do a random sample. So we organized a symposium, and we
invited in an open way. It was a free event and 300 people showed up in June. Most of
them were leaders from Government, from local businesses and also maybe half of the
people who attended were leaders in NGOs. So that was the first approach to start a little
bit to plant these seeds of Integral City in León.
David: Bjarni, Roberto referenced the assemblies of 1,000 or 2,000 people in Iceland. How
was that brought together, and what type of result did you have?
Bjarni: Well, we are in Iceland, at the opposite spectrum as Roberto, in a sense that we
have a very small nation, with Reykjavik, the capital, being more than half of the
population. So it’s a very interconnected thing, and we have a homogenous culture, so to
speak, and everyone is connected to the internet. So it’s much easier to organize a large-
scale assembly like that. What happened was that there was a group of people that caught
the idea after the crisis to initiate a constructive dialogue, because it had been very
negative, and there was not really anything coming out of it, so it was an attempt to turn
the discussion around. We went to several bodies; to the parliament, the city and the
stakeholders, and they didn’t want to be directly involved. But they said, on the other hand,
if you do it, we will meet there. So that was what happened. We got some financial support
from them, but most of all of it was done on a voluntary basis. The city provided the space,
and then we had the random sample from the population, from the general public. We also
had in the room members of the parliament and the city council and stakeholders, just for
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 4
them to experience the atmosphere, and to be part of this process, in order to “take
ownership,” if you wish — take ownership of the conclusions. We worked in a very open
environment, facilitated by people that we had trained specifically to do that, in order to
ensure safety, and ensure everyone was heard, and all points were registered. I have been
working with the state to see what picture is emerging out of this large group. This event,
which was in 2009, was then the model for another similar event that took place in 2010,
and that was called for by the Parliament itself to initiate a revision of the Constitution. So
that one assembly was with 1,000 people, done in the same way, but the questions were
different, because it was geared towards the constitutional discussion. The process was a
bit different, because it was an official process, and the conclusions went to an expert
committee, which then processed the data for a specific publicly elected council to take in
as ingredients in discussing the new Constitution.
So that has been the process up until now, and of course, in that process a lot of different
events have happened using the same format, which has proved to be very efficient in
order to extract people’s genuine beliefs and ideas as they do when they find themselves
in a safe and authentic environment. So that’s been our journey, and it is still going on, and
other things have been tied to it, like the city of Reykjavik has been running a website
called Better Reykjavik, where citizens are invited to provide ideas, discuss them, and it’s
trying to take notice of what is being said in order to improve the city. So there are a lot of
things going on in trying to involve the citizens more.
David: Thank you Bjarni. I must say that sounds very incredible actually, just fantastic
that you were able to do that. The experience that I have had, that is why I framed my
questions for you, is that there can be a lot of good communication, and as you said, create
this safe space for these conversations to happen, and that people really listen to each
other, and not just provide information to each other; but to listen and learn from each
other. I am always curious, though; once that information is received, and you’ve able to
go through it, how is that information actually being applied in government decision
making, whether it’s local or state or federal?
Bjarni: That is the stage of further development really, because we have been working on
trying to have a continuous thread from the intelligence generated by the large group,
down to the actual decision making process. What we did at the assembly was that people
voted on the most important issues in their mind, so they selected certain things they
found were the most important, and those were the things, items, issues, that were taken
further for more deliberation and policy making. So that’s the narrowing down process
which we wanted to have the participant themselves do, as much as possible, so that we
could get the intensity of the points being raised, not just everything being raised, but also
the essence of what people thought was important. We are still working on trying to
develop this process so that we can keep it authentic all the way, and say OK, this is not
being influenced by some people that have their own biases; it’s being worked through by
the whole group that generated the date in the first place. But we still have some work to
do there.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 5
David: You mentioned bias. When you bring that many people together, one of the
questions I have is around the diversity of the group that does come together. Is there
diversity in the group? In the previous session we were talking about this, the importance
of having diversity, but in a sense of either cultural or political, or age. But diversity in
view as well. Do you try to intentionally shape that, or does it just happen?
Bjarni: It depends. When you talk about diversity, it’s, of course, on one hand the
demographic diversity and age, and the place where you live, and so on. We try to ensure
that we have the full diversity, in that sense. We had the spectrum of the nation from 18
years up. And we distributed the participants randomly around the tables, so we tried to
get diversity, we didn’t know people, so we randomly ensured diversity that way, too.
There was the prime minister and the common worker sitting in the same table, just
talking as persons together, about their common interest in preserving the country and
nation, and so on. [Everyone came representing only themselves, not their roles or jobs.]
So we try to, but on the other hand, of course, we were not quite sure of the diversity, in
terms of what you are, or how people really were programmed, in that sense. But we felt
with this large crowd, and as we selected them in a statistical way, we were getting as
close as we could to ensuring the diversity.
David: Roberto, in your experience of what you started to apply in decision making as
well, how did you handle diversity within your groups as they come together?
Roberto: Let me elaborate a little bit with further information, and then I will address
your question. Additional information that might be interesting for the audience is that we
looked for funds in order to fund the event, including bringing Marilyn from Canada, and
all the staff to make the assembly. We looked for the sponsorship of the government, the
city government, the state government, and at the beginning they offered some kind of
support, so we trusted that we could do the event with that support. But a week and a half
before the event, we’d already announced and invited the people, and as I mentioned, we
invited people to come for free, in order to get them attracted to the event. The
government told us that they will not be able to support us, maybe because we were in an
electoral process, very close to the elections, and the budgets are tight… I don’t know. So
we moved very fast, the Observatory and Monterrey Tech, and got the space for free, and
we looked for sponsors in the private companies, so the whole event was funded by
private companies. We got a very good response in that way, so the event was named
Citizen Symposium, private companies supporting social initiatives. That was important,
because all these events cost money, and the funds should come from someone. In this
case, the government was behind the action of the private companies.
So the information we gathered, we presented to the candidates for mayor. There were
three or four candidates for mayor, and the Observatory held a press conference in order
to deliver a summary to the candidates all at the same time, that contained both the
findings from the Observatory, derived from the indicators they ran, and also included a
chapter with the main findings of the assembly.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 6
In the case of diversity, I can say it in this way. We designed an attractor, and people, in a
natural way, got enrolled in that attractor. As I mentioned before, I guess that maybe half
of the audience that attended, of 300 people, were from NGOs. So I think that in order to
move forward in other events, in order to work in a process of becoming an Integral City,
we need to organize assemblies, but maybe in a stratified way. I think it’s good to have
diversity in the assembly, but also we have to understand that there are different realities
in this city.
If we can use ZIP code as a criteria, for example. Because in a city, if you analyze, the ZIP
code on a map, you can find that they represent different realities — economical realities,
social realities. In our city, we have people living in extreme poverty, and also people
living very well. In the case of the assembly that we did in last June, we had a very good
opportunity to taste the diversity. Let me elaborate a little bit very quickly. Before the
event, Marilyn asked us to take a trip around the city in order that she could have a taste
of the different social realities. So on that trip, Marilyn could see the extreme poverty, the
low middle class, the middle class, and the helping classes. When the group along with her
was visiting a very poor neighborhood, she invited the people to come to the symposium,
and they were people living in extreme poor conditions, indigenous people, and they
attended the symposium. So that was very extreme because, maybe this symposium was
more represented by the middle class, as well as this group of ten people that lived in very
extreme conditions. So that was a situation that gave us a taste of the importance to attend
to diversity. But I think that the next step is to do the assemblies in a stratified way, in
order to understand the reality of poor neighborhoods, for instance, in contrast to the
necessities and realities of a middle class neighborhood. Maybe in the future, after that, we
could arrange assemblies to do something like Bjarni did, with random samples, but
ensuring that the randomness would include all the realities in the city.
David: Roberto, one of the things I am aware of is the presence of drug cartels and
different issues you are dealing with in your cities, as well. In Canada there are certain
aspects where that comes in as well. I’m curious as to whether there were influencing
factors in this as well — how are you able to ensure your process stays true?
Roberto: In Mexico, we have a big problem with drug cartels, and the cartels are very
clear where they are located and operating, mainly in the north of the country. I consider,
and not only I, but other people and analysts, that our state that is in the center of Mexico,
Guanajuato, is like a safe place. We are very close to the states that have those kinds of
problems, and we are starting to get contaminated with those kind of problems, but let’s
say that mostly in the city that I’m talking to you about, León, the problem is a minor
problem. The violence is growing, but not in the sizes of other states that are close to the
border to the United States. The drugs come from South America, Central America, then
cross Mexico and most of the drugs are directed to the markets in the United States. That’s
why maybe the main problem is concentrated in the cities of the north. But in the case of
León, and also in the case of Guanajuato, what the government is doing, along with the
private companies and private businessmen, is to start social programs in order to keep
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 7
the children and the young people away from the streets, in order to avoid that the gangs
could hire them as members, and that, I think, is doing good. Our state and our city are
preventing the problem, but it’s a latent problem that is growing little by little. But it’s not
a big issue right now in this city, in the case where we are planning to do the additional
David: Thank you Roberto. The theme that I’m picking up between yourself and Bjarni is
one of also being able to monitor what’s happening within your city and your country. In a
way, a living systems monitoring, where you’re noticing and being able to feed that
information back to decision makers. I’m wondering, in terms that you both mentioned
reporting, and being able to get information, whether it was qualitative, through reaching
out and doing surveys or samplings, or if it was very systematic, or going out and actually
looking at the data, Gallup polls, and other such things. I’m wondering Bjarni, if you could
comment around that a little bit, and I will follow up with Roberto, but around the
reporting and how there is a feedback mechanism into this, and how your country or city
is actually doing. Can you describe that a little bit further for us?
Bjarni: Yes. Let me first respond to what Roberto was saying about the assembly and
stratified assemblies, because I think he is correct. In our case, it is a more simple affair, in
a sense that we don’t have this vast difference in life conditions of the people, so I think
there are conditions that need to be taken into account. On the other hand, we think that
we had a smaller sample around the country, but I think what we are talking about now is
to try to organize simultaneous assemblies, in order to make them more accessible to
people, and to raise the public profile, because the assemblies are happening all at once,
and then link them together. That’s also part of further development. But regarding the
data and how it was reported at the assembly, we used a method by which we could
record… it was sort of an inquiry process, where every participant wrote their thoughts
down on cards, one sentence or issue on one card, and the card was marked with the
number of the participant, which was then registered in a database with the age, where he
came from and gender. We didn’t know his name, but we could link all the statements to
demographics, and to the attributes of the participant, so in a sense, it was a huge
qualitative inquiry. We were able to gather all the data that was being presented by the
participants, categorize by themselves in certain categories and themes, and then enter
that data in a database that could be viewed by everyone on the internet. So there was a
sorting mechanism, and you could go into this website and look up a word or something,
and see the comments about that, every comment, and then you could do analysis on how
it was different between age groups, and where people lived, etc. So we did a lot of work in
organizing the capturing and the registering of the data.
These categorizations were made by the participants themselves, and that process proved
to be a very fruitful one. Because in that, all the meaning making took place because
people then were getting a certain understanding of what is this all about. What is this
issue all about, what do we mean by this? So that process gave a lot of shared meaning and
understanding between participants. So that is what we did regarding the qualitative data.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 8
We had previously done some quantitative surveys about things that Roberto was talking
about — the value systems and the worldviews of a nation, so that was helpful to take the
data from the assembly and put that in context of the research we had done previously,
and I have been doing that since 2005. So yes, this was really a huge information gathering
and registration, and we wanted to give this as a gift to the nation for everyone to look at.
Politicians and political parties, you know, they wanted to put that into their own
manifesto, etc. But we didn’t really follow it through at that time, because the first event
was just to probe; that this was actually possible to do, and also to prove to the decision
makers that it was safe to attend events like this, in times of crisis. They were really afraid,
and we were all afraid that people would just burst out in anger and cut out each other’s
throats. So we had people on site specifically designed to step in if something happened.
But nothing happened, everyone was very pleased, everyone was very positive, and the
members of the parliament said they would never had believed that this would turn out to
be as pleasant as it was, in the midst of all the crises. So that’s also a part of it, is to make it
authentic, and then say, we haven’t done anything, just to register the extracted data.
David: I have to say, Bjarni, that really makes my heart sing when I hear you say that. To
be able to bring people together and to break through that fear that was there and for
them to actually experience profoundly, and really taking in the heart, not just
superficially. You’re gathering data and making use of it, it really feels like this is
something they actually believe in now, their will is being driven, and I see a lot of
transparency that is being produced by this. Transparency for your citizens to be able to
see how things are actually working within the government and in that conversation. That
trust between your organizations and different orders of government that furthers all of
this, it’s almost like it starts to feed off itself, it continues to build, because of the
experience that they’ve gone through. I actually was curious as well Roberto, to your
experiences around how you have been feeding that information back in your government
for their decision making — the quantitative and different qualitative information.
Roberto: This is very interesting, I appreciate that you asked me that question. I think that
we are very fortunate in León because we already have the Citizen Observatory, and this
organization gathers about 200 citizens that act as observers of the city. But let me tell you
that this observatory made two kind of studies. One was quantitative, regarding the
indicators. They have indicators that I mentioned that they already had, in fact it’s a model
developed in the same city that was approved by the ISO organization as an international
standard to measure the performance of a city, so in this case we are talking that they are
observing how the local government performs. In economics, health, education
infrastructure, and all the indicators for the city, but also they have in place another set of
indicators that are qualitative, they surface information that they call the perception of the
citizens. So they sample several groups in the city in order to get the perception of how
well is the city running, how safe they feel in the city. So they have both [qualitative and
quantitative]. The way they presented the results, they organized open events and invited
the people with no cause in order to see the results. They did an event for the hard results,
and also a separate event that is being held right now, this day in León, for the perceptions
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 9
of the citizens. We are exploring the ways we can interact, because we as an organization
linked it with Don Beck and Marilyn Hamilton. We have the technology of Spiral
Dynamics™, and we can transform the qualitative information into quantitative, as value
systems. So that stage we are exploring; we have not yet done it, but the way the
observatory already is doing that is through open assemblies that they deliver to the city,
and also deliver to the media; put on a web page with access by any citizen, the hard
indicators, and also the perceptions of the citizens. And, of course, the local government,
the mayor and his team are now… we will have a new lady mayor, so her team will have
access to those indicators in order to incorporate in the programs. It’s like a feedback that
comes from the citizens.
David: Thank you Roberto I have to share the same comments that I shared with Bjarni as
well, that it’s incredible, frankly, the progress that you made in holding these open events
to share this information. From my perspective, that is the ultimate in transparency, that,
you know, “good, bad or ugly,” if you want to say it in those terms, you are putting it out
there and showing people both the hard performance measures, as well as the perception
from your citizens. Then further building on that transparency. That is just simply
incredible to hear of that. I’ve not heard of very many municipalities in Canada or the US
that have been able to take that on, and actually be of that level of transparency and
simply putting it out there, and not having some manipulation of the information before it
goes out. So it’s just fabulous to hear. Perhaps along that theme then, I was curious
Roberto, you had mentioned that you have a new mayor and a new government. How did
they receive the report from the observatory? And have they indicated that they will
consider the report to make use of the information?
Roberto: The new lady mayor is going to take position by, I guess, the end of October,
something like that. Maybe it was a strategy for the campaign, but all the candidates for
mayor in the debates mentioned that they will support to continue the citizen observatory,
and that’s very natural, because if they say in a public way “I don’t agree with the work of
the observatory,” they put in risk to get votes. So all of them say that they are going to
continue supporting the citizen observatory. Now that she has been elected, she used to
write articles in the newspaper before, mostly attacking the past government that is
almost finishing, and now, since she was elected, she uses the same space in the
newspaper to start saying what she is going to do. She continues supporting the idea that
the observatory is doing a good work, and that the observatory output is useful for her
and her team to improve the city, so I think that the circumstance that she is arriving as a
new mayor is better for her to show the population that she is attending to the voice of the
citizens in order to improve the city. I think that the odds are very good that the
information will be used in a good manner in the benefit of the city.
David: Again Roberto, that’s amazing to hear. And I really hope that those on the call
really listen to what you have put out there, both yourself and Bjarni, because you have
been able to do work at this level, and with this type of impact directly to the community,
that’s touching the day to day lives of individuals, and it’s just fantastic. Perhaps on that
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 10
note really quickly I would like to ask the audience if they have specific comments.
David: I was looking at the second question that we had, and it was focusing on the
collective wellbeing of not only today, but tomorrow, the next day. In terms of a
generational perspective, it says the 7
generation, all the way to your kids, and your kid’s
kids, and your kid’s kid’s kids. This information and the process that you are doing, how
do you ensure its sustainability as a process?
Bjarni: It’s difficult to say, the use of the word “ensuring,” because that is difficult to do,
and what we have been trying to promote is to have, like Roberto was saying, to use the
monitoring, so you can monitor how things are changing, what things are changing, and if
they are changing in the right direction. Then you can have a continuing dialog between
the system, because the system has this one way to move, that is to move from the place
where it is at, therefore the way to sustainability, if there is a way that can be secure, is to
have this constant monitoring and discussing, so there will be a natural design of the
premise of the system itself. So what we are trying to do is to create an understanding that
the data from the members of the system is very important, because it outlines the basis
on which you can develop the system. So there, the experts can be very good, and they
have their own ideas, and they have ideas which are not necessarily embedded within the
system, so they can bring about something that is completely foreign to the system. I think
this is what we are trying to get, and increase understanding of the importance of
monitoring this system. But to be completely realistic, while the decision makers think
this is a good idea, and they have supported it in our case, when it comes to it, and when
they are really thrashing out the final issues and making decisions on them, we have not
come all the way so that they would just do what has been generated from the system.
They have their own interest groups and their own specialists, that are always trying to
interfere with the process, at least for some time. So we still have the problem of a sort of a
disconnect between this process and the actual decision making process, and in my case,
I’m completely realistic about that. Something that is for further evolution into the future.
And that’s why is important to keep this process growing, because in the end, that will
ensure that it will survive and can be a constructive evolutionary process.
David: Roberto, how you been able to, or have you been able to insure that is sustainable,
what you are going through now? Can it become a one-off, done for a year or two, and then
it fades away? How do you ensure that it continues going forward or influence it to
continue going forward?
Roberto: I think this is a very important question, and I think it’s very premature in our
case of our city to assure that we will have long term results and ambitions. In fact, I think
one of the tasks that we have to focus on the near future is to find a way to develop a
vision for the city, in order to have a common goal, as citizens. But it should be a vision
that comprises all the realities in the city. We need to build better futures, in plural,
because each reality in this city may have a future look that is different than for other
realities in the city. In the case of the Citizen Observatory, let’s be realistic. It is funded
right now from the local government, so we have this organization. Despite that it’s a very
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 11
good one, it also has a weakness that maybe in the future, there could come a mayor — in
the case of our cities in Mexico, the mayor’s term is only three years. That is a very short
term, so they need to accomplish some results in three years in order to have better odds
to win the election for another three years… the same party, not the same person. Because
the same person cannot be reelected. So that political system focuses a lot on the short
term. The value of the citizen institution is that the citizens are always in the city, so the
citizens have more capability to see beyond the only three years, to 10 or 20 years, or the
next generation. But one challenge the observatory has is also looking at ways to
accomplish getting funds from other sources different than the government, in order to
become more independent, and also to be sure that the existence of the observatory does
not depend on the local city budget. On one hand, it’s good that part of the budget goes to
this institution, because finally the budget comes from the taxes of the citizens. But also
they are aware that it depends on the mayor. If the mayor and his or her team decide that
it’s not a good idea to deploy the budget to this institution, the institution could disappear.
So the challenge of the citizens is to find ways to support the observatory in an
autonomous way. I think that if we could achieve those challenges, along with a long term
vision, we could design the future sustainability for the city in a long term way. But that’s a
reality that we have to work on. That’s why I said at the beginning that this is a very
important question.
David: From my experience, just a really brief story, in putting in place a similar initiative
in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. In terms of size, it is about 1.2 million people, and the
challenge we had initially is that this type of process was set up within government. What
happened is that over time, as budget cutbacks came, and I think just as you were
mentioning Roberto, when there were issues with transportation and road repair and
other things that were here and now, and elections were coming close, we saw budget
dollars being cut away from some of these programs. One of the initiatives that I have
started to observe happen now, and am part of, is to form a not-for-profit organization to
actually do this, and to bring together all the different not-for-profit groups and anyone
who’s doing data collection throughout the region, bringing them together and actually
creating a free open data source of information that others can then make use of. Because
it also starts to lift out of, perhaps, some of the political situations that happen, where
there is, I don’t want to say a manipulation of data, but there's perhaps not as much
conversation about certain pieces of information as others. I just wanted to echo that I
certainly understand it’s early days going through this, but to be able to form an
independent organization or body that's funded from other sources makes a lot of sense,
and will definitely assist in its sustainability, so thank you very much for that.
One of the questions that surfaces for me, perhaps in both of your experiences, is what
your greatest learning has been going through these processes. Clearly this is something
that has not happened overnight; it's been years in the making, if you will, to go through
and put all the pieces in place. What have you learned, Bjarni, from going through this?
What could you share with our participants of your experiences, the things you would do
differently going forward again, and perhaps the things you would do a little bit more
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 12
strongly going forward again?
Bjarni: One quick point on the subject of sustainability. Our idea is that it’s not only a
collection of data, it’s also a question of people learning together, and have a dialogue in
this way. Before, that was a very important aspect of it, so we made the handbook
available for everyone to use if they wanted to come together and talk about the shared
possibilities, shared futures or whatever. So that was an attempt to plant a positive virus
into the system, to try to change people’s approach to discuss these things. It actually has
proved a success, because there have been over 100 or more large gatherings using the
handbook or using the resources that we made available.
I think the biggest learning is probably the amount of enthusiasm, or power, or I’m not
sure what to call it, the momentum the event created, and that was something that we sort
of overlooked. We said we are using it as quality making event, but it is much more than
that. It is also an event where people get together and they discover shared possibilities,
something they can work on together, or something they can do, and there would be
nothing to stop them doing that, and the momentum created is such that there are groups
that are forming. I know of one table that still have connections between themselves, and
it’s been two or three years since the event. There was a very strong bonding in this whole
process, but also in the smaller groups and the larger groups. So I think the learning is
apart from, of course, the intelligence and how to make use of the data, and for policy
making, it’s the possibility or potential that this has to mobilize people in constructive
collaboration over multiple issues. There we come to the leadership issue as the question:
How can that be facilitated, so that it would be a self-organized or self-generated
movement within the system, where a lot of small things would be happening, and all
these small things would then, in the end, emerge towards one big thing? That is my
personal biggest learning. The power and enthusiasm that this creates. And the frustration
of how to use that. How can we make the best use of that?
David: Thank you Bjarni for that, and likewise Roberto given everything that you’ve gone
through and as you mention it's still early in the process going through but imagine it has
also been years to establish the observatory in a number of things that they put in place,
but what would you say are your greatest learning process to date?
Roberto: Listening to Bjarni, I agree with him that these kinds of events awaken a lot of
energy in the people. Once the people discover that they have a voice, and they have an
opinion, and that their opinions are being collected and processed and delivered to the
authority and to the media, I think that that will transform the society. Because for the
first time, they’re having a voice. Also a big learning that is important, if you are planning
to start a similar movement in your city, is that it’s very important to take advantage of the
institutions that are already in place. For instance, I did not participate in the starting of
the observatory; the observatory was due to the efforts of other citizens, that took several
years in order to happen. So if an institution already exists, the better thing to do is to take
advantage and to make alliances with them. I think that each city is different, and each city
will have different institutions that you can take advantage, like local universities. In this
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 13
case, the local observatory, and also in any city, in my experience here in Mexico,
travelling in the country and visiting different cities, there are always people, from NGO’s
and from private companies, that are more sensitive to these kinds of projects. In that way,
you can build the support, not only the funds, and the funds are important, but also the
support to gather other people, to bring other leaders to the table and look for better ways
to build better futures.
In my city, there is another movement that is starting called “60 Minutes for Mexico,” and
the idea came from a Mexican that was born in our city, and who studied at Harvard. One
day he was thinking how to help Mexico, despite that he was in Massachusetts studying at
Harvard, and he started a page on Facebook and named it “60 minutes for Mexico,” and
invited his friends to invest 60 minutes for Mexico. The response was very impressive
because right now there are about 10,000 Mexican people, mainly from León, from this
city, but it’s now spreading to other cities in Mexico. Through Facebook, they are
exchanging the needs for some part of the population, or for certain families, the people
are offering the solutions, so those kinds of initiatives start emerging in our country. So
instead fighting that this is a very image, this is a better project, we are trying to blend and
get a synergy with all those kinds of initiatives. My perspective in the future for León is
that we could be a good sample of citizen collaboration for the whole country. The sample
is spreading in other cities. Just as a reference, Mexico has about 2,200 counties, so there
is a lot to do in Mexico, but at least in this case this city is starting to lead to a different
culture, a culture related to the collaboration and participation of the citizens.
David: Thank you Roberto, and actually your statement of doing what you would like to
see for rest of the country have happened and for others to then observe that, it reminds
me of the statement, “Be the change that you want to see.” To actually live that, and others
are then able to follow, in what they’re seeing in terms of the excitement, and how your
community and where your city is being engaged in this conversation.
Roberto: I warn my friends that sometimes using that phrase of Gandhi’s, of being the
change that you want to see in the world, with a little grain of salt. Because we have to
remind that people that are thinking the same, but in the negative way, because they think
that the way to move in a society that has a lot of inequalities is to take the things that you
don’t have, to take them away from the people that have. Or to be part of a drug dealer’s
gang in order to get money that I deserve, but I don’t have. So I understand it is good to
think that we should be the kind of change that we think is good for the society, but as Dr.
Beck warns us, we must be sure that the change we are promoting is the change that the
society needs. Because the same phrase can be applied in a very wrong way. So I think it’s
a continuous effort to be sure that the healthy conditions are winning the race against the
unhealthy conditions that could be present in some cities in Mexico.
David: Well thank you again Roberto for that and for sharing that there is also a negative
to it and paying attention to that. I’d like to actually pass it over to Eric our host and I think
there is their some question [from our audience] on the dashboard.
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 14
Eric Troth: I’m just trying to weave this together in light of what's been discussed in our
conference so far. We had thought leaders like Buzz Holling yesterday in the morning and
notions of vested interests who are oppositional to the experimental energies. I think
Elisabet Sahtouris was picking up on that also, today about the more conservative
preserving what's been working, and that’s necessary. And it’s also about the need for the
new. Roberto, I was hearing you say just a moment ago about being sure that the changes
that we’re advocating are the changes that society needs. It seems like there is a balancing
act between how do we hold on to the things that are working, without getting too tightly
gripped on those, and how can we let in the space for something new to emerge, and not
leave other important things behind. To tie that in with a metaphor that we're using at this
conference about the bee hives and bees, two kinds of bees are the conformity enforcers
and diversity generators. I’m curious if you could expand on that notion a little bit further
Roberto: That’s very interesting. Because the diversity generators could be from several
perspectives. That why it’s important to work in a stratified way. Just for a moment,
picture in your mind a city of a 1,500,000 people, and we might have 20 different strata,
with 20 different realities, futures, needs, expectations, so what is good for one strata,
maybe is not the best for the other strata. So we should avoid the one-size-fits-all solution.
With the metaphor of the human hive, the diversity generators should be aligned with the
needs of the strata, of that part of the city. Also the conformity enforcers, the types of
things we should preserve should also be in balance, in order to move forward to our
desired future. Ideally, that desired future should be built with the participation of that
strata. Yes, I think it is a very, very good, big, challenge, to keep the right balance in order
that the city and each part of the city, the strata that I mentioned, are moving forward to
achieve better living conditions for all the citizens.
Eric: Thank you Roberto. One thing I want to bring into the follow-up a little bit more on
this is that I know that you and Bjarni are now down in Dallas, Texas, both flying in from
different places to be with Don Beck in his Spiral Dynamics™ Confab. We have not
explicitly gotten into that model yet, but Dr. Beck will be a guest on Wednesday September
, he will be our thought leader. Since both of you are there at the Confab, I wonder if
you could bring in some ideas forth from Spiral Dynamics™ with respect to this notion of a
stratified society. That model seems to be very useful as a way to think about that. How
might you give an overview for anybody who might not be as familiar with that model?
Bjarni: Maybe I’ll give it a try. Let’s start by looking at that in terms of the worldviews of
different people, different groups and different cultures. It is extremely important to see
where is the “center of gravity” in that culture, and where it is leading to, and how can you
strengthen the elements that are needed to go forward in a constructive way. Just to
mention an example, in the beginning I mentioned that Iceland is a young democracy, so
it’s the opposite problem as Mexico. The institutions are rather young and flexible, and
their flexibility means that we are not so straightforward, we are not adhering to
standards. So we need a cultural element injected into our system which brings more
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 15
discipline and stricter appearance to rules, etc. Knowing that it’s very important for
decision makers to say OK, how can we strengthen those cultural elements, there might be
a different cultural element, which is the need to express one’s self, often in innovation
and changes. Again, that is something that we need to know, how is the state of affairs
with the different strata of worldviews, or centers of gravity, so when you are trying to
deliberate on the results from an inquiry, or the views of someone, you say OK, we need to
take and put them in the context of the correct state of the system. It’s difficult to go
through and explain the theory in detail. Don will do a much better job in doing that. The
point I’m making is that this theory allows us to see the prevailing way of thinking within
a community, and it allows us to understand where is that leading to, if nothing changes?
Or, what can that lead to? Then what can we do to strengthen it, so that the system will
accept those changes that are going to be done? That’s an extremely important part of the
information, in doing what Roberto was explaining, about trying the right changes, or the
best changes for the system.
Eric: Let me just bring here another question from one of our audience, and maybe it will
tie all together in a little bit more concrete way. Terry is asking: What kinds of issues do
people in assemblies raise as being the most important to them, and what change do they
want? I’m thinking how that question can be answered with reference to these stratified
layers of society. That might make it a little more concrete.
Roberto: Ok, in the case of León, it’s very interesting, the result of the assembly. Because
the people that gathered that day spent a full day working together, and they focused a lot
of attention on the groups of people with less favorable conditions. So the people focused
more on the poverty conditions and the belief that we, as citizens, and also as authorities,
should provide a bridge to the development of the less developed groups. The groups that
have more problems with housing, food, education, etc. Because as I mentioned, in our city
there are groups of people living in very, very bad conditions. So they recognized that we
need better streets and better highways, and better public transportation, but also they
recognized that it’s very important to address the problems of those kinds of people,
because the people that are very vulnerable are also the most likely to support or to
incorporate the gangs of the drug dealers. So that was one of the results of the assembly
that we did last June.
Bjarni: I could add perhaps from my experiences which tells us that people know more
than they might believe. Most of the important issues that were being selected by
participants were exactly those to strengthen the democratic system, to strengthen the
institutions like the judicial system, the three-tiers of legal, executive and judicial power,
and the three distinctions between them, and ethics, and so on. A lot of issues came up in
that sense, which told us that people knew what needed to be done, in a way. So just as an
example, the number one value that was chosen was honesty. A great majority of all the
attendees brought that up as the number one priority.
Eric: What kind of things are we learning here today, if we step back from the process we
have engaged in? What are the take-away ideas that were generated out of this
© Integral City eLab January 27, 2013 16
David: What continues to surface for me, in both Bjarni’s and Roberto’s work, is that it is
about transparency and building trust. The transparency of bringing people together,
being open for that conversation, working through any fear that may be there, and
allowing it to unfold and continue to grow. Again, this continually reminded me of the fact
that you can put the question out there, and do not assume people are afraid to ask and
answer those questions, and to be able to bring them together and share, I think it's just
fantastic. So for me, it’s just the transparency and bringing people together, the
collaboration side of this.
Bjarni: I absolutely agree with David.
Roberto: I want to add something additional. I think that the life conditions are very
important to make this kind of thing happen. In the case of Iceland, it’s quite different,
because they had extreme life conditions when the financial system went bankrupt. That
awoke, I think in an easier way, the necessity to do these kinds of assemblies and the
participation of the citizens. When a city is not in such extreme life conditions, it takes a
little bit more time in order to find the door that could be open to start doing these kinds
of things. I mentioned that I got the alliance with the Citizen Observatory, but before that,
maybe two years before, I was knocking on a lot of doors, and many of those doors were
closed. Maybe because I didn’t know the right way in, and maybe they didn’t see at the
time the necessity to do these kinds of things. But finally the observatory opened the door
and supported the idea, and helped a lot to organize the citizen symposium. But if the
people in this audience are thinking, as I mentioned before, to do something like this in
their city, I think that the experience that we have shared, Bjarni and myself, could help as
a roadmap. But they must be aware that they are going to build their own road map,
depending on the life conditions of their city.
Bjarni: Just to close and elaborate on what David said, because that’s very important
information. Because one must also regard this as a process of change, not to change
things, but to change oneself, to change how the systems operate. In this sense, I think it’s
a very important point to keep in mind that it takes time. But I think it’s a learning
experience that has the potential of transforming the way the system feels and thinks.
That’s my belief, at least.
Eric: Thank you. I really appreciate the reminder of keeping the vision on the whole
system, and when we are talking about change on this scale, I think those models such as
Spiral Dynamics™ allow us to see those larger patterns.

© Integral City eLab November 11, 2012

Gaia’s Reflective Organ: Integral Intel Inside
What is an Integral Map and where are we implementing
Integral Maps for individual leadership?
Speaker: Ken Wilber
Interviewer: Dr. Marilyn Hamilton, PhD
September 11, 2012

Ken Wilber is the world's leading “integral” philosopher. The author of
such titles as A Brief History of Everything (1996) and A Theory of Everything
(2000), his philosophy integrates body, mind, soul, and Spirit with self,
culture, and nature. Integral philosophy is influencing fields as diverse as
politics and spirituality, psychology and business, medicine, and art. Ken
has written 16 books exploring different facets of human development and
cultural evolution. In 2000, he founded the Integral Institute to support and
promote integral thinking. Ken has inspired both his own boomer generation and the
generations who follow “to help create connections between individuals and groups who
are seeking to enact an integral vision in their day-to-day lives—people yearning for true
integration, genuine transformation, and whole-hearted communion.”
Ken Wilber: In the course of this book [Marilyn Hamilton’s, Integral City: Evolutionary
Intelligences for the Human Hive], we’re looking at, essentially, eight major evolutionary
stages. And, we should say, there are different ways to divide up these strata that we’ve
been talking about. In developmental psychology there are a couple dozen models, each of
which looks at the strata from a different perspective; all of which have some sort of value.
The major levels that you use, the major strata you use come from the work of Clare
Graves and its elaboration by Don Beck and Chris Cowan. And the eight levels that we’re
looking at here are: “the hearth-based circle of family survival, through the bonding
systems of clan and tribe, to the power struggles of chief and king, to the ordering
authorities of state and place of worship, to the strategic economies of material exchange,
to the accepting embrace of diverse peoples, to the flex and flow of global systems, to a
Gaia honouring of all life.” [p. 55]
And, what we find with these levels is that they appear in their own ways in all four
quadrants. So we have these levels showing up in the interior of human individuals [Upper
Left] as certain values and motivations that they have; showing up in the Lower Left,
which we’ll be explaining in a second, the culture or interior of a group which shows up as
worldviews and systems of organizing beliefs and knowledge; to the Lower Right, which is
social systems and institutions, and there it shows up in things like foraging and
© Integral City eLab November 11, 2012 2
horticulture and agrarian. These are basic, fundamental structures or patterns of
evolutionary unfolding. And what we find is that they unfold through, at least, these four
major perspectives that we’ve also been calling quadrants. And that’s been an important
understanding, because it allows us to look at evolutionary unfolding through these
different perspectives, and to see the correlations that occur.
This becomes important, because it lets us understand in city development, for example,
how individuals at different strata, what their needs are going to be, what their
motivations are going to be, what their drives are going to be, and to start to look at a city
as a collection not just of human beings with a “one size fits all,” not just as human beings
with one set of motivations that are identical for everybody, but is a set of individuals of
which there are at least these eight strata, at least eight different motivations, eight
different needs, eight different drives, and realize that getting a city together with a group
of people that are fundamentally really eight different people. That’s a different problem
from just getting together a mass of human beings. This is getting together a mass of eight
different tribes, if you will, and that’s entirely more sophisticated, complex, and utterly
important way to look at a city.
Marilyn Hamilton: I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes, I really roll my eyes in despair
when I think of how a city is communicated to out of city hall, because each one of those
tribes actually needs to hear things [presented] in a different way, because, as you would
say, they have different motivations and different drivers. And yet, they need to hear those
levels of what’s important to them mentioned in why they should do something, or why
something or how something is to unfold.
Ken Wilber: Right.
Marilyn Hamilton: So, this actually is maybe easy for you and I to say and extremely
challenging to implement, because it means actually having to embrace all these tribes at
the same time and recognize that governance, to be effective, actually has to take this into
consideration. And when it doesn’t, it’s quite ineffective and often completely blindsided.
Ken Wilber: Right. And that’s part of this problem that we were talking about earlier with
British Columbia and humanity’s sort of blindness to looking at the developmental maps
and models and perspectives that are so important. Human beings really do, I mean
everything in nature starts as an egg and ends up as a chicken, and that’s not a one-step
process. That’s not a one-strata process. That’s at least an eight-strata process and, if you
count the minor ones, it’s 50 minor transformations occurring. And each one of these
transformation gives/has a different motivation, a different worldview, a different set of
needs, a different set of moral values. And all of these have to be taken into account if you
are going to do anything like govern or manage a mass of human beings, let alone educate
© Integral City eLab November 11, 2012 3
them or any number of items that human beings require. And the continuing lack of
recognition of these different fundamental levels of any of the models, whether it’s Robert
Kegan’s or Jane Loevinger’s or Carol Gilligan’s or Clare Grave’s, I don’t really care which, if
this culture recognized at least one of them! They all essentially cover the same territory
of human growth and development.
But, we don’t even do that. And so what we get instead is these ongoing culture wars
where three of the major levels of development which are, fundamentalist/religious, what
Clare Graves called “absolutistic/saintly” thinking, and then a modern/scientific
worldview, and then a pluralistic/postmodern worldview… These are not just ideas or
viewpoints that people have. These are actual stages of development. The fundamental
components of these different opinions are actually stages of development. And yet we
show no recognition of that, no understanding of that, no realization of that. We just have
each of these stages thinking that all of the others are completely wrong and stupid and
idiotic. And that is as wrong and as stupid and as idiotic an idea as I have ever heard. But it
won’t go away! [laughter] And it’s irritating as hell!
Marilyn Hamilton: And as I mentioned, I think it’s core to shifting into some new
governance. I do think that cities are going to force us to invent new governance because,
as you say, these tribal wars are on the news pages every day.
Ken Wilber: Yeah.
Marilyn Hamilton: And you know, I’m watching, in the province of Quebec in Canada, the
students are rioting there. We watched last year the revolution in the Arab Spring. We see
what’s going on in EU, as Greece and the other countries are resisting the whole economic
impact/influence of their collective decisions. And each one of these locations, if you read
the small print or sometimes the large print, but the police chief is saying: “Actually, if
haven’t got a clue what to do. We’ve tried being lenient, and that doesn’t work. We’ve tried
being really forceful, and that doesn’t work.” And they’re really mapping out the territory
of the big gap of not recognizing you can’t ever do “one size fits all.” You actually have to
have a multiplicity of strategies in your kit bag. And that’s, I think, what the discernment of
using a developmental framework for the city enables us to start to appreciate.
Ken Wilber: Right. And this is the point in the book where you start to go into some of
these maps and models that are minimally necessary to get a more Integral or holistic
view of the city or any phenomenon, but certainly the city. You begin by saying: “It
appears that the lessons from history teach us that, to some degree, human cities have
mastered the flow of matter and energy. However, it appears that our vanished cities of
the past lost touch with the information that could alert them to their impending demise.
We might also propose that their connections to information became distorted.
“And this is the area where Ken Wilber contributes elegantly to the integral
discourse. ...Wilber gives us the lenses to reunify connections amongst the visible world of
matter and energy and the invisible worlds of consciousness and culture. His integral
vision demonstrates the co-arising, co-connected realities we have fragmented into
individual versus collective and/or internal versus external solitudes. His internal map
integrates integrity and integration, holons and wholeness and stages and states. He
© Integral City eLab November 11, 2012 4
virtually provides an integral operating system and charting tool that offers a common
language to bridge realities and talk about life conditions that require translation,
transformation and transcendence.” [p. 58]
Thank you very much.
“Our separate subsystem bureaucracies for our city management, healthcare systems,
schooling (at all levels) and workplaces remain unarticulated or distantly linked at best. A
top-down view of our city dance floor indicates considerable chaos.
“Is it any wonder that we cannot see the city as a single, wholly integrated and informing
system that depends on the interconnection amongst these subsystems to serve the well-
being of its inhabitants? Ironically, within each of these subsystems (city management,
healthcare systems, schooling and workplaces), we are developing progressively more
complex information systems to tell us everything we need to know about bricks and
mortar, epidemiology, grading systems and performance management. But we are not
seeing the integral nature of each of these subsystems nor the integral informing
connections amongst them. For the most part we are generating and measuring
quantitative, objective information to give us reports on the material outcomes of these
subsystems. But we are failing to acknowledge the qualitative, subjective information that
conveys the realities of our internal, subjective and inner-subjective experience.” [p.59]
And that is ironic; indeed, that we continue to generate certain amounts and types of
information, but continue to overlook the Integral, interconnected nature of the entire city,
Marilyn Hamilton: Well, you know, one of my eclectic backgrounds is being an
accountant. So, one thing I’ve come to appreciate in looking at all this research is, we’re
not short of data.
Ken Wilber: Yeah. [laughter]
Marilyn Hamilton: What we’re short of is strategies to actually mine and interpret and
integrate the data.
Ken Wilber: Yeah.
Marilyn Hamilton: So also, prior to being an accountant, I’m also a student of literature
and culture. And that is what was alive in me, this qualitative value of life. And the model,
when I actually started to acquire an integral frame, I woke up one day and realized: ‘Ah!
Each one of the quadrants allows for a different metric.’
Ken Wilber: Yes.
Marilyn: And that means we can actually use some fuzzy logic to notice these different
metrics are actually informing one another. And it’s not just that they are separated from
another. They actually can inform one another.
Ken: Right.
Marilyn Hamilton: And so, each one of the sectors in the city that you mentioned,
education or health care or recreation or workplace, they can all be examined through an
Integral model. Each one of them has qualities as well as quantitative measures that can
tell us whether they, themselves, are functioning well, whether they’re actually serving the
people that are using them. But, I don’t know, I just can’t see any cities that are yet using
© Integral City eLab November 11, 2012 5
the invitations from where, city hall, to say: “Look, we need to sit down with the education
system, the health care system, the different belief systems in the city, and our different
workplaces, and have a real conversation about how we’re all contributing to the overall
wellbeing of the city.” And it’s like we’re lobotomized.
Ken Wilber: Yeah.
Marilyn Hamilton: And so the potential is there. And where I see hope, though, is in
smaller scale conversations, you know, dialogic exchanges, where people are actually able
to at least shift into a space where they can hear each other across the sectors. But, there
are a few mayors I would point to around the world who are starting to actually act as if
the city is a whole. And I’ve seen through work that I’ve done at global Sustainable Cities
Forum and the candidates who submitted their cities as being the most-sustainable,
looking at their indicators, I never came across one city that had what I would call a full set
of integral indicators.
Ken Wilber: Yeah, terrific.
Marilyn Hamilton: But if I looked at all of the cities together around the world, and I did
chart them out on a matrix I have, I could see we are very close to actually identifying a
whole set of indicators if we work together.
Ken Wilber: Yeah.
Marilyn: So, we’re just on that edge, just on the edge of being able to tip over into
becoming a good deal wiser than we currently are in practice.
Ken Wilber: Well, let’s indeed hope that that’s the case and that we do continue to push
forward in that direction. You discuss four maps, all of which give us some slice of
wholeness of the city or any phenomena we want to use. And they’re all important. I’m
going to go through them, briefly.
Map 1: The Four-quadrant Eight-level Map of Reality
“The integral map is a four-quadrant map that shows the city has both an outer life that is
physical, tangible and objective, as well as an inner life that is conscious, intangible and
subjective. It owes its clarity and growing popularity to Ken Wilber who first charted it
and has extensively developed it for use in many knowledge domains. This map shows
that reality in the city arises from both an individual and a collective expression. The
intersection of these two polarities reveals four realities…”
That would be the inside and the outside of the individual and the collective.
“…that we can label as:
1. Upper Left (UL): [which is the inside of the] individual—interior/ internal/
2. Lower Left (LL): [which is the inside of the] collective—interior/internal/
3. Upper Right (UR): [which is the outside of the] individual—exterior/ external/
4. Lower Right (LR): [that’s the outside of the] collective—exterior/ external/
interobjective/tangible “The four-quadrant map is a map of city perspectives.
© Integral City eLab November 11, 2012 6
Each quadrant represents the view from a different lens: I, We, It and Its. Each of the four
perspectives has produced a cluster of domains of knowledge about the city. The Upper
Left quadrant holds the knowledge bases of the aesthetics and fine arts. The Lower Left
holds the knowledge bases of the humanities. The Upper Right holds the knowledge bases
of the life sciences. The Lower Right holds the knowledge bases of the hard sciences [and
system sciences]. Thus have our institutions of higher learning organized the knowledge
about the transcendent patterns of universal information: Beauty in the Upper Left
aesthetics and fine arts (I); Goodness in the Lower Left humanities (We); and Truth in the
Upper and Lower Right life and hard sciences (It/Its).
“But more than the knowledge content of our reality, the four-quadrant map discloses the
four points of view of city dwellers from all world cultures. In the Upper Left, the first
person, Subjective I, appreciates the beauty of life, the aesthetic quality of living systems.
This aesthetic, often hidden from view in the modern city, was more demonstrated and
honoured in ancient cities, where the scale of human systems was more coherent with the
built city. Another description of the Subjective I is the psychological (psycho) reality of
the city. The Subjective I feels inspired and uplifted by the aesthetic pleasure of walking
down a street lined with cherry blooms, imagining the excitement of expressing ideas at
the nearby coffee shop.
“In the Lower Left, the second person Intersubjective We appreciates the Goodness in life.
This point of view reveals the moral qualities of life choices that are necessary on every
level of human existence and association. These intersubjective perspectives are woven
from the everyday stories we tell each other in every informal connection of daily life.
They also reflect the tales and myths we create to pass along our archetypal experiences.
They represent the formal laws we create for the smooth operation of civic society. These
Goodness perspectives become the crucibles that hold our Subjective Beauty and inform
us what is accepted by critical numbers of people in our city experience as good or bad,
beautiful or ugly. Another description of the Intersubjective We is the cultural reality of
the city. The Intersubjective We share and discuss their human desires about experiencing
the release of stress through greenness in the city and make a moral choice to plant cherry
trees on the street, to shade their coffee meeting place, instead of opting for efficiency and
paving over the median. “In the Upper Right, the third person Objective It appreciates the
Truth of life. This perspective demonstrates the actions of life that support material
survival in the city. The Objective It is the arbiter of material energy of the city that rests
on the basics of material life: water, food, waste flow, shelter, clothing. From the Objective
It, we calculate our individual ecological footprints. And without attention to the well-
being of the Objective It, the quality of the built life in the city fails utterly. Another
description of the Objective It is the biological (bio-) reality of the city. The Objective It
biologically hears the wind in the cherry trees and sees, smells, touches and tastes the
blossoms and the fruit.
“In the Lower Right, the Interobjective Its conveys the Truth that emerges from the
material systems that support the Interobjective Its individual existences — but by
combining multiple material needs, efficient systems can be developed that deliver water
© Integral City eLab November 11, 2012 7
and food, dispose of waste, build and maintain shelter and produce clothing. From the
intelligence of the Interobjective Its domains, the artifact of the built city emerges, thus
creating a combined footprint with geological coordinates and an extended footprint that
represents the energy consumed for a large number of people to sustain themselves in
one city location. Another description of the Interobjective Its is the social reality of the
city. The Interobjective Its is the parks department who physically planted and waters the
cherry trees.
“Thus each of the four quadrants reveals partial but useful knowledge maps and real,
diverse perspectives that reflect different ways of knowing. In addition, this map shows
both the inextricable linkages of one quadrant to all others and all quadrants to any one or
combination of some. In so doing, it also reveals the inadequacy of the pursuit of
knowledge through any combination of perspectives that doesn’t include all four
“Therefore, the four-quadrant map clearly shows us the dilemma city dwellers have faced
since the major rise of the city in the last 300 to 400 years. In this same period, the West
agreed to split the study of knowledge into left and right quadrants—with the
church/spiritual practices (and eventually humanities) on the left and the physical and
biological sciences on the right. By coming to this agreement, church and state
dichotomized our understanding of human systems of all kinds, including the city. This
split underlies the siloing of domains of human knowledge and the failure to grasp the
interconnections of all knowledge content and ways of knowing (ontologies and
epistemologies). This split lies at the root of our looking at the city as less than a whole
human system—as merely a collection of parts—or “departments.”
“This map also discloses eight levels of developmental evolution that occur in each
quadrant. These correspond to the levels of consciousness identified by Graves and are
discussed in...subsequent chapters.” [pp. 60-61, 64-65]
So that’s the first of the maps, looking in the four quadrants and eight levels. And with
these eight levels, these are actually levels of, among other things, multiple intelligences.
So we really have up to a dozen or so developmental lines, including cognitive and moral
and emotional and interpersonal and kinesthetic and musical and so on. And each of those
developmental lines develops through these developmental levels.
And so, that gives us a coherent picture of the development of levels and lines through
these major quadrants. And of course the idea is that, working with any issue or problem
or phenomena, we want to include all quadrants and all levels and lines. And this is of
course, as you pointed out, exactly what isn’t happening. And not only is it not happening
over periods of historical time, it’s been, in a sense, tabooed. Seeing these things all as
existing together and as part of a single, whole system is exactly what, in a sense, you’re
not allowed to do. This is still true today in our universities. You’re not allowed to put
together aesthetics and science. It’s just not something’s that’s done. And yet, of course,
they are inextricably interconnected. So this is part of the real problem that we’re facing in
working cities, is working with our underlying maps and models of reality, itself, because
© Integral City eLab November 11, 2012 8
the maps and models are fragmented. They’re partial and they’re broken. And so, our
solutions continue to be fragmented, partial, and broken. And that’s a real problem.
Marilyn Hamilton: Luckily, Ken, there are diversity generators like you and me.
Ken Wilber: Indeed! [laughter]
Marilyn Hamilton: [laughter] Hopefully, our having taken the courage to say, “There is
another way to look at it,” is starting a trend.
Ken Wilber: Yeah, that is indeed the hope. And, “Map 2: The Nested Holarchy of City
Systems.” And “holarchy” is simply a name for “hierarchy” but since hierarchy is actually
made of holons, holarchy reminds us that actualization of hierarchies are not dominator
hierarchies. There are two types of hierarchies one is bad (and those are the dominator
hierarchies), and one is good (and those are actualization or growth hierarchies). And
virtually all of nature grows via actualization hierarchies. So atoms to molecules to cells to
organisms, eggs to chickens, and so on, those are all nested hierarchies or holarchies.
Map 2: The Nested Holarchy of City Systems
“The city as a human system is a nest of systems; one cannot just look at the city as a
whole or integral system without recognizing that it is made up of a series of whole
systems. Gradually in the last hundred years, some scientists have come to realize that
their ways of seeing reality have much in common with certain deep spiritual perspectives.
Both scientific and spiritual domains have reframed their traditional worldviews from one
described as being the sum of many parts, to one recognized as being entirely holistic.
Different authors and knowledge centers have gained lenses for recognizing that the
universe comprises systems of systems of systems — each one of them a wholeness in
itself. Some talk of centers, holons, holarchies or nested holons or panarchies. Regardless
of terminology, each observer sees that human systems, as a subset of natural, living
systems, are also whole systems (each made up of subsystems) that have gradually
become more nested and more complex.” [p. 65]
And that’s a view that simply has got to catch on more. It’s starting to, like you say, but we
need a lot more of that understanding.
Marilyn Hamilton: One of the things I find most useful about this map is that it allows
people to create, as they call them, “tables of stakeholders.” So you can actually use both
maps, one with the quadrants and this map, to say, “Do we have representatives of the
whole system in the room?” Because if we’re missing core stakeholders, we will not get a
whole story out of whatever we want to explore or solve. This is a very, very powerful use,
from just a design perspective, of both the maps.
Ken Wilber: And what we find, what psychologists have used in frameworks like the
AQAL system (“all quadrants and all levels”), is that individuals tend to inhabit, to come
from, either different quadrants, people will tend to habitually look at the world through
just one quadrant, or people are at a single level or strata of development, and so they will
look at the world through just that level. You have at least eight levels through four
perspectives. And all of those already exist. They’re already out there. There are human
beings looking at the world in one of those, 4 x 8, 32 ways.
© Integral City eLab November 11, 2012 9
It might sound complex to say we have to take those into account. But the point is, they’re
already out there bumping into each other. They’re already out there with their own
demands and needs, and desires, and hopes, and so on. So our only choice is either to
ignore them or to hunker down and start to take them into account, and start to build
habitats in which those different viewpoints can find a comfortable existence.
Marilyn Hamilton: I think it is possible to do that. That’s one thing that the integral frame
enables one to consider is, “What does a habitat that would allow for the prosperity of all
in this human hive look like?” And again, that’s a great koan, because there’s no pat
answer for that at all. But we do know, from our research, what are the third-principle
value sets and motivators and belief systems at these different strata. And as I mentioned
before, our major cities now really contain all of them, because people have moved to
cities from all different parts of the world. So we have to take this into consideration, in
some reasonable, logical, AQAL way, or we will just continue, for the rest of our species’
existence, to have a shouting match as everyone tries to say, “I’m right! I’m right! I’m right!”
And I think at the core, even when people hear that or say that, they know there must be a
different way, they just don’t know what it is.
So taking this approach to the city is really taking a design approach to the city. And in just
trying to emerge a life practice that embraces as much as possible; to transcend and
include as you develop your own capacities; how to even hold a non-anxious presence
around all of this cacophony is, I think, a real huge developmental challenge for anybody
who wants to take a leadership role in the city. But it’s sure a great life practice!
Ken Wilber: Yeah! [laugher]
Marilyn Hamilton: You’re facing it every day. And you need to actually face it both with
respect, and curiosity, and, I would say, a lot of awe, and a great deal more humility, even.
Ken Wilber: Right. Well put.
Map 3: The Scalar Fractal Relationship of Micro, Meso and Macro Human Systems
“The third map of the city that casts light on its wholeness is one arising from the insights
of non-linear mathematics. Fractal geometry reveals the algorithms of natural systems —
the beautiful, repeated patterns that result from the application of simple rules of
relationship and association that apply at multiple levels of scale. Figure 3.9 illustrates this
and conveys how capacity development in individuals contributes to capacity in families,
organizations and communities.” [p. 66]
And a fractal is a simple repetition of a pattern or a relationship at different scales. And we
talked about earlier, nature tends to find something that works, then she tends to repeat it.
And if it’s at a different scale, if it’s bigger or smaller, then she just makes it bigger or
smaller. And that tends to be one of the major rules that we find operating in evolution,
and so it’s certainly one of the major rules that we would want to incorporate if you were
looking at how to engineer or even understand a city.
Marilyn Hamilton: One of the ways that I discovered this map was actually teaching
through a competency-based system at Royal Roads University in the leadership program,
so we had to map out how do competencies develop. And you probably wouldn’t be
surprised to learn that I had to frame it up in an integral way. But I could see the
© Integral City eLab November 11, 2012 10
competencies emerge in a high performing leadership student. And then I could see them
work together in really, super high-performing teams. When they finished working in, say,
a residency, then they were released to the rest of the world, to their own communities.
And a lot of them would remark on how that shift was really quite a challenge for them,
because they were no longer working with peer groups who were developing the same
kinds of competency sets. They were back into this world where there were multiple
levels of people’s competencies and capacities that they were interconnecting with, in
their workplace, in their communities, their homes, even.
Then when they even stepped back further and saw how the individuals, the teams, the
communities, the organizations all started to interconnect with one another, they realized,
“oh, this is really much more complex ,” than being simply in the bubble of a university
residency where we can really focus on what we’re working on. But it allowed me also to
see, this fractal nature of development. And it’s a very interesting map that a lot of people
can make head nor tail of. But I had a nurse as a student some time ago who looked at it
and she said, “Oh! I recognize this map. It looks just the development of a zygote.”
Ken Wilber: [laughter]
Marilyn Hamilton: And so, exactly, I laughed just like you and just said, ‘There’s
fractalness.’ And she recognized it instantly! And it’s how life does actually learn its way
through the different developmental levels. So, it’s a very useful map that I also remark
helped me not only, you know, I just described what happens when you dilute
competencies by putting them into larger and larger social holons, but also it’s a map that
allowed me to see, you know, what we were talking about resilience before is, you actually,
in order to change a system, you don’t need to change 100 per cent of it.
Ken Wilber: Right.
Marilyn Hamilton: The way those diversity generators work, the way we discovered that
pattern of ease is, it turns out, you only need to change about 10 to 15 per cent of it,
somewhere in there, and then the whole rest of the system comes along with it.
Ken Wilber: Okay, now I’ve been using that percentage for several years now. Where did
you get it?
Marilyn Hamilton: It’s out of the complexity literature.
Ken Wilber: Is it?
Marilyn Hamilton: Umhmm, yeah. You know where I first learned it is, I was working
with the Y2K bug remediation in the late 90’s.
Ken Wilber: Right.
Marilyn Hamilton: And if you recall, there was a great threat that everything in the world
and all the lights would stop working. So there was this major over-compensation. Almost
100 per cent of the world corrected for that, because we thought the lights wouldn’t stay
on at the year 2000. And so, I learned it through studying the complexity literature. It was
a big laugh, actually. I sat down after working with communities and realized, ‘Wow! We
did way, way, way more over-correction than 10-15 per cent.’
Ken Wilber: Because what we have here is, we get that shift, but there’s still only 10 per
cent of the population at the particular level. So, for example, the way I arrived at this was
© Integral City eLab November 11, 2012 11
just by looking at different shifts in stages, historically. As for example, when about 10 per
cent of the population first reached orange in Europe and America, we had the French and
American revolutions. We had the rise of representative democracy. We had the abolition
of slavery, and of monarchy. These are all values that come from orange. They come from
the modern level. They’re not values that come from amber or the blue v-meme, or come
from red. They only come from orange.
And yet, when about 10 per cent of the population reached orange, that was enough to
cause a tipping point and to have these orange values sort of seep through the culture, so
that we would write an American constitution, and we would fight a revolution, we would
get rid of slavery, even though only 10 per cent of the population actually holds that value.
So there’s this weird seepage that occurs. And so we still know that when ten percent of
the population reached orange, 90 per cent of the population still wasn’t at orange. It was
still at amber or red or some of the lower stages and did not, themselves, directly hold
those values. But all of a sudden, they came to find those values somehow acceptable, or
somehow something that was okay with them.
I think of something simple like, in the 1950’s in male and female ethics, a guy at work, a
women’s leaning over, getting a drink of water at the water faucet, and the guy walks by
and slaps her on the ass and says, “looking good today,” or something like that. That was
acceptable in 1950. In 1970, you’d get fired for that. So even though the person that’s sort
of a green value, and even though the person that would never now slap a woman on the
ass might be at red or might be at a blue v-meme, they still somehow soak up the value.
They’ve somehow internalized it to some degree even though they’re not, themselves, at
the level that is creating that value. Don’t you find that interesting?
Marilyn: Well I do. I think it’s intriguing. And I remember, probably it was though Meg
Wheatley and the “[cries] of complexity” literatures that she was interconnected with that
I probably picked up the 10-12 per cent shift that was needed. But I think it also shows up
again in the interdisciplinary resilience literature. And what happens is the feedback loops.
When you have 10-15 percent of the system that has changed, then the feedback loops
that occur, and if you think about the integral model and all the different ways one could
define feedback loops within all the quadrants and the levels, then they start to feed on
themselves. They amplify themselves. And that’s why this is a magic point.
You know, Malcolm Gladwell has talked about it as the “tipping point” and popularized the
perspective from his book. But it is just a natural occurrence of feedback looping, and
eventually the system just shifts. It’s one of those things that nature has figured out - an
efficiency of energy use. If there is enough amplification in the system that can sustain this,
it’ll just shift
Ken Wilber: Right. Even though a number of people remain at those lower levels, there’s
a shift. 10-15 per cent of the population reaches that leading edge, but the lower levels
don’t all shift up. The people at red, they don’t all become orange. That’s what’s so
interesting to me about it.
Marilyn Hamilton: Well, I think we could probably spend at least another two hours just
examining this. But probably, one also has to look at where are the power leverage points
© Integral City eLab November 11, 2012 12
in the system. Who is it that has shifted? We’re all watching with a great deal of interest
that cultural creative who is in, percentage-wise, in this zone. And there are all kinds of
indications that they are very active right now in ways that actually may well cause the
tipping point in the system.
Ken Wilber: Right.
Marilyn Hamilton: But there’s no guarantee about it. There is never any guarantee. It’s all,
this is happening within life conditions. And so, the feedback looping can also encounter
situations where it isn’t amplified, where somehow, for some reason, it’s dampened and
then this doesn’t emerge.
Ken Wilber: The good news about all of this is, however it actually occurs and whether it
always occurs, it’s certainly an optimistic stance considering that what we are looking at is
the possibility of the emergence of second tier and having, in the modern developed
countries, somewhere around 20-25 per cent of the population being at green. So as we
start to look at second tier and we see maybe five per cent of the population at second tier,
all told, it means that we don’t need to have 20, 30 or 40 per cent of population at integral
levels in order to get some integral values through the culture. All we need is five more per
Marilyn Hamilton: Yeah, that’s right.
Ken Wilber: And that’s good news.
Marilyn Hamilton: If we think about the subtle energy field and all the things that we’re
doing to grow that now, I’ve seen some research in the past little while about the
acceleration of the time factors of change for, say, generation zed. They’re making changes
in their brain wiring, simple because the world that they’ve been born into has real
growth energies as well as a good deal subtle and causal energies that are impacting them,
and they’re becoming far more attuned to them.
Ken Wilber: Right. Well it is indeed an optimistic possibility and a little bit of a surprising
twist that evolution has thrown in here.
Map 4: The Complex Adaptive Structures of Change
“This final map conveys the stages of change in the city. As a living system, the human
system in the city is constantly in the flux of adapting to its life conditions that arise from
its external situation in a climatic-geological location. They also arise from the internal
situation where the citizens develop consciousness capacities to adapt to the processing of
matter, energy and information related to bio-psycho-cultural-social needs. In fact, both
external and internal adaptiveness must occur simultaneously.” [p. 67]
And that’s something that we generally find is, a tetra-mesh is required where changes
have to occur in all four quadrants if the change is going to stick, if it’s going to get any
traction. And that’s an important discovery, because previously we looked at change and
just selected, usually, one quadrant and one technology in one quadrant. We might
oftentimes try just changing the Lower Right quadrant and try to change the economic
base of a culture. But without also working with a culture’s worldview and its values and
its motivations (Lower Left material), it’s not going to stick. So it’s one of the advantages of
these maps is, it’s telling us about aspects of reality that, heretofore, we might not have
© Integral City eLab November 11, 2012 13
considered. And they’re not saying you have to think this way, it’s just saying: “Have you
considered this? Have you looked at it from this angle? Have you looked at it from this
angle? And have you looked at it from this angle?” Because if you haven’t, you’re probably
going to get in trouble. Because those angles are out there, and they are having an impact
now. So, becoming aware of them is probably a good idea.
Marilyn Hamilton: Indeed. And I observe all the time that when we actually can turn up
with all of these different views and levels complexity and organization at the table, then
we have an enormously better chance of actually emerging something that people buy into,
because they have made it their own. They are not having it exporting from some other
place or parachuted in, which is sort of the way engineering change was done in the 60’s,
70’s, 80’s. And gradually we realized: “You know, it looked good on paper.” And it lasted
for maybe about three months, but it never had any continuity to it. And so, we had to go
back to the drawing board and say, “Well, what didn’t work?” Well, if you look at the
different organizational complexities in Map 4, in fact, there’re rarely lined up as nicely as
they are on that map, which kind of shows a genealogy of the organizations. And they
coexist in all kinds of combinations, and connections, and collaborations these days, with
lots of gaps in-between, because we don’t ask the questions of: “How is it that different
forms of organization can actually be in service to what it is we are trying to achieve,
rather than mixed up in a heap?”
Ken Wilber: Right. Exactly

Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 9, 2u12

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Speakeis - Baiiett Biown & Yene Assegiu
Bost - Naiilyn Bamilton
Septembei 11, 2u12

>/? @"//(,, @/;91 specializes in leaueiship anu change management
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Califoinia Institute of Integial Stuuies, aimeu at gatheiing leaueiship
wisuom, thiough one to one inteiviews with Afiican Beaus of States anu
senioi leaueis. Bei book !"##$%&'($) +,$% -&%(./ (2uu9), aigues how
Bevelopment AIB woulu benefit fiom using an integial appioach. Bei
seconu book 0+%1$# 2+# #3$ 45/%%+6) (2u11) looks into the social impact of wai tiiggeieu
exile on families, which she tells thiough hei own stoiy. Yene just staiteu, 73$ 43+'/
8+95/2:. An integially infoimeu vessel to piomote integially infoimeu global leaueiship
minuset; to cieate ieseaich anu publications oppoitunities; anu to avail a platfoim foi
collective leaining thiough global integial community inteiaction. She cuiiently iesiues in
Beijing, China.

Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 9, 2u12 2
7"/#*C1 D":#*,;1: Touay is a uay that I want to set the context of it, being Septembei the
on, as you just pointeu out, this 11
session anu this seconu week of the confeience of
which we'ie tiying to uiscovei a new futuie foi the city, how might we uesign a new
opeiating system foi it.
The theme foi this week I calleu ;/(/<) =$&'$.#(,$ >%1/2? @2#$1%/' @2)(A$. uaia's ieflective
oigan comes fiom }ames Lovelock's iuea that humans aie uaia's ieflective oigan, anu I
think that inuiviuuals aie cells in uaia's ieflective oigan, anu that cities aie the tiue
ieflective oigan, anu that we have an oigan system aiounu the woilu when we think of all
of oui cities togethei.
The theme foi this inteiview is 63/# /2A 63$%$ /%$ 6$ A$)(12(21 (2#$1%/' (2#$''(1$2.$ (2)(A$
+"% .(#($), anu we just finisheu in the eailiei session touay having a uialogue with Ken
Wilbei. What we lookeu at was the way that I uefine integial intelligence in my book. I say
that integial intelligence uses foui essential maps of city life. Foi oui auuience now oi foi
those listening latei, if you go to the website anu you look unuei expo live events foi uay
foui, you will actually be able to uownloau a copy of those maps |see following 2 pagesj, so
foi you visual leaineis you can actually follow along anu see what it is that I'm going to
uesciibe in the foui maps. The foui maps incluue a foui-quauiant peispectival view of the
city, its bio-psycho-cultuial-social life. The seconu is the nesteu holaiachy of city systems.
The thiiu map is looking at the city thiough scalai anu fiactal ielationships at multiple
scales, micio, mezzo, anu macio, of human systems. Anu the fouith is the complex
auaptive stiuctuies of evolutionaiy oiganizations.
Now, that might all sounu like iathei technical gobbleuy-goop to a lot of eais, so I've
inviteu two leauing uesigneis who aie actually applying this intelligence, paiticulaily to
leaueiship, as it ielates to city uesign. So, without fuithei auo, let me intiouuce oui
piesenteis foi touay:
Fiistly let me intiouuce Bi. Baiiett Biown. I fiist met Baiiett at the Integial anu Ecology
anu Sustainability confeience a numbei of yeais ago, anu have been piouu to use his veiy
cleaily wiitten aiticles on integial sustainability anu teaching sustainable community
uevelopment to my Royal Roau stuuents.
Along with Baiiett, I woulu also like to intiouuce Bi. Yene Assegiu. I fiist met Yene when
she was stuuying anu cieating integial Afiica, anu have always been impiesseu with hei
iesilience on the fiont line of many of uaia's most challenging leaueiship issues. So,
welcome Baiiett anu welcome Yene to the City 2.u 0nline Confeience.
@"//(,,2 Thank you Naiilyn, it's wonueiful to be heie.
A(1(2 Thank you Naiilyn.
7"/#*C12 Well I'm so glau that you coulu join us, Baiiett I believe you aie in San Fiancisco
oi neai theie in Califoinia touay is that iight.

Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 9, 2u12 S

Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 9, 2u12 4

Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 9, 2u12 S
@"//(,,2 Yes I am, I'm looking out ovei the San Fiancisco Bay iight now, at the beautiful
Nount Tamalpais, which has been a sacieu mountain in this aiea, foi this city anu this
uiban iegion foi a long time, anu is also wheie mountain biking was inventeu. It's a
beautiful uay heie.
7"/#*C12 Anu Baiiett, you anu I aie both in the Pacific time zone iight now. So we'ie on
one euge of the gieat big Pacific ponu, anu we'ie looking way acioss at Yene who is in
Beijing, anu Yene is actually speaking to us fiom the futuie, because fiom oui time zone
Yene is in tomoiiow. So Yene, we'ie uelighteu that we coulu uownloau you fiom the futuie,
thank you foi being heie. What time of the uay is it in Beijing iight now.
A(1(2 Thank you Naiilyn. It's S:12am on the 12
7"/#*C12 S:12 in the moining, so thank you Yene. We ueciueu when we put the confeience
togethei that we woulu actually invite oui speakeis to be in ieal time in ielationship to
this hub in the pacific iim heie, anu we felt that it was impoitant foi the auuience to know
that people caie well enough foi mothei Eaith to actually tuin up at times like S:uuam in
the futuie. Thank you Yene. We ieally appieciate it.
We'ie going to uo some sequential inteiviews heie, anu I'm going to stait with Baiiett.
We'ie going to exploie how Baiiett actually uses the integial map in uesigning foi
inuiviuual leaueiship. So Baiiett, heie's a question to just get us going in the conveisation:
Bow uo you use integial maps to give you insight into looking at the vibiancy of
wholeness; anu thinking about leaueiship, how uo we uetect it when we'ie outsiue that
think of the wholeness.
@"//(,,2 Foi me, so much of leauei uevelopment these uays has to uo with an ability to
become moie iesponsive to the complexity anu the change that we face on a global scale.
Theie was a iecent IBN suivey of 1,Suu CE0s aiounu the woilu, anu the numbei one issue
that they citeu as a concein was complexity. They saiu that they expecteu the uegiee of
complexity to only inciease going foiwaiu, anu less than half of them felt piepaieu to
hanule it. The seconu majoi issue that they citeu as a concein ieally hau to uo with
cieativity anu innovation, anu aie they able to access the necessaiy cieative capacity
within themselves anu within theii oiganizations to iesponu to a iapiuly changing maiket.
0ne of my favoiite sayings that I came acioss iecently that I think is veiy ieflective of oui
times is that "change will nevei again be this slow." I uon't know about you, but most of
the folks that I engage with aie stumbling in the face of iapiu change. It's as if we'ie on the
euge of a wateifall, anu we aie that watei, anu it's just flowing ovei us, anu thiough us,
anu as us, fastei anu fastei anu fastei. Always kinu of on the euge, falling ovei, but that the
change continues anu continues. So when I'm woiking with leaueis, funuamentally that's a
coie question foi me: how can we cieate the systems anu stiuctuies that can suppoit
them to make the ueep inteinal shifts that aie iequiieu that unlock a gieatei capacity to
iesponu to change. That unlock a gieatei ability to be cieative anu innovative in the face
of ambiguity anu unceitainty, anu that ultimately enable them to be as awaie of sensing
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 9, 2u12 6
anu awaie of the enviionment in which they'ie engageu as possible. So, they ieally uo
potentially heighten the sensoiy oigans that you'ie iefeiiing to.
veiy piactically, much of the woik that we uo fiom the integial peispective looks at
ueveloping people in foui key uomains. I'm going to loosely categoiize these as: giowing
up, waking up, honing up, anu cleaning up. By giowing up, I mean what we call veitical
uevelopment, oi veitical leaining. That has to uo with suppoiting people's uevelopment of
theii mental complexity, so you coulu call it IQ; theii emotional intelligence, theii EQ; anu
theii contextual intelligence, theii ability to be awaie of the context in which they'ie
embeuueu, anu the context that's aiising insiue of them with theii emotions anu theii
thoughts. So theie's woik that we uo essentially on suppoiting incieaseu capacity anu
complexity in that space, helping people to make shifts in the veiy way that they see the
woilu, such that they can tune in to moie nuances aiounu them. That's the whole
uimension of giowing up, that veitical uevelopment.
Classic leauei uevelopment woik is in the aiea of what we call hoiizontal leaining. That's
what I'm calling "honing up," to shaipen up. Wheie we all neeu to continue to stuuy, anu
get the knowleuge anu the skills, anu be awaie of what's happening in oui inuustiy, anu
keep up to speeu with cuiient tienus, anu stuff like that. All that continues to be an
impoitant pait of leauei uevelopment.
The thiiu element has to uo with waking up, anu these aie teims that I've boiioweu fiom
Ken Wilbei anu Bustin Bipeina. Waking up ieally has to uo with oui executive piesence. If
veitical uevelopment anu giowing up is about oui executive minuset, anu hoiizontal
giowth oi honing up is about oui executive competence, then waking up is ieally about
oui executive piesence, anu what is the uegiee of physical, eneigetic vitality that we biing
to each moment. What's the uegiee of attention management that we'ie able to mastei
anu holu. What's the uegiee of intention management, which is connecting in with oui
ueepest values, anu aie we walking that path on a iegulai level. So, the whole iealm of
waking up essentially looks at this aiea of executive piesence, which has to uo with eneigy
management, attention management, anu intention management.
The final piece has to uo with cleaning up, which is, essentially, woiking with oui
psychological shauow issues, anu helping us to not be uistiacteu oi oveiwhelmeu oi
unueicut by them, anu ieally being able to woik thiough them in a healthy way that
libeiates eneigy anu insight, in seivice of the woik that neeus to be uone. So we'ie not
basically biinging oui own emotional baggage to the boaiuioom table when we'ie making
impoitant uecisions. 0i when we'ie in ciitical conveisations with people, we'ie not
piojecting oui stuff onto them, oi have issues ielateu to oui paients oi oui chiluhoou that
aie ieally blocking oui ability to sense anu to biing what's neeueu anu appiopiiate in the
So that's soit of an integial toui of the type of leauei uevelopment we uo with change
agents anu leaueis. Foi those of you who know the integial map, you'll see that I talk
about uiffeient uevelopmental lines theie, anu woiking with the shauow elements of oui
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 9, 2u12 7
own psychology, anu woiking with both veitical stage uevelopment, anu then what we call
state stiuctuie uevelopment, which has moie to uo with the waking up element. Naiilyn,
I'm cuiious about how that ties in with the othei woik that you've been uoing aiounu
leauei uevelopment foi leaueis within the city anu with youi stuuents.
7"/#*C12 It ties in beautifully, Baiiett, anu as we've uiscoveieu, when we've woikeu
togethei in confeiences befoie, that kinu of ieseaich anu the fiaming that you biing
always seems to giounu some of the moie theoietical mouels I get fascinateu with, into
actually being able to uesign ways foi people to entei it. I love the foui uomains. uiowing
up anu honing up seem to me to ielate to the fiist two maps I talkeu about touay. So the
veitical map, we can see both in teims of the foui quauiants anu the multiple levels anu
lines that aie embeuueu in it that Ken Wilbei talks about. You iefeiieu to them in teims
that people can piobably ieally ielate to: IQ anu EQ anu contexting. Contexting
intelligence - we actually spent the thiee uays of oui fiist week of this confeience
exploiing the ecospheie anu the emeigent iesilience anu living systems, all of which aie
outei contexts that people neeu to be awaie of in thinking of the scale of the city. When
you'ie talking about the leaueiship of shaipening up oui hoiizontal connections, that's
also even piesaging one of oui intelligences next week that focuses on how uo we connect
all the uots in the city. That ielates to some of the maps that I use aiounu holaichy that
show the uiffeient sectois in the city that we all coexist with. So we'ie inuiviuuals, within
families, within teams, within oiganizations, within sectois, within communities, within
the city. So we actually have many uiffeient ways that we can hoiizontally connect in the
city. But youi last two points of waking up anu cleaning up, I think aie paiticulaily ielateu
to the uevelopmental aspects that aie built into many of the foui maps. Woulu you say
they go to the heait of spiiituality, of how we actually integiate anu become able to live
with integiity as leaueis.
@"//(,,2 Well, ceitainly they can, anu foi people foi whom that is impoitant, which is foi
me anu I know it is foi you. But the spiiitual element is not always as impoitant to people,
anu ceitainly to some people in the auuience. It's about effectiveness. The way that we'ie
uoing this woik is funuamentally fiameu aiounu gieatei effectiveness. As it tuins out, the
moie capable you aie of managing youi eneigy thioughout the couise of the uay, such that
you uon't have massive uiop-offs in bloou sugai, oi that you aien't essentially being
unueicut by a lack of sleep oi nutiitional ueficiencies, so we have a continual flow of
eneigy thioughout the uay, that ciitically impacts youi ability to be a leauei anu make
effective uecisions in the moment. We know that the biain opeiates uiffeiently in uiffeient
nutiitional situations anu uiffeient levels of sugai anu hoimones in youi system. Theie
aie paiticulai stiuctuies we can put in place with iespect to oui own nutiition anu oui
exeicise patteins that ieally help us optimize anu be moie effective in that way. Bowevei,
even in the veiy moment, theie's also incieuible woik that can be uone aiounu eneigy
management. That has to uo with ieally biinging foith this ueep piesence into the
conveisation, anu the uialogue that we'ie having with people. Boing things like leaning
foiwaiu slightly on the balls of youi toes if you'ie stanuing, oi leaning foiwaiu slightly in
youi chaii when you'ie sitting theie. That shifts youi physical piesence in the space with
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 9, 2u12 8
someone anu liteially suppoits a ueepei anu moie poweiful impact. Now, of couise, theie
is a cultuial peispective to be taken on that, because in some cultuies, that's not as
appiopiiate. But fiom a Westein Euiopean anu Noith Ameiican peispective, that can help
to eithei have moie of a position of powei in the uialogue, in the space, those soits of
subtle moves of leaning in. But then uoing things like bieathing in a way that biings
eneigy up youi spine anu uown youi fiont, anu setting up soit of a ciiculai bieathing
ioute while you'ie in uialogue with someone, can ieally eneigize you anu vitalize you in a
way that just biings moie of youi piesence anu capacity to the moment. All of that is just
the eneigy management stuff.
uetting to the attention management - which is the teim I pickeu up fiom Stagen
consultancy woik - aiounu woiking with meuitation anu contemplation to help people be
moie effective by biinging ueep attention to the moment, anu not being uistiacteu by
eveiything else which pulling us in eveiy moment. Bow tiuly piesent can I be with you,
Naiilyn, in uialogue. Can I holu that, anu then pay attention to the whispeis of intuition oi
the whispeis of cieativity that come foith, as a iesult of not being uistiacteu by monkey
minu which bouncing aiounu, anu anything else.
The intention management one is a kinu of spiiituality in action, to a ceitain extent. If you
think about what aie my ueepest values, who am I heie to seive, what's the inteisection of
what I love to uo anu what I can be woilu-class at, anu that the maiket will pay me foi it.
That soit of claiification aiounu oui mission, oui values anu what we'ie funuamentally
tiying to uo as we incieasingly cleai that space, anu then iemembei that in the moment
anu compaie that with oui existing actions. That helps us to stay on tiack with iespect to
putting oui intention into oui actions. That intention management piece is a veiy piactical
way of ieally checking how aie we walking oui talk; aie we tiuly cieating the soit of
futuie that we mostly want, by this veiy moment, in oui engagement with people.
7"/#*C1: Thank you, Baiiett, that's a beautiful way of captuiing the attention anu
intention that aie in many ways the uppei two quauiants in oui integial mouel.
Now I'u like to tuin to Yene Assegiu in Beijing. Yene, you woikeu with some veiy
iemaikable leaueis in youi biith continent, Afiica. You staiteu to engage Afiican leaueis
anu uiscuss with them ways that they weie ueveloping theii capacities anu theii view of
the woilu. Woulu you like to stait off by telling us about youi ieseaich, anu how you, as a
uesignei of leaueiship capacity builuing, staiteu to be able to fiame it thiough youi
A(1(: This is so wonueiful! I'm amazeu with this technology, that we can talk in ieal time,
that we can shaie with auuience in this way. I'll tell you a little bit about the ieseaich that I
uiu, anu what weie the ieasons why I chose this topic. I hau to leave my countiy when I
was tuining nine yeais olu, because of wai anu conflict anu ievolution. We hau to leave
the countiy in oiuei to suivive. I giew up that night; I became an auult oveinight in that
flight, which took me fiom my countiy to Euiope. What I wanteu to finu out is what woulu
it take foi us to cieate countiies, cities, wheie people can leave with all the basics - with
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 9, 2u12 9
the secuiity, with the oppoitunities foi employment, foi health, foi euucation, foi social
life, foi community, without that being jeopaiuizeu. What woulu it take foi me to have
fieeuom to iemain in the countiy of my biith. That was my big question. I came to the
conclusion that I neeu to go back anu speak to as many leaueis as I can - those leaueis that
I appieciate, those leaueis that I look up to, those leaueis who've uone well foi theii
countiy - anu ask them about how we coulu uo this, how we coulu make it so that in Afiica
we coulu cieate nations wheie people can just iemain theie as they choose, anu that
tiavelling will just be an option, not a suivival thing. That's how it staiteu. I useu oiganic
inquiiy which is a veiy special inquiiy, because it paitneis with spiiit, anu then it is ieally
like going on a tiip with spiiit. I uiu not know all the leaueis when I staiteu, I just knew
that I wanteu to talk to them. Somehow it woikeu out, anu I spoke with all who weie on
the fiont lines when I staiteu that ieseaich. I spoke with Ni. Kofi Annan, I hau an
oppoitunity to spenu a half of a uay with Ni. Ahmeu Kathiaua, who spent 26 yeais on
Robben Islanu, he was in the cell next to Nelson Nanuela's cell. I also hau a chance to see
Nelson Nanuela. People like that; I finu it amazing. Community leaueis, spiiitual leaueis,
all soits. That who I spoke with.
7"/#*C1: We aie ieally fascinateu to heai about the people that you weie speaking to,
because they woulu be seeing the woilu thiough a veiy uisceining eye, as I woulu imagine.
So, what uiu you leain fiom them, anu how that fits into an integial map.
A(1(: What I founu is that all of them weie living, woiking, thinking anu being as integial
as I hau evei seen myself. It completely tiansfoimeu me. Talking to them, anu witnessing
theii stoiies, anu listening to theii wisuom, tiansfoimeu me in a way that they weie so
giounueu, to stait with. They weie not uoing anything foi any othei puipose than... almost
the noble puipose foi uoing it. Foi example, when we talk about South Afiica - I met with
Ni. Ahmeu Kathiaua, who was one of the iesiuents that was impiisoneu iight at the same
time with Nelson Nanuela. Be was 44 when he was sent to piison. Be was an activist since
the age of 8. Spenuing half a uay with someone who went to piison at the age of 44, anu
came out at the age of 6u, anu still continueu to woik when he was at the age of 8S. What
was it with him anu all his fellow colleagues that maue them uo what they uiu. It's
because they weie giounueu in themselves, they saw the ieality they weie facing, they uiu
not let themself be bounueu by time, they hau the couiage to uieam whatevei they neeueu
to uieam, in oiuei to cieate anothei ieality. Anu they weie not limiteu by the lack of
iesouices that they might have, oi the lack of facilities that they might have. They weie leu
by the intention to cieate something bettei foi the whole. Anu because this puipose was
ieally anchoieu in theii soul anu theii spiiit, it so happeneu that the puipose itself built
momentum, anu uiew who hau to be uiawn in to piopel it foiwaiu.
7"/#*C1: That's a veiy inteiesting obseivation to make, that these people who, we woulu
say, maybe weie in life conuitions wheie it woulu be veiy uifficult to expiess theii
leaueiship, actually weie able to look insiue anu be eneigizeu by theii puipose. Is that
what I'm heaiing you say.
A(1(: Exactly, eneigizeu by theii puipose, yes.
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 9, 2u12 1u
7"/#*C1: This sounus similai to what Baiiett was also obseiving as neeueu in attention
anu intention, in oiuei to uevelop leaueis. What was the most impoitant piactice that
leaueis that you inteivieweu founu, in theii own actions anu behaviois, kept them going.
A(1(: I askeu this question in my inteiviews. Almost all saiu the same thing: '$/A$%)3(5
$9$%1$) &%+9 .%()()? (2 #3$ &/.$ +& .%()(). As human beings, we become what we neeu to
become, in oiuei to oveicome that ciisis. 0f couise leaueiship can be leaineu anu
piacticeu. But it must be staiting fiom puipose. We can't have leaueiship just in the aii.
What is it about. What counts foi me. What's impoitant foi me. Anu to be leu by that, in
oiuei to builu that, anu uevelop all the piactices that we neeu to have, in oiuei to achieve
that puipose, in oiuei to achieve my uieam. It might be uiffeient foi eveiy othei peison.
As a founuation - anu what Baiiett saiu is also veiy impoitant - looking at the basic level,
what is it that we aie putting in oui bouy. Is my bouy in the best possible shape to think
cleaily though the uay. Am I spenuing enough time in meuitation, to maintain that claiity
of minu, anu to connect with my ueepei self. Boing that thioughout the uay, anu
thioughout the yeais of woik, I can stay coheient between who I am anu what is it I want
to uo, who is that I want to seive, anu how it is that I want to piesent myself to the woilu.
7"/#*C1: That's a veiy piofounu ieminuei foi us about what some of oui speakeis last
week weie talking about: Elizabeth Sahtouiis was giving hei peispective on living systems,
anu how it's actually chaos anu ciisis, in living systems, that causes a tiiggei to change into
a moie complex iesponse; to be able to auapt to it. I heai you saying that this is what youi
ieseaich showeu in the leaueis that you inteivieweu. I'u like to ask you a question that
woulu help oui auuience to unueistanu you a little bit moie, especially thinking about the
books that you've wiitten. Bave you been able to take these lessons, anu woulu you say
theie is something you can shaie with the auuience that's been youi own leaueiship
piactice foi youiself, that alloweu you to move beyonu wheie you staiteu, say befoie you
staiteu the jouiney of Integial Afiica. The piactice that has become ieally impoitant foi
you, in getting in touch with youi puipose.
A(1(: Thank you foi asking. A lot of what I founu in ieseaich - I'm actually in a piocess
now of wiiting anothei book calleu "The giounu of being - Bow tiuly theie is time tiavel."
It's going to biing all of this togethei. We stait by being giounueu in who we aie. Then the
question is: what woulu it take foi me to be giounueu. Foi me, it might be that I neeu to
be in piayei anu meuitation in the moining. Naybe someone else finus that thiough hiking
oi uiving. But the time to connect to that ueepei self is wheie I woulu stait. It's uiffeient
foi each peison. Foi myself it comes thiough meuitation. Anu maybe when I was youngei,
it came fiom being ieally awaie of my woilu in teims of what matteis to me, what cieates
my happiness anu my sauness, what contains my uieams, to be ieally awaie of that. It's
that awaieness that allows the emeigence foi all soits of initiatives, in oiuei to maintain
that coheience between what I feel in my heait anu what I'u like to see with my eyes.
7"/#*C1: That you Yene, that's a ieally beautiful way to shaie youi piactice anu uiscoveiy
with the auuience.
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 9, 2u12 11
I woulu like to go back to Baiiett anu ask if you might shaie what you'ie heaiing fiom
Yene that might also have tuineu out in the leaueis of sustainability, that you inteivieweu
foi youi ieseaich. Aie you heaiing a ieflection anu paiallel with youi own uiscoveiies anu
inteipietations of youi uata.
@"//(,,: Yes, absolutely. It's lovely to heai the way Yene has aiticulateu hei finuings with
the people that she's hau the honoi to engage. I took a similai appioach with my ieseaich.
I tiackeu uown folks who hau veiy complex consciousness, who've been assesseu at the
veiy latest stages of uevelopment that science can measuie, fiom a uevelopmental
psychology peispective, anu who weie also significant sustainability leaueis within the
0niteu Nations, multinational coipoiations, within Nu0s oi consultancies. 0ne of the key
things that aiose, that aligns with what Yene was talking about, was that all of these folks
saw theii woik as a spiiitual piactice. Theie was no uiffeience between sitting on theii
mat in the moining anu meuitating, anu getting up anu uoing theii woik of community
uevelopment, oi helping the 0lympics to become moie sustainable, oi helping the
multinational coipoiation to cieate its fiist laige scale sustainability stiategy. Theie was
no funuamental uiffeience in the way they uiu that woik anu the way they uiu theii
spiiitual piactice. It ieally was an expiession of theii spiiitual piactice. The uesign woik
that they uiu was funuamentally giounueu in this tianspeisonal meaning. What I mean by
that is that they woulu eithei uo it in seivice of the gieatei othei if they hau moie of a
ielationship with uou oi with 0niveise, a soit of a seconu peison ielationship; oi they
weie uoing it as that consciousness itself, if they hau moie of a fiist peison expeiience in
theii spiiitual piactice, they weie expeiiencing themselves as consciousness co-cieating
anu unfoluing at each moment, all the woik they weie uoing aiising out of that space. That
alloweu them to access some pietty poweiful capacities. 0ne of which, foi example: they
ieally have ueep access to intuition. They woulu use uiffeient phiases aiounu that:
intuition oi whispei of insights fiom mysteiy oi tapping into collective intelligence. But
funuamentally they weie tuneu into something that was beyonu theii iational minu. They
still useu theii minu in a ieally poweiful way to help unueistanu anu uesign inteivention.
They complementeu that with ueep intuitive inquiiy anu intuitive insight.
7"/#*C1: Thank you, Baiiett. I iemembei fiom youi ieseaich the fiist time I saw it:
)")#/(2/B('(#: '$/A$%) 5%+1%$))(,$': B$./9$ 9+%$ .+95'$C. They staiteu 6+%D(21 +2 the
system as a fiist stage of auvanceu leaueiship piactice, then they moveu into 6+%D(21 6(#3
the system as a seivice foi the uieatei 0thei, then they ueepen theii level of engagement
anu complexity with the system anu became /) the system. Anu this to me sounueu like a
wonueiful ioot to being ieflective about one's leaueiship piactice anu gave us a fiame foi
being uaia's ieflective oigan.
Thank you Yene anu Baiiett!
We have an auuience listening. I'u like to ask Eiic to open this up to some of the questions
anu inteiactions to the auuience.
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 9, 2u12 12
E/#+: What I'm heaiing as a theme is this quality of ueep piesence, anu just to keep
evoking it now as we look into - what wants to emeige in this space. Kinu of intuitively
sensing into the possibility of this moment, as we gathei heie, anu as we lean into the
space between us.
7"/#*C12 Yene, I was asking Baiiett if he woulu comment on what you hau to say anu I'u
like to invite you to comment on what you heaiu Baiiett say, as he might have alloweu
you to think moie ueeply, oi slightly uiffeiently, about using the uiffeient levels of insight
that aie gaineu thiough ieflective piactice, anu also how it ielates to the biophysical
wellness of oui whole actual bouies.
A(1(: Thank you. I just love listening to Baiiett. What stiuck me is what Baiiett saiu
about taking caie of oui bouy anu taking caie of oui minufulness thiough meuitation.
0ftentimes I think the kinu of leaueis that I spoke to uiun't ieally always take caie of theii
bouies. I guess some of the inuiviuuals who coulu have seiveu a lot moie, a lot longei, have
left this woilu veiy soon, too eaily. Anu it has to uo with the fact that maybe they uiu not
take caie of theii bouy, theii physical self, as they shoulu have. This means something as
simple as getting enough sleep, something as simple as making suie that the bloou sugai
level uoesn't uiop. It seems so simple, but it's not. Because it takes a conscious minu to
actually make suie that that actually is taken caie of. It ieally stiuck a choiu with me.
7"/#*C1: It uoes with me, too, Yene. 0ne of the mastei coues of the integial city is: #/D$
./%$ +& :+"%)$'&? #/D$ ./%$ +& $/.3 +#3$% /2A #/D$ ./%$ +& #3$ 5'/.$. Taking caie means that
you have to look at all of youi quauiants of ieality.
F;::(1, )/;: F6"1,(: Biiectly feeuing on what Yene saiu, I think that theie's
histoiically been lots anu lots of exceptional people; leaueis who may have ignoieu what
we woulu call an integial appioach, but maue a tiansfoimational impact on the woilu. Ny
question is, of those foui types: giowing up, honing up, waking up, anu cleaning up,
obviously they all have an impact. But what uo you think, Baiiett oi Yene, is the most
ciitical one, that allows people to ieally excel as a leauei, anu be tiansfoimational in theii
inteiactions with otheis.
@"//(,,2 Yene woulu you like to iesponu to that fiist.
A(1(: I woulu say the most impoitant thing is giounueuness anu claiity. That we'ie
piesencing ouiselves in a veiy stable way, while we'ie still flexible, but we'ie not going
with the winu, whichevei uiiection the winu goes. That we'ie having this giounueuness
that is emeiging fiom the puipose, that is fiom within, that is asking to be seiveu. That, foi
me, woulu be the most impoitant staiting point, at least.
@"//(,,2 Foi me, Chante, builuing upon what Yene says, I ceitainly agiee that the ueepei
the founuation, the highei the builuing we can cieate, whatevei that builuing might be.
Whethei it's an oiganization oi impact in a society. I think theie's a fifth element which is
ieally ciitical heie. In auuition to the veitical woik of giowing, anu the hoiizontal woik of
honing up, anu the state uevelopment woik of waking up, anu then the moie psychological
shauow stuff of cleaning up, theie's also )3+6(21 "5. That has to uo with couiageous
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 9, 2u12 1S
action; anu ieally, taking action in the moment, uespite not knowing what to uo, uespite
not being piepaieu, uespite not having all the answeis, uespite not having all the
iesouices, but showing up anu moving the ball foiwaiu a little bit oi a lot, uepenuing on
what we can actually pull off. This is, I think, one of the most ciucial things that we can uo.
In my woik with oiganizations anu leaueis aiounu the woilu, it is just so cleai that theie
is so much goou woik that can be uone that uoesn't iequiie people to be supei conscious,
supei awake, supei talenteu, oi supei skilleu. Theie's just lots of best piactices anu goou
piactices that neeu to be put in place, in oiuei foi us to cieate the woilu that we want. In
oiuei to unlock the potential foi an unpieceuenteu flouiishing of humanity anu natuie. I
know that I peisonally stiuggle with wanting to be iight, wanting to be the best, to be high
impact, wanting to be the best possible that I coulu possibly uo. A lot of that is ego-uiiven,
anu my own self-iuentity attacheu to the outcome, anu wanting to make suie that I look
goou as a iesult of woik that happens. That soit of stuff which just gets in the way. }ust
uoing the woik is ieally, ieally, ieally ciitical. By uoing the woik, I liteially mean just
showing up anu just uoing it.
Now, that all being saiu, theie is some ieseaich aiounu leaueiship effectiveness which
suggests that the veitical uevelopment capacity, the giowing up, is significantly coiielateu
with incieaseu leaueiship effectiveness. up until a ceitain point. Aftei a ceitain point, we
uon't have any moie ieseaich that suggests that, anu that's simply because theie hasn't
been enough stuuy into that late stage of consciousness. But in geneial, a mouein society
that's helping people to make veitical shifts can unlock ciucial intellectual, emotional, anu
ielationship capacities that enable them to be moie effective. Anu that's not the only thing.
Fiankly, you can be ieally conscious anu ieally awaie, but if you uon't know youi inuustiy,
if you uon't know the uynamics of youi maiket, if you uon't know the politics, if you aien't
tuneu in fiom a hoiizontal leaining stanupoint, then it uoesn't mattei how conscious you
aie. So that's why that hoiizontal piece is significant as well.
The final piece is that in the psychological liteiatuie oi in the leaueiship liteiatuie that's
linkeu to psychological uevelopment, peisonality typology anu ceitain elements of
peisonality typology have also been heavily coiielateu with leaueiship effectiveness.
Theie's just ceitain qualities like extioveision anu thinking that ieally suppoit anu
inciease leaueiship effectiveness. It's not cleai whethei oi not that veitical uevelopment
actually has that stiong an impact towaius the uiffeient typologies showing up theie anu
actually uoing that woik. That is the thing that's up in the aii fiom an acauemic stanupoint.
If you weie going to choose an aiea to focus on I woulu peisonally uo a blenu of, fiist of all,
just show up anu just uo the woik, even if you'ie not piepaieu. Then if you'ie going to uo
youi own giowth woik, then put youiself in conuitions that you can suppoit youi own
veitical uevelopment anu ieally shift youi mental stiuctuies so that you can make moie
wisei anu moie timely uecisions, baseu upon a moie complex way of making sense of the
woilu aiounu you.
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 9, 2u12 14
7"/#*C12 Baiiett, I think what you've just auueu as the fifth element is ieally evocative of a
phiase that has ieally been something that I iefei to often in my own leaueiship jouiney,
anu I heai myself often shaiing it with my stuuents. You piobably know it well youiself, as
I believe it comes fiom Angeles Aiiien. It's ieally just foui simple things anyone can uo.
0ne is )3+6 "5, which is exactly what you'ie pointing at. When you show up, the piesence
- which is what Eiic actually inviteu us to be on the fiist pait of this call - we show up anu
we aie piesent, then all we'ie calleu to uo is speak oui tiuth. It's speaking oui tiuth that
we biing, that which we aie able to see in the woilu thiough oui unique eyes. Then the
last is piobably the most uifficult thing to uo - let go of iesults. Letting go of iesults speaks
veiy much to, if you fiameu it in teims of ieseaich anu theoiy, a veiy auvanceu way of
ielating. Anu at the same time, it's enabling foi eveiyone, because if we can show up, be
piesent, speak oui tiuth anu let go of iesults, then that which wants to come thiough us
can come thiough, anu even new patteins can emeige.
Thank you so much foi biinging us to a beautiful spot, wheie I woulu now like to ask if
Eiic has a question we might engage oui auuience in; as we finu that moving into the peei
to peei connections in oui auuience is ieally valuable foi the confeience.
|Aftei bieak-outs.j
7"/#*C12 Baiiett, what weie you heaiing in the conveisations.
@"//(,,2 A wonueiful polaiity was iaiseu aiounu, on one hanu, taking uynamic action, anu
on the othei pole, ieally consciously choosing not to take action, anu ieflect on the
uynamics anu uiiveis of the system, but also just to listen into the silences. As I saiu with
them, to pay attention to the spaces anu the mysteiy in between oui actions. To just
emphasize to all of us how impoitant it was to be woiking that polaiity, essentially. Not
too stuck in action, not too stuck in ieflection, but ieally being able to move acioss those in
a healthy way. In seivice of appiopiiate action, moie ueeply infoimeu action, anu also in
seivice of just letting othei people step up anu move in to the quiet space.
7"/#*C1: That's something that's a veiy uifficult thing foi a leauei to leain. I'm saying that
as a peison who has hau that challenge in my own life. Tiying to ueciue whethei I shoulu
holu on oi let go, actually step in to take action, oi whethei I shoulu let the system finu its
own way thiough. Especially not-foi-piofit gioups, especially wheie theie's volunteeis,
I've founu that if you can holu back long enough, it's suipiising how many leaueis you can
uiscovei will step up. All of a suuuen some space has been cieateu so that it's possible to
move foiwaiu. Thanks foi shaiing that obseivation Baiiett.
0ne of the othei gioups I visiteu was expiessing some inteiest in eco-villages anu I was
actually amazeu at how many uiffeient countiies they coveieu in just the one gioup. }ust
being able to use even this way of engaging leaueiship that ciosses cultuies. I thought that
it woulu be a ieally nice completion to oui uiscussion heie to invite Yene to come back.
She was shaiing with me something that she hau been thinking about since we bioke into
the bieak-out gioups. Yene, what's been coming up foi you in thinking about oui
conveisation touay.
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 9, 2u12 1S
A(1(2 Thanks, Naiilyn. 0ne of the things that came up foi me, in auuition to what I saiu
eailiei, is how Baiiett was uiscussing about showing up, anu how oui ability to show up
as we aie takes couiage, sometimes, to uo that. When we actually, in fact, show up, it's that
we'ie taking a leap of faith. We'ie having faith that the puipose that is emeiging within
ouiselves has its own life, anu that we'ie only channels foi this puipose to manifest into
this woilu. The minute we unueistanu anu make the uistinction that it's not about us, that
we'ie just seiving as a channel, it's veiy easy to let go anu not be attacheu to the iesult,
anu have the commitment to just seive the puipose. Couiage becomes a lot easiei at that
time because we'ie just being leu by faith of the puipose that we'ie caiiying. That's what
came up foi me.
7"/#*C12 I'm ieally appieciating all the backbone of oui uialogue; I think puipose has iun
thiough both what you anu Baiiett shaieu. 0ne of the things I think about in cities is that
puipose is a kinu of fiactal. The city itself has a puipose. Bow aie we evei to uiscovei that,
if the leaueis in the city uon't uiscovei theii own puipose. I ieally appieciate, Yene anu
Baiiett, that you weie able to biing some ieally wonueiful uesign tools foi us to notice
how to cieate habitat foi leaueis to natuially aiise. Both of you spoke ueeply to
uiscoveiing this kinu of puipose that flows thiough us as leaueis, anu how we can actually
inteiact with all of the gioups anu oiganizations anu theii puiposes. I'm calling foith the
puipose of oui cities to uiscovei what that is. It is by showing up, I think, in places like this,
wheie we can have geneiative conveisations, that's going to be possible. So thank you
Baiiett, thank you Yene.

© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012
Gaia’s Reflective Organ: Integral Intel Inside
What is an Integral Map and where are we implementing Integral
Maps for individual leadership?
Speakers: Jan Inglis and Dr. Graham Boyd
Interviewer: David Faber
September 11, 2012

Jan Inglis has for many years been motivated to research, design, teach,
and facilitate developmentally designed public deliberation processes to
increase systemic responses to complex public issues, especially those
relating to climate change. She has presented and published widely on this
topic as well as producing a video. Recently her focus has scaled up to
include the development of new structures of commons-based economics
and governance through which citizens can engage in local and global
resource management anchored to sustainability indices. This is the focus of her PhD
research. She also has a background as a somatic psychotherapist and artist. She is a
board member of the Canadian Community for Dialogue and Deliberation, a member of
the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation, the director of the Integrative
Learning Institute, and a member of the Commons Paradigm Think Tank.

Dr. Graham Boyd is Managing Partner with TetraLD, located in London UK. His focus is
enabling people to improve their performance by changing the environment
around the individual. He is particularly interested in distributed leadership
and Integral learning transfer to the next generation of leaders. Graham is a
'deep generalist,' having worked successfully across science, business,
strategy, facilitating dialogue, coaching and training. Graham started his
professional life in high energy physics and computing. He moved to Procter
& Gamble, where he led the development of new products and new
organizations, including the Beijing Technical Centre. The common thread in his work is
complex systems thinking: seeing the whole, the interactions, and the parts, and changing
the system for the better. He bridges cultures and generations from experience, having
lived in South Africa, Germany, Italy, Japan, Belgium, the UK and China. Graham is the
co-founder, with Robin Wood, of the Renaissance2 think-and-do tank.
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 2
David Faber: How do Integral Maps give us insight into the vibrant sea of wholeness and
help us to detect when that wholeness is out of sync?

Graham Boyd: Thank you David! I’ll start by just linking in the theme of Gaia’s reflective
organ. One of the things about organs in the human body – or in fact anybody - is that they
are whole organs complete in and of themselves, they are holons. And one of the ways
that they communicate with other organs is through feelings. Now, a lot of the people that
I am working with at the moment are Generation Y. And one of the things with Generation
Y that I found enormously striking: first of all, they want high performance. They won’t
tolerate anything less than high performance, in particular because they are well aware of
the challenges. For example, in Jan’s talk last week, we spoke about the five challenges of
water, food, energy, finance, and climate change. They are well aware of that and they are
not prepared to tolerate anything less than high performance.
One of the ways that I am seeing high performance coming in is through the use of feelings
in groups. Now - and this is a core part of how I am using the Integral Map - quite often
when we are talking about Integral Theory, we tend to talk about the different quadrants
in isolation and what has struck me is in the middle, for me, along the vertical axis
connecting the inner with the outer - that’s where feelings lie. Feelings have part of the
Earth’s anchor deep inside the values of a culture of the individual and the collective but,
feelings are visible, you know what they are and, in particular, if you are trying to use Gaia
as a reflective organ, the very powerful thing about feelings is (a) the way that they
connect inner and outer. And what they’re doing with connecting the inner and outer… Let
us say something is happening in my world. And what is happening is connecting with
some part of my value set that is in the category of love. I’m going to feel good about that
and that feeling good is telling me I might not know which value it is connecting with, but
whatever is happening is connecting with something that is good for me and I want more
of it.
On the other hand, if I start to feel negative, that is invariably connecting with something
that is in the bucket of values connected with fear. And that feeling is saying to me I want
less of this, this is a threat to me. Now, that is a real, really powerful way of starting to use
the Integral Map and it is simply tuning into what feelings you are having in the context
that you are in.
Now, I’ll digress slightly. Ken Wilber earlier today spoke about the eight levels in the
different quadrants and, in particular, he spent some time talking about the tension
between three of the levels - the fundamental religious level, the modern scientific level,
the pluralistic postmodern level - and that each looks at the other as being wrong and is
unable to connect with where the other is. Now, one thing about feelings that is really
powerful: everybody has the same feelings. You can always connect with somebody at the
level of feelings at least acknowledging the validity of their feelings. Where does this come
into how we use the Integral Map in a leadership context, in a group context? One of the
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 3
things that I’ve learned from Gen Y, learned in a visceral sense, an experiential sense, is the
extent to which they are already naturally and intuitively using feelings as a way of gluing
the Integral Map together - all of the channels of communication complimenting verbal
I can give you an example of that. A group that I was working with a few months ago, the
leadership team running a conference, the entire leadership team came together
physically for the first time one day before the conference started. Halfway into the three-
day conference everything that could possibly have gone wrong did go wrong. And
needless to say, the leader of the leadership team and the bulk of the leadership team
went through a serious crisis, one where they were questioning, and rightly questioning,
the entire conference design, realizing that they had to change the conference design. Now,
this was an intensely emotional thing! This was for all of them at some level a threat to
their self confidence. So there was a serious emotional breakdown. Now the difference
between that and many other teams that I have been involved with where there has been
a high level of emotional breakdown, in this team there was absolutely no judgment, there
was no attempt to fix the emotions per se. The emotions were taken as nothing more than
information that each individual in his or her role as one of Gaia’s reflective organs is
sensing about the imbalance between what is and the underlying values and motivators of
the people and, at a corrective level, what is and the purpose of the whole group being
Because they were using the feelings as part of a communication, it made it very, very easy
for them to simply accept what was, work with what was in the space, what was available
as an artist would, work with what was there. It took no longer than two hours from the
point of breakdown through to the point where the entire team was back to full energy
and the rest of the conference - the second half – had been completely redesigned. At the
end point of the conference, a number of participants were coming back and saying: this
conference was exactly what I needed now, it was different to what I had expected it
would be like coming in, but it was exactly what I needed. And so for me that’s one of the
core ways of using the Integral Map, putting feelings into their place as the instant
messaging service between the hidden dimensions and the visible dimensions, the instant
messaging service between different levels in the lines of development.

David Faber: So, one of the questions, Graham, building on what you’ve just said, maybe
you would help to distinguish a little bit further between emotions and feelings? I wonder
if you can expand on that.

Graham Boyd: I tend not to make much of a distinction. For me, for all practical purposes,
they are doing more or less the same thing, in the sense that you are connecting at some
level the visible with the invisible in a way that enables you to express it. Now, ideally, I
like people to be able to talk about, and I like to find ways of talking myself about, how do I
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 4
feel at a physical level in my body and what are the emotions that are connected with that.
But for me those are two different facets of the same underlying question which is they
are giving me an intuitive message about how my value set is engaging with what is
actually happening around me and in that sense they are allowing me to be part of
creating the hive mind, be part of creating collective intelligence. And perhaps the most
important thing to bring in at this point: we talk a lot about the hive mind, collective
intelligence, which is very head-centric, but the human body, the way we all function, is a
very complex dynamically interwoven tapestry of the cognitive, the head, the heart, the
feelings, the emotions, as well as the spirit, the big picture: “Why? Why are we doing this?”
And the real hive at a human level, the next generation of humanity, and I think that we
are already seeing in some of the teams that are forming that are able to use head, heart
and spirit in synergy to create not just a hive mind but an entire hive being.

David Faber: So, again, as you’ve described that, one of the things that strikes me is that
you’ve referenced Generation Y. And Generation Y, correct me if I am wrong, are people
who are born in the 1980s and 1990s. Is that fair to say?

Graham Boyd: Yes, Generation Y is pretty much the 80s through to the late 90s, early
thousands, depending on which definition you look at.

David Faber: So, that generation has very much grown up with technology, at least have
been exposed to it right from birth. And I am wondering how that plays into this as well
because you notice a lot of people, of course, texting and communicating in that way as
well so how does that connect with what you are saying with the emotions and spirit or
your, you know, your feelings?

Graham Boyd: It connects in two ways. One of the things that Buzz
talked about last
week in his very early talk, is the rampant explosion in capital, in wealth, just before an
ecosystem collapses. He referred to a forest and the rampant growth of biomass capital in
a forest just before a forest fire cuts it back down to size.
Almost all of us on this call are knowledge workers. In 1986, the average knowledge
worker in a study in the States had in his or her head 75 per cent of the knowledge they
needed to do their job. This number is dropping. By 2006, it was down to eight per cent.
By now it is down to about five per cent and I’ve coined the term the one per cent
knowledge worker. Ten years from now, the average knowledge worker - and that means
any manager, any city leader, any government official, scientist, technologist, whatever -
the average knowledge worker will have one per cent or less than they need to do their
job actually in their head. That means that it’s impossible to do your job properly by trying
harder, by trying to learn new knowledge. The only way you can do it is by learning the
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 5
dialogue skills - I am sure Jan will talk about this a bit as well - by learning the dialogue
skills and communications skills that enable you to connect the one per cent that you have
in your head with the one per cent that other people have in their head and if you are able
to get to the point where 99 can connect with you then you can get to the 100 per cent.
Now that ties into the Internet.
One of the things the Generation Y does, many of them no longer even bother to go to
Google for information or to Wikipedia. They go straight into something like Twitter or
Facebook and connect directly with real live human beings, connect with their friends and
even maybe with friends who are living anywhere on the planet. Now, as a slight
digression, one thing I’ve noticed with Gen Y is that many, many more of them do not
recognize borders. I asked them what do they think of the concept of the nation state and
many of them will say, “We don’t quite understand what it is good for. It seems to be
holding us back and preventing us from solving some of the pressing problems on the
planet. We think that there are some areas where it can be improved.” So, that’s one
digression. But the essential part of it is a very-very willing - a willingness and an ability to
connect across all kinds of borders, be it between generations, between people, between
nations, and to do it synchronously, asynchronously, just look at the whole and figure out
where can I find 99 other people, each of them with one per cent of what I need to know.

David Faber: So this may be a two -tier comment, Graham. Jan, your work in terms of
dialogue and deliberation, how would you see that connecting in with what Graham has

Jan Inglis: Well, certainly the need for us to talk, think, make decisions about actions so
that we can take on some of the complex issues that are impacting our cities and
impacting Gaia is absolutely necessary. And thank goodness we are addressing that and
looking at the fact that we need skills to do that because we’ve been so steeped in a culture
that has assumed that we could operate individually, that we could create our worlds and
create our safety from an individualistic situation. And we’ve set up our governments, our
economics, and our science from that modernist assumption and it is rippling through our
institutions. The quadrant that is about economics and governments is steeped still in
structures that are based so much on those assumptions. So, to be able to find that we
need to work collectively, we do need to understand how each other thinks and find ways
of gathering that meaning in a way that we have not been used to in this culture, certainly
the Western culture, for quite a while. We certainly have cultures that have operated that
way. But we are now facing a whole different level of complexity than any cultures have
ever had before. We also have a much broader range of cultures within the larger
planetary culture that we are working with. So we have a huge number of conversations
that we need to have across all that complexity and across the diversity of our cultures.
Using the Integral mapping process, I’m going to weave myself around that part, because I
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 6
think that the capacity to analyze together, for me, what I feel helps to move us from being
really abstract and theoretical, is to be talking about what we are working with in terms of
the issues that face us, what is it that is in between what we are wanting to do and what
we are actually able to do, what is the next step of complexity there, whether it’s dealing
with homelessness in a city or dealing with some development issue or whether we are
dealing with climate change on the planetary level, there are challenges for us to be able to
get at it so we have complexity to deal with that. And so having a way of mapping so that
we can raise into our awareness all the different aspects that make up that complexity, to
be able to have discussions about it so that we are not coming at it from absolutist,
solution-based… this is the only way to do it and this is the way I am proposing and we
need to all jump at it at a town-hall meeting and say, “Yes, this is the only way we are all
going to go” - but to be able to have processes so that we can actually have the kind of
conversations where we see the multiple aspects of the complexity that we can look at all
the parts that have made up this issue historically, that are also making up the present
problematic conversations, and the fact that part of the complexity is us and the fact that
we are diverse and we need to have ways that we bring the problematic aspects of that
diversity but also the richness of that diversity into whatever we are working on. I’ll
pause there because I said quite a bit. So I may just let us go and see where you want to go

David Faber: It certainly has connected with me personally with what you were saying
and in fact actually I was doing an interview with CBC Radio this morning and the point I
was making or was attempting to make was that we need to collaborate together, that we
do need to embrace the diversity that is there. However, what ends up happening
sometimes is that there is fear and, connecting this back to your work, Graham, what you
were just talking about emotion, and there is the fear that surfaces around being able to
put the question out there and be comfortable enough with the answers and the dialogue
that comes back and it becomes almost a sense of “I’m losing control so I’m not
comfortable with this”, especially when it comes to government type decision-making.
I just find it fascinating how the collaboration piece is so important and looking at the
understanding that it is complex but being willing to step into that complexity and to map
it out or to understand that and to make it simpler for people and simpler for ourselves to
understand as we are working through it. I find that, as you were making the comment
again about diversity, of how that can… some of the greatest moments can be when you
bring artists, and musicians and engineers and all sorts of different folks together to
experience putting a question out there that is very juicy, that is a question that people can
really want to get their heads wrapped around, to move it forward… so, it does connect
back to me and back to what I think of Gaia and the human body, of all of the different
parts of the… all of the different organs working together. So kind of grouping us back to
the question of, and maybe if you can start out, Jan, of how do you tell when we are out of
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 7
sync so that Graham was talking about emotions and feelings there, how do you sense
when things are going out of sync with us?

Jan Inglis: Well, I think, it depends on kind of what grouping is and if it is … me, I do
certain things; if it’s a group, I think there are certain ways of doing it, but I think to say
that Integral is actually what we are using there… all the things that are essential to
wholeness and so I think that there is a place, a feeling, a “nigglyness” that something is
missing so that sense of there’s that feeling that something is not quite right, there’s some
way I am not getting a wholeness here, I’m not getting an “aha”, I’m not getting a feeling of
comfort, so being able to use inquiry to go into “What’s that about?” or it could be a
stronger emotion of frustration or anger or having that place of inquiry, what is that
telling me about something, where did that come from, what is that relating to, but being
able to look at that in terms of how we do that as groups, being able to - and I am looking
at some of Bill Torbert’s work - the action inquiry, “What is it that we are intending to do
here,” and “Why are we actually acting.” And if there is a gap between our intention and
our abilities and our actions and therefore which I think touches in that place about
vulnerability of, well… we’re not used to being vulnerable especially in public situations so
we need to acquire that capacity to do shared inquiry that says “What is it that is not
working well here?” And I think we can look at that from … like the workshop conference
setting that you were referring to where everything was going wrong or we can be looking
at that in terms of “My gosh, how could we be still doing business as usual on the planet
when we know that we are over the top in terms of CO2 production and we have taken
ourselves into a situation where we are not going to be able to survive as a species, or
other species, in the way that we have understood survival to be.
That is a very big niggle so we have to enquire into that, we have to give space to that, we
have to have processes that support that. It can be personal that we are having that
inquiry into “What does my life have to do with this alignment or misalignment?”,
but, ”What is our group, our collectiveness about…?” So, there is a way that we have that
inquiry and I think that inquiry comes when we start thinking systemically; when we start
having a way to look at the different pieces that need to be in place to give a sense that we
have a road forward.
And if, as we are seeing in our various countries, ways of setting up governance when we
are so connected into the fight into “my way is better than yours” and we put money into
that, our media is looking at that… we are not having processes where we have this other
inquiry about what is it that we do value and we’ve come up with solutions that say what
we really value is economic growth and jobs no matter how they come, you know it could
be that we continue to exploit resources, we continue to go after tar sands, the various
things that we do might be adding more to the CO2 but we do not have ways that we have
enough gatherings that have these discussions where we are vulnerable together about
the fact that we may not know yet. But the only way we are going to figure it out is to talk
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 8
and think together and come up with different ways of putting value back into our lives in
a way that, I think, we’ve lost track of.
David Faber: Thank you, Jan. Actually, that’s a great connection to our next question and
in fact you started to answer it there- “How do we develop capacities for integration and
integrity? And perhaps, Graham, you can jump in on that one. The question is “How do we
develop capacities for integration and integrity?”
Graham Boyd: I would love to jump into that one! And I will preface it by saying that I
have the sense that a lot of what we are talking about here, we are talking about things
that can only be understood once they have been experienced and felt. It would be a little
bit like me trying to describe the sensation of eating an exquisite Belgian chocolate while
watching a red sunset to somebody who had never come into contact with anything like
either. Words would simply be inadequate.
So I’ll start with a very short story. I was chatting live to Otto Vaske and describing a
situation I’d been in and how I was making sense of it and he said to me, “Graham, that is
an exquisitely precise and beautiful intellectual construction you have there. But how
about a little bit of compassion for yourself?” And I just thought, “This is brilliant!” It
comes back to we can create all of these exquisite structures but unless we are connecting
them with something which is much-much deeper in ourselves, something connected to
the vulnerability we are talking about, the capacity to be vulnerable... A couple of my
favorite themes at the moment is the whole question leadership, distributed leadership.
One of the things that I am seeing when I contrast a lot of – again the Gen Y folks that I
work with and maybe these are specific Gen Y, they may not be representative to all of
them, but it is that group of Gen Ys that is really stepping up to the challenge and doing
In much of traditional business, work is work, leadership is leadership and anything like
love has got nothing to do with it. Whereas these folk, they are not seeing a contradiction
between love-centered feelings and leadership. They see the two as absolutely essential
partners, recognizing that feelings and values in the love category - they give energy - by
connecting across different people these feelings, you increase everybody’s ability to give
more, there is no upper limit. Whereas, if you’re only connecting across ego-centric, fear-
centric, aggressive-level emotions, the best you can do is take them away. You are not
really going to increase beyond that. So one of the things about developing the capacity for
integration and integrity lies in especially leaders figuring out how do you bring the love
back into leadership, using that as a way of increasing capacity as a collective body,
increasing the capacity of the entire hive. Remember what I said a little while ago about
the one per cent knowledge worker? With the challenges coming our way, the amount of
knowledge that we need to process to have anything like a chance of dealing with them is
way beyond the capacity of even the most brilliant leader or expert. We can only do that if
we truly reach hive being, truly reach collective intelligent action and again the capability
to be vulnerable is absolutely essential to let other people close enough into you that
everybody knows everybody else’s gaps - the 99 per cent that is almost all of you that you
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 9
don’t know enough about because until you’ve connected with those 99 you are not going
to be able to effectively identify the one per cent that you do bring in that is absolutely
essential to everybody and that you are really, really good at. And then let everybody
connect those ones to get to a 100.
And only once you are able to do that can you transcend and include the whole paradigm
between individual and collective. This polarization of individual or collective that so
many of, say, the baby boomers - either they’re part of a collective or they’re highly
individualistic - we have to transcend that paradigm if we are going to be able to make
progress going forward and a core part of transcending that paradigm is going to come
back to connecting, developing the capability to be vulnerable, which will give us a segue
into one of the other tools that we need which I can talk more about in a minute - the
whole question of distributed leadership, fractal leadership at all levels. But I’ll pause at
that point to give you a chance to steer me in another direction or bring Jan in it.
David Faber: Well, the question that surfaces for me when you describe this - and you just
touched on a number of them but what are those new capacities? You've mentioned
inquiry and noticing niggles and the ability to connect and I think I just heard you say
being vulnerable. Are there other capacities that you've seen that are required for this
new generation or for everyone frankly to be able to be more integrated with each other?
Graham Boyd: I'd say that there are a couple of capacities that are actually essential. One
of them is dialogue and I am not talking about traditional ways of talking to other people -
either your cocktail party gossip type of conversation or your typical courtroom debate
type of conversation. Neither of those are capable of delivering collective intelligence.
One of the capabilities needed is to learn ways of dialogue that do lead to collective
intelligence and I know Brian Robertson will be talking at some point on Holacracy which
I find a very, very powerful combination of structures, organizational design, along with
complementary rules for dialogue and the combination of the two together create a very,
very powerful framework. As Ken Wilber was saying earlier today, a framework that
enables all relevant stakeholders centered in all four quadrants to actually be recognized,
given the space to speak, and more importantly that what they say can actually be heard.
So, I’d say other capabilities, dialogue, very definitely; the right kind of structure and
frameworks to support this kind of higher level connection; the ability to be vulnerable;
the ability to really connect at a feelings level is essential; and the final capability that I
could talk for hours about is leadership capability. We tend to think of leadership at the
moment as something that is only done by the people at the top and is done to everybody
else. To deal with the challenges coming our way, we have to (a) switch our paradigm of
leadership on its head completely. Leadership is what the followers do to the leader by
virtue of their choice to follow. This is something that Gen Y is really strong at.
The groups I am working with - whoever has the right one per cent to take up leadership
in that instant leads the entire group regardless of the relative power relationships one
minute before. A very-very organic, dynamic fluid flow in who is leading and who is
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 10
following; a dance of partners where who is doing what depends on the music of the
context, not some person at the top of a pyramid of power who put people into that
position in an historic context and I’d say that is an absolutely critical capacity - the ability
of each individual to lead themselves, the ability of each individual to take up a leadership
role for the whole team and the ability to take up leadership and let go of leadership in a
way where the role that you are currently filling, the accountabilities you are holding as a
leader, are disconnected with yourself identity which enables you to make that fluid flow
between the two.
David Faber: Something that, as you describe that, what surfaces for myself is that
leadership has been viewed as a noun, it is viewed as “This person is a leader”, quote
unquote, whereas, how you describe that, I am interpreting it that leadership is a verb, it is
an action that anyone can do at any level in an organization. Is that fair to say?
Graham Boyd: I think that that is very fair to say, I am just writing that down, in fact,
because I've not quite thought of it that way that is powerful. But yes leadership is very
much a verb. Leadership is nothing to do with an “I am” type statement and very much
something to do with this is what I am doing, this is how I am serving the purpose of why
we are all here. And, in that context, once you’ve separated the two, you are in a much,
much more powerful position to have very strong opinions, a very clear ego-holding
statement of where we need to be going, but to hold them very, very loosely so that
immediately another one per cent of knowledge comes in from another one per cent
knowledge worker who suggests maybe we should go slightly to the left or slightly to the
right, you are no longer hold onto it tightly, you no longer hold onto a specific thing tightly,
you can let go of that and flow with what the context requires to best be in service of the
purpose of the organization.
David Faber: So connecting that back to Gaia and the four pieces you’ve been referring to,
I’m just taking a look here. Alf from Mississauga has posted a comment and he used the
example - he said this immersion would be like walking into a circle of elders to dialogue
around the fireplace without harsh judgment, being open to the wisdom of the crowd to
emerge through the dialogue. Individual tension needs to surrender to collective purpose.
What are your thoughts on that, Jan?
Jan Inglis: I think we would love to feel we have those settings where we had that feeling
of elders being there and sitting around the fire and being able to have that depth and
space and time and comfort and I think that there is a longing and yearning for that. Yet, in
terms of talking about the gaps, our ways of coming together are so not that and also, I
mean, I guess what I would like to say too is when I’ve seen us try to set up some of those
settings I have found them at times very non-authentic. I have seen us strive to move
towards something that we have a longing for and then in order to do that we have not
known how to call each other on things or call ourselves on things. We’ve created
situations where, in order to create the feel-good or to create the sense of belonging, we
have maybe not taken the challenge of leadership. And where we've raised some of the
issues we need to raise about what is this group trying to do and are we able to do that
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 11
and what is it that we need to learn and move in to some of the places where some of the
hard things come up and I don't mean doing that in a harsh judgment because we need to
do it with, of course, a place of compassion but not just a compassion for us as individuals
but for us as a species in terms of the complexities that we are dealing with. I guess I feel
concerned at times about the… I guess it is a kind of a feel-good narcissism that we could
slide into that I think could prevent us from working with some of the challenges that we
So how do we create? How do we even recognize if we've got some of those elders
amongst us? How we support them? How do we have communities that both challenge
and support each other so we become elders together? I think this is a sense of where the
leadership people come and go from that in terms of at times feeling isolated. If you are
going to start raising challenges you are going to be taking risks and feeling at times that
you do not belong and then have to dig deep to say, “Well does this still feel like what I
need to raise?” And hopefully having a community of people that are willing to both push
and pull you, so the leadership arises from that collaborative energy, so that the wisdom
comes from the fact that we have stepped into some new territory.
I think academia used to do that where there was a push and a pull on people’s thinking,
and I think academia has lost some of that - there has been a sense of forcing everyone to
think the same way - but we do need those places where our thinking gets really
challenged and that we have to say why we are thinking what we are thinking, that we
have to form our leadership because of the fact that we've needed to dig into what are our
assumptions. Where did we get our assumptions from? What are we building our thoughts
on? How can we open those up to being critiqued by others? How does that impact the
kind of choice of actions that we collectively or individually make so that we do have that
collaborative but not necessarily always supportive setting in which the leadership
David Faber: What I am hearing you describe, Jan, and this could be in my language, but
for creating a safe space, creating trust amongst people who are coming together so that
they can be candid with each other but know they are able to leave the room if you would
and still be able to work together. How would you see trust and all of this, is that
something that would help develop what you are saying that ability to both push and pull
without losing the authenticity.
Jan Inglis: Yes, of course. And I think that there is that sense, I mean, for me and probably
for many people listening and the both of you would feel this too. It is like, trust comes and
goes, it is like I can feel it and I can kind of take a risk on something and then - wow - it
can feel like it is all gone and I have to put the pieces back together inside myself and dig
deep. And then risk putting something out to somebody else and then - whoosh - there is
the trust again! So there is a dynamic-ness with that. That is something that we need to be
aware that we are creating and losing with each other all the time, I think. So, and needing
to create and set the setting, as you said, for that to be hopefully held enough so that you
can lean into it, that you can take the risk with each other, that you can ask the hard
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 12
questions and know that it is not going to be seen so personally but it is about co-creating
something and that the co-creation, for it to be transformative, for it to be something that
is going to be better than our thinking was before, it's going to have to go through some
vulnerable places. But - you know - I certainly know for me that I have to re-find that place
of trust inside myself and with other people because of that edge that it plays. It is not just
like I can sit and expect it to be there and be upset at other people for not providing it,
because it just comes and goes. So there is just that dynamic of working with the many
voices in me and the many voices that are around me as a dynamic evolutionary force in
David Faber: So, based on that, actually one of the things that I have a question for you is
that, you know, the challenging of the thinking, actually challenging the thinking of what
are we doing right now, in this dialogue. How do we challenge the thinking that we are
putting out there? What would you suggest, Jan?
Jan Inglis: Well, one thing that I think helps, is to say, “What is it that we are trying to do
together?”, “What would be some of the outcomes that we are going to do?” and then see,
well, “How are we doing with that?” Then we have something against which we can put
that challenge.
Otherwise it can just kind of float around, if... you know... challenges that are maybe about
many, many things. Being able to have some sense of why it is that the "we" has come
together, what is it we would like to do? And I think that that is a good holding tank for us
to be in. To, kind of, when people come together, what is it that we would like to do in this
coming together? It could be a very formal meeting that we are trying to do something, it
could be something, like, you know, what is it that the UN people come together to do at
the conference about climate change. Well, they are trying to impact that so how are we
doing with that. Or it could just be three people coming together to discuss something
which is much more esoteric and just opens their hearts and minds together. Being able to
have that evaluativeness to say, “How are we doing with this?”, have places by which you
know that you can bring that place of evaluation in and then that becomes a part of culture
of your small group gathering, your larger group gathering, to be able to say, "How are we
doing with that?" “How are the "we" doing with that, as well as how are the individuals
doing with that?”
David Faber: Hmm... Well, Graham, a question as we move through this. I'd like to focus
on the examples and your experiences. What's one place that you recommend getting
started? How do people get started?
Graham Boyd: One of the things that I really love is the whole area of non-violent
communication of Marshall Rosenberg. I find that a very, very powerful way to do exactly
what you are talking about, Jan, which is to engage with yourself in dialogue in a
compassionate way that recognizes your vulnerability. For me, I find that a very good way
of starting off. But for that to really work there are a couple of things that need to come
with it. There was a talk a while back by somebody who has been engaged with Integral
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 13
for a while, I forget the individual’s name, from Australia, and he said that every time he
was with Ken it was absolutely wonderful and then he went back to his University, back
into the old environment and, well, everything that he just picked up disappeared again.
That's one of the things that we are doing in TetraLD is how do you take the entire
environment around somebody from the Integral perspective and make sure that if you
want certain behaviors in Upper Right, like effective dialogue with yourself and with each
other, what else has to be in place in the organization and in the other three quadrants to
support that? One of the areas where that ties in, as I mentioned Brian Robertson with
Holacracy, that is one organizational design that enables this kind of thing to happen.
Another good place to start, you were talking Jan, about creating trust, recognizing what
are we trying to do together and generating a safe space where people can be vulnerable. I
also find very powerful the ideas of chaordic organization design that Dee Hock pioneered
a few decades ago in creating the Visa Corporation. Putting into place highly dynamic
structures centered around purpose, principles and people that enable a group of people
to have very, very high trust as they navigate that very, very fine line between chaos and
order, that line where everything is unpredictable, you have to remain vulnerable and
open to newness every instant, exactly the line that evolution is walking along on the
planet and has walked along since the beginning of evolution. Those are some of the things
that I can suggest as good places to start.
David Faber: Thank you, Graham! And Jan, how about yourself, what would you
recommend to people listening to this call, where would they have a recommended start?
Jan Inglis: Well, if the question is "what do we start to do", of course, I am going to say "To
do what?" Yes, I am just going to put that back to you: what is the question in reference to?
David Faber: I am looking at it, so as Graham and yourself have been talking about in
terms of the new capacities that need to be established going forward and be able to have
these types of conversations, what would you suggest in terms of a place to start? Or
where should people start when they are interested in doing this? And I think we also
touched on the authenticity and you can, you know, try to put all these things in motion
and it's not authentic and it actually makes things worse because of that. What would you
Jan Inglis: Ok, that gives me a framework, so I am glad I inquired. Well, obviously, I think,
people who are on this call they are already started, I mean, that there is some place that
just compelled you to be looking for more. And I think to listen to that and there is a lot of
stuff out there: there are a lot of things to read and listen to, a lot of gurus and a lot of wise
people and a lot of material to read. So, I think the sense of being able to say, to be able to
put those questions to yourselves - “What is it that I am wanting that I don't quite have
yet?” “What is it that I am needing to learn that I want to move towards, that I feel there is
something that is missing to be able to as much as possible give some name to?” Then I
think that some materials about that learning will come and there will be some internal
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 14
response to that and then you can go "Yes, it fits!" "No, it doesn't", "Gee, this brings this up
and now I feel more inadequate and totally confused".
For me, I know that I've gone through many stages of my process from at one point being
on the street, my arm up in the air shouting out activism statements, blaming various
governments and corporations for whatever they were doing wrong and then it was some
place in which I went "Gee, this doesn't...” and I mean it felt good actually, for a while... and
then there was a place at which it felt not so good and I also felt that was not really
working and then I had to really listen to that and say well what else is it that I need to do.
Well then I start learning a lot more about people processes and that took me on into, you
know, depth therapy and then that felt like, "Well, that's going to be it! Everybody needs to
be a therapist and go and do depth therapy and then they'll figure out what has happened.
We need to be really in touch with ourselves - that will be the answer.” And then at some
point after working with that for quite a while and promoting that as being the right way
then I kind of went “Gee there are things missing here and there is something that does
not fit for me. There is more, there is a whole bunch more things that are happening in the
world that are not being solved by individuals going to therapy.”
Then I moved on to doing understanding how we can engage together publicly and
looking at, you know, decision-making processes and public deliberation and setting up
forums for doing that and holding methods by which people could engage. And that was it,
you know, and that was going to be the way and I wanted to promote that. And that also
ended up, you know, not feeling like it held enough because I was realizing that I was
running into, or we as a collective were running into, the set that we've set up: structures
of economics and governance that even if publics do engage were still not dealing with
some of the deep structures of how we understand our relationship with nature and
property and value.
So then I've moved on into yet another field called the Commons and so I think there is
something about ... in each one of those, I did not really... I thought I had a really good
answer... I thought I was really identified with it and you know there was status to do it
and I could earn money and I could say things and I could be an expert, but each one of
them after a while... I'd learned a lot, and then each one of them after a while felt a bit
empty and so then it's having to go and "Well, what's this about? What's the next step?
What else is there?" And you know, kind of going to that vulnerable place of not knowing
and hunting around and finding some people that you feel attracted to or some reading
that you feel attracted to that really resonates with what it is that you are really deeply
looking for. That feels that there has not been resonance before. That's where authenticity
sort of comes but it comes and goes. I mean, I know in the looking around I kind of go, "Is
this it? Not sure about that." And then just having to dig in and start the process of
learning again, you know, and that means that you are knocked off you past expert role
and just floundering around as a newbie again and so there is a lot of confusion in that too.
It is not always that it feels authentic and strong, but authentic and vulnerable. But I think
that that sense of “What is it that I am looking for that I do not have? What is it that I am
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 15
wanting to focus my life on and do change in? What is it that, kind of, resonates with that,
that feels authentic? What is it that I am feeling passionate about learning and finding
places and people to do that learning with?” And, you know, thank goodness, you were
saying Graham, for the Internet, we've got ways of connecting and ways of finding
information you can Google different groups of things and people and organizations and
situations and so much of that learning is available for free and then you can hopefully
find communities to share with so that you are not learning on your own and I mean this
call and this situation that Marilyn [Hamilton] has set up is one of those, so... You are
already on the path.
David Faber: What I hear you saying is that listening to yourself and where you are at, as
well and going back to leadership happens anywhere - that idea that it's a verb and not a
noun. Thank you so much to Jan and Graham for your insights. I found it personally
informative there are many nuggets to take away.

Dr. Crawford Stanley (Buzz) Holling, OC is a Canadian ecologist and Emeritus Eminent Scholar and Professor in Ecological
Sciences at the University of Florida

Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 1u, 2u12

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Speakei: }ean Bouston
Bost: Naiilyn Bamilton
Septembei 12, 2u12

?("1 @<:%,<1, Ph.B., scholai, philosophei, authoi, lectuiei, teachei, anu
ieseaichei in human capacities, is one of the foiemost visionaiy thinkeis
anu uoeis of oui time. She has long been iegaiueu as one of the piincipal
founueis of the Buman Potential Novement. Bi. Bouston is known foi hei
intei-uisciplinaiy peispective ueliveieu in inspiiational anu humoious
keynote auuiesses. Since 2uuS, she has been woiking with the 0niteu
Nations Bevelopment Piogiam, tiaining leaueis in human anu cultuial uevelopment as
well as in Social Aitistiy, a community-leaueiship tiaining piogiam that she uevelopeu.
Togethei with othei inteinational agencies anu companies, ovei the last 4S yeais, Bi.
Bouston has woikeu in ovei 1uu countiies.

A"/#*=1 @"8#*,<12 I met }ean a numbei of yeais ago at Royal Roaus 0niveisity, at which
time I leaineu about hei piouigious talents foi cookeiy, anu hei ueep love, connection,
anu affinity foi the canine woilu. I've also been piivilegeu to ieau many of }ean's books,
anu stuuy hei appioach to the integial fiaming anu integiation. I also have to confess that
I've been attuneu by }ean into the tiibe of the Sages. I have a special affection foi hei
because she was piesent at the launch of my book in 2uu8. So }ean, welcome to The City
2.u 0nline confeience.
I noticeu that we'ie both in the same time zone, as aie many of oui speakeis. it's a hot
"Ring of Fiie" on this iim of the Pacific. What a goou image to think about exploiing the
stoiies of the city. }ean woiks with inuiviuual psyches, cultuies, anu has tiavelleu the
planet. So what woulu she know about the city. Woulu you stait to tell us how we might
uiscovei the City, not by looking iight at it, but by looking at the space aiounu it, the Planet
of Cities, as we exploieu last week. Bow uoes that affect how you see cultuie, anu what's
changing as you tiavel.
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 1u, 2u12 2
?("1 @<:%,<12 Well, Naiilyn, what I am seeing in cultuie, anu paiticulaily in cities,
because, aftei all, with so many people getting togethei anu ciossing the gieat uiviue of
otheiness, theie is this huge kinu of cultuial exchange. I woulu have to say that a new
species is being cookeu in the ciucible of fusion; the membiane between cultuies anu,
paiticulaiity in the city, the membiane between cultuies, between woilus, between olu
anu new ways of being, is bieaking uown. Wheieas in the past, migiations anu uiffusions
alloweu foi giauual changes anu exchanges between cultuies, cities, anu iuentities.
Nothing is giauual! We aie liteially watching a speeueu up movie of stiange, multi-cultuial
mitosis, anu as stiangeis spawn in the city, especially cultuies thousanus of miles apait,
which has gestateu in the womb of piepaiatoiy time foi thousanus of yeais, aie suuuenly
check-by-jowl in the subway, in the same schools, woiking in the same businesses, shaiing
the same space. Anu inevitably, bleeuing into each othei. Sometime in fuiy; sometime in
fiienuship; often in maiiiage. When you look at the natuie of uiveisity in the cities,
looking at the 0niteu States anu Canaua, they'ie simply not white people, but an incieuible
In the foice of this meeting, a new genesis is occuiiing. You might even call it a seconu
genesis of the human iace. It's a meluing of genes, yes; but moie often a mingling of
pieviously uiviueu anu uistinguisheu woilus, when thiown togethei, aie unueigoing a sea
change into something veiy iich anu veiy stiange. What iesults is not meiely a
hyphenateu amalgam, i.e. Afio-Asian iock music, oi Nexican cybeipunk ait. But hybiiu
sounus foi hybiiu cells.
The self itself is being shifteu anu becoming magnanimous in its cultuial muchness; a kinu
of malleable syncietic fusion that's geneiating its own cultuial matiix. Foi human beings,
the complexity of this not yet uefinable cultuie is, I believe - anu this is wheie I biing in
the psychic space of the inuiviuual in the city - it's pioviuing sufficient stimulus to call
foith latencies, possibilities in the human biain-minu-psyche-system that, in a sense, weie
nevei neeueu befoie. It's not unlike in ancient evolution, bacteiia leaining to bieathe
iathei than uie when the cultuie of oxygen came. 0i closei to home, the ways in which
chiluien immeuiately absoib the mysteiy of computei wizaiuiy, sometimes at two yeais
olu, while theii paients aie stiuggling.
To see this cioss cultuial stimulation in a city, just watch Westein bouies poui themselves
into Eastein yogas anu maitial aits. Boing things that people bieu on milk anu calcium
weie nevei meant to uo, given the calcium ueposits on theii knees! 0i something that I
enjoy uoing in New Yoik City up in Bailem is to attenu a woikshop in gospel singing foi
}apanese touiists; they uo this iegulaily at the Nemoiial Baptist Chuich in Bailem. You
watch people who have known centuiies of bowing ceiemoniously, clap anu sway fiom
siue to siue. Piepaieu foi eveiy foimal couitesy, belting out spiiit-quaking songs -
"Amazing uiace, how sweet is the sounu," you know.
This bieakuown of the membiane, that you paiticulaily finu in cities, is not meiely
cultuial fusion. It's a kinu of joining togethei of the geogiaphies of the minu anu bouy that
have nevei toucheu befoie. It's weaving of synapsis anu sensibilities to cieate people who
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 1u, 2u12 S
aie fuseu into the woilu minu. I'm convinceu the woilu minu is taking a walk with itself.
0nce that happens, it has unlimiteu tieasuies, extiaoiuinaiy mixtuies of stoiies that aie
shifting the natuie of stoiy itself. Empoweiing capacities. I think this is evolution as
evocation. the quickening chaige of cultuial mitosis in oui veiy cells, paiticulaily in the
cities. Not only thiough commeice anu tiavel anu technology anu meuia, we aie being
catalyzeu into ways of being, that a few shoit yeais ago weie the stuff of fantasy anu myth.
The shift in consciousness is happening all aiounu us is a kinu of unstoppable, positive - a
kinu of positive plague, a kinu of meta-viius that is multiplying in oui miust. Fiom foou, to
music, to liteiatuie, to theatie. The veiy liniment of cultuie anu consciousness is making
Look, foi example, at foou. Ny mothei's name was Naiia Annunciata Seiaphina uiaziella
Fioiina Peipetua Touaio. She was boin in Siiacusa, Sicily. She comes to New Yoik anu
theie she meets my fathei, }ack Bouston fiom Texas. Anu they hateu each othei's foou. Ny
uau coulu not abiue the smell oi look of gailic. "Naiy, those uamneu things aie stinkbugs!
That's what the olu witch women uown in Texas thiew aiounu theii necks to fight off
the." What was I going to uo at eight yeais olu when I iealizeu theie weie ieal pioblems
in that maiiiage. So I became the woilu's fiist fusion cook, like making chicken fiieu
polenta, tiying to keep them togethei. Foi example, the palette is the palette of the cultuie.
The topogiaphy of the tongue alone tiavels vast geogiaphies of taste. Sweet, soui, salty,
spicy, bittei; each has its own uomain in the taste buus.
So what you finu - this is veiy impoitant, since you biought up foou; let's just go with it.
Biffeient cultuies get contiacteu to specific alliances acioss the geogiaphy of the tongue.
Which is why Chinese foou uoes not taste like Nexican, noi Fiench like Egyptian. Each
nation of taste cultivates a uistinct gustatoiy coalition of foou, anu theii piepaiation that
effects consciousness in veiy ieal ways. This makes foi the most significant uiffeiences in
You take the town of Nelbouine, Austialia. 0nce when I saunteieu uown Fitzioy Stieet, I
encounteieu, in this foimei outpost of ovei-cookeu sheep iestauiants, the cuisines of
Afghanistan, Ethiopia, uuam, Fiji, westein China, south Inuia, Sicily, the Philippines,
Piovence, Tibet, Tasmania - I mean a sampling of these iestauiants leaves the tongue
tingling with a kinu of gustatoiy map of the woilu. What it uoes to consciousness is
pioviue the stimulus foi a multi-cultuial awaieness. It's the woilu minu at table . I say
uine globally, think globally - it's the seciet ingieuient of inteinational peace! You tell me
what you eat, anu I'll tell you what you know. You ieally cannot ietain the habits of
claustiophobia anu paianoia while buining with the enuoiphin-inuuceu bliss of Nexican
chili peppeis. I can go on anu on about this.
Now is this an exaggeiation. 0f couise! But biing nations togethei at the table, anu you
finu extiaoiuinaiy things happen. Same thing is happening in music, anu in liteiatuie. Anu
it paiticulaily happens in the city. Ny paients met in New Yoik City. They uiu not meet in
Sicily oi Ballas, Texas. This then goes foi stoiies, foi who wiites the most inteiesting
stoiies about Englanu, but a }apanese man.
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 1u, 2u12 4
Woilu music. listen to music ovei the last uecaues anu you aie a witness to a
piolifeiation of genetic changes woithy of the olu Nanuel's geneiation of teas anu fiuit
flies. Because music, by its veiy natuie, mixes anu mutates accoiuing to the sounus of the
shifting woilu. The globe is gaiiulous, but even moie, it sings with the music of all its
people. Suppose you weie a tians-galactic musicologist, anu you hau an occasion eveiy
hunuieu yeais oi so to fly ovei the eaith, picking up the sounus. A hunuieu anu fifty yeais
ago, you woulu have heaiu each iegion echo with a unique musical style. The peicussive,
multi-ihythms of Afiica, the lilt of Iiish laments, oi the sitai meuitations of Inuia. But now
you'ie stunneu at what is aiising fiom the eaith at this new millennium. You hovei ovei
Noith Ameiica, anu you heai Fieu Bo anu the Afiican-Asian music ensemble, blenu of
woilu music, piogiessive jazz, into a soulful fusion of Chinese opeia, Count Basie, anu
Asian folk songs. You can go on anu on, anu it is phenomenal what you aie heaiing. The
univeise only knows what they'll think of next. Theie's iauical sociology going on.
Immigiant populations establishing theii iuentity anu psychic health, in cities thioughout
the planet by cieating, foi example, a music that upholus the soul wheie they came fiom,
while auopting the untiauitional music of the mainstieam. It's the music of the uiaspoia.
You can look at a whole new metaphysics. I think of going into a town once in Nontana,
anu going into a convent, St Naiy's. An eighty-five yeai olu nun says "0h, welcome to St.
Naiy's. Befoie the mass, woulu you like to go to the sweat louge, anu then we aie going to
have a powwow." Beie aie two uiviueu anu uistinguisheu woilus wheie we can have all
these uiffeient spiiitual exploiations in one place, that befoie woulu have been absolutely
impossible. It's activating a metaphysical gene anu piobably moving us to not new
ieligions, but a woilu spiiituality. This is something that is happening in cities anu that's
why theie is, at least cultuially, a metaphysical, spiiitual, psychological, physical, sensoiy
uiive that is moving us, in just a few coaise yeais, into something that hitheito woulu have
taken many, many geneiations; anu peihaps a thousanu yeais oi moie.
A"/#*=12 }ean, what a iich, iich table you've set heie. I think you have openeu up the city
so eveiyone can ielate to the stoiy that's emeiging aiounu the tables. Because that's
wheie all the best stoiies come fiom anyway. That's wheie all the best stoiies aie, oui
best paities aie in the kitchen. I know that's how you cook up youi stoiies. You've
confesseu that befoie. Wiiting is not youi foite. but cooking ceitainly is. I think you'ie
inspiiing me to think about, not only the foou fusion, anu us being in the Pacific Rim anu
Pacific Coast heie. That tenus to be a phiase that is tosseu aiounu a lot. The foous of the
West anu East aie fuseu in gieat cuisines heie.oi youi walk uown the stieet of
I am also thinking, anu maybe you'u like to comment on it moie, I know that when people
shaie foou, they actually piouuce the hoimone oxytocin, anu it is a bonuing hoimone.
(}ean: Inueeu, inueeu.) Bo you see that that is also happening. That people who weie
maybe meat anu potatoes anu nevei hau anything else in theii chiluhoou; anu now when
they step into this woilu of cities, anu the woilu IN all of oui gieat cities, that, in fact, they
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 1u, 2u12 S
uon't iealize it, but they aie bonuing with cultuies just by joining them in bieaking bieau.
oi focaccia.
?("12 I think theie's no question of that. You have, on the psychological level, a bonuing
that you woulu not get by just sitting uown anu tiying to sign agieements. Anu the music,
you aie uoing each othei's uances. Anu the foou, you'ie ciossing the gieat uomain of the
geogiaphies of the minu, anu activating all kinus of capacities you nevei thought you hau.
This is paiticulaily what you finu in cities, as opposeu being way out in the countiy
somewheie. This is evolution in action.
Talking about cultuie in geneial, cultuie at piesent is in a state of massive shift, anu what
some see as bieakuown. Along with this, let's look at the shauow siue. It's a kinu of
cathaisis of histoiy anu tiauition. At the same time, a seeking foi new aichitectuies of
meaning anu foims. Ceitainly, the uisintegiation of bounuaiies, of values, of conventions,
anu of all of the foimal iules that once containeu the aits. Nost of oui usual ways of
looking at oui woilu aie in tiansition. You coulu say this stems not just fiom cities, but
fiom global consumei capitalism, enviionmental ueteiioiation. Nost of all, the enu of a
cycle of time, anu the beginning of a new cycle. What uiu those olu Nayans ieally know.
Was it the coming of the ninth ciicle of hell; oi heaven on eaith. 0i is it an absolute shift in
time; a shift - the beginning of a new cycle. The shifting of the evolution of consciousness.
Finally, anu this may be the big stoiy that's unueilying all stoiies - the seeing of the
uisillusion of foim, that you paiticulaily see in cities. Is it a cause foi celebiation anu
iauical ienewal. Foi example, I uon't just look at political happenings. I look at the ueepei
stiuctuies of cultuie, anu what is happening. Because theie aie such - anu you finu this
paiticulaily in the cities - such a multituue of woilu views touay, that one has to seek
beyonu them foi a pattein that connects. This is what I tiy to uo in seeking what's
happening in what's been calleu cultuie.
Now, fiist of all, what's cultuie.
Cultuie is the imminent coie of a people's yeaining. It is wheie communal meaning is
cieateu. It is the gieat living aichive of shaieu wisuom. Cultuie becomes the miiioi of the
life of a people, moving with them in seivice to theii eveiy enactment of the puipose of
existence. Take gestuie. When I go into uiffeient cultuies to woik with them, I uon't go as
goou olu }ean. I uiess the way they uo. If I'm in Inuia, I may actually get a tan, uaiken my
skin a bit. Theie's nothing I can uo about my height; when I go to Southein Inuia, because I
am a foot tallei, they ask, "Aie you fiom Belhi." foi they aie much tallei than the people
fiom the south! I leain theii songs. I leain theii jokes. This is veiy impoitant. You've got to
leain theii jokes. That's how you cioss the gieat uiviue of otheiness. I leain theii music.
Anu I am veiy inteiesteu in theii key stoiies, theii myths. By myth, I mean the coueu BNA
of the human psychic, that which gives the meaning anu iichness anu puipose of theii
existence. If you leain theii myths, anu then tiain people in uiffeient cultuies thiough the
telling of the myths, oi the ietelling of the myths.
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 1u, 2u12 6
Foi example, in Inuia, I will use the Ramayana, oi the stoiy of uanuhi. In China, I may use
the gieat aichetypical stoiy of monkey, which has so many uiffeient tiemenuous, mystic
foims. When I'm woiking with Aboiiginal people in cential Austialia, I'll use the gieat
song lines, oi some of the gieat stoiies of cieation by the aichetypes that cieateu the lanu.
I finu that if you use the coie stoiy of a cultuie while you aie weaving thiough the kinus of
things that come up in the stoiy that give you access to, "well, this is the way the gieat
cieatoi of the Ramayana plungeu into himself, to tap into his tiemenuous stoies of
cieativity"; that allows us to tap into the cieativity. If I'm woiking with Celtic, oi
pieviously Celtic lanus, with the stoiy of Paisifal anu the giail. We ieally look at what is
within us that is within the gieat chalice, abunuance is scoopeu fiom abunuance, anu still
moie abunuance iemains! If I'm in Albania, I take the stoiy of the seven biotheis who save
the piincess, who's been abuucteu by the uemon, anu each of the biotheis has a
tiemenuous capacity. 0ne has high senses anu can heai wheie the uemon is; anothei can
open the eaith. This allows us then not only to expanu oui own capacities, but to open the
uepths of ouiselves. Anothei can fling away the shauows, that allows us to look at the
natuie of oui shauows, in self anu society. What I uo in these uiffeient cultuies anu cities
anu aieas, is finu, "What is the coie stoiy." Because the stoiy will often biing up not just
the genius of the cultuie, but the genius that's iesiuing in the infinite cultuie that we each
contain within us.
A"/#*=12 }ean, that is a ieal poweiful image foi me in tiying to think about the city in a
new paiauigm. I imagine that cities aie going to uiscovei that they actually have a puipose
in seivice to a much laige system. the planet. Anu that theie is a ielationship between the
cities anu uaia's own capacity of oui mothei Eaith, anu the motheiboaiu of a new
opeiating system, if you wanteu to use that image. What I am leaining fiom you is
something that is active. That each city has a coie stoiy that will emeige as they uiscovei
theii own puipose. I think evolutionaiily, cities aie just shifting into a iealization that
theie is anothei level in which they actually opeiate anu aie sustainable at. Bo you think
I'm off base in imagining that cities might uiscovei what you aie painting in this gloiious
pictuie of uiveigence, coming togethei anu uiscoveiing that theie aie "a million stoiies in
the City." A million stoiies coming togethei, anu that at this point in time, we'ie calleu to
listen to them, anu notice how eveiybouy's stoiy in coming togethei is actually
contiibuting to the iichness of that. Can you say moie about this iichness. You mentioneu
eailiei, geneiating new connections. Actually, biain science says that when you make
connections acioss youi synapses, oi acioss the stoiies of inuiviuual people at that scale,
you'ie actually co-cieating whole new possibilities.
?("12 Not only co-cieating new possibilities, but I think, anu I tiuly believe this, you aie
cieating a iesponse to a iequiieu evolution. Foi example, the enu of wai, the enu of
violence. If I, oi my colleagues, as I uiu in noith anu south Iielanu, you get the people to
come togethei anu finally begin to shaie theii stoiies. The stoiies all activate othei stoiies.
You tell the stoiy. What happens. It activates a stoiy in the othei peison, uoesn't it.
Suuuenly, you aie not at wai anymoie. You aie uoing the same thing that was uone foi
tens of thousanus of yeais, as we sat aiounu the campfiie. We shaieu the stoiies that then
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 1u, 2u12 7
gave us a shaieu cultuie. Because what was missing in noith anu south Iielanu was a
sense that they even hau a shaieu cultuie. Which, in fact, they hau. Theii music was
similai, theii foou was similai, many of theii iueas weie similai. But what was most
impoitant was that theii stoiies weie similai.
Let me give you an example fiom Inuia - the caste system. The caste system sets up veiy
big uiviues in cultuie. I was inviteu to woik with high executives of the Tata coipoiation,
which is the biggest coipoiation in Inuia. Nost of them weie of veiy high caste. When I
wasn't woiking with them, I was off in neaiby villages. I was going to veiy piimitive
temples wheie the gous weie theie, anu caiveu in wonueiful wiluly coloiful ways. An olu
man came up anu saiu |with an Inuian accentj, "Sistei, you know you see that theie is
Lakshmi, who gives veiy goou things foi life. Anu uanesh, he lifts all the pioblems in theie;
anu then you have Shiva. but ultimately, it's all the same. it is all oneness.
Anu then I'u gone back anu staiteu to talk to people, anu they'u say, |with an Inuian
accentj, "Well, you know we aie not alloweu to have any goou jobs with the coipoiations.
We just clean the bathiooms; anu we'ie bettei than that." Because they weie low caste. So
I woulu go back to the high boaiu executives anu talk about the ueep wisuom I was finuing
in the villages. They saiu, "Why uo you go theie. Those aie veiy uiity piimitive people."
Anu I woulu say, "Wait a minute. Those aie veiy goou people." Then I actually biought
them togethei - the high caste executives anu the low caste people of the villages. It was
veiy inteiesting, because I askeu the village people to biing along the eight yeai olu boy
who was a genius on the tabla, the uium. Be staiteu out uiumming these immensely
intiicate ihythms, anu saying he wanteu to giow up to be the gieatest uiummei of the
tabla. Then they began to talk about theii chiluhoous, anu how one fiom the high caste
woulu talk about tiying to leain the sounus of the ancient Sanskiit. Anu anothei woulu
talk about how to be able to talk to his gianufathei, who came fiom a uiffeient iegion.
They shaieu stoiies, anu as they shaieu stoiies, they got closei anu closei togethei. Anu as
they became closei anu closei togethei, they iealizeu that they weie not hoiiible to each
othei anymoie. As a iesult of that, they set up management piogiams so that the people
fiom the villages who weie just sciubbing bathiooms weie now in tiaining piogiams to
uo highei oiuei types of woik. They began to shaie not just theii stoiies, but theii songs.
What happeneu in those few weeks was the oveicoming of the uiviue that hau sepaiateu
them, liteially, foi thousanus of yeais. It's that kinu of thing that can happen when people
shaie theii stoiies anu theii life. Theie's nothing moie piofounu oi univeisal than that
shaiing of stoiies, wheie they cioss the gieat uiviue of otheiness. Anu in this case, the
even laigei uiviue of the caste system.
A"/#*=12 This is such a piofounu stoiy of connecting the self anu the othei, anu biiuging
that uiviue anu that we shaie a common humanity. Bow. To uiscoveiing in this invitation,
thiough the young boy to biing in the uium. I just hau similai expeiience in Leon, Nexico.
I hau been inviteu to speak at a citizen's symposium about biinging a new appioach to the
city. I askeu the uay befoie we hau the symposium if I coulu have a toui of the city,
because I haun't been theie, I was woiking with a colleague who was actually a iesiuent of
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 1u, 2u12 8
the city anu a consultant to the symposium. In that walk aiounu the city, we came to the
iailway tiacks. Anu just as you piobably saw in Inuia, the inuigenous people hau come to
the city anu settleu along the iailway tiacks. Places you anu I woulu be scaieu to ueath to
live. But they hau actually cieateu the most wonueiful cultuie. They inviteu us to sit uown.
They gave us iefieshments, anu tolu us stoiies in theii little chapel, about how they caieu
foi euucating theii chiluien. They hau people in theii gioup, not only go thiu high school,
but get into univeisity. When we finisheu this, the people fiom the citizen's symposium
weie on theii cell phones saying, "Nom, I nevei. uo you know this pait of the city. I nevei
knew it existeu." 0i "Wow! Ny colleague, oi my biothei, oi myself, hau no iuea this was
even pait of the city." Somebouy hau the wonueiful suggestion that they shoulu invite
these people to the symposium the next uay. I was conceineu that they might be a little
oveiwhelmeu of the univeisity setting. They uiun't all speak Spanish, so they might neeu
tianslatois. The long stoiy shoit was, they came to the symposium. Theie weie 12 of them,
anu about 6uu people theie. They stole the show! They weie so couiageous. They weie so
wanting to tell theii stoiy. Anu able to be authentic anu ask foi what they wanteu. They
actually showeu eveiybouy else the potential of the city that they haun't seen. Soit of
biinging up fiom this coie intelligence that belongeu to these inuigenous people.
Something the mouein minu hau no longei accepteu as a stoiy. That was ieally valueu oi
valuable. It was the ihythm of theii veiy coloiful clothes, how they coulu actually connect
with otheis, anu uiffuse themselves thioughout the ioom. They actually changeu the
whole natuie of that symposium. So }ean, the iuea of finuing a new stoiy of the city sounus
to me like it has its ioots alieauy in the inuiviuual psyches that you talk about. The
collection of cultuies that aie now cheek-by-jowl in the city. The stoiies aie kinu of
giowing themselves as they'ie exchangeu.
I know you have been a stuuent of }oseph Campbell. Anu I have listeneu foi yeais to
ieplays of Bill Noyei's tapes on that. I'm cuiious if you have any comments about the iole
that we've alloweu meuia to play in cities. Bave we maybe let the meuia tell stoiies, anu
now we neeu to actually ielease ouiselves into not having those veiy tailoieu, focuseu
sounu-bite stoiies, anu come back into this iich exchange that can happen aiounu the
table with inuiviuuals, oveifloweu with music. Can you comment about what you see
meuia has an oppoitunity to uo now.
?("12 Neuia is not simply the television channels anu stoiies anymoie, is it. Now with the
inteinet, anu these kius with theii tianscenuental callous thumbs texting each othei.
Theie's soit of an ongoing, sometimes boiing, but at least continuous way that young
people, especially, aie channeling theii uailyness. "What's up. What u know. Ç the mall.
What i u seeing." It's an ongoing jouineying anu chionicling that was nevei theie befoie
in histoiy. Ny concein about television, anu }oe Campbell was a veiy close fiienu of mine
anu we uiu vaiious seminais togethei. Be uieu in 1987, so he misseu a lot of what has
happeneu with the meuia. 0ne thing we talkeu about at the time is that the heio's jouiney
is theie only in little tiny pieces, in blips. You uon't get the full piocess of the jouiney. So
what has happeneu is the lack of the piocess. The lack of the call. The lack of heaiing the
call. "0k! Bown on S6th Stieet, theie seems to be a muiuei going on." Anu blip! Suuuenly
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 1u, 2u12 9
he answeis the call, anu he uoesn't giow. At the enu, kiss-kiss; bye-bye, anu it's ovei. What
has happeneu is that the heaith that containeu the whole stoiy was ieplaceu by the
television set with its "blipping" of the stoiy, anu not the full piocess. I think what is
happening with the inteinet, howevei, is that theie's much moie piocess as you finu youi
fiienus anu you shaie much moie ueeply. Why aie people so auuicteu to Facebook. I'm
not in favoi of it, anu I have my own Facebook page
, wheie I uo tiy to tell stoiies. But
people aie at least meeting each othei in a way that, again, is allowing them to ieach into a
kinu of uepth anu possibility.
I'll give you a stoiy about the meuia that I think is veiy possible. 0nce in Inuia, we weie
gatheieu aiounu the one television set that was theie. It was owneu by an olu Biahmin
lauy, anu she alloweu people to come in fiom the fielus, anu fiom aiounu the aiea to
watch the Ramayana, the gieat mythic tale of Inuia, wheie you have the stoiy of Piince
Rama anu his magnificent wife Piincess Sita, who hau been betiayeu of theii kinguom anu
weie living in the foiest. Then Ravana, the gieat uemon of Sii Lanka, came anu abuucteu
hei anu caiiieu hei off. Rama gatheis the aimy of monkeys anu the otheis in oiuei to aftei
teiiible battles, iescue Sita. It was so beautiful. Theie weie thiity sessions. Eveiybouy was
coming in fiom the countiysiue anu fiom the neaiby villages to watch this extiaoiuinaiy
extiavaganza of beauty anu ait anu the high cultuie of Inuia. All theie in this extiaoiuinaiy
seiies of the Ramayana. So I was sitting theie, anu suuuenly the olu Biahma lauy tuins to
me, anu I am saying, "0h this is so goigeous. 0h it is so beautiful. I wish we hau this in
Noith Ameiica." Suuuenly the olu lauy tuins to me anu says, |in an Inuian accentj "0h, I
uon`t like Piincess Sita. She is much too passive. We women in Inuia weie much stiongei
than that. We have to change the stoiy. We have to make hei stiongei. She has to uo the
iescuing, too. She has to be veiy fast anu veiy poweiful, oi she will be a teiiible example."
To which I saiu, "But mauam, this stoiy is at least S,uuu yeais olu." She saiu, "Yes, that's
iight. It is veiy olu. All the moie ieason we have to change it. We have to change the stoiy
anu show Sita as being much stiongei. Ny husbanus name is Rama, anu my name is Sita.
These aie veiy common names in Inuia. Be is a lazy bum. If anything happeneu, I woulu
have to iescue him. We have to change the stoiy to show how stiong women aie."
It was wonueiful. I was listening to the changing of the stoiy, anu the iising of women. The
full paitneiship with men in the whole uomain of human affaiis. Anu aftei that show, what
comes on but the Ameiican show, "Bynasty." I was so embaiiasseu. She tuineu anu saiu,
"Sistei, uon't be embaiiasseu. Can't you see that it's the same stoiy." I saiu, "Bow can you
say that." She saiu, "You've got the goou people, you've got the bau people, you've got
goou veisus evil. Yes, inueeu it is the same stoiy." So heie was the satellite uish uownloau
the kinu of univeisal mythic stiuctuie. But it was also the telling, in that inciuent in Inuia,
of the shifting of the stoiy. You finu it especially in cities, wheie women have to iise to full
paitneiship. With a teiiible amount of backlash, but it's happening. With the iise of

Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 1u, 2u12 1u
women comes the iise of S2% of the human iace in a new oiuei of paitneiship. Also if you
watch what's happening on the inteinet anu on television, it is also showing not only
women anu men, but people of all ages, all ethnicities. You cannot have any kinu of
ongoing television seiies without having black people, Asian people, unknown people,
gieat mixtuies of people. So it's acioss all ethnicities, it's acioss all age gioups, anu it's of
couise the joining of men anu women in full paitneiship. Again, it is the woilu minu, the
woilu bouy, the woilu sense, now walking togethei, leaining togethei anu enteiing into
the mythic stiuctuie of making a bettei woilu togethei.

© Integral City eLab November 25, 2012

Gaia’s Reflective Organ: Integral Intel Inside
What and where are we implementing cultural / storytelling
Gail Hochachka and John Hawkes
Interviewer: David Faber
September 12, 2012
Jon Hawkes is the Resident Cultural Analyst at Development Network,
Australia. Sometime circus strongman, underground press editor,
lighthouse keeper and bookseller, Jon is the author of the groundbreaking
The Fourth Pillar of Sustainability: Culture’s Essential Role in Public
Planning and is one of Australia's leading commentators on cultural policy.
‘Fourth pillar thinking’ has spread worldwide, with Jon making presentations
in the USA, Canada, Ireland, Russia, Spain and New Zealand. Jon has
been Director of Community Music Victoria, a Fellow of the Community Cultural
Development Board (Australia Council), Director of the Australian Centre of the
International Theatre Institute, Director of the Community Arts Board of the Australia
Council and was a founding member of Circus Oz and the Australian Performing Group
(Pram Factory). Jon designs and delivers presentations, consultations, writing and leads
and facilitates debate on community arts, community cultural development and cultural
policy and development.

Gail Hochachka has a BSc in Environmental Science and a MA in
Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies. She engages in projects, capacity
building, research, and writing on integral praxis in sustainable
development in Drishti and in close association with Drishti's partner
organization One Sky. As Adjunct Faculty at JFK University, she taught
graduate students in the MA in the Integral Theory program and leads an
annual Integral Field Course to the global south. She is involved with
Integral Institute in various capacities, such as a co-director of the Integral Without
Borders network and as a member of the Integral Life Spiritual Center. She has authored
articles in academic journals, such as in Ecological Applications, World Futures Journal
and the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice, and has written a book, Developing
Sustainability, Developing the Self: An Integral Approach to International and Community
Development. She is fluent in English and Spanish. Her work with these organizations and
© Integral City eLab November 25, 2012 2
engagement in academia reflects her gift of bringing complex theory into compassionate
David Faber: So today's overall question is: What does designing for cultural
storytelling intelligence contribute to city design?
And we’ll be going and applying and asking questions around three principles of cultural
storytelling intelligence that Marilyn Hamilton has spoken with in her book.
 The first of those principles is respecting others; appreciating the differences that
make a difference.
 The second principle is listening deeply. Cultural communication deepens more
quickly with more adept listening, and
 Thirdly, speak your story and enabled others to speak. This co-creates communities
of storytellers. As our stories become more complex they eventually become stories
of integral practice.
So perhaps Gail we can start with yourself and you telling us your story and I believe you
are connecting that to a PowerPoint presentation you provided.
Gail Hochachka: Yeah, thank you David. Thank you so much for having me on this
conference. It's actually one of the first work engagements I've done for a while because I
have a little baby and I've been on maternity leave and so I'm very grateful to be here
I'm going to tell a story about the work that my colleagues in El Salvador and I are doing
with other colleagues in Canada and Norway have been engaged in, in El Salvador.
Basically, our question has been; in the face of the climate changing, how can we spark and
facilitate a form of adaptation to those effects of climate change? It's a very complex
phenomenon that is often misunderstood or not well understood, by local rural people in
the developing world. And we've been applying integral thinking and an integral approach
to understanding this problem set. I want to share some of the slides [available on the
website at the bottom of the page:
from this project as a way to illustrate how a cultural engagement and a storytelling
component has helped us to move toward effective adaptation in northern El Salvador.
In the first slide, there is a picture of a man walking up the steep hill and in this vast
landscape of the north of El Salvador. And I wanted to start with that as just a reminder
that any environmental issue taking place in our landscapes, or in our cities, is profoundly
also a human issue. Particularly these rural and small villages, small townships in El
Salvador have co-evolved with, like the human communities have co-evolved with their
ecosystem to such an extent that when that ecosystem changes due to climate change,
they can't help but affect the people themselves. That said, looking at the slides here; he's
walking up this very steep, very dusty road. These people live so, in a way, so reliant on an
intact climate. This man for example, in the rainy season all that just becomes - basically a
mud slide. And it is there only access points in and out of this small community. So we
© Integral City eLab November 25, 2012 3
worked with this small community, and a smaller town and an even smaller village,
because they're all part of two municipalities in the north of El Salvador. And I believe
that even though it is kind of a more rural example, it is definitely something that can
happen in the city. We just did a pilot in a rural area; it can easily be done in the city.
What is interesting to notice is that they’re experiencing changes in their climate. However,
shifting to the next slide here, with many of these local people having gone through an
education process only up to a certain grade, the science of climate change is often not
well understood. And yet here, in the second slide, it’s a picture of small church that is in
someone’s house, they have covered one of the pillars with all these newspapers, and you
can see in one of the middle newspaper articles, even though it is written in Spanish, it is
describing the Climate Change Summit. And so people are immersed in this language
about climate change even though they themselves may not have any scientific
understanding of how it functions or why it is happening, or what kinds of effects in might
have on themselves.
What we did, the next slide here, is we understand that climate change is such a scientific
phenomenon we felt the need to step back a moment and ask local people what they see, if
they can peer from their own perspective, what did they see in terms of climate change the
effects on their lives, and on their families, and on their cities and towns. And we used
photo voice, which is a way of giving local people cameras, and having them explore a
certain question through photography, And, the next slide here, it was a way that we
could invite their first person perspective on the issue of climate change. However, it was
done with small groups; it was done in family groups and in community groups and then
in engaging all three of the communities. So in the way we were building a community
message, starting from peoples first person perspectives, and then moving into a
community perspective, and then a regional perspective.
What I want to do is just show you some of the slides, linked to certain question, just to
give you a sense of what people were seeing and what stories they were coming up with.
And then I’ll explain where this has gone since this particular piece using photo voice.
Moving to the next slide, the next two slides are both resolving the question: What is
climate change to me? This first slide is detecting the unpredictable ways the rains are
starting come and then holding back; the rains come, they start to plant - and then
suddenly the rains don’t come again. All of the seed that have been planted don’t
germinate correctly because of these sorts of erratic weather patterns. The next slide is
another example of what climate change is to local people is just a local river where
people used the water for washing and for irrigation. It’s getting less and less full of water.
These are some of the more typical things you would see, both in El Salvador, but
anywhere across the world where this sort of thing is happening. What is interesting
about this is as local people where looking through that camera and linking up with the
question and coming up with their own insights, and then coming back into the group
together, to talk about what they found. They started to realize about how much they
© Integral City eLab November 25, 2012 4
already knew about climate change, about how they were already experiencing a changing
climate around them.
It was quite interesting to see that form of insight arise through this shared storytelling
through photography.
The next three slides are actually around the question: How am I affected by climate
change? And this next one is two boys at the dinner table. And if you look on their plates
they don’t have any beans, they have eggs and cheeses, but no beans. They have corn
tortillas, but no beans. This year in El Salvador, and last year, they were not able to harvest
beans because the rains where not cooperating as they have for a millennia. For anyone
who has been to South America, to not have beans on your plate are really an evolutionary
first. I mean that has just never, ever happened. So people have been really struggling to
make sense of that. And the first thing they would say in regards to how they were
already being affected by climate change.
In this next slide it is a really beautiful picture, it is a picture of hilltop and this man took
this photo, realizing that he was effected by climate change in the sense that future
generations of his children, and his children’s children would no longer see this vista that
he had seen and his parents had seen and his grandparents and seen and his great grand
parents had seen. And he started to perceive this sort of multi generational shift that was
taking place with these changes in climate where changes in the ecosystem itself. So it was
a way how he and generations to come where effected by climate change.
And this third of these three slide is a picture of man standing in front of his adobe house
and he took this photo, considering, actually hold on second here. I am sorry the last three
slides are around a different question. They are around the question: How am I already
adapting to climate change? And he took this photo because this old way of building using
adobe bricks and adobe building supplies is one of the ways they can mitigate changes in
temperature in their houses. Often many of these community people and many in these
small towns are reverting back to traditional forms, traditional knowledge, traditional
forms of building and living. And this is one of the examples of the ways they are already
adapting to climate change.
And then this next slide of little boy sitting in a bath tub is another way this family is
adapting to climate change by saving water. The same water they use to bath their
children, they would then use it to irrigate their garden plants around their house.
And then this final slide from this three. A young lady who is planting trees in her
backyard, trying to create more shade for her house, and trying to contribute reforestation
to bringing back some of the natural flora that has been lost in that area. So another way
they have been adapting to climate change.
After these three questions were presented and these three questions where inquired into
using photo voice, then all the people involved got together. In this final slide they laid out
all of their different pictures and took a step back from their own particular picture and
© Integral City eLab November 25, 2012 5
asked: What is the community message about how we are adapting to climate change,
about how we can adapt?
It was quite a difficult process, but they honed down, from literally hundreds of photos,
down to just 30 photos that best presented their story about climate change and how they
were affected and how they could adapt. And taking that message, that story, they then
travelled up to Canada from El Salvador, and travelled through British Columbia sharing
their story in different cities and other communities in Canada. And then also going back
to El Salvador they shared their story with other communities around their own region as
well as in coastal region of El Salvador where climate change is effecting heavy initially
already, and in their capital city. This is a way that by inviting a first person perspective in
terms of being the integral model including the upper left quadrant of human
consciousness and human experience and then engaging in a lower left quadrant or a
cultural process of meaning making and storytelling, we then have positioned ourselves at
I would say that just much better for facing a very complex problem and facing that
problem with insightful and committed way of creating adaptation. From this point on,
now both municipalities have environmental committees they are using to continue the
conversation and planning for adaptation. The idea here is as we invite more first person
perspectives and inter-subjective perspectives of the community we can actually create
more robust designs for adaption in the future.
That was the story I wanted to share with you today. For those who don’t have the
PowerPoint in front of them, I encourage to go back at a later date, or after this call and
take a look. They are really interesting photos, the community people came up with. This
is just a sample to show of the photos. It was a very successful project and a very
interesting methodology for addressing the complexities of climate change and adaptation
both at a community level and a larger municipal level and then at the city level. I would
be very interested to see somebody do something like this in a city level.
So thank you, I will hand it back to David, and see where we can go from this.
David Faber: Thank you so much, Gail. For that, actually I am quite struck by the
photographs. As Gail said, if you are able to download the PowerPoint presentation, please
do. Gail you used the language of photo voice. My understanding of photo voice is more of
process of linking photos with a story. Is that what you meant when you said photo voice?
Gail Hochachka: Yes that is right, what we did is we linked photography with a question
so they would take a photo considering it, contemplating that particular question. We
repeated it three times with three different questions. And yes, with each different photo
came a small interpretation, which is essential a small story about what that photo meant.
From that individual story we moved at the community scale, to the community story,
then went global and came to Canada and then move though El Salvador.
David Faber: I find it so powerful to look at those photographs. Especially the one of the
young boy sitting in the bathtub having a bath and what it means to him. I’d like to ask
John a question its actually about your story, Gail and just taking a step back and saying,
© Integral City eLab November 25, 2012 6
John from your perspective how does what Gail shared, with her storytelling, how does
help in furthering the conversation?
John Hawkes: Well, what a fantastic project. The idea of linking image and text so to
speak, image and words is key, it seems to me. That the words, alone, are often just simply
not enough in terms of effectively being able to tell a story. So in terms of process and in
terms of medium, it’s inspirational.
I don’t have much to say other than that at this moment, just wanting to take it all in.
Certainly, what a wonderful model and one that would be really interesting in seeing how
it could apply in urban contexts.
David Faber: Very much so and actually taking a look at the photos you think of children
in a community or adults in a community sharing their stories through those photographs
and sharing them back to the community. I’ve been part of events where people are
writing down words and capturing how they feel about a place, but to actually connect it
with photographs definitely makes it far more powerful, you can almost picture a collage
about how people feel about - whatever it is in storytelling.
I wonder John if you can elaborate a little bit further in terms of your perspective on
storytelling and how does it contribute to city design.
John Hawkes: Well it seems to me fundamentally we are stories. We from the moment
we’re born we get our identity is a story. We make meaning by stringing memories
together stringing events together in such a way they make sense. There is a French
philosopher called Delores who invented the phrase called, “Framing Chaos”. I think that
is what storytelling is, basically. We live in a world of complex systems that we really have
no capacity to see, other than they are chaotic even though we know it is not. And we
spend our lives trying to capture small pieces of that and they have patterns in them.
Patterns are what ground us and give a sense of world we are in and sense of the
relationships we can have with others. So, in one way the, storytelling in sense is the be all
and end all of everything. It is through stories we make sense of the world and those
stories encapsulate our own individual identity and our sense of social identity.
David Faber: I know I can share a little bit of story from my perspective as well. I am
quite fortunate to work quite closely within the indigenous or aboriginal community here
in Canada and storytelling is such a powerful way of sharing how people feel about
something. I have really been able to experience that by attending different ceremonies.
An aspect of even ceremonies assisting even in telling stories of the history of the culture
or the history of an individual or something connected with it. I am wondering actually
Gail, if your experiences with storytelling, of course the work you have done within the
village there, can you elaborate further of the examples you were involved with where it
contributed to the design of the community where storytelling as been part of the
community design.
Gail Hochachka: Yeah, well, I think in this example, through this form of photo voice and
storytelling, both communities became aware of the need of an environmental committee.
© Integral City eLab November 25, 2012 7
Through that environmental community, adaptation of climate change is so much more
viable. For example, whether you are living in an urban or rural place, the changes in
climate, the impacts for the changes in climate are hitting us, and we are subject to those
changes, they are flying at us from all different directions and we are subject to them. And
if you can use story in our case of photo voice as a form of storytelling, as a way to make
the impacts in climate change an object upon which you are operating versus simply just
being subject to them, right, there is a difference there. If you can take it as an object, then
you are much more able to design intentionally for how you want to meet that change and
meet that challenge.
In this very example, in previous years, in fact, the year we started this, 2011, that year
they had a whole array of flooding that happened that took out -- the flood of bridge, the
only access to this region of El Salvador, and nobody had in place any design to meet that
challenge at all. But my hope, and our intention, through this type of a project, these
environmental committees have arisen precisely to have these kinds of conversations and
the kind of planning and kind of design to meet the needs in the future. If not a way to
stop the water, at least a plan for how people are going to find shelter, or find an
alternative routes to the say - to the hospital which is on the other side of that bridge. This
exact project is a very good example of how this can influence design for the future.
David Faber: It’s amazing how powerful those images are. It reminds of one of my friends
who is a professionally photographer and he was one of the first people in Canada,
actually Alberta to fly over the oil sands in Northern Alberta and take a photograph of the
“waste water ponds” which are really like little oceans, seas, inland seas, steaming water
as it’s being heated and lifting the oil out of the earth. It was incredible. He simply took
that photograph and posted it on his blog. And the reaction that it has caused, there have
been so many people now, who have travelled; very famous people have travelled, to
actually take a look for themselves. The power of the image, the story that it told in that
one photograph, you didn’t have to say anything, it was just there. It pulled on so many
I guess I wanted to delve into storytelling and connecting it back to the three principles
that Marilyn [Hamilton] refers to. The first is respecting of others, and appreciating the
differences that make a difference. I have witnessed, of course, in the case of storytelling,
there is two different versions of a story. You know that’s with child, it’s in the public, it’s
in the media. That respect might not be there. How does that impact the community, if
they are not following the principle that Marilyn refers to. Either one of you, John or Gail,
jump in.
John Hawkes: It’s interesting working with indigenous people, because my main work
out the moment is working with indigenous people at a theater company in Melbourne.
And the challenge that company has is so much around those three issues that Marilyn
[Hamilton] raised. In trying to develop contemporary indigenous voice, they increasingly
find themselves rediscovering the story telling principles of their culture. Which it turns
© Integral City eLab November 25, 2012 8
out are very, very different from the dominate culture. And so much of it is tied up with
those three ideas of Marilyn’s.
A lot of it has to do with whose story is being told. Particularly in theater which is where I
am working at this point. The stories that are embodied in sacred texts, these things
called plays that a theater company takes on. And what this company has been trying to
do is find ways of thinking about theater in a different way. In terms of when you go to this
company’s theater, what you are seeing is not a bunch of actors interpreting a story
written by someone else, or directed by someone else. They are presenting their own
stories. The voice you are hearing and seeing is an authentic voice. It is the story of the
person you are witnessing in the moment. Which is very different way of thinking about
what performance is in standard, western ways of thinking of theater.
It seems to me to be very important in terms of trying to find way of creating authentic
stories because; the city is full of stories. The main story out there in most cities is
basically, if you buy stuff you will be happy. The advertising industry basically controls
most of the storytelling in the urban contexts. And those stories are vile. How to find a
way of telling alternative stories is very challenging. It is something we are working on in
this company. And hopefully, the models aboriginal people, in contemporary setting,
come up with are going to be relevant and adaptable by others.
David Faber: John, you touched upon something I would like to explore a little bit further,
it was around the media and urban storytelling. It really strikes me; of course, the media
is the primary source of storytelling, and media generating stories. I wonder if you can
share with us a little more about your experiences with that and perhaps the work in your
theater, and how do you get those messages out. You are working with media and so forth
to ensure the correct story is actually being told, or the story you want told the story as it
is supposed be -- I am trying to find the right language here -- is to be told.
John Hawkes: Well, I have a feeling it is impossible. That all one can do is work in the
margins, which is a place I have become used over this last 50 years. But in a sense, a
whole lot of this comes back to Marshall McLuhan, the famous Canadian. The most
fundamentally effective communication is face to face-- in real time. And whilst the media
in its various forms, dominates in a sense the energy of the planet, the most fundamental
and effective communications are the ones that happen in a live context, rather than ones
that are mediated, so to speak. What I am trying get at is the area this company has
chosen to focus on, and the area I feel most committed to, is situations where you can see
and smell and feel the people who are part of the storytelling process. As in a sense active
and passive members of that process. The live theater so to speak has a whole lot of things
going for it that mediate performance doesn’t have. The downside is that you can only
reach those people that you are physical contact with at that time. And the media has all
sorts of ways of extending that connection much, much further. I just have my fears that
those sorts of connections, the media connections aren’t as effective as things that happen
in real time.
© Integral City eLab November 25, 2012 9
So I guess what I am saying I hope we recognize that there are forms of media are hugely,
hugely important and powerful within our society. They are ones that personally I feel
unable to deal with, and end up going back to, in a sense, to the original communications
site that is sitting around the campfire. It is in the moment of eye contact, of body contact
and smell contact that the most effective communication are made.
David Faber: You said a couple important things. You referenced Marshall McLuhan. I
don’t know if a lot of people know, he was a Canadian philosopher one of the things in my
research of Marshall; he coined the phrase the ‘Medium is the Message’, and talked a lot
about the global village. One of things he also predicted is the World Wide Web, the
internet essentially - 30 years before it was invented. An ability to share information
dynamically to just get it out there, there was not influence or control. That is what I find
so interesting in your conversation. The Internet is almost a way to get your message out
there and there is not control. And when there have been attempts to control, and just as
recently in the last year both in Canada and the US, to put in place policy to control
internet communication, the reaction has been great that even my eight year old son was
coming home to me at night and talking to me about it. I was astounded when that control
was put in place and how people were talking about it the impact of that.
The other comment that you mentioned about a mediate performance versus and live
performance, it reminded me of concert I recently attended with artist, Yanni. Here in
Edmonton and the end it was a fabulous concert and at the end he stopped and spent 10
minutes talking about how important it is to work with each other, to love each other, to
be harmony with each other. And he captured that audience in such a profound way and
to think of him going around the world and here I am now telling the same story -- of how
he has been trying to capture the story in his work.
I’d like to actually connect back to you, Gail, and go back to the three principles as well.
And in that, in your experiences, so you did the work on storytelling with pictures and
photo voice, the presentation you went through with us. Did people actually listen to that
-- how was that receive within their community and there government?
Gail Hochachka: Yes, this is a very good question. I just want to circle back to you were
saying about the first principle of respecting others. And what happens if you come up
against the situation of two different stories. And specifically around the third slide the
picture of the newspaper article posted on the wall. I think what we were confronting, and
this issue with many environmental and social issues around the planet is that certain
voices get heard and brought into the media and others don’t. And that’s a place of
possible disrespect of one person’s story over another’s. And this example, of the news of
climate change in the news and the local people not have a chance to share their story or
voice on what climate change was to them. What we found just in terms of the first
principle when you invite somebody to share their own view, from their own perspective,
to tell their own story, in a way that is fairly sacred. If I tell you my story, that’s not really
facts to be debated, that is a subjective experience to be shared.
© Integral City eLab November 25, 2012 10
So what was interesting was people felt very permitted in a way, very kind of the space
was very safe share really fully what was going on with them. That wasn’t a space for
debate or analysis or examination, it was just simply sharing, in a very sacred way and
subjective experiences, sort of untouchable in a sense. And what we found across the 20
some odd people involved in the project and then in the wide field in terms of the larger
community. There didn’t actually arise any disagreement on people’s stories. If anything,
what people found is they had shared stories. Someone sharing their view of how climate
change impacted them was very similar to their neighbour, but yet they hadn’t talked to
them about it. They had not given voice to it before. It was actually quite a beautiful way
of addressing that first principle of forging deep respect. It is connected to the second
theme around deep listening and listening really fully to each other.
In terms of your question about how that’s been now taken up in the local region. It’s is a
little early to say. We definitely have both municipal governments on board enough to
honor it as a serious enough concern to give attention to it and to give political will toward
it. Where that will go is hard to say, but we have bent the ear of the local elected officials,
which is a really good start. Given that there had been no work done in this region, no
political work directed toward that up until this point. I would say that is good start.
Where it goes from here, I can quite say yet.
John Hawkes: That stuff you said right at the beginning about the sacredness of the site -
here is a place where someone can speak and the very act of speaking engenders in itself a
respect for the person. Seems to me, that is in a whole lot of ways the key. That it is not in
fact information, necessarily, that is the critical thing being exchanged, it is a sense of
identity, and the sense of the realness of the person as embodied in their story. When
people come to recognize that, it is as you say a beautiful moment.
David Faber: What connect for me in that is it becomes very authentic, it becomes real.
One of the questions, Gail, I was asking about the reaction within El Salvador - what about
Canadian communities as you shared this story with others, what has the reaction been?
Gail Hochachka: Oh yeah, that is a great question. There were four El Salvadorian that
came north and we visited a whole series of aboriginal communities on the west coast of
Canada in Claquout Sound. That was fascinating to see community to community; north
and south, that have historically not had their voice brought into the public discourse that
readily - like aboriginal communities in Canada and rural Capistrano community in Latin
America. There was an amazing connection and uptake in reception. One of the most
beautiful things was seeing those connections happen and a similar sharing of the
challenge regarding climate change. The difference is a lot of Canadian rural communities
are no longer as intimately connected to the landscape and to agrarian kinds of livelihoods
as they are in the South any more so the impacts of climate change in the North.
And in terms of the cities we visited we went to various universities in Victoria [British
Columbia, Canada] and Vancouver [British Columbia, Canada] and spoke with professors
and students and people from the public. I would say the impact was really quite good.
© Integral City eLab November 25, 2012 11
Again, probably for the reason that John was just saying, when somebody shares from
their own experience it becomes authentic and becomes far more real than any of the
statistics you can see about this particular issue of climate change. For that reason it hit
home. It pulled at people’s heart that a series of maps and statistics and percentages
probably would not have. In that sense, this form of storytelling engaging Canadians and
El Salvadorians on the story one big intention we had was to create this cross national and
trans-boundary type relationship to face a global issue like climate change. Beginning
with the heart and the authenticity of a personal story is a great way to do that.
David Faber: Well it again connects me back to being able to tell that story effectively and
being able to share that and people being able to go back to the three principles and
having that space where it becomes authentic and it becomes real and people internalize it
and associate it with whatever they are experiencing in their own personal lives. I
actually wonder, John in regards to your work in theater, how to do see theater in the
dynamics of the city? How does theater actually influence the design and dynamic of a
John Hawkes: Well, I mean, absolutely I think there are least two ways, there are a
myriad of ways, and two of them - the design of public space in terms of building space in
which people are able to congregate in such a way that focus is possible. And interestingly
this may be completely conspiratorial and paranoid as I understand it, certainly in our city
and I guess in many other cities, contemporary public space have often been limited by
demand by commissioners of such designs so that large groups of people not be able to
congregate in the spaces that are being designed.
For example there is space in our city there is a new space called Federation Square which
was quite deliberately, I believe, designed in such a way that it would be impossible for
20,000 people to congregate in that space, because the powers that be did not what that to
happen. I guess what I am trying to say is there are a whole lot of theatrical ideas in terms
of how they might go about designing public space that allow for exchange of all sorts, and
that ought to be a guiding principle. So that is number one.
The other side of it is activists taking advantage of the spaces that are there. I mean
everything from flash dancing to well there are all sorts of flash phenomenon in all sorts of
mediums from dancing to singing all sorts. I think that idea of people seeing the space in
which they live for its potential as a place in which performance of some kind or other can
take place - whether it is the suburban train or bus, or the whether it be the street side is a
really interesting development that seems to happening all over the world. People are
beginning to discover the urban environment in which they live, have all sort of
performance potential we never in our minds of those who built those spaces. So I mean
that I guess I am trying to take it from two different perspectives, from one, the design
perspective and another, that I find more interesting really that people taking over those
spaces in creative and interesting ways.
© Integral City eLab November 25, 2012 12
David Faber: Maybe you can explain that further John, when you say people taking over
the space. I have examples in my head. But I would like to hear from you.
John Hawkes: Well there are all sorts -- the one I’ve been interested in at the moment is
this-- yarn bombing -- where people are knitting I don’t know what you call them, but
people are covering public space and public objects with knitting and croqueting, for
example. So that is one. Another is a singing group in Melbourne that specialize in
guerrilla interventions where it appear in a local railway station in rush hour and sing
songs about how important public transport is -- there are thousands of examples -- there
is some wonderful stuff on YouTube of orchestras and dance companies doing
unannounced performances in public spaces. When you look and see the response when
passersby find themselves as audience accidentally, they make you cry. Those moments
of collective creative activity in public that one comes across accidentally, can be the most
moving acts imaginable in whole lot of ways.
David Faber: I haven’t seen yarn bomb I am very curious now after hearing....
John Hawkes: Google “yarn bomb” you will find some extraordinary things.
David Faber: And take a look and see what has been done. Actually maybe going back to
Gail what is surfacing for me and there is question posted in dashboard, how to create the
condition to smell, touch, feel, hear the human system in the city, how do you create the
conditions that people will do this -- they are not afraid to whatever the case may be.
Gail Hochachka: I think it does come back to especially if you are working with
population whose voice who conventionally has not been invited as they were saying John,
in the margins, getting used to living in the margins, a sufficient enough space that is safe
and authentic, yeah particularly safe, to share is a big part of creating the conditions. Then
I would say in our work, it ended up being really fun for people they just really got into it,
in a really enjoyable way. So this next piece that I would say helped create the conditions.
And then when things started to pop and happen and the sharing of people stories - it
began to snowball, people started to get into it doing things on their own and
spontaneously trying new things and it reaches a certain point where the conditions
spontaneously enact themselves. I think with this particular population, we had to slowly
at first and build trust and create a really safe space where peoples stories weren’t going
to be abused, they weren’t going to be taken and used for purposes not what they thought
they would be used for, right. Once those conditions were laid down that beginning and
trust began to be built, and then it becomes fun when things went on its own.
I can imagine what John says about yarn bombing, there is enjoyable fun that doesn’t
make it heavy it is something people want to jump on board to do.
John Hawkes: You are absolutely right Gail, I couldn’t agree more. It seems to me fun is
the key, it has to be enjoyable. If it is a moral responsibility - it gets scary - fundamentally
pleasure is huge part of it. The other part of it is confidence, building confidence in people
who have a story to tell. Our approach to a large extent tells people they don’t have a
story to tell. We need to rebuild the confidence that all of us have stories that are not only
© Integral City eLab November 25, 2012 13
important to us in terms of telling us who we are, but are important to everyone else as
well. That sharing is fundamental to the human experience. That is what being human is
about, sharing our story. The fundamental things about being on the earth are that we
share those stories. The fun thing is critical; it seems to me, absolutely critical.
David Faber: I am just writing some notes here as well. Being able to go out and have fun
in an experience whether it is community event, or whatever is going, or something that is
completely spontaneous. I don’t know how many times I recall and be walking downtown
in any major city and someone saying something completely different and very
intentionally, and it grabs so much attention and you can see a joy for the most part with
what is happening with that, until someone phones the police or something happens.
What surfaces for me is how it just lightens everything when that happens. So you are
saying fun, and is there a way to design it. Are there something that can be designed in
order for these things to happen, or is it all spontaneous?
John Hawkes: It can be, design is critical, but I would have to say, I am hesitating because
fundamental it is an issue early childhood education. That I’ve grown up being told over
and over again that I am not very important; yada yada yada. Fundamental changes to the
way educate - the way we think about education, the way we think about what the
experience of child can be seems to me to be the most profoundly important aspect of
whatever comes out of this. The way we bring up our children.
And that for me, I have a sense that sometime adults are a lost cause, I mean I know that is
not true, I tend to think that way sometime, oh my God really the only solution we have is
to make sure we don’t lay the mistakes we made are not laid on the next generation. To try
to think about children can emerge out of childhood with a confidence in their own
capacity to tell their story in a public context ends up being probably the most important
thing we can do.
Gail Hochachka: I was just sort of wanting to contribute to that answer, as I have been
pointing to telling my story, we found it really important to begin with the personal. I like
what John’s saying around that begins with how we educate and grow up ourselves or
how we educate our young ones. But even in this very moment, just to allowing someone
to feel the empowerment of connecting with their own personal story and their own
personal view. We found that to be really key, because that then gave the folks involved in
our project enough literally empowerment to step forward and share it in a community
setting. And that then started to build the social capital that we were hoping to build in
order to get to adaptation planning later down the road. I would just say that is another
key aspect about designing the conditions for this is to include that really personal,
experiential piece to enable the quality of empowerment that can be woven into a larger
social story or message.
John Hawkes: I think also there is another; there is an issue that has to do with Marilyn’s
[Hamilton] second point, the listening issue. It seems to me that, another critical
educational area is the re-training of public official to learn to be able to listen to their
© Integral City eLab November 25, 2012 14
communities in such a way that communities recognize that they actually have been
listened to. There is an enormous amount of the communications between public
officialdom and the communities those officials are meant to serve is not to do with
listening at all. It is a sort of, I don’t know, a pretense of listening. I think our public
officials need to be retrained to what listening really means and ways of effectively
listening because listening ultimately is in fact a dialogical activity. The way to
demonstrate that you have really been listening is that you respond to that which you
have heard in a way that demonstrates that you have understood and received your
listening so to speak. I think in terms of a design process one of the re-designs that needs
to take place is on the bureaucracies that serves communities in terms of their capacity to
David Faber: That is for me, it totally personally connects with me with something I am
directly involved with in my community. And if you are not being listened to, we held the
community barbecue, a protest walk and barbecue for development that is going on in
our parks that we want have a voice and we want to heard. And the community is not
being heard. We had an 8-year-old girl write a letter to her member parliament her
member of her legislature assembly her mayor and city counselor. That letter was
beautiful. She told her story. It was what the experience was like in the park, that it was a
lung of fresh air, the feeling of the feet in sand when she walked in the grass when it was
wet and it dried. And what it meant to play with her three-year-old brother and her one-
year-old brother in the park. The response back was a form letter that went into a whole
bunch of legalese. There was an amazing opportunity to connect with this person who
knows what the impact is going to be on her personally. And she wasn’t being listened to.
It just so struck a chord with me around this listening, and how important it is to listen.
And so with that, I wanted to perhaps just highlight two other stories I was aware of one
was a campaign, for Gail, the campaign around the environmental sustainability here in
Edmonton. We had local group bring a number of children down to City Hall, and right in
front there is we have large open square, it’s a large concrete area - and they all brought
chalk and all these kids there, 60 or 70 kids, spent an hour and they were drawing images
of what the images of what the environment was to them in chalk all over the square
where 100 to 1,000’s of people walked back and forth. And it was so amazing to walk -- to
be part of that and just see what was happening and for people to look over and group
around these children and wondering why are these kids writing with chalk on this road
in this area but to look at them while they looked at the images and connecting with those
images back to how taking photos for yourself, how that helped. I just thought I would
share those two stories as a way of connecting as well.
Gail Hochachka: Fantastic stories, thanks for sharing that one. That is great.
David Faber: So are there areas that you both see - we have talking about the two
principles of respecting and listening around the third principle of enabling others to
speak theirs. How can that be encouraged for other people to share their stories.
© Integral City eLab November 25, 2012 15
Gail Hochachka: Yeah that’s a good one. I don’t know what to say about that. What comes
to mind is that we have the most extraordinary ways to alternative media sources, social
media sources to tell our stories and encourage others to tell them. I feel like the system is
present, it is just a matter of using them and encouraging each other to use them. As I was
saying the voices that don’t often get heard as much as other voices. Kind of shifting the
narrative we been given and the social conditioning we have been given in the modern
consumerist world -- to be a certain way and to tell a certain story. I think all of that can
be very much questioned. There are ample ways in which to tell our stories.
As I was presenting today on the story of El Salvador and these people’s insights and
viewpoints about climate change and where they had gone with it. I started to realize in a
way we haven’t used the current social media and alternative media sources to tell that
story. We haven’t created its own website to share these, right which I think it would be
quite a nice asset. It would encourage other try the same methodology, maybe urban
communities as well, to see what they can find.
John Hawkes: Well, one of the groups I used to work with was a community singing
organization that trained a lot of locally based singing leaders, to run singing sessions in
their communities. That began with using a sort of set vocabulary of hundreds of very
simple songs, but one of the key things that emerged very quickly once we got the
program going was song writing programs. That we realized that again everyone has a
song in them. And exactly the same thing would happen where participates would say, but
how can I write a song - I’ve got nothing to sing about. And given there are so many songs
in existence already why would one bother to create a new one anyway. The process of
encouraging people to develop their own songs proved to enormously fruitful. That in a
whole lot of ways the most profoundly life changing effects occurred people actually
realized they had the capacity to make their own song and that everyone does. I guess it is
the democratizing of creativity-- the confidence building in terms of ordinary people --
that they have within them the capacity to create their own authentic expressions is
hugely important and something for which there are practical processes available.
David Faber: I love the terms you just used the democratizing of creativity. That
everyone can be creative in whichever they can be or want to be. I wonder if you can
expand on that a little bit further, John and explain a little more about creativity and how
that can connect it back to city design and how that can impact city design.
John Hawkes: (laughing) Oh that’s a difficult one. Well I mean in sense I would say it is
about program design rather than physical design. It seems to me the critical thing that a
local authority can do is to put its community in touch with practitioners who have the
capacity to facilitate the emergence of creativity within those the communities.
Now most artistic programs run by governments have to do with the support and nurture
artists with a capital A or those people who are identified as emerging artists and very
little focus and investment goes into developing, in a sense, grass roots creativity. And it
seems to me that is back to front. That if governments were to recognize their
© Integral City eLab November 25, 2012 16
fundamental role is in a sense fertilizing the soil - then out that soil will probably grow
fabulous individual talents. But it is in that grass roots fertilization that government can
be most effective, it seems to me, rather than looking after the tall poppies. I’d be arguing
for a fundamental reversal of, capsizing so to speak, of the way governments tend to think
how they might support artistic activity in their communities. And rather than
concentrating on the talented professionals they should thinking more and more about
how they can put the talented professionals to work to facilitate the emergence of
everyone else's creativity rather than simply being able to display their own. I think it is
such a fundamental turn around that I can’t imagine it happening, but I will continue to
argue it is the most important thing that could be done.
David Faber: Well it definitely struck a chord with me. It almost where you see the
interactive art where people can add or build on to something that is already there, and
support that. It is not looked at as a negative or it’s a way, as you said that emergence, to
harness the emergence of the creativity that individuals have.
While are on this theme there was a question that came in awhile ago. It was on literature
and how literature impacts city design and the classic or the pop culture that is around
that within a city. Can either of you speak to that?
John Hawkes: Melbourne, the town I am speaking from has just via a local government
initiative had itself identified as a City of Literature and there is a literature center. And I
don’t know if I fully understand what all that is all about, however what it has done
profoundly changed the function of the main city library. It is now a focus, just as much,
for discussion groups around books as much as it is a repository of those books. But there
is now a huge, I think as a result of this, a huge sort of movement of groups of people
coming together to talk about literature. Now whether this includes writing workshops
and so on, I am not sure but certainly but in itself the rise of the book club phenomenon
seems to me to be very interesting. Although the book may be an excuse for a bunch a
people to sit around and chat, which is fundamentally what the content is all about --
rather than actual content. But it does seem to me, the book is, this is a very personal
thing, but my daughter is now in her early twenties is busily reading through the books
that I identified that I thought made me. And currently she is reading Doris Lessing’s, The
Golden Notebook. I guess, in that sense of people discovering the books that created the
mindset of a generation is a really an exciting thing to do. I find myself doing it terms of,
going back and looking at the literature that inspired the French Revolution or the
American War of Independence. I think, in books there are always enormously wonderful
and interesting things that can change one’s life. I am rambling on a bit, I guess other than
to say, the slow transformation of libraries from repositories to centers of debate is an
enormously encouraging phenomenon.
David Faber: Gail, do you have anything to add to that?
Gail Hochachka: I do, not specifically on literature but, basically the work we do, I work
in the developing south - often the communities we are in they are not literate so I can’t
© Integral City eLab November 25, 2012 17
speak to literature. However, we are in the business of social change that is what we are
doing. The ways society changes - understanding integral theory at least - is through this
social discourse. That is the interesting thing about that media, that newspaper article
posted on the wall in the slideshow, these ideas and concepts and global issues they enter
our social discourse and the press on us and influence us. The question is how can also
contribute to that type of discourse through these sorts of concepts and design ideas and
sustainability ideas. And that is really what we do. If I were to, I never tell that to funders, I
use more development speak, in effect we are contributing to and large seeding a new
social discourse in the places where we work with the local practitioners and participants
we work with. And I think that that can be literature as one form, it can be photo voice,
storytelling, it can be writing your letter to the local government like you were saying the
young girl writing a letter to her elected officials. It’s getting the word out and
contributing in ways the social discourse we swim in, that constitutes our collective space.
I am up for any creativity about how to do that because it is something I think, any of us
who are interested in the collective evolutionary processes today -- if we are invested in
that -- then we are invested in social change, and we are invested in social discourse and
changes in social discourse.
I get hearted to think that even as recently as my childhood, I pushing 40 now, in my late
30’s, even in my childhood the word sustainability was never used. That has emerged in
less than half of my lifetime, 15 years, or less. So it is just really inspiring to think that a
word like sustainability can enter our social discourse and influence it to such an extent
that we are designing our urban environment and spaces differently, right. So anyway I
don’t have anything specifically on literature, but I do think whoever asks the question is
honing in something really critical and that is social discourse.
David Faber: Thank you so much, Gail for that. In terms of timing, I am wondering if Eric
can join us into this conversation and share a bit of his observations of our dialogue over
the last hour and twenty minutes.
Eric Troth: Yes, thank you. This is very rich dialogue and this is fun. I am enjoying myself
and hearing in what is coming up in this dialogue. And I also want to just weave this
together with our sessions in our conference and thinking about what Jean Houston was
bringing forward this morning for instance and her ideas about the story telling process.
And this is session about designers so I want to be really self conscious about how we
design on multiple levels of scale and also to multiple dimension of time. And how do we
invite in something that we are intentional, consciously, generative of new kinds of stories
that are transformative at deep level. You know stories naturally arise, we are all telling
stories all the time and a lot of times it is not a very self conscious process. Yet we can
take a step a back and take a perspective on our perspective, if you will.
Jean was talking about this morning, for instance, the different kinds of cultures that we
are embedded in. That there is a subculture that is very localized that people we gather
with around the park, I love that story David around the young girl and what the park
© Integral City eLab November 25, 2012 18
means to her and the story ins nested in wider context of our secondary culture that we
live in, for instance, in a particular nation or region of the world. That is turn nested in the
wider context of being a global citizen. And we have story there too and what modern
science is bringing in now, as we have this sense of long deep time evolutionary journey of
the cosmos unfolding; of biological evolution and cultural evolution and so there is a meta
context of being a kosmic - capital “K” Kosmos that Ken Wilber refers to, that we are also
in that context as well. We drop into a very different space.
I am just curious to come back to this notion of how do we self consciously design across
all of these different scales of time and space, to be really of generative as possible to the
transformational types of changes that are needed at this time in history as we face
problems on a scale that we haven’t faced before. I think I will just leave it at that if you
would like to respond.
John Hawkes: Boy, in a sense of how do we design sounds a little like- how do we play
God. I guess I always - where does it come from the thing about act globally, think
universally or act locally think universally. It seems to me in the end it is the little things
that we do that count the most. Like with our singing program -- we ended up realizing
that what we were doing was building confidence in perhaps over a two year period- 700
people. And that confidence that we were able to build in those people allowed them to in
a shorthand way to act authentically within their communities and we would be confident
there would be some ripple effect in that. I guess what I am trying to say, in terms of
design initiative that, in a sense, it all comes back to the person. It is the impact one can
have on specific individuals that is the most important thing. That as I get older the grand
design seem less and less important because humans have the capacity to basically to
wade in and find their way through whatever environments they are in-- provided they
have the confidence to be able do so, and belief they can do so and in building that is the
critical area.
Gail Hochachka: Yeah, Eric. I would like to speak to what you said; I particularly liked
how you were saying speaking at the Kosmos centric type level. How do we design with
that in our consciousness in our minds eye? And I think in a way what you are saying John,
sort of gives us a sense of playing God. I know what you mean, so I think for me, so
speaking really personally, my actual process around designing these sorts of community
building, culture building types of projects, is that when I start a design process I start at
the highest deepest place in my own consciousness and let that cascade down, cascade
down, cascade down and then it will crystallize somewhere and it usually crystallizes
somewhere which is most actionable in this moment in time. I hope I am talking in a way
that is easy to follow; I don’t usually describe these types of things. But what I find that
where it ends up crystallizing that is where it is actionable that is where in a way I show
up. Because it began at deeper and in away a higher level in my consciousness or my
awareness it still contains that even though it is manifesting on a here and now type level.
John Hawkes: Think universally act specifically.
© Integral City eLab November 25, 2012 19
Gail Hochachka: hmmmm
John Hawkes: I mean in the end, I like that line in the culture intelligence thing about
culture being the lived values in a community. I am very suspicious about the idea of
values, about what people claim their values might be. It’s the lived values and the
behavior that is the critical issue. Not our rational for why we behave in particular way,
but what our actual behavior is, our lived values. In the sense what I am trying to get at it
all comes down to living and what actually do that counts. In that sense I guess what I am
getting at is - that it is changes in behavior that are the most important things. Now, one
could argue those change in behavior might occur as a result of changes in mental
perspective, but even so it the behavior itself that is critical thing.
Eric Troth: Just as a time note, we are coming to the end of our time together, it has been
very rich, David if you have any final words, I will come back with a close in a moment.
David Faber: Yes just very quickly, there was comment posted on the participant
dashboard from Diane, her last sentence is: perhaps leaving space, is like what John is
saying, a little thing that needs to is done instead of filling the air with her already
knowing. I thought that was quite profound.
Eric Troth: Yeah, yeah. So thank you very much Gail and John and David it’s been a
wonderful time together.

© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012
What and where are we implementing cultural/storytelling
Gaia’s Reflective Organ: Integral Intel Inside
Speakers: Milenko Matanovic, Ann Duffy, Carl Anthony and Paloma Pavel
Interviewer: Dr. Marilyn Hamilton, PhD
September 12, 2012
Milenko Matanovic a self-described recovering artist who founded
Pomegranate Center in 1986. Connecting art with community building and
everyday life is just one of the ways Milenko uses his creativity to prepare
communities for the future. By combining his talents as a thinker, educator
and artist, Milenko hopes to create a world where neither nature nor
human talents are wasted. He lives to help communities become wiser by
working together to find new and creative ways to push good ideas into
action. He has been honored with the Home Shelter Award, the Legacy Leadership Award
from the Center for Ethical Leadership and an honorary professorship at the University of
Vladivostok, Russia. Milenko is excited about teaching and speaking about Pomegranate
Center’s unique community building model so that more people can collaborate better and
be inspired to take action.
Ann Duffy is an international advisor on sustainability strategies and
solutions for corporations, mega-event organizers and host cities. She
creates performance-based programs that integrate environmental,
economic and social priorities and plans for legacies. She was the architect
and media spokesperson of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic
Winter Games Committee (VANOC’s) corporate-wide Sustainability
Management and Reporting System – an Olympic Games first. She lead VANOC to
successfully implement environmental, social and economic bid commitments with
corporate sponsors, government partners, NGOs, Games’ workforce and suppliers. Her
teams created Canada’s first sustainable event management standard (CSA Z2010) and
she contributed to the development of the GRI Event Organizers Sector Supplement on
Sustainable Event Reporting, Ann advises sport event organizers like the IOC, Sochi 2014,
Toronto 2015, and a 2020 Summer Olympic Bid City, corporate CSR clients, cities like
Whistler and organizations like World Wide Fund for Nature.
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 2

Carl Anthony is Ford Foundation Senior Fellow and Visiting Scholar at the
Department of Geography at University of California, Berkeley. He is
Founder of the Earth House Leadership Center in Oakland California. Prior
to his present role he was acting director of the Ford Foundation’s
Community and Resource Development Unit, where he directed the
foundation’s Sustainable Metropolitan Communities Initiative and the
Regional Equity Demonstration Initiative. He founded, and for twelve years,
was executive director of the Urban Habitat program of Oakland, California,
promoting multicultural urban environmental leadership for sustainable, socially just
communities in San Francisco Bay Area.
Paloma Pavel, founder and president of Earth House, served as director of
strategic communications for the Sustainable Metropolitan Communities
Initiative at the Ford Foundation. An international consultant, educator,
researcher, and media activist, her areas of specialization include urban
sustainability, living systems, strategic communications, strategic planning,
and leadership development. Paloma has produced several multimedia
projects on the theme of regional equity and serves as co-editor of
Sustainable Metropolitan Communities Books (SCMP) at the MIT Press.
Marilyn Hamilton: I want to start by giving you all a question for us to understand how
story telling intelligence is emerging in your work. Ann, could you tell us how your work
with the Olympics is actually implementing cultural or storytelling intelligence and how
have you combined that with the whole inclusion of sustainability in your approach to the
Olympic events.
Ann Duffy: All for the opportunity to share something that I think we are going to see
more of and I’m going to begin with kind of setting the stage around the power of sport
and shared citizenship to create environmental, economic, and social benefits in our urban
environment. As Marilyn mentioned, I had the privilege of working for five years with the
Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympics committee. I’ve since shared my experience
with the London 2012 Olympic and a Paralympic Games, which has just finished it’s been a
roaring success. I’ve also helped Sochi 2014 in Russia, to help them cultivate a framework
that can generate benefits beyond sport for urban sustainability. Then back in Canada
again for the Toronto Pan-American ParaPan games for 2015 and most recently Istanbul a
bid city for the 2020 summer games.
Cities are waking up for the vast potential of leveraging sport as a catalyst and as a
mechanism for engaging what sometimes seems as strange bedfellows on this
inspirational journey of hosting a fantastic sport event. But that ends up generating new
relationships and new benefits that really contribute to long term urban sustainability.
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 3
To begin I’d like to just emphasize that if we think about it for a minute that whether we
kids that played baseball or skied or did track and field or played hockey or volleyball or
cricket. That we have some sort of affinity for understanding how sport connects and
inspires us to be our best and to strive for goals and to make a positive difference not only
in our life but in our community and potentially our region and country. It’s that kind of
passionate magic that really helps us to attract and innovate in ways that we might not
traditionally in government, urban, sustainability planning or business corporate social
responsibility delivery.
When we talk about sustainable sport events, thanks to the work of many, and I’ve been
lucky to be a part of it. We can now identify, that sustainable events, whether they’re
business meetings and conventions or mega sport events or cultural concerts and festivals,
is that we can provide a platform where an event is able to provide an accessible and an
inclusive setting for all. So that people with physical disabilities or socially
disenfranchised might have an opportunity to contribute and participate in the event. We
also provide a safe and secure atmosphere where our own personal safety and the value of
our assets, the buildings and facilities involved in the event are protected. We really need
to think about how can we minimize the negative effects on the environment and how can
we create social or positive effects both in terms of ourselves but also in society? Also how
can we think about responsible sourcing how can we think about the purchasing power
these mega events have in terms of influencing our supply chain with products and
services that businesses near and far can participate in? We have to remember we are still
focused on excellent event experiences for our customers, our clients, our fans. How we
assure that?
The last two things are really focusing on how can we use the platform of this event,
where we’re inspired engaged in interesting topics or inspiring sport or extraordinary
music and culture in a way that we can think about our own sustainable behaviour, and, to
potentially think of how the event can make a long-term contribution or a positive legacy
to a region. What I’ve just listed here are some of the core bid commitments, that certainly
previous before Vancouver thought about, but that Vancouver 2010 put on the ledger as
our report card as our performance objectives for the games and we didn’t do this alone.
We had the hands of many to help us. London 2012 Sochi 2014 Rio 2016 and future
Olympic Games are taking this on as well in a way that is relevant in the host regions.
The challenge is to find a way to have these lofty goals come into action or become
possible and practical and applicable and really part of what I want to share with you
today is that. We might have a checklist, we might have a frame work, we might have a
some sort of strategy that we can envision how this might possibly happen, but it really
starts with have conversations with those who are directly and indirectly effected and are
interested by the event or the project. And that’s really been at the core of how these
recent games whether it is Vancouver and now London it is certainly celebrating
extraordinary success as well.
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 4
I can break down my final remarks in a few ways. I’d like to feature if we think about sport
as we mentioned as a place where we learned maybe as a young child or a youth or an
adult a place where we can learn teamwork we can develop physical skills and prowess
around the possibilities of our bodies in strength and movement. We can explore
leadership, whether were a team captain or support if we’re a team player. As a group we
learn to win and lose, we learn to set goals, we learn about giving it our all on the field of
play. And together this provides entertainment and inspiration and pride for our fans our
sponsors our families, our community who support us. Certainly in the case of Vancouver
2010 and were going to see lots of this again in London and Sochi and the others. An
example of that was really remarkable that I just want to use as a little example, would be
that of encouraging our First Nations Canadians to consider amateur sport as a way to
engage in sport and healthy living. We developed an amateur program for youth from
First Nations communities that happen to make up five per cent of Canada’s population.
And by starting at home in British Columbia we had a First Nations snowboard team that
was learning the technique and competition of sport and committed to doing their best to
maintain a C+ average in school, no substances abuse of drugs and alcohol and signing up
for team training. This model has been such an important and successful force in use
leadership and development. It has now been a program that is radiating across the
country in our sport organizations nationally.
The second facet of how the power of sport can be a platform or a conduit for urban
sustainability and positive change toward the environment in which we live work play
and learn, has been how sport can prove to become a platform to communicate shared
and lofty goals. And if we think about who’s involved in hosting and convening the sports.
It’s the host city, the event owner whether it’s the Olympic games or the FIFA world cup
for soccer, or Commonwealth Games, or the Stanley Cup for hockey, or the world cup
championships for other sports. The sports can become a platform by which these
necessary organizations that are involved in helping to deliver the games not only commit
and are excited about hosting valuable and extraordinary excellent events but also do it in
a way where they are being thoughtful around their environmental impacts, their social
impacts, and their economic benefits.
Interestingly and not surprisingly were seeing sponsors and companies in sports and
governments are seeing how their policy agenda or their corporate social responsibility
agenda can align with this. Many examples are becoming quite prolific recently and I’ll just
share a couple of examples now. One would be that for the Vancouver 2010 games and
indeed for the London and Sochi games the interest around hosting games that are
thoughtful around our climate change impacts are becoming really prescient. In
Vancouver we had the sweet alignment of the leadership of the organizing committee, the
Mayor of Vancouver, the Mayor of Whistler, the Premier of British Columbia, the
citizenship of the region to really think about how we could host carbon responsible
games. There was a strategic focus on the types of energy we used, how we used it, and
how we offset our emission in a way that would create regional social economic
environmental benefits. There was a lot of math involved, there was a lot of logistics
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 5
involved behind the scenes. But because this was a mantel that would be expressed and
profiled and celebrated at game time, we had an extraordinary level of participation by
our government partners which included local government, the province, the federal
government, the provincial governments from across the country to participate in this
goal of hosting carbon responsible games. The innovations that came from that are lasting.
Another example would be on the social side where we focused on social inclusion, human
rights, and ethical sourcing. We created a sourcing program where we needed to buy
products and services because we’re only here for a short time. We were thoughtful
around how we could source these materials in a way that would represent our values. It
wasn’t a perfect science, but it was something that garnered participation in an increasing
fashion over time. An example would be that Birks and Myer, Birks the jewelry store that
made the wonderful gifts of jewelry with our logo, adopted lock stock and barrel our
ethical sourcing program not only for the materials and merchandise that it made for our
games but in perpetuity for its operations in North America. We created a platform where
we profiled this. We celebrated this, after the long hard work behind the scenes to bring
our sponsors onboard in this way.
Marilyn Hamilton: Ann if I might just interject with you, who know that creating cultural
intelligence in something like sporting events involved a lot of work and work in
regarding numbers and calculations and creating data. The examples that you’re giving
about how you’re actually involving the whole supply chain. Sounds to me like you’re not
only changing the story of the city but you’re changing the story of the people who
participated in contributed to the whole event, would that be accurate?
Ann Duffy: Absolutely and thanks Marilyn. I want to measure my remarks because I want
to make sure this is resonating with all of you who are tuning into this conversation. I
think that if I can just step back for a minute. If we think about who are we speaking to and
who do we want to engage within our city 2.0 it’s not just city and local governments it’s
not just residents, it’s the businesses and suppliers that provide products and services that
we need to live healthy and robust and energetic lives but also where we can be
productive with the products and services that we need. Particularly in the events sector,
the role of sourcing is a really powerful lever that can set an example and help drive high
suitability performance in the city.
I’ll just close quickly here with, I just want to set the table around how we established an
early conversation with these stakeholders whether it was First Nations, or regulators, or
athletes, or civil society, or environmental organizations, or businesses and suppliers, that
this was not just about the few weeks of the Olympics and Paralympics games, this was
about using our collective resources, intelligence and good will to create lasting legacies
that would really benefit for a generation in our region and host country. In order to do
that, we had to create a forum where our governance, and our decision-making and our
listening involved ongoing engagement. And I think that was the greatest joy for so many
of us was that by creating forums where these conversations could be heard and we could
respond to sometimes we could take on those recommendations and sometimes we
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 6
couldn’t. But the ideas and the collaboration were much farther and much vaster than
anything we could initially imagine. When we think about that, one can realize the
absolute potent power of what I would call social capitalism or the social capital of the
innovation and resources of our stakeholders to really drive change. And because we were
inspired by the magnificent possibilities of this event, it really raised everybody’s game in
terms of thinking about how this could be more than maybe something we initially
Thank you.
Marilyn Hamilton: Thank you for giving us the background to this really powerful story
that I was attracted to and invited you to share here around the impact around the
sporting events and the ripple effects they have throughout the community. I like the idea
of thinking about it as a legacy and I’m going to use this as a segue to invite Milenko into
the conversation and tell us his story about how working in community in the area close
to Seattle, Washington, USA where Milenko is located. How have you actually gone about
creating cultural or social capital to inviting the community into creating something
together? Would you like to tell us how you’re actually doing that and in the process
developing this storytelling intelligence?
Milenko Matanovic – Great, thank you Ann and thank you Marilyn. I will start by saying
that the city - the physical structure of our cities is a story in itself. I come from a central
European city and was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia. And that city which was developed and
imagined prior to cars tells a very different story than Seattle where I live now.
For one thing the density is much higher and I think when cities functioned in the past
when they are self reliant, if they sprawled too much, hunger would be the consequence
because people would get rid of the land which is most fertile that surrounds the city. So
there was this dance between the land, the surrounding environment and the physical
structure of the city that played itself out, and if that balance was broken people suffered.
So in Seattle that story is very different. We have sprawl, we can afford it, and we can
afford it because we are not reliant on the food being produced locally. So, we fly it in or
ship it in from faraway places. Only a tiny percentage of the food consumed here is
produced here.
So our starting point for the nonprofit I work with is that the physical shape of our cities
influences our social behaviour and our identity beyond what we recognize that there is
this huge impact on that. And our organization focuses on two areas of that equation –
tiny little niches – one is that we help communities create gathering places, which are kind
of our attempt to reinvent the idea of the commons. Studying art history and urban
planning throughout other ages one would quickly realize at the center of every village, of
every town every city there is this space that is a community space. And private and
corporate and government functions dance around that space.
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 7
The physical environment without a gathering place is what we have now in most of
suburbia. There is no central organizing space around which our collective lives unfold
and the prime properties are now sold off to the highest bidder.
So the story about modern cities is very much about the story of distances, of zoning, of
separation of functions which in Ljubljana where I grew up, kind of bumped into each
other – where you worked and where you lived and when you played and where you
shopped are all kind of the same neighbor hood. And we are now trying to reinvent that.
So for Pomegranate Center we are trying to reinvent it by creating gathering places and I
shall tell you in a moment about how we do that. But we are also training people how to
engage with each other in a productive fashion. We want people to be at their best when
they consider the future of their cities.
So our work is really two fold in doing then – one is how do we engage each other so we
can be at our best – at our most creative together – and that is urgent these days especially
in the United States when often we are at our worst with each other . And our public
discourse is filled with anger and accusations and blame and that plays itself in national
politics and national campaigns right now, and all small campaigns on the local level.
We try to change that by creating a code of collaboration for people as they engage with
each other. That code is simple – mostly – but also very demanding. Simple in that we ask
people to be civil, to listen to each other, so that they can uncover ideas, rather than fight
for their pre-existing ideas. Some demanding things that we ask them to do is: “are you
willing to change your mind in view of new information for example? Are you willing to
take your “no’s” and turn them into something more productive?”
So we do ask people not to blame, not to accuse and not to say “no”, only as a way in
shaping their conversations. And we have been very successful over the years in creating
processes that allow people to come up to the essence of a decision very quickly and to
use each other’s differences as contributing assets to find that decision rather than as
obstacles which is often the case.
And then, when we create gathering places we take that conversation further by inviting
the community to design and build gathering place with us.
So I will give you an example of our most recent project which was in Tuscaloosa, Alabama,
in a neighborhood called Alberta. So the name of the project is called Alberta Gathering
Place. Tuscaloosa experienced a devastating tornado last year, in April of 2011 that carved
a path of five miles long and a mile wide through portions of the city. And we worked with
the community and local government to create an early success around the idea of
rebuilding something because until recently people in Tuscaloosa were simply removing
debris left over from the devastation.
And we created a project that would reverse that energy and started to create something
positive again – to give people more hope, and a sense of optimism for their future. And so
we met with the community in January, asking the community for their ideas. Our golden
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 8
rule is that under the right conditions, which are fostered by our code of collaboration
people are actually very very smart. They know what needs to happen and they have a
strong vision for the future that unites them. And so our golden rule is community must be
in charge of the vision. We will help them realize that vision with our artistic skills and our
construction skills. And so we heard from the community what they needed and then we
had several months of finalizing designs, getting permits, buying material and then in 10
days in June – the first 10 days in June – we built it with the help of some 450 volunteers
who gave over 3,000 hours of their time to build this community space. Our model is to
create ownership for physical aspects of our communities, to create pride in the local
character of the community, to use local materials. Just as Ann was saying, every aspect of
the project – how we eat, how we purchase materials, and how we relate to communities
throughout the process reflects this idea of partnership and collaboration.
So that in a nutshell is what we do. So my closing thought is simply this. The storytelling of
who we are is in great part influenced by the shapes that surround us, the streets, and the
parks and the buildings and open spaces of our cities. It’s easy to have parallel stories that
are more mythical, but the fact is that the physical environment itself often tells us more
powerfully who we are then what the mythic tales alone can tell us.
I will leave it with that and I hope that this contributes to an ongoing conversation about
this important topic.
Marilyn Hamilton: Thank you so much Milenko. I really love the idea that you are not
only working in the city that I first learned about your work – in Seattle and environs – but
also in a place like the Alberta project. And of course, being a Canadian, the Alberta name
would have a special resonance with me – but I wonder if you might describe a little more
what their vision was? Had you worked with the community long enough that they have
emerged a vision and how is it being translated into some kind of an expression of their
vision? As that, I know is what you tend to do with the groups you work with.
Milenko Matanovic: In some ways, our approach is to take a tiny little project and align it
with big thinking. I’m an artist and as you mentioned I’ve become a “recovering artist” but
I still use artistic practices in my community work and as such I believe that small things
have great power when done right. So a poem can have a great power but it is just a piece
of paper and a piece of music can have power – it’s that kind of an idea. So when we work
with communities we work with a small portion of their physical environment. In the
instance of Alberta neighborhood in Tuscaloosa it was a space of about 200 feet by 200
feet within an existing park which was partly devastated by the tornado. And when we
asked the community what they want, it was hugely simple things. They want safety for
children, they want beauty, they want something that represents their history and their
pride and there character. Something, in other words that is unique to them rather than
prefabricated from a catalog and flown in from some other place. They want to have some
character expressed that is identified with caring. They want to be involved.
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 9
And so when we actually realized this project those played them out. In Alberta
specifically what they wanted was a gathering place where churches could have outdoor
services, where a local high school jazz band can practice, where weddings could happen.
They wanted to have a place for community rituals basically. And that’s what we gave
them. We used the debris from the tornado. We used trees that fell down, we used metal
that was recycled into I-Beams, and we used concrete pads from the buildings - the
footings of the buildings that disappeared during the tornado. And we turned all of that
into a small amphitheatre that is covered with shade cloth – because the community
wanted that where the community wanted to conduct those events.
And so in our model, then, we listen to their vision, we align a small project with long-term
goals and hopes that they articulate but then we do something relatively small and
relatively quickly. In our instance this was built in 10 days. So that is kind of the essence of
our method and now we are taking this work to other cities and create pilot projects that
train other people how to do this work.
Marilyn Hamilton - I know when I first met you, Milenko, I was really struck about the
sort of “time container” of the projects that you work – that even though they may small –
you engage people (if I remember?) for six months. Now this one was very focused for 10
days, but in fact it probably took you a lot longer to work through the vision and then
come up with this. I am curious did you also engage the community in actually executing it
and actually creating the amphitheater?
Milenko Matanovic: Yes, absolutely. That is part of the model. So it starts with asking the
community at a community meeting, what do you want, what do you need, what do you
see, what do you desire? We listen to those ideas. With their help we create the design.
Then we need to organize everything for implementation and then people are invited to
work with us. And they did in Tuscaloosa as I mentioned. There were over 400 different
individuals worked with us during those 10 days.
Marilyn Hamilton: Wow. So the community ownership comes not only from the vision
you help them to express but actually engaging in work together through, I imagine, using
the principle of civility you shared with us.
Milenko Matanovic: Yes, absolutely. So our goal is to create a project where many people
would claim it as their own either because they had an idea or they prepared a meal for
the volunteers or they actually worked with us – in some cases very hard labour, but in
some cases very artistic work.
And so, coming back to Ann’s discussion about sports, I think Pomegranate Center is kind
of a “decathlete” type of an athlete, because we need to do lots of different things well.
Probably there are people who sprint faster and jump higher and throw things further
than we do in a single discipline, but our specialty is to synthesize community engagement,
participatory democracy, art and design, management that is sustainable, use of
sustainable materials - and then, kind of a “barn raising” methodology of engagement
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 10
And because we touched so many different levels of participation, we are very successful
in attracting volunteers to work with us. We are learning for example, there are some
people who like to talk about big ideas and they tend to come to the first meetings. But
there is an entirely different group who come to the building. And they are the kind of
people who say, “call me when you are ready to do something with your ideas”. And they
show up for an extraordinary deposit of care and hard work and it always takes our
breath away to see how much energy there is in an ordinary community everywhere that
can burst forth under the right conditions. And that is what we are trying to do – we are
trying to create those right conditions and we think that talking is the beginning of a long
journey, but sooner or later ought to end in an action. I our case that is action gathering
places, but in other places could be something else. But that is part of our model that we
take a process from beginning to end and work with a community usually on the journey
that usually, as you pointed out, lasts about half a year from the beginning to the end.
Marilyn Hamilton: Well thank you Milenko, for giving us that colourful, and I can
imagine just wanting to go to Alberta and experiencing that gathering place and feel the
energy that you were able to attract there.
I want to now call into the conversation Carl and Paloma. You have been working in a very
different way than either large Olympic sporting events or in the gathering places through
Breakthrough Communities.
I want to invite you to tell the story of how your work with low income communities,
communities of colour, in again, relationship to each of you as champions of sustainability
and how each of you talks about sustainability that engages not only the environment, but
also the social aspects and the economic aspects and the cultural aspects of community?
Earlier today heard from Jon Hawkes, from Australia, who is responsible for putting
“culture” as one of the four pillars into the sustainability framework. I think Paloma and
Carl, if could invite you to come in and tell us how story telling comes out in your work
with Breakthrough Communities?
Carl Anthony: Maybe I could begin. And I thank you so much for inviting us to participate
in this wonderful conversation and as I was listening to both Ann and Milenko, the things
that came up for me in my own experience of stories – and it is such a wonderful
framework for thinking about our work and also what we do with communities we have
been working with, for the last decade - but even more than that over the last 20 or 30
We have an organization called Breakthrough Communities and it is also documented in
the book that Dr. Pavel edited called Sustainability and Justice in the Next American
Metropolis. I think I will start by saying, the over arching story – the two stories we are
talking about today are stories that relate to sustainability – and part of sustainability is
fairness and justice. And so we have a big transformation that’s happening in American
society. There is a big demographic change that is happening. Some of you may know – or
if you think about it – the statistics have told us in the last census, that by 2042, a majority
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 11
of people in the United States of America will be people of colour. So there is a big story
about demographics happening here. And as we look at it – and I was so pleased in your
book, Marilyn when you really give us that the timeframe – because when we look back
over not only the last 10,000 years but over the last 200,000 years – you see this
timeframe has been a story of a homecoming – of people who have traveled all over the
planet who are now coming together in the United States.
So I want to pick one story – we have a dozen in the book – and Paloma will pick up on a
couple of other themes but I want to just pick up one story, that we are very excited about
among the many and it’s a movement in the United States called “Farm to Schools”. This is
a remarkable movement. It’s where the small family farmers are actually providing food to
children. And what is so remarkable about this story as we think about it, it’s not only the
story of food as we think about food over the last few generations, or even going back
much farther, it’s also the story of agriculture – sort of reinvented agriculture in the
modern world and we are about to reinvented again. It’s also the story of the city – the
suburbs – and it’s a story about the challenge of sprawl and converting that into
something else. It’s also the story of schools.
So we have the whole issue of how we teach the next generation to become part of our
society and how we can do that in ways that move us closer to sustainability. And it’s a
story of race and a story of poverty in the United States. And as we think about this, we
also have a story of African Americans who have a story that goes back to their history in
Africa and also their engagement with native communities and European communities
and then we have a large Latino population which is growing faster almost than any other
group in the country.
And this story which I’m going to tell you is pretty simple is also the story of health and
healthy food.
So basically the outline of the story is this. A number of people who have been working on
issues and nutrition in schools have been very concerned that the children in schools are
being fed junk food. They were very concerned about the opportunity or the possibility of
shifting that pattern to healthy foods. And we have something in the United States called
the “free lunch program and basically in a federal program, that is part of the farm bill,
which is subsidized by large corporations to provide free school lunches for children in
schools. As this coalition began to build and find ways to which reach out they realize that
actually we have surrounding all of our metropolitan regions, small family farms that are
suffering because they have a very difficult time with a stable market. So they asked a
simple question what if we took the money that we get for the free school lunches for the
poor kids in the inner city schools and we created a program whereby small family
farmers on the suburban edge could in fact have a guaranteed market to bring healthy
foods into the schools. A very simple idea and it actually probably 100 years ago would
not even have been an exciting idea. But today it’s an exciting idea. So this farm to school
idea is being born in many places. The story that we tell about it is in Breakthrough
Communities and the part that we talk about is in Southern California. So the farm to
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 12
school movements is really about organizing a small family farms on the periphery of our
regional areas – in our metropolitan regions the people have been there for a while are
now vulnerable because agribusiness all over the world as actually captured the food
market and basically created a great deal of instability.
So these farmers and also farm workers for that matter and many of whom are Latino
became part of this coalition and began to provide food for the inner-city schools. And the
results of this have been rather remarkable. Not only do the kids get introduced to what is
fresh food, and how that actually tastes different, and begin to develop an appetite for it
and healthy nutrition but also is introduced into the schools a nutrition learning agenda
for the school teachers. So this is one of 12 stories that we documented our book.
And now across the country the farm to school movements is spreading. So there are
literally hundreds of farm to school programs in places all across the country. And it is
really a shifting of our story from over reliance on fast food that is produced by
agribusiness to more locally produced that supports family farms, healthy schools and
healthy food and also begins to challenge the overwhelming emphasis on suburban sprawl,
that was mentioned in the story about Seattle, which originally surrounded many of our
metropolitan regions and was in many cases the reason why the Metropolitan regions got
located there in the first place. So I think the model of looking at ways in which we can
transform the basic human services for food, for health, shelter in such a way that
accommodate big change in our demographic country-region is a really important one.
I also want to point out and maybe I will ask Paloma to pick up on this – one of the things
that we see that is happening in this as the country become more diversified, there are
new roles and new responsibilities for all of us. And one of the things that we are learning
is that it is very important for communities of colour not only to benefit from that shift
that is going on to help provide leadership and provide great models for us to make this
And I have to tell you Ann, I am going to take your story back because I know a lot of
people in our communities love the idea of sports. It’s a way that they connect things and
this is a very inspiring way for people to understand their loyalty and their good work in
identification with this success and high standards. So we welcome this opportunity.
Marilyn Hamilton: I really love the story that you’re telling about retraining through the
education system and should I think the traditional approach to the free lunches for
students to connect them to the farming community. I would consider that the eco-region
of the city and very very important. And you know we were listening to Jean Houston
earlier today and we were talking about the impact of fusion food – meaning that how
cultures are learning about each other they are actually each other’s food. She pointed out
that we are what we eat. And if we are always eating the same food it actually shapes how
our bodies are bought our stories about ourselves. So this idea of connecting culture – the
role and the urban – through food is a very powerful theme today.
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 13
So I would also like to invite Paloma to share a story that is impacting the culture of
communities as you are working with the Breakthrough Communities’ model.
Paloma Pavel: Thank you so much. I realize as I’ve been listening and taking in the stories
and information from Ann and from Milenko and from Carl It's been kind of stirring my
own imagination in new ways. So just linking to Ann, I want to say thank you for just
reminding me about sort of, how longingly are for embodiment right now and for really
getting out from under our computers and really being in our bodies in new ways. And
what are the things that divide us from having a more enlivened embodied life?
And Milenko, the sense of the creating of gathering spaces and what it means to be a “we”
and beyond ourselves as we try express this life of being in cities and living outside our
delusion of separation and separate selves.
So the place that I’d like to go to is I think right now, is, in thinking about, what is the sport
that most enlivening our work around the creating of common space and what are the
different ways in which we are doing that, and how is story being at the heart of that?
What is at the new story that the emerging? So thank you.
I’d like to begin with just a couple of lines from a poem that is also a narrative book that I
have co-authored with Anne Herbert and is illustrated by Mayumi Oda. And the book is
Random Kindness: Senseless Acts of Beauty and it is very much with me these days because
it’s coming out in an anniversary edition which is involving translation into other
languages. So it starts out:
Our leaders got confused
So we’re all leaders now
They told us there was nothing we could do.
They were wrong.
And when we tell ourselves there is nothing we can do
We are wrong.
We never know how much, and we never know how far it goes,
But always we have power.
We’re all making the soup
We’re all eating
We’re all weaving the cloth
We’re all wearing.
The steps we take now make new earth grow beneath our feet.
The steps we take now decide what kind of earth that will be.
In every moment we live, we have the choice
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 14
To find the fight
Or make delight
It’s a circle.
Start the dance.

[Laughter. Wow.Mmmhmmm.] So here we are. We are living this moment on planet
Earth on which we are facing extinction, where we are facing with greenhouse gas
emissions and other loss of top soil and other things – really it’s bringing us together in a
circle, in a new dance that is quite remarkable. And we have been on the front lines in
communities across the United States who actually has been, when we think of the
throwaway culture that we are moving away from and moving toward the life-sustaining
culture – part of our throwaway culture is that we have been throwing away whole
communities. Not just pens that wear out, not just things, but we’ve been actually
throwing away whole cities due to our policies. So what we are caring about is something
that we are calling the regional equity movement and how do we work within
neighborhoods, within our communities and within our regions to actually grow healthy
So I’d like to share a story from the front lines of the regional equity work and talk about it
in terms of a word that is very near and dear to me which is “spatial apartheid”. Just like in
South Africa we saw a racial apartheid really dividing parts of the city and the
Metropolitan region – where you had Johannesburg and Soweto – we are seeing how we
have the same spatial apartheid in each of our regions and communities. So a new front is
happening – and new way it is happening where folks are learning, we are better together
than we are apart. And we can build strong regions by facing racial and class divides.
I love a group called “We Act” in New York and we had been talking about West Coast
stories so I thought it would be fun to bring in some of our East Coast heroes. And Peggy
Shepard in a founder of “We Act” and current executive director in West Harlem has built
one of the oldest environmental justice organizations in the world. And they are fighters
but they are also collaborators. And it took a huge fight to get the diesel trucks to stop
pouring in through West Harlem as the main entrance for commerce in New York and
instead distribute and to change that idling policy so that the dirty air and the body
burden of that issue wasn’t held exclusively by West Harlem.
After they won that fight of getting the dirty diesel out of West Harlem, they had another
fight that was right on their hands and what it was the largest sewage treatment plant in
the United States was going to be built at the end of West 125th Street. So they had just
gotten diesel out and the shit was going to be dumped onto West Harlem literally. So they
began asking this question; why is it that communities of colour are the place where toxic
waste dumps are held? Why is it that that occurs and how do we get upstream of that, so
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 15
we can be at the table when decisions are made about our community? The communities
need to be in the decision-making structure when the decisions come down.
So they were able to stop it and I’d like to tell this door he in a way that also includes
something that we uncovered as we found successful communities across the country.
And we call it the compass for transformative leadership. The first stage is waking up and
as I go through these stages with West Harlem I’d like each of us to be thinking about what
it is in our own communities that might be part of this same compass. And to think about
how we might have greater impact by learning from some of the communities who have
been most at risk and who have been most successful.
So the first thing that happened in West Harlem is the stage of waking up. They said look
this is not just happening one, it is happening continuously. We need to wake up to how
social justice and environmental justice are linked in our community. And we need to
grow a bigger idea of who we are.
The second stage is saying no. So what they did the case of “We Act” they said no. We are
not going to have dirty diesel but we are also not going to have the sewage treatment plant
here and decisions being made without us.
So they moved to the third stage of the compass, which is getting grounded. And they
stepped back for a moment, after saying no and after getting legal action that stopped the
sewage treatment plant. And they said; what can we learn about our history? What can we
learn about what our capacities are? What is our natural leadership – our folks who have
different skills in our community that can be nurtured and brought out to really change
this climate in West Harlem permanently? And they began doing visioning and leadership
training that would honour every single member and voice within the community as a
part of what the new West Harlem could be.
The fourth stage is exploring new horizons and what they began doing is saying; who are
we and what can we be and what can we reach for? And I remember the day that
community leaders stood on the edge of where the sewage treatment plant was going to
be and they looked out and they said; what else could this be? What new horizons could
we reach for? And looking up the Hudson River and out to the Palisades all of a sudden
they realized, on a really embodied level, that they were in fact, standing on the last
waterfront land in all of Manhattan which was about to be turned into a sewage treatment
plant. And they began saying; who might we be? [What] might we envision for this last
waterfront Park? And they realized that that last waterfront land - and they said; we want
a park. Parks are not just for folks down in the rich parts of New York or in the rich parts
of any city. But how do we get the green space here and have ourselves linked to part of
this regional story of what Manhattan is? So by preserving that land which is what their
vision became, as a park, they actually became linked to a larger story of the Hudson River
and also to island of Manhattan - one of our epic cities. In that way they were changing the
whole story of New York.
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 16
The fifth stage in the compass is saying yes – to take the story from your own communities
– to go through that sense of saying no, of getting grounded, of exploring a new horizon,
and then finding a bigger vision – and they realize that they wanted not only a green vision
but also a cultural vision. And they began to imagine if at the top of public transit they
wanted a cultural village that would actually commemorate the many cultures of that area,
and also offer classes in various storytelling and arts, so they would continue to tell the
story of who they are as a people and who they might become and to regenerate that
through the sharing and teaching of various arts.
So Julia De Burgos Cultural Arts Center which is what it has become – so I love this story of
“We Act” and West Harlem and they are an example of one of the Breakthrough
Communities that we have had the privilege to work with as across country where
communities of colour are not only reinventing their own communities but then providing
leadership for the whole of society and for the whole of the region. And we see this as
being an important part of the “coming home”– where communities of colour are actually
the majority in the United States, and that we are learning how to change the old story of
spatial apartheid and see that my actually working across boundaries of race and class, we
actually create assets for the whole of the region. And now West Harlem is celebrating
itself as a destination not a place that is a pass-through or a place to deal drugs but the
place where you go to learn about this multicultural capacity and a place where you go to
enjoy the green space as well.
Marilyn Hamilton: Paloma this is a really beautiful synchronicity with what Jean Houston
was saying again earlier today and in fact I just finished writing an op-ed piece myself on
Integral Life – it was called “Celebrate Your City” - so celebrating a city is a wonderful
segue for me to go back to Ann. Ann now that you have heard the others speak, you
started us off and gave a very global perspective – no pun intended, or maybe it is -
sporting events actually wake up cities. I am curious - because you are not just in Canada
now but in other countries where perhaps something like apartheid or lack of equity
might be on the agendas, or you bring them on the agendas of the way of looking at
sustainability and telling a new story through the Olympic event. Can you tell us how you
might be observing from the stories that Milenko, Carl and Paloma have shared – how they
help you understand how relationships matter in your work?
Ann Duffy: That’s a lot to kind of play with in terms of where is this new work going. I
would just offer listeners a scope that presents a new perspective. One is where the event
owner, in the case of the Olympic movement, the International Olympic committee and
also all the countries that are part of the Olympic movement or the same for FIFA – the
soccer World Cups or the European Cup - or other sport events - there is a code of conduct,
a code of ethics that is really constantly evolving and progressing by these sport event
owners. And the bar can only go as high as that which can be stretched by the host event
organizing committee on the ground. And so I think what is really rich by the
conversations we have heard this afternoon is that there are some real examples of how
do we and body these principles and turn them into actions where we demonstrate how
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 17
unique partnerships civil society or regulators or corporate sponsors or NGOs can come
together on initiatives that help us experience what taking on these efforts can look like.
And I think what we are seeing now is that where there is momentum, we start seeing a
trend. And as the trend develops start seeing a best practice and as the best practice
evolves, we start seeing new standards. But I think where we can be opportunistic in
terms of finding host regions and event owners and communities of sponsor or sport
organization or the like, we are able to advance and we are able to experiment in advance
on these practical examples.
To be quite honest I think it is also important to all of us – I think it is in the spirit of
international development that cultures and countries are very different and we have to
be respectful around what is important to the local host region and what do we hold true
as international universal rights, dreams and hopes? What I find inspiring in the work that
I have had a chance to do is that in the space of a couple of years, we are seeing countries
like Russia, and Brazil and new emergent countries in the sport movement like Turkey,
taking this on with the sort of assumption that this is part of what is required to be an
international player in posting sport events. But in so doing there is pride and innovation
and collaboration on the ground, such that new technology, new infrastructures, site
remediation and cleanup, sport development and sundry number of things can be
cultivated to because it’s considered now more of the norm in terms of how we go forward.
Carl Anthony: Could I mention something that I think ties some of these themes together?
I was very interested in Milenko’s presentation about the tornado. And one of the things
that seems to be coming up around this conversation about sports and also disasters is
that there are really wonderful opportunities within these things – within these periodic
events which happen in our lives – and one of the things that’s very interesting to us is
we’ve been doing work in California with an executive order called “health in all” policies.
And one of the things that is of great concern in California is people have understood that
our greenhouse gas emissions is coming a lot from our whole reliance on automobiles.
And so the health Department of California was looking for examples of ways that public
transportation could result in reduction of greenhouse gases, but also in improving
community health. And you know what popped up? The Olympics in Atlanta.
What happened is that when they decided to put the Olympics together they wanted to
showcase Atlanta so they had to public transportation as part of the showcase for the
period of the planning and implementation of the Olympics occurred. And what has
happened is it is now a source of data that is being used by the Department of Public
health in California about how because they made this investment in public transit in
order to take advantage of this particular moment, it also provides data that can be used
to actually transfer resources from our overreliance on automobiles to public
transportation. So I thought of that and I also wanted to mention the same thing is true –
we had terrible news about tornadoes in New York in the last couple of days – that we
have these events which are also challenging events but they also do present the kind of
opportunities we have heard about this afternoon.
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 18
Marilyn Hamilton: That’s a great observation Carl. I was thinking the theme of
sustainability also runs all of your stories. In our session at noon we heard from Gail
Hochachka, who is working in developing countries particularly in the South – but she was
saying (she is in her thirties) she knows that when she was a young girl, she didn’t hear
the word “sustainability” being used at all in the lexicon or in the narrative of the stories.
But now she is working even in El Salvador, working around climate change with small
villages. They are quite able to express the effects of climate change on themselves, even
to the fact that she used the example that – since you talked about food earlier – in their
village they didn’t have any beans this last year because of climate change had actually
affected their capacity to grow a crop that was pretty stable for them in their area. So this
idea that the changing story, and Ann since you were really the person who was really
championing sustainability in the Olympic movement in the Vancouver 2010 Games, can
you see now that the theme actually got a life of its own? That it is moving forward
through other Olympic events that people want to pick something like that up and carry it
forward in their own way?
Ann Duffy: Absolutely, and I think that we are seeing it being transpired both explicitly
and implicitly. Event organizers like the Olympics or Pan-American games or FIFA or
World Cups or whatever, there is an inherent and a professional coach towards
transferring knowledge and experience and certainly there is a formal program that most
of these sports events organizers around transfer of knowledge learning. And the learning
experience of the most recent host on what worked well and what the agenda is and might
be going forward. And then there is the implicit inspiration that happens when people
tune in to not only the benevolent value of thinking about this about sport events but real
concrete, tangible measurable benefits of re mediating contaminated sites in urban
centres, building multi-use facilities that benefit the community, associating sponsors with
a brand that helps profile and expand market share, solutions that reduce risk and create
benefits that people are waking up to saying “Oh my goodness there really is an
opportunity here”. And it's really just practical common sense but in a forum that that is
both supportive but ultimately celebrates and profiles this progress over time.
Marilyn Hamilton - Thanks for just making that connection Ann. I'd like to now go back
to Milenko because a theme I'm noticing across everybody's stories the invitation was to
tell the influence or effects of storytelling or a culture in your work and there's a
fascinating connection with the locations or space in the cities and your gathering places,
the process that you described and creating them, I'm curious as a result of people
working in the way that Pomegranate Centre creates the conditions for, do you notice that
the stories change from the beginning of your projects to the end?
Milenko Matanovic - I think what we notice most of all is that people realize at the end of
the journey how much they are capable of. They realize that a project that we proposed to
do with them initially seems overwhelming to them. They don't know how to do it. By the
time it's done, the pride, the realization that not only that they did it but they did it well.
Our work is filled with interesting tensions as I'm sure all our work is, when we deal with
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 19
large topics like sustainability and the future of our planet and livability and so on. So one
of the tensions we discover all the time is this tension between inclusion and decision
making - how to include as many voices but still make quick decisions. And it plays itself
out in every project differently.
But with a code of conduct that we inspire in every project, we move through that
relatively quickly. And then, we ask people to turn into artists. And the good news is that
lurking just under the skin of our surfaces, is, you know, lurking and artist in everyone.
You ask people who they really would like to be and usually they describe themselves as
artists, as poets and painters and film makers and musicians. And I think art is just such a
fundamental quality of our existence and right now we relegate art to a particular industry
of artists. And part of the story that I'm becoming aware of is that art is just so much more
fundamental. It shouldn't be restricted to this narrow layer of our existence. And when
one is concerned with art automatically you are concerned with materials that you work
with, with team work, how you work with other people with excellence, with beauty, all
those qualities that are deeply ingrained in our existence. So every culture has this
tradition of craft that probably have their origins in magical rituals of our ancestors and so
a paddle for a canoe that I carve out of wood, needs to be made beautiful as well as being
made practical because you want to have the magic to cross dangerous rivers and seas.
That goes on into buildings, and clothing and food and everything.
Part of what we are discovering now is that the desire for carefully expressing something
and Paloma, you talked about embodiment, that desire to make it real, to incarnate some
important idea, and even in a small way give it substance, give it some credence. We find
that our projects allow that to surface more easily. And that people at the end of the
project are surprised at their own ability and they know very well that our cities are filled
with places where our anger and our hostilities are deposited. But when we finish our
project they realize how beautiful a project can be when people deposit their care, their
best selves.
I think that is part of what is happening now in our culture. I think we are all getting tired
of slogans and big ideas, that there's a certain restlessness that we find in communities
now that people want to take it further, from discussion into action. It's like all of us that
we're talking about. Whether it's a sports event or is it re-claiming a neighbourhood for
Perhaps, there is good news in this economic downturn therefore because we find now, in
working with communities there are fewer people waiting for some miracle, for some
external agency to intervene on their behalf. They are not waiting for the Gates
Foundation Fund anymore and they're not waiting for the local government grants. They
suddenly realize, it's up to us and when that story (it's up to us to start shaping things)
surfaces, with that surfaces also this idea of artistry. Let's make it beautiful. Let's make it
wonderful. Let's own this place where we live and not just exist there. We live there. We
are part of it. And I think that is part of the sustainability story these days.
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 20
Marilyn Hamilton– Milenko, that is a very, very rich way of responding to a question that
has come up through our audience on the dashboard here in wondering what
relationships exist between the citizens and City Hall in your projects and what I hear you
saying is that it's quite possible even, for people from City Hall to discover that they're
artists and that they themselves have different ways of contributing to the gathering place
and building community. Would that be a fair thing to gather from what you are saying?
Milenko Matanovic – Well I think no one is excluded from those talents yes. In terms of
operational, how it operates when we do projects in different cities, in Tuscaloosa the
Parks Department actually worked with us and was a partner with us but we find as a
routine, the larger the city the larger the big bureaucracy, the harder it is to do these kinds
of projects because there's such an anxiety of things going wrong, somebody may get hurt,
let's slow the process down. And in our model momentum is a very precious commodity
that we waste all the time. And so we try to keep the momentum going. And that's one of
the frustrating things with larger civic processes, that they're so long, so convoluted, that
people who were there at the beginning never see the middle or the end of their idea. And
we find a great frustration exists now with many citizens. We see it when they come to our
meetings and they say “Is this one of those visioning sessions?” And then they say “If it is,
then I'm out of here. I've done my visioning. I'm done with that. I want something more
now. I want some promises that my ideas and our ideas will be realized. So institutionally
it's harder to do that in larger bureaucracies, in larger institutions because there are so
many players that have a say in the execution of a project. So we mainly work in smaller
communities though we are going to do a project in San Francisco and in Boston in the
next few years and we're doing a project in San Diego right now. So we'll be testing our
work in larger cities also. We've done quite a few projects this year in Seattle.
Marilyn Hamilton - So thank you Milenko and I'm looking at the time and that I know you
have to be someplace else on the half hour so I'm wondering if you might build a bridge for
me. We'll go a little bit longer so that we can include some of the story that Carl and
Paloma have to share. Maybe you have an observation about what Paloma and Carl have
already shared with their work both in the story about food and their story about West
Harlem. Any comments that you'd like to make or any questions that you want to give
them as you prepare to leave for your next appointment?
Milenko Matanovic – Thank you for understanding. Well my closing thought would be
this - that we are re-discovering the power of a local community or a community of place.
I find there is great confusion that exists in our country around the topic of community.
And for many people our community is a group of people who believe in what I believe in.
So they are people who are like me. The good news is that in communities of places now
which are all our neighborhoods, the differences are exploding and you know we work in
communities where a person living in that neighborhood sits next to a Somali immigrant
that moved there three weeks ago. And such huge differences exist in every one of our
neighbourhoods. The question we are asking then is how to take advantage of those
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 21
differences and Pomegranate Centre, which is the name of my non-profit, we believe that
differences, those differences are our greatest assets and then when we just take
advantage of all the wisdom that we have in our neighborhoods, in our communities of
place and extract that wisdom, toward a common goal, that's a really, really powerful thing
that is happening. And your story of West Harlem was an example of that transformation.
But there is something about locality and those differences that exist locally that I think is
a very important part of this storytelling now. While global events are shaping all of our
lives, it's most likely going to be local innovations that will ricochet back to a larger global
movement. It will not come from the other way around. So I don't know if you all agree
with me but that would be my closing thought.
Marilyn Hamilton– (Laughter) Well, thank you Milenko. That is a lovely thought to leave
on and we wish you well for your next part of today.
Milenko Matanovic - I apologize about needing to leave. They were good discussions.
Thank you so much.
Marilyn Hamilton – Thank you Milenko. Thank you very much. And I am going to come
back to Carl and Paloma. I think that the difference that makes a difference that Milenko
just identified is also actually an example and a reiteration of what Jean Huston was
talking about earlier today. And she did also talk about, how as we emerge a global story
about our planet of cities that in fact the stories will be very localized and that's where, the
sort of real power will come from. I'm really curious Paloma if you can tell us more about,
in your work how you create and nurture the generative relationships that make things
like the West Harlem story possible.
Paloma Pavel – Thank you so much for asking that and actually, storytelling is at the heart
of it. When we go into a new community or when we're working with local communities
or neighborhoods, the way we often start is by telling the story. We will tell the story of
that place and we'll have people talk about also the story of their name and sort of the
name and begin unpacking the story of the place where they were born and the place that
we are now gathering. And that way of connecting very intimately to their embodiment
and beginning to be present with one another because we find out that we are, so many of
us, that we are river people. I hope Carl will talk about how that we are all ancestors of the
stars and how there's a real important inter-generational story telling opportunity as we
reinvent our cities. But I'm thinking of an experience in West Chicago at West Garfield in
Chicago where every summer there's a reflection on “what did we learn?” It's an inter-
generational reflection where the youngsters and the elders talk to one another about:
What are the goals that we set and, what are the things that we achieved and learned
within our community and within our village here in West Garfield?” And they tell that
around what is a griot circle, a kind of a central plaza among many of the buildings that
they have reclaimed and given new life to. An abandoned hospital which is now various
types of affordable housing. And a church which had been abandoned which is now a
performance centre. And in the middle of that plaza they have created a sculpture, where
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 22
a young person or an older person can tell the story or dance the story of what we did this
year that we're proud of. Or what we did this year that was so difficult. And they will
begin that by also sharing the story of who they are in the community. And then as a result
of the stories of that year, they decide to make a mural. And the Chicago Art Institute
sends an artist every year that pairs with them and partners with them to actually turn
those stories that are the life blood, of the blood and sweat and tears of what has gone on
that year and what has been achieved and they turn it into a mural. And they choose the
building that's going to be the mural that year and they tell the story of who we are as a
story people as we re-invent and re-imagine our community over time. And I especially
like the inter-generational aspect of that.
Marilyn Hamilton - Yes that's come up several times too, that embodiment of the work
and the intergenerational aspect of weaving the stories of different generations tell
together so that we can actually see the unfolding of a journey that may take several
generations for it to unfold even though we say that these days time has speeded up so
quickly. So I am mindful speaking of time that I would like to bring our story telling
conversation to a final round here and I will maybe start with Carl and then go back to Ann
and Paloma to just observe what are the themes about story telling that you've heard in
our different voices today that are contributing to a new story for the city? Carl, what are
you noticing?
Carl Anthony - Well first of all, I'm really pleased, we spent a lot of time working on
stories that have been hidden and sometimes stories that have been avoided. And I must
say I was astonished in listening at the story of the Olympics as being a story about
sustainability. I spend a lot of time talking with people about sustainability and also have
many friends that watched the Olympics and not this connection, really illustrates to me,
the power of connection. The power of making connections between things that are
somewhat disparate and I think when Dr. Pavel talks about reaching for new horizons,
what I'm hearing in this is we need to be mindful, that we have the opportunity in this
huge challenge, global challenge of climate change and species disappearance and
migrations from one place to the other and the person from Somalia living next door to
someone in Chicago that's been living there for seven generations presents a kind of
discontinuity but it also represents an opportunity to really see the new story that's
I particularly want to underscore how important it is that communities of colour
understand and re-claim the stories that we have had over the many generations and even
as we talk about sustainability it is very important to bring those stories of communities of
colour into the heart of the discussion about sustainability. My ancestors, I have Native
American ancestors and ancestors from Europe but also from Africa who worked the land
in this country for ten generations and we don't really hear much about the challenge of
what our experience has been under conditions of forced labour and how we now have
moved to the cities and many of communities long to our connection to land. You don't
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 23
hear enough about how those longings can be realized I think in the emerging city.
Marilyn Hamilton - That's a wonderful observation Carl and it reminds me of a story
again that Jean Huston told this morning about bringing together (this was her work
within India) about the same kind of general situation you're describing she brought the
executive of Tata Corporation which is the largest corporation private sector in India
together with some of the lower class Indians and first they didn't think they had anything
to say to each other and they were rather disdainful of doing that. And of course Jean had
the ways to bring them together anyway and they discovered their common humanity and
indeed what happened was exactly what you said. They discovered things that they didn't
even know they would know, unless they brought these polarities of culture together. So,
thanks for that.
Carl Anthony - I just want to underscore that is one of the things that makes the city
Marilyn Hamilton – It is, it is magic! I certainly, the more that I study the city, the more I
believe that the reason that the cultural aspect of the city is so important is because I do
think that's the dynamic. Stories are us. We are our stories and they do need to be told. In
many cases if not all stories are more important than food. So Ann I'd like to come back to
you. What have you heard? What are the themes you've heard in the conversation today
that are contributing to a new story for the city?
Ann Duffy - Oh, well I think we've heard a number of elements of the story around
whether it's responding to a crisis or whether it's initiated by recognizing a social ill in
terms of social and community injustice or an opportunity, a positive catalyzing event that
can shift and reposition how a city can evolve that can, you know, whether it be negative
influences or chronic influences, or a positive spark that… I use this funny expression. It's
almost like we have City Whisperers, people that can see what they're doing on the ground
in their own organization, in their network and cluster but can also see a bigger game or a
bigger role that can be explored when these unique opportunities are ripe and ready. We
are just hearing a few wonderful examples today, but I'm sure there's many, many more.
We are in a time in history where the field of sustainability and urban sustainability and
possibility of City 2.0 is in its geniuses and there is a lot to consider for our human hearts
and minds to grok or anticipate on this and a wonderful method and a wonderful muse is
that of story, where I make information and inspiration into roles and examples helps us to
see what's possible and it helps us to see ourselves and our efforts in these stories. So I
think this work is an art and a science. There are practical technical solutions. There's
also storytelling in artful ways to communicate and link and make meaning out of this that
is all under the vernacular of divining a and bringing to fruition a more livable region
where we can live, work, play and learn.
Marilyn Hamilton - Yes and I must say that I am quite an Olympics fan and every time the
Olympics come up I am just rooted to watching the success and the excellence of the
© Integral City eLab November 3, 2012 24
human system being expressed. And probably going back to Sydney and then to Beijing
and then being right in the centre of Vancouver I have actually seen and felt how those
cities re-storied themselves through the story of excellence and now listening to how your
work has actually embraced a much wider value under sustainability, that this was kind of
rooted in one of the themes of this whole conference which is, that we are being radically
optimistic about our approach to cities and I think the Olympic story gives us that sort of
zest for life and that indomitable spirit where we are constantly watching records being
broken and so that we can see re-impossible - impossible when we see what happens on
our screens or if we're lucky enough to be in the city where it is happening, you can just
feel the whole culture be uplifted with this positive wave and the story changes as we live
it. So thank you Ann for participating and bringing that really surprising message to us
and I'd like to just conclude with Paloma and ask you, what are the themes you heard
today about culture as a real intelligence that's changing the future of the city, the story of
the city?
Paloma Pavel - Thank you. I love this way in which - how this super heroes of the
Olympics - and the building of the Commons that Milenko talked about and how people are
discovering sort of the everyday super heroes within each one of us and within our
communities as we take our visions and put them into action. I think what we are learning
about story is that there are some stories that we need to say no to. But there are huge
stories that we can say yes to. In some ways when we have the aspiration of sort of putting
a man on the moon, you know I feel like what we're doing now is we're having a new
aspiration which is bringing a human to earth. And that this re-earthing, this re-inhabiting
of our cities and and of our communities can be an aspiration that can call on just as much
of that sort of full goal, the verve, that magnificence, that what we need to do, what we
need to call on in each of ourselves is that sort of Olympic hero to actually protect our
water, plant our food, create our murals, come back to one another, in a way that is heroic
and also every day. I loved the kind of juxtaposition when Milenko talked about the small
and the simple of what he's doing with people and what we see with folks sort of in their
own backyards, sort of going from being in the dump to being in Paradise and finding that
in each others' eyes as we're linking arms and work together.
Marilyn Hamilton: What a beautiful image and I really appreciate that you brought in not
only that huge energy that emerges when we do that but another theme that's been
running through several of our sessions is that discovery or that re-discovery of the
common. And so I'm going to sort of invoke that as part of our new story for the city as we
bring our session today for the exploration of the Intelligence of Culture or Storytelling in
the city [to a close]. And I want to thank you Paloma, thank you Carl for joining us from
Breakthrough Communities, thank you Ann for telling us the story of how the Olympics
and sustainability are changing our whole sense of ourselves and our world. And thanks
of course, to Milenko for giving us the stories of how to create the gathering places in our
cities, where by creating them together, we own them and by doing that we change the
story of the city. So thank you all.

Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 16, 2u12
!"#"$% '()*(+,#-( ./0"12 31,(0/"* 31,(* 31%#4(
56", "14 76(/( "/( 7( #89*(8(1,#10
%,/:+,:/"* ; #1)/"%,/:+,:/"* #1,(**#0(1+(<
Speakei: Naik BeKay
Inteiviewei: Naiilyn Bamilton, Ph.B.
Septembei 1S, 2u12
="/> ?(@"A is a iegisteieu aichitect anu Associate Piofessoi at the
College of Aichitectuie anu Besign, 0niveisity of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Naik specializes in sustainable uesign theoiy, ieseaich, uesign tools, anu
piactice. Bis ieseaich inteiests aie the impact of builuing anu uiban
uesign uecisions on enviionmental quality, anu the stuuy of how to cieate
ecological integiity thiough the foim anu oiganization of the built
enviionment. Bis book, !"#$%&'( *+,#'-"'.($ /$,-%"0 1&'",23&4'#-5$
6$&,7$8#-5$,, exploies the application of integial theoiy to sustainable uesign anu uesign
euucation. The thiiu euition of his book, *+"9 :-";9 '"; <-%=#0 >&8=-#$8#+&'( /$,-%"
*#&'#$%-$,, co-authoieu with u. Z. Biown, has just been ieleaseu. Naik co-euits anu
manages an online continuing euucation Ceitificate in Sustainable Besign anu uieen
Builuing foi iegisteieu uesign piofessionals. Since 2uu7 he has chaiieu the School of
Aichitectuie's uiauuate Piogiam in Aichitectuie anu seives as Biiectoi of uiauuate
Stuuies foi the College of Aichitectuie anu Besign.
="/#*A1 B"8#*,C12 Naik the way I'u like to set up the inteiview this moining is I was
looking at youi book, !"#$%&'( *+,#'-"'.($ /$,-%" (IST), touay anu I wanteu to actually
shaie a quotation fiom the pieface of the book that I think actually helpeu me to fiame
why I was so impiesseu with the way that you appioacheu integial sustainable uesign.
You saiu, "Foi me the value of looking at uesign thiough an integial lens is that it has
alloweu me to glimpse aieas of expeitise that otheis have uevelopeu moie than I have,
anu finally to be able to honoi them anu incluue theii valuable peispectives in my own
woik. As a iesult it has also openeu my eyes to the fact that the peispectives that I have
been steepeu in foi the last 2S yeais aie also only paitially tiue. Telling the whole stoiy
involves listening to anu fiom otheis' peispectives - theii cultuial, inuiviuual, ecological,
as well as technical peispectives. Then each viewpoint takes its valuable anu appiopiiate
place in a wiuei peispective wheie nothing is missing. Rich human expeiiences, significant
cultuial meaning, high tech peifoimance anu tiue ecological sense all meige into
something much iichei, tiuei anu ultimately moie aesthetically pleasing. Welcome to the
futuie of uesign."
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 16, 2u12 2
Anu I say, welcome to the futuie of the city that we'ie tiying to uesign foi. Coulu you tell
me a little bit, Naik, how you came to think about the whole appioach to uesign; not just
thiough sustainability lenses, but thiough integial lenses; anu how this has openeu up foi
you a whole new intelligence foi thinking about the city.
="/> ?(@"A2 Well that's a bioau question, anu thank you foi that nice intiouuction. I
mean that's what we'ie up to in the confeience, expanuing those peispectives, anu putting
that laige pictuie togethei. I guess I staiteu off in uesign in a moueinistic euucation. I went
to Tulane in the 197us anu eaily 198us, anu that was a woilu in which the woiu "beauty"
was nevei mentioneu; the woiu "context" was nevei mentioneu. Ceitainly none of the
issues of the contempoiaiy pluialistic woilu of iace, class anu genuei, anu taking in
multiple peispectives, none of that evei ieally existeu foi me, anu wasn't on the hoiizon
theie at all.
I became inteiesteu in the technological view of sustainable uesign, anu went into
piacticing that foi awhile, anu went back to giauuate school to stuuy it even moie. In
uoing that, I encounteieu iueas of ecology that expanueu my thinking of uesign into the
|AQALj lowei-iight peispective. It was piobably my intiouuction to Ken Wilbei that
pointeu out theie was a whole woilu theie that was missing on the left-siue quauiants,
uealing with expeiience anu uealing with cultuies.
At the same time, it became veiy appaient that the kinu of aiguments that weie being
maue about why making an eneigy efficient builuing foi an eneigy efficient city, oi one
that integiateu with the local foices of the site oi the ecology - that was basically an
aigument that was coming fiom a scientific anu objective woiluview - that wasn't lanuing
on ceitain of my colleagues anu ceitain stuuents. So uesigneis ieally have a mix of
uiffeient peispectives. But a couple of the majoi ones that it wasn't hitting on weie the
aichitects that weie inteiesteu in cieating gieat expeiiences oi cieating expiessive
builuings, so that language just wasn't hitting foi them. So I ieally began to look at what
woulu make what I was uoing moie ielevant to that auuience. Anu that was the genesis of
it, ieally.
="/#*A12 So Naik, when you think about the genesis, anu think about the piinciples that
you've come to fiame anu aiticulate so beautifully in the book, can you tell us about how
eneigy anu the life sustaining foice come thiough you as a uesignei anu teachei of
uesigneis, anu how you aie ieally guiuing otheis to tiansfei that into city uesign.
="/>2 Well I'll take a shot at that question. It's ieally two questions theie: one about the
inuiviuual anu one about the city. Anu ieally the way I woikeu with stuuents, anu the way
I woik with anyone ieally, anu myself, is that theie is a ceitain value to oui being
0ne of the things I talk about in the Integial Besign book is the way that we can expanu
anu unueistanu anu take viewpoints of othei ways to see the woilu, anu then look at any
subject, incluuing the uesign of the city, anu see thiough all those uiffeient lenses. That's a
little complex in some ways, anu an integialist can get it to sounu veiy complex, too. So
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 16, 2u12 S
one of the easy ways, I think, to uo that is to be able to be awaie of what one's own
stiengths aie. What youi home uominant peispective is. Then just take one othei
peispective. So in a seminai last semestei, when I was woiking foi the fiist time with the
IST book, I askeu stuuents to uo |an exeicise in taking a uiffeient peispectivej. Let's say
technical stuuents - they might take up the cultuial peispective anu tiy that on. 0i if they
weie moie aitistically oiienteu stuuents, they might tiy to uelve in anu unueistanu the
ecological systems view.
I think it's ieally impoitant we honoi wheie people aie, anu that we'ie all a mix of
uiffeient uegiees of uevelopment, anu we can take on one thing at a time anu push oui
euge a little bit. The othei aspect that's soit of missing is that we can miss oui uepth. In
some ways, what woiks ieally well in the complex woilu of uesign, anu ceitainly in the
moie complex woilu of the city, is that eveiybouy is a playei in theii uesign of the city -
anu that can be potentially eveiyone. Eveiybouy possesses |some kinu ofj knowleuge
wheie they'ie becoming an expeit at something, anu have the kinu of bioau contextual
oveiview that places that paiticulai knowleuge into a laigei context anu peispective. So as
I saiu befoie, my path staiteu at the uppei-iight quauiant anu moveu aiounu the ciicle of
the quauiants. I founu the one that was most uiffeient foi me, anu wheie my cutting euge
is locateu, is the cultuial peispective - which is pait foui of the book, wheie we talk about
connecting with |uiffeient ielationships anu ouij natuie.
="/#*A12 Thanks foi that explanation Naik. I wonuei if you woulu be so kinu as to actually
unpack what you'ie talking about with the quauiants. We heaiu about the quauiants
eailiei in the week - actually in the uialogue I hau with Ken Wilbei (on oui website we uo
have a map that people can look at. Paiticipants can just click on the PBF anu uownloau
that map especially to look at the quauiants). Fiom youi peispective, if you coulu just give
us a walkthiough of the quauiants, I think that woulu be veiy helpful to the auuience.

Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 16, 2u12 4
="/>2 The basic uistinctions aie between a kinu of matiix that makes a uistinction
between the objective anu subjective on one axis anu collective anu inuiviuual on anothei
axis. So then we iefei to the uppei-iight peispective as "I"; anu we talk about "IT" as the
peispective of behaviois oi objective woilu of "I." In aichitectuie, that question comes
uown to how uo we shape foim in builuings oi in cities to optimize peifoimance. So you
can think about that as the logic of the engineei. If you uiop uown to the lowei iight, we'ie
looking at something that's both objective anu collective oi systemic, oi the "ITS" woilu, as
you intiouuceu touay's topic. So that's the peispective of the systems, anu what ieally is
impoitant theie is how uoes something fit into its context. Bow uoes it become pait of a
laigei social system, anu how uo all the uiffeient paits woik togethei with theii vaiious
flows of eneigy, infoimation, anu mateiials. Then if we move aiounu to the lowei-left
peispective, that's what I iefei to as the cultuie peispective, the "WE" iealm, that's both
subjective anu collective oi complex - so it's a woilu in which we have to know things by
inteiacting anu having conveisations with othei people, anu wheie the woilu of meaning
emeiges. In the woilu of uesign, that has to uo with questions about how uoes uesign
convey anu communicate cultuial meaning, the kinu of myths anu stoiies that we live
insiue of. The physical woilu is the most manifest anu most visible expiession of oui
values as a cultuie, that exists foi sometimes hunuieus oi even thousanus of yeais. Anu
then finally in the uppei-left quauiant, oi the iealm of "I," I call that the "expeiiences"
peispective, so that 's the subjective inteiioi of inuiviuuals in the woilu of uesign. In the
woilu of uesign, that might be aesthetics, as oui own expeiience of the natuial anu built
woilus. So those aie the basic peispectives
="/#*A12 Thanks Naik - that's ieally helpful, because in thinking of uesign, each one of
those peispectives is something that becomes ieally impoitant to contiibuting a uesign
that coulu fit with cultuie anu fit with natuie. Naybe you coulu expanu a little bit about
how you see the stiuctuies anu systems in cities that suppoit the well being of all.
="/>2 That's a gieat question. So let's holu that foi just a seconu, because I think I skippeu
the seconu pait of youi question eailiei about eneigy in the city. Anu this leaus iight in I
think to youi next question. So the seconu pait of youi fiist question hau to uo with how
we manage the flows of eneigy in the city oi in city uesign, which is basically a systems-
oiienteu question. That ieally has two paits to it; it has a stiuctuial pait anu a piocess
pait. So in uesign, we tiauitionally talk about those uistinctions as "foim" anu "function,"
but an ecologist may think of it moie as "stiuctuie" anu "piocess." Both of those things aie
impoitant, but both of them aie paitials. Sometimes we think about "what's wiong in
cities," when it gets out of balance, because what we'ie neeuing to have is bettei feeuback.
So the iuea is, that we get a signal that says the system is out of balance. Then we can take
some coiiection to coiiect that; take some action. That's the kinu of feeuback that's
impoitant. It's simply like getting the iight infoimation at the iight time coming to the
iight peison who can make the iight uecision. Anu that woiks ieally well when you have a
system that's ieally well uesigneu, like the human bouy, say. So you can take the vital signs
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 16, 2u12 S
anu see the bloou piessuie's off, anu you can aujust the uiet oi exeicise, oi give it some
kinu of a uiug.
But the "what I see as the pioblem in the city" is that it's not actually uesigneu with that
kinu of systemic elegance, like a living oiganism is. So the flip siue of it, then, is to look at
the stiuctuie oi the foim, anu that's ieally what uesigneis aie inteiesteu in. The uesigneis
aie inteiesteu in manipulating the foim, anu asking, "Bow uoes the piocess woik, how
uoes the flows get guiueu oi aujusteu by that foim."
So the city itself then, like you say in youi book, can be thought of as a living system. The
pioblem, I think, is we've stiuctuieu it moie like a machine most of the time. So fiom the
uesign peispective, theie's a ieally inteiesting question. We can say, what's the city foim
that woulu emeige if it weie intenueu oi uesigneu to be shaping the flows of whatevei
you'ie measuiing, oi whatevei youi monitoiing. In paiticulai, I'm inteiesteu in the flows
of ecological piocess - let's say eneigy in the builuings, anu eneigy in the city.
That's a kinu of paiauigm-shifting view, to see that it's not just taking the vital signs anu
making aujustments to the stiuctuies that exist, but that, funuamentally, we ask, "What
makes the flows within the system be how they aie. What is the stiuctuie in which those
stiuctuies aie flowing." Beie's an example of how that woulu be: If you thought about
Tennessee, wheie we have heie a lot of iiveis, anu a lot of uams on the iiveis. If the watei
goes up oi uown, the amount of watei flowing thiough the uam can be aujusteu, anu
theie's a complex system of monitoiing that takes caie of that. That's a kinu of feeuback
that then makes an aujustment to manage the system. But imagine you hau the
oppoitunity to ie-shape the lanu foim, the actual foim of the lanuscape itself. This is
what's guiuing that entiie flow of all the watei that enus up in the iivei at the uam. So
that's the kinu of uistinction in the city that I'm talking about, in teims of managing eneigy.
="/#*A12 Thank you foi that claiification, anu foi going back anu builuing on the foimei
question. You can tell that you've listeneu to youi stuuents a lot, so you'ie goou at the
most uemanuing pait of conveisation |anu uialoguej. The inteiesting thing that I finu
(theie's many inteiesting things using the integial mouel) is that it's actually fiactal, so
you can apply it at many levels of scale, anu you've uone that veiy beautifully in youi book.
It also has this othei featuie that is, I woulu say, hologiaphic. So each of the quauiants can
be paiseu out into quauiants as well. This must ieally pioviue quite a poweiful uesign
scaffoluing foi thinking about uesign in the city. Woulu you like to make any comments
about that, because I thought that's something you uiu veiy elegantly in the book in many
="/>2 Bow about you iefiame that once moie foi me.
="/#*A12 0K, faii enough. You just gave a veiy goou uesciiption of how the foui quauiants
woik. But you uo talk about the foui peispectives of integial sustainable uesign, anu how
you have talkeu about the foim of peifoimance, the foim of self, the foim of meaning anu
the foim of expeiiences. Now you just talkeu about foim as that which we might
|unueistanuj fiom a iight-siue quauiant peispective. In this way of looking at it, you
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 16, 2u12 6
actually can notice foim as it applies thiough each of the lenses of each of the quauiants.
You went into a veiy ueep way of being able to talk about it - maybe you coulu tell us
moie about how you see uesigneis using piocess that enables them to access all foui
="/>2 0ne way to think about uesign is to think about line anu foim anu stiuctuie. Then
theie's a seiies of othei lines, each of which have to uo with a kinu of piocess. So
eveiything can be all the issues of uesign; can be thought of as infoiming the foim oi the
stiuctuie itself. Naybe one way to get at that is moie metaphoiic. I think about foui kinus
of metaphois. I'm not limiteu to foui, but that's foui that occui foi me. The fiist one is the
8-#? ', ' (-5-"% ,?,#$4, which we talkeu about alieauy. Anothei one might be the 8-#? ',
$@7$&-$"8$ 32 "'#+&$; a thiiu one, the 8-#? ', "'#-5$ 7('8$, anu the fouith, the 8-#? ', 5-,-.($
"'#+&'( 3&;$&. Each one of those can be consiueieu thiough the lens of asking, "What aie
the foims that woik theie, anu what aie the piocesses at woik theie." So fiom the living
systems peispective, if we ask the basic question, "What foim uoes the city take if we
unueistanu it as a manifestation of natuial piocess.", theie's a cential insight to that
viewpoint that says ('";,8'7$, '&$ (-5-"% ,?,#$4,. Anu living systems have been aiounu foi
foui billion yeais, anu they've been evolving, anu that's what soit of woiks on planet Eaith.
That's the game we have to play if we'ie going to stay heie foi the long-teim.
Then we can look at living systems as mouels foi uesign. We look out at a lanuscape, anu
we look into an ecosystem, anu |askj how is that thing oiganizeu, how uoes it woik. It
lives on the solai eneigy income that's pioviueu to it, foi the most pait. It has a heavy
sense of iecycling of all of its nutiients anu mateiials. All of its inteiactions aie,
statistically at least, opeiating within ceitain kinus of bounuaiies, with maximal
inteichanges insiue of those bounuaiies, anu minimal inteichanges acioss those
bounuaiies fiom one system to the next. What uoes the lanuscape uo in teims of its eneigy
piouuction, eneigy stoiage, iecycling, anu all of those kinus of piinciples. All those aie
ieally goou ways of looking at what's the analogue in oui own uiban systems. Anu how
can we leain something fiom how that natuial system stiuctuies itself, anu almost cieate
a human analogue. Boes that help.
="/#*A12 Yes it uoes. Anu it leaus me on to wanting to ask you to talk moie fiom youi
peispective in looking at healthy city stiuctuies anu systems. What aie the uesign
qualities that you as a uesignei want to put into them, anu how uo you use that kinu of a
fiame to look at otheis who have cieateu uesigns.
="/>2 I finu that what uesign is ieally about, in some ways, is the ait of making some
possible vision of the futuie, ieal in the piesent. So the ieal challenge that we have is
imagining what uoesn't exist yet, anu what's not yet visible. So we have to make a bieak
fiom what we see anu what we know, anu live in a woilu in which things aie possible.
That's an amazing woilu to live in. Some of the qualities |can be imagineu thioughj
metaphoi; foi instance, the city as an expeiience of natuie. We'ie looking at what foim the
city might take if we unueistoou that natuie was a place wheie humans uevelop. So the
qualities that emeige in that ueep ielationship with natuie aie, that natuie is feeuing us,
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 16, 2u12 7
feeuing oui minus, feeuing oui souls, in auuition to the mateiial existence that it pioviues
foi us. Anu that some contact with natuie is actually goou foi us. some people think even
necessaiy foi healthy uevelopment. Anu that we have some ieal innate ecological
aesthetic. So if you ask people what's beautiful, anu you show them a pictuie of a foiest. 0i
you ask them what aie the most amazing places anu high expeiiences they have hau, most
have occuiieu - at least with Noith Ameiicans - in some natuial setting: at the beach, on
the mountain top, anu so foith. We can think about the qualities of the stiuctuie as in
some way ielateu to, but funuamentally uiffeient fiom, just thinking about the objective
aspects of the stiuctuie.
0ne of the gieat things about the integial mouel is, while you can take one of the
peispectives, it's actually calling foith in us to see the thing we'ie viewing fiom those
|otheij peispectives as simultaneously having those uiffeient chaiacteiistics. Foi instance,
we coulu think about the city as a hyuiologic system - the city as a habitat netwoik. Anu
we might geneiate a system in the city wheieby we piotecteu the stieams anu uncoveieu
them anu uug them up anu uay-lighteu them anu maue the places foi chiluien to play anu
foi a wiue vaiiety of species that we shaie the city with to inhabit.
If we pull foiwaiu the lens of imagination, then we can ieally access those qualitative
aspects of the functional lowei-iight complex systems. So we can play with that foi a little
bit. }ust imagine that you coulu cieate a city - eveiy one of these iueas has alieauy been
uone |somewheiej - you coulu cieate a city wheie natuie was neaiby, wheie eveiybouy in
the city coulu walk a few blocks to a paik, wheie chiluien weie playing in the uiban
stieams anu it was safe. Imagine a city wheie wilulife coulu navigate the uiban lanuscape.
Imagine that the entiie path of the iainuiop, fiom when it falls on youi ioof, to when it
aiiives at the iivei, becomes visible anu manifest. Imagine that we coulu see a woilu in
which oui wastes became soil, anu then became floweis, anu that wasn't hiuuen away in
some fai-off place out of sight anu out of minu. Anu even that oui sewage, even the wastes
fiom the toilets, became clean anu beautiful gaiuens, filleu with floweis anu wetlanus.
Imagine a city in which we coulu heai the sounus of natuie in these oases of quiet.
Now that's a kinu of ielationship to be establisheu between human beings anu the natuial
woilu, in the city, anu can only be ieally envisioneu now thiough the powei of the
imaginative "I" |eyej. But all of those iueas aie out theie, all of those iueas exist in some
place, in some city aiounu the woilu. Naybe they'ie not yet all put togethei, but those aie
the kinu of qualitative aspects which get at oui liveu expeiience, anu then we can have the
possibility of biinging those foith into some connecteu ielationship with natuie.
="/#*A12 Naik, you'ie evoking a lot of the inteiviews that we've heaiu so fai in the
confeience. I'm ieally making links between what you'ie saying goes on in a uesignei's
imagination with way back at the veiy fiist inteiview that I uiu with Bill Rees, who, as you
well know, is the cieatoi of the ecological footpiint theoiy anu application. Be now sees
that it's the qualities of humanness that aie ieally going to take us out of some of the
majoi challenges that we face, if not all of them. Anu being able to think in the futuie anu
have this imagination is a quality that he stiongly points to. So it's ieally like you'ie
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 16, 2u12 8
evoking this as the essence of the uesign capacity that unueilies making what I call the
"human hive." The human hive means we'ie being totally effective, both with the aitefacts
that we cieate thiough uesign, anu also as looking, as you just uesciibeu, at the city as a
natuial system.
="/>2 I think that it's ieally woith noting that what you'ie up to, Naiilyn, anu what this
confeience is up to, in ieinventing the new opeiating system foi the city, is a iauical
notion. What it's also is an eminently achievable anu piactical iuea. So a lot of things in
veiy iecent histoiy we think of as not being piactical, oi not being possible. But imagine
that somewheie in the miuule of the 19
centuiy, theie weie no uiban paiks. No one hau
the iuea that having a paik in the miuule of the city woulu be a goou iuea. Anu then we hau
a whole movement - a woilu-wiue movement - of the uaiuen City. Anu within Su yeais,
theie aie uiban paiks in eveiy majoi city aiounu the woilu.
The same thing with oui highway system. You know in Su yeais, we tiansfoimeu the
entiie lanuscape of Noith Ameiica with unlimiteu access to oui state highway systems anu
cieateu the subuibs. So if we'ie looking at a Su-8u yeai time fiame foi tiansfoiming the
city, it takes just the kinu of iauical, imaginative iueas to catch on - to catch fiie. You know
that's the ieal possibility of what this whole confeience heie is up to. That's what excites
="/#*A12 Well thank you foi making that obseivation, Naik. I wonuei foi oui auuience if
you actually fiameu this evolution of the whole uesign ethos. You show examples in youi
book. It is beautifully illustiateu. I mentioneu when I wiote the ieview of youi book I
founu it so beautiful that I coulun't beai to use my usual pen anu ink quotations on the
siue, so it's sitting iight besiue me, all "haiiy" with post-it notes, because I coulun't beai to
wiite in it. But foi oui auuience, coulu you take us thiough some examples of cities that
may come fiom tiauitional, mouein, post-mouein anu integial ways of thinking, so that
they coulu actually, foi themselves, get a moie specific pictuie of examples of such cities.
You coulu, maybe, just point out some of the aichitectuie oi some of the builuings they
might iecognize associateu with these woiluviews.
="/>2 In aichitectuie anu the histoiy of uesign of cities, theie aie uiffeient peiious, anu
theie aie levels of consciousness, you might say, that emeige at uiffeient peiious. But they
aien't uistinct anu limiteu to inuiviuual spans of yeais, oi even inuiviuual people, so that's
kinu of a long conveisation in oiuei to tease that out a bit.
It's woith saying that all of those uiffeient levels, the tiauitional, mouein, the post-mouein,
anu the integial, aie piesent at the same time. So we hau a ievival of neo-tiauitional
aichitectuie. If we look aiounu most univeisity campuses touay, theie aie veiy few
mouein builuings being built. Nost of the builuings have auapteu the style oi the
expiession of a time gone by. So they might be a collegiate uothic, as they weie when I was
woiking at Washington 0niveisity in St. Louis. They might be a moie of the classical style,
with uomes anu peuiments anu poiticos anu so foith.
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 16, 2u12 9
So theie is a kinu of iomantic ievival going on at piesent. Anu you see a little bit of that in
some of the New 0ibanist communities, wheie they aie moie inteiesteu in an expiession
of the tiauitional town. If you think about any aichitectuie, fiom ancient uieece oi ancient
Rome oi Italian villas oi even the Renaissance - any of those kinus of ways of builuing, you
see histoiical oi neo-histoiical styles showing up in aichitectuie touay. That's a kinu of
view, a kinu of inuicatoi of a kinu of tiauitional woiluview.
Although touay what we see is a kinu of "wiappei" of that as a kinu of expiession. It's
placeu ovei the top of something that's essentially mouein constiuction. So it's iaie that
anyone builus something that's neo-classical in a full masoniy constiuction. Nouein
aichitects you might be familiai with, people like Nies van uei Rohe, oi the Fainswoith
Bouse in Chicago is a kinu of classic example. Theie aie vaiious kinus of tienus of
moueinism in this countiy. Two of my favoiites aie Fiank Lloyu Wiight anu Louis Kahn.
In the post-mouein |mouej you might be most familiai with an aichitect like Nichael
uiaves, oi the contempoiaiy aichitect Fiank uehiy, both of which you woulu ielate to one
of the stianus of the post-mouein woiluview.
Then touay you can begin to see vaiious kinus of integial expiessions. In many ways I
think that in the 0ibanist movement is a kinu of leauing euge integial appioach, in the
sense that they aie using the best of the tiauitional ways of thinking about cities anu
towns, combineu with some of the valuable mouein appioaches, but thiowing out the
mouein appioaches that uon't woik. At the same time they aie beginning to be integiateu
anu be sensitive to cultuial anu enviionmental issues which tenu to show up in the post-
mouein oi pluialist woiluview.
So putting all of those togethei in the same kinu of constiuction is ieally one of the
hallmaiks of the integial level oi woiluview. 0n the aichitectuial stage, maybe one of my
favoiites that I woulu put into that categoiy woulu be the Austialian aichitect ulenn
Nuicutt, who is one of the winneis of the Piitzkei Piize, which is one of the highest woilu
piizes foi aichitectuie. Anu I say that because he's using a kinu of mouein expiession, but
at the same time is sensitive to anu employing many of the aspects of the veinaculai,
tiauitional language of those in Austialia, anu is just a highly sensitive, capable aichitect in
uealing with the subtlety of the site anu the enviionment, anu ieally woiking with all of
the quauiants of expeiiences, to cultuies, to the technology. So that's a biief iun-thiough it,
I guess, in a few minutes.
="/#*A12 Yes thanks Naik. I'm suie many people will be thinking, I wonuei wheie my
favoiite aichitect fits in. We'll leave that as a soit of "tension with intention."
="/>2 Naybe I'll just finish up that question |I was iesponuing toj. I was saying that cities
|appeaij even moie complex when using some kinu of integial analysis. Because they
uevelop ovei such long peiious of time. So I think it's almost bettei to look foi examples of
what woiks in uiffeient cities. The iueal of having put togethei many, many uiffeient
appioaches - you might think of being as the fully integial expiession - we'ie piobably
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 16, 2u12 1u
still waiting foi that to occui |natuiallyj. But that uoesn't mean theie aien't gieat
I iemembei 2u yeais ago in the city of Koluing, Benmaik, wheie they hau taken the
inteiioi of a laige Euiopean block with foui oi five stoiey housing - apaitments aiounu
the euge. They took what was a paiking lot anu tuineu it into a paik. Anu insiue of that
paik was a soit of jewel, a solai pyiamiu, that was a sewage tieatment plant. So they hau a
soit of constiucteu wetlanu insiue of theie anu they weie giowing meuicinal heibs anu
tomatoes anu |piouucingj puiifieu watei anu outsiue theie was a wetlanu. People coulu
come out to the sewage tieatment plant anu enjoy a picnic! That was an amazing sight.
Anu then theie aie places like village Bomes in Califoinia, which I think uates fiom the
late 197us wheie Su peicent of the lanu was tuineu ovei to piouuction as a completely
solai anu biochemically |contiolleuj uesign of a subuiban neighbouihoou. But at the same
time they hau oichaius anu common aieas anu community gaiuens. It was a completely
piouuctive lanuscape. All aiounu the woilu theie aie gieat examples. They aie easy to finu
nowauays, with oui online access.
="/#*A12 That is a veiy goou way to move on to a question|that links Stiuctuial
Intelligence to Cultuial Intelligencej. Because yesteiuay we weie exploiing cultuie anu
oui thought leauei foi the uay was }ean Bouston. 0f couise she has visiteu so many cities
that the stoiies that she gave weie actually giounueu in many paiticulai cities. We got
thiough hei anu oui othei piesenteis yesteiuay, this image of a city being full of stoiies.
The city itself is a stoiy anu eveiy peison's stoiy emeiges anu manifests in uiffeient ways.
We look at uesign anu the manifestation of a stoiy, a woiluview, a set of values that go
along with it. Then we can see - what fascinates me in looking at cities as systems - is that
the manifestation of the uevelopmental, evolutionaiy stiata that the city has gone thiough
is actually a kinu of a histoiy that we can see manifest thiough aichitectuie anu uesign. It
can ieminu us how to appieciate those uiffeient values that we still have, especially in the
oluei city of the woilu wheie we can see them all alive aiounu us.
I notice that my aesthetic iesponse to say, a small gatheiing place, as one of oui piesenteis
spoke of yesteiuay, is uiffeient that when I go to a Fiank uehiy piouuction. Theie, I just go
kinu of like jaw uiopping W0W! Bow uo I feel theie. Then I go to one of the aichitects that
has always impiesseu me - in auuition to Fiank Lloyu Wiight - Chiistophei Alexanuei. I
just contemplate how he showeu me to think about St. Naik's Squaie in venice. This is a
place that has centuiies captuieu in the aichitectuie theie thiough uiffeient eias. So I
thank you foi acknowleuging that the city is veiy complex iight now.
="/>2 You aie exactly iight about the powei of the stoiy in the city anu the powei of the
stoiy that each builuing tells. That is the lowei left peispective that I saiu that I was having
such a haiu time to giapple with. In wiiting the book anu in ueveloping my own
unueistanuing in uesign, even though I've been woiking with it foi Su yeais now |it's still
a challengej.
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 16, 2u12 11
That's why I am so inteiesteu in the connection between the actual physicality anu getting
the systems iight - in say, maybe, a neighboihoou wheie eveiy builuing can captuie the
sun, anu eveiy builuing has access to the winu, anu eveiy builuing can see enough of the
sky to light itself.
Then pulling that back into an expiession that makes the city natively a place. So that we
have a sense of a bio-cultuial iegion that's the teiiitoiy of oui life. So the way that the city
is manifesting is, in pait, a piouuct of that stiuctuie anu function that's aiounu it, that's in
the location ielateu to its bioiegion. Theiefoie what's natuial about that "oiuei" is that the
place can be maue manifest anu consciously move foiwaiu. We can hiue, conceal, oi we
can ieveal anu expiess the functions anu the stiuggle of the city. I aigue foi the lattei - foi
expiessing anu giving some visibility to what natuie is, anu how we think that we'ie
ielateu to that natuie.
="/#*A12 That ieminus me of an inteiview I hau befoie the confeience staiteu with
Richaiu Registei, who cieateu the whole iuea of the Ecocity, anu foi Su oi 4u yeais has
been tiying to get that iuea spieau thioughout the woilu. Be talks about his expeiience of
tiying to uaylight stieams. But he expiesseu his fiustiation at the iesistance to being able
to uo that.
So I wonueieu, Naik, if we coulu biing oui conveisation into a place, befoie we go to the
auuience, wheie you coulu talk about how you woik with youi stuuents to actually give
them a sense of the kinu of iesponsibility that they take in being uesigneis. Bow uo you
biing in the ielevance of the left-hanu quauiants of expeiience anu aesthetic anu the
cultuial meaning making. Is this something that you've founu ways that open those uoois
foi them.
="/>2 Richaiu Registei - he was a ieal inspiiation to me in his oiiginal Ecocities book. At
0C Beikeley, as a young giauuate I hoppeu on a bus anu went uown to San Fiancisco to
the fiist inteinational Ecocities confeience. Be is ieally an example of someone who has
set a cleai intention foi himself, anu even been unieasonable in following thiough his
intention. I think he's just a gieat inspiiation to all of us.
That's ieally how I look at the answei to youi question. What I uo anu what I have my
stuuents uo, is set a cleai intention that's big enough to call us foith to be something
gieatei than we oi they aie useu to being. Foi instance on the wall of my ieseaich stuuio
theie's a sign that says: :=3 A$ '&$9 -, #=$ 73,,-.-(-#?9 7'&#"$&,=-7 '"; #$'4A3&B ;$;-8'#$;
#3 .&$'B #=&3+%= -" '&8=-#$8#+&'( $;+8'#-3"C
So that's the kinu of big possibility that I anu all the people who aie woiking in oui lab tiy
to live into. We'ie up to something big, anu that helps us to put in oiuei the specific things
that we uo. So I ieally challenge all my stuuents to set out an intention foi themselves.
They have all this semestei been woiking alieauy in the setting of intention foi
themselves about what they want to accomplish uuiing theii next semestei. Then latei on,
we'll look at |howj they set that intention, foi what they might want to uo latei on in theii
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 16, 2u12 12
Insiue that intention, we can always cieate ouiselves as some kinu of contiibution in some
specific ways. It occuis to me that what we'ie ieally up to. I think at some point in auult
life, what ieally tuins us on, what we ieally want in oui heaits, is to make a contiibution.
Insiue that laigei intention, that's biggei than we aie, theie's some gap wheie we can live,
anu that calls us foith - calls foith whatevei oui woik is. I think eveiybouy has some
amazing contiibution to offei. That's ieally|one of the keyj things that the integial mouel
has taught me.
It's also one of the things that's a kinu of holaichic stiuctuie in the lowei-iight peispective,
|wheiej you see that eveiything is impoitant, that eveiy soit of niche oi possibility exists
up anu uown the scale. |It appliesj if you'ie inteiesteu in tackling laigei questions, oi if
you'ie inteiesteu in tackling smallei questions. Foi me, I'm inteiesteu in woiking on
uesign tools; sustainable uesign, anu then mapping them out in that teiiitoiy, anu so on.
Foi you, Naiilyn, you'ie woiking with a gianu intention anu a pioject that's of gieat scope,
which I think is laigei than I woulu be able to uo. I was thinking about that touay. It takes
an amazing peispective to be able to integiate all the uiffeient viewpoints anu people anu
uiveisity that you'ie woiking with.
="/#*A12 Thank you Naik. Now tell me - you have geneially commenceu, youiself, on
cieating an integial uesign theoiy. I ieally know that's something you consiuei that you
aie living on the euges of, moving foiwaiu. I think that oui woik is ieally quite integiateu
Peihaps I coulu lanu ieally on what you just saiu, in iegaius to how uesigneis can think
about wheie anu how they shoulu appioach theii woik. A piece of auvice I give my own
stuuents when they askeu me, "What is my puipose." Anu I say, you'ie going to know
what youi puipose is when you uiscovei the inteisection of youi gieatest joy, anu the
woilu's gieatest neeu. I think that's at the heait of what you'ie talking about - how people
know wheie theii uesign contiibution comes in.
We both know Bon Beck's woik, anu he has a wonueiful uesign equation that I think also
kinu of captuies what we'ie talking about - it helps uesigneis to know what anu wheie to
stait. So the question is: D3A ;3$, :DE9 -"#$%&'((? ;$,-%" 23& :DEF9 23& :D>1 7+&73,$9
A=$&$G I just think that youi book anu youi own integial piactice captuies the zone of
allowing uesigneis to exploie that question on many uiffeient levels.
="/>2 Thank you Naiilyn. 0ne of the things I think we neeu to say befoie we leave is that
we'ie using the woius "uesign" anu "uesignei," anu I woulu use those in a veiy bioau anu
libeial way. Foi instance, one of Sim van uei Ryn's |piinciplesj, in his ecological uesign
piinciples is: $5$&?3"$ -, ' ;$,-%"$&. That may sounu stiange, but it's actually tiue touay,
both in oui puichasing powei (because we puichase uesign) - we have houses uesigneu
anu built foi us - but also because the woilu of city uesign is incieasingly paiticipatoiy.
Nany hunuieus, if not thousanus, of people in the city have the oppoitunity, in theii
neighboihoous, in theii new city plans, anu so foith, to ieally go out anu paiticipate anu
think like uesigneis, anu make theii contiibution in that way. So theie aie lots of
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 16, 2u12 1S
oppoitunities in othei ways that you can think of also, wheie it's just pait of oui BNA.
Piioi to the 19
centuiy, eveiyone almost, except foi the supei-iich, was involveu in
constiucting theii own homes. So it's not something that's ieally foieign to us. 0ne of the
things |Chiistopheij Alexanuei talks about is that we've sepaiateu so fai |apaitj the
piofessional uesignei fiom the peison constiucting, fiom the peison who's occupying |a
builuingj. I think in teims of tiansfoiming the city, we have to take back some of that
inuiviuual iesponsibility to think about uesign anu be uesigneis.
="/#*A12 I think so anu I think maybe what I woulu like to ask you to uo befoie we ask foi
questions fiom the auuience is, woulu you minu iepeating what the sign on youi wall
says. I think that's a goou segue foi the next pait of oui uialogue.
="/>2 :=3 A$ '&$9 -, #=$ 73,,-.-(-#?9 7'&#"$&,=-7 '"; #$'4A3&B ;$;-8'#$; #3 .&$'B #=&3+%=
-" '&8=-#$8#+&'( $;+8'#-3"C So that's the possibility that we set heie in oui ieseaich lab foi
="/#*A12 It is a possibility that we have cieateu as a fiame foi the whole confeience -
something that's iauically optimistic, anu calling foith, as you say, the uesign anu the
uesignei in eveiyone. Yesteiuay oui piesenteis exploiing cultuie saiu: eveiyone is a
stoiytellei, eveiyone is an aitist. We have come into an eia wheie we can claim that, but
we'ie often uetacheu fiom that, anu uon't see that in ouiselves anymoie. Thank you so
much foi evoking the uesignei in us all.
="/#*A12 Eiic, I call on you to shaie some questions fiom the auuience so we coulu acquiie
some moie of Naik's wisuom.
D/#+2 uoing back something you weie talking about, Naik, ielateu to the tiauitional,
mouein anu post-mouein woiluviews anu value systems, anu how that has shapeu
aichitectuie, foi instance on a college campus. What I'm cuiious about is, you iefeience a
scale of about Su yeais, anu how things change in that speeu. But it seems that complexity
is continuing to acceleiate, anu oui woilu life conuitions aie speeuing up evei moie
iapiuly. So I uon't know if we necessaiily have those Su yeai spans to woik with in the
same way that we might have a centuiy ago. I'm just wonueiing how you uesign in the face
of acceleiating complexity. When you have to level existing stiuctuies anu stait ovei.
="/>2 0ne way to think about the |builtj woilu is that it opeiates at multiple timescales
simultaneously. The city is the laigest anu the most iesistant |built systemj to change. It
contains all scales anu timefiames that we have. Foi instance if you go to the oluest pait of
any city, you'll finu ioau patteins anu piopeity anu subuivision patteins that existeu fiom
Suu oi 4uu, oi uepenuing on how olu the city is, even 1,uuu yeais ago. So the oluest pait of
lowei Nanhattan still has the piopeity uivisions fiom the time of its oiiginal founuing.
We like to say in aichitectuie that the site is eteinal. Noving those piopeity lines aiounu
is almost impossible. The ioau stays wheie it is, once it's built. Insiue of that theie aie
stiuctuial cycles - foi instance the stiuctuie of the builuings that lasts 4uu yeais. Anu on
the othei enu of the timefiame is the paint on the walls, the caipet on the floois, the
seivices anu the finishes. Those, let's say in an office builuing, have a lifecycle of foui oi
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 16, 2u12 14
five yeais. Somewheie in the miuule is the mechanical system, which might have a 1S oi
2u yeai life cycle. The winuows might have an 8u yeai life cycle. So we ieally have to look
at what aie the scales that we'ie opeiating at, anu what aie the timefiames that that
paiticulai subsystem has foi its own uuiability. What we'ie seeing is that theie's a natuial
cycle to the way in which builuings have a life anu a ueath.
So if we look at, say in the 0niteu States, at the futuie of builuings, between now anu 2uSu,
something like 7u peicent of all the builuing stock in the countiy will be eithei new oi
ienovateu in that time. So that's a timefiame in which it's possible foi aichitectuie to
essentially to halt the C02 piouuction of the countiy, simply by making builuings that aie
caibon neutial.
So theie's a whole movement in the countiy iight now (anu also in Canaua) foi looking at
incieasing eneigy stanuaius anu loweiing the use of fossil fuels anu moving towaius, by
2uSu, all new builuings being constiucteu as caibon neutial. So that's the kinu of
timefiame that we can look at. But it iequiies that each inuiviuual take some ieal
iesponsibility, anu iecognize that eveiything that they'ie uoing is pait of some laigei
pattein that's laigei than oui own inuiviuual actions.
D/#+2 What aie the qualities of stiuctuies that allow foi the flexibility foi evei-moie-iapiu
="/>2 I uon't know the answei to that question fiom the outset. But my sense about it is
that we'ie ieally looking at uiffeient tienus. We'ie ieally looking at uiffeient kinus of
systems. So what's changing iapiuly is a cultuie; what's changing iapiuly is the woilu of
electionics anu the woilu of communications.
What's not changing iapiuly is the woilu of biicks, is the woilu of conciete, the woilu of
woou, the woilu of geneial existence that we live in on the planet. What's not changing is
the fact that we have solai eneigy aiiiving on the planet eveiy uay that can fuel oui entiie
existence, if we uo it intelligently.
So we ieally have to make a connection between the things that aie not changing anu that
aie cyclical, anu they'ie essentially the same eveiywheie on the planet |as well asj the
things that aie iapiuly changing. So this came home foi me when Susanne |my wifej anu I
visiteu Italy this summei. We weie staying in a builuing whose stiuctuie was fiom the
1Suus in a little town calleu 0iieto. A beautiful little Italian town. Anu it hau insiue of the
builuings, essentially, a mouein life - but the stiuctuie of the place itself hau not changeu
in piobably 4uu yeais.
So while cultuie is changing - people weie walking aiounu with cell phones, they hau the
Inteinet - theie weie ceitain aspects of that stiuctuie that weie funuamentally still
effective because they met funuamental human expeiiential anu psychological neeus that
weie still piesent, because human scale still matteieu. Anu we walk upiight, so we have
the ielationship of the lanuscape that's uiiven by oui expeiience of giavity. We have eyes -
that hasn't changeu - so oui expeiience of light is the same as it was 2,uuu yeais ago. So
theie aie lots of things that |connectj the human being anu the cultuie that exist in the
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 16, 2u12 1S
natuial enviionment. You just have to woik with the same kinus of piinciples that have
been piesent foi 2,uuu yeais.
In some way the uieek villages that weie able to captuie solai eneigy foi eveiy city have
not been equaleu. So we can go back to the thiiu centuiy BC anu see that theie's moie
intelligence embouieu in the stiuctuie of a uieek city than theie is in any city in the 0niteu
States touay. So we ieally have to look at "tianscenuing anu incluuing" |stiuctuial qualities
anu complexitiesj. While we'ie evolving, while we'ie moving foiwaiu in some aieas, anu
on some lines, we also ieally have to go back anu look at what ieally funuamentally woiks,
in anu about the tiauitional way of builuing, anu about the woilu that was stiuctuieu
befoie the auvent of fossil fuels that we'll buin up ovei the next centuiy.
="/#*A12 I'm thinking about someone in oui auuience who's inteiesteu in iegeneiative
uesign - uo you think you coulu tell us what you think iegeneiative uesign is.
="/>2 Regeneiative uesign usually iefeis to something that's beyonu sustainability. So if
you imagine that a kinu of zeio balance, even if it's uynamic balance, oi an annual balance,
oi something like that, that constitutes a ceitain measuie of sustainability, that says you
aie piouucing as much eneigy as you'ie consuming. Let's say you've cieateu a builuing oi
a city in which you aien't uoing any uamage foi the futuie. The iegeneiative viewpoint
woulu say that we'ie actually |aiming foij gieatei uegiees of ecological health, oi gieatei
uegiees of systemic well-being. Foi instance, a builuing, insteau of being a net consumei,
might be net piouucei; a city, insteau of piouucing a ceitain amount of waste that has to
go "out theie," it might be consuming its own waste, anu in the piocess of consuming that,
piouuces useful piouuct - foi instance, compost, anu tuining that compost into living
things that clean the aii.
So that basic notion that we have, as Bill NcBonough says, that the funuamental appioach
that most of us have on the enviionment is: "Let's uo less bau stuff." But we want to go
beyonu ieuucing impacts, anu go to the othei siue |of the equationj to piouuce gieatei
anu gieatei levels of integiity foi oui health anu well-being - both foi people anu the
natuial system. Ny favoiite woik on this is a couple of books by the lanuscape aichitect
}ohn T. Lyle - one is calleu H$%$"$&'#-5$ /$,-%" 23& *+,#'-"'.($ /$5$(374$"#C Lyle was veiy
inteiesteu in this veiy question of how you make lanuscape uo things like the natuial
lanuscape, anu yet accomplish all the neeus anu seivices that human beings have - to
uiink clean watei, eat goou oiganic foou, bieathe clean aii, have sheltei anu so foith. All
those things can be pioviueu by a system that's a kinu of meiging of what we think of as a
human system, anu what we think of as a natuial system, into a laigei iuea of the human
="/#*A12 Beie is anothei question fiom the auuience. Can you talk about Stiuctuial
Intelligence anu mateiials anu technology. Aie we going to be able to SB piint oui
="/>2 That's a iapiuly changing anu emeiging aiea within builuing anu within
aichitectuie. Theie aie vaiious kinus of evaluation systems anu so foith to keep up with
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 16, 2u12 16
how gieen a mateiial is, oi how gieen a builuing is. You can go ueep into the technical
aspects of that. 0i, some of the geneial piinciples that most people aie piobably familiai
with aie: to look at a mateiial in teims of wheie its oiigin is, in teims of enviionmental
impact. value mateiials that aie available locally, anu aie not tianspoiteu veiy fai. We
tenu to value mateiials that have moie iecycleu content, oi aie, themselves, maue of
ienewable mateiials. Paiticulaily mateiials that aie biologically baseu anu that giow
iapiuly - those aie known as iapiuly ienewable mateiials, which also have the auueu
benefit of sequesteiing a ceitain amount of caibon in the piocess.
We look at the toxicity of the mateiials to filtei them foi the vaiious kinus of nasty things
that can be involveu in aichitectuial mateiials. We also look at the kinus of mateiials that
go into the inteiiois of builuings, so that theii toxicities uon't enu up polluting the inuooi
aii anu make us sick, anu so foith.
Theie's a whole complex iange of issues theie. It's a tough one when you tiy to measuie
that out scientifically. But I have a biothei who's involveu in social psychology anu
especially a fielu calleu "juugment anu uecision making." I've askeu him a numbei of times,
give me a methou foi how to ueciue all of these things. Anu his answei is basically, you can
get a pietty long uistance towaius the ultimate iight answei by having ' methou. So
uepenuing on the complexity, oi time anu oppoitunity someone has to invest in choosing
mateiials, having some methou. anu if you can uepenu on else that has uone that
evaluation foi you, you'ie going to make a lot bettei uecisions, usually, than if you uon't
have a methou at all. While people aigue about the uetails of the methous, they'ie ieally
aiguing about the last five oi ten peicent of the accuiacy in making uecisions. Fiom my
stanupoint, if you look at connecting back to the quauiants, these aie all questions that
aiise in the uppei-iight, in teims of the mateiial effectiveness that we might have in
making those uesign choices.
What's ieally inteiesting to me is what mateiials feel like. What is oui peisonal expeiience
of living with ceitain kinus of mateiials, anu also with the kinu of authenticity that's
possible in some mateiials anu not in otheis. I think if we began to look aiounu anu feel
the uiffeience between woiking on a uesk that's maue of woou, anu woiking on a uesk
that's maue of a plastic laminate with a pictuie of woou, howevei effective that mouein
pictuie of the woou is on the laminate, in my expeiience it's a completely uiffeient kinu of
expeiience of being with the uesigneu object.
I think we finu the same thing in cities. It's a veiy uiffeient expeiience walking acioss a
Euiopean paiking aiea with packeu giavel anu tiees inteimittently spaceu, veisus
walking acioss the paiking lot at the neighboihoou Taiget heie in Knoxville, acioss a veiy
long expanse of veiy hot asphalt. So those mateiials choices aie incieuibly impoitant to
the whole pictuie, both in teims of the peifoimance of cities, anu in teims of oui own
expeiience anu value, about whethei oui lives aie filleu with quality, oi not.
="/#*A12 Thanks Naik. That ieally iesonates with me. As I think about even how you
mentioneu eailiei Bill NcBonough thinks about ciaule-to-ciaule, anu actually was one of
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 16, 2u12 17
the fiist, with his paitnei Nichael Biaungait, actually looking at mateiials fiom theii
initial choice anu useu iight thiough to theii completeu cycle, back into the ietuin to
elements, iight uown to a biochemical peispective. I was always fascinateu by Chiistophei
Alexanuei, who askeu the question of his stuuents, using salt shakeis as an example.
Which one of them feels moie alive to you. This sense of oui own aliveness, embouieu
iesponse to mateiials anu uesign elements, is something that we neeu to ieawaken
ouiselves to.
="/>2 I agiee with you, anu iecommenu the book I&';($ #3 I&';($ to anyone who has
questions about the mateiials, lifecycles, anu the impoitant uistinction between natuial
ecocycles anu technical ecocycles. Theie's basically two kinus of mateiials out in the woilu.
Those that can be uegiaueu in biological piocesses, anu those that can't. The ones that
opeiate in the technical ecocycle we shoulu enueavoi to keep those in the cycle
inuefinitely, so that when we mine the aluminum out of the giounu, it stays out of the
giounu foievei. As opposeu to a biouegiauable mateiial which can ietuin back to the
eaith anu be absoibeu by the natuial sinks anu piocesses.
="/#*A12 That speaks to me about the iesponsibility we take as cieatois, iealizing theie
may be unexpecteu consequences. When we cieate aluminum, as an example, then we
have a iesponsibility foi actually following its life foiwaiu, not just thiowing it away.
Theie's no "out theie" out theie anymoie.
="/>2 |chucklingj Theie's no "away."
D/#+2 I heai you making impoitant uistinctions, like the thinking piocess that uistinguishes
between biouegiauable mateiials, foi instance, oi ones that have an extenueu life that
uoesn't uegiaue. That "tianscenu anu incluue" way of thinking that's pait of integial is
something we ieally want to biing foiwaiu in this confeience. I'm cuiious if you can speak
to moie key uistinctions, fiaming, ways of thinking about things that can help us moie
foiwaiu with a moie integial lens.
="/>2 0ne of my favoiite ways of thinking about it, since the theme foi touay anu this
week is to look at the stiuctuies anu systems in the lowei-iight peispective, is that it's a
veiy visible woilu that we have aiounu us. So we can think about the objects in oui woilu,
fiom winuows to cities, as being on a kinu of continuum of holaichic stiuctuie. When I'm
looking at a question about a winuow, I'm asking what's the laigei system that that
winuow paiticipates in. Let's say that's a wall, oi façaue. That façaue means one thing if
you place it in Niami, anothei thing if you place it in Faiibanks, Alaska. Bow you inteipiet
what it uoes anu what it means is veiy uiffeient in those two contexts. But if we continue
up |the holaichyj, you can think of a ioom as being composeu of a seiies of builuing
systems like walls, ioofs, floois. You can think of a builuing as being composeu of an
aiiangement, oi seiies of oiganizations of iooms. Then if you move up to the level of the
city, you can begin to think about inuiviuual elements at the uiban scale. Let's say a stieet,
a squaie, a builuing oi set of builuings. Then you can combine those basic elements into
patteins that make fabiics, say the fabiic of a neighboihoou. Anu so on.
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 16, 2u12 18
So that, as a kinu of funuamental stiuctuie, suggests that eveiything that we uesign, eveiy
pioblem that we can look at, has a context. It has a laigei whole in which it's a pait of. The
uesign question ieally begins with. anu one of my colleagues, Stiouu Watson, put this
veiy well. I useu to take him uown to Chattanooga, wheie he was woiking with city uesign
theie. Chattanooga hau a kinu of ienaissance unuei Stiouu's uesign leaueiship. Be'u say to
stuuents, "you aichitects, you think it's all about the builuing. You think it's youi peisonal
playgiounu to be expiessive with. You can uo that, but the fiist question foi you as a
uesignei ieally is, 'what uoes youi builuing have to contiibute to the pattein of the stieet.
What uoes you builuing have to contiibute to youi neighboihoou. What uoes this thing
that you'ie uesigning on youi site have to offei, completing a laigei iuea foi the city as a
whole.'" Be was asking the stuuents to look at seveial laigei ciicles of scale, above the
thing that they weie actually uesigning. I think this happens eveiywheie.
Foi instance, two blocks away fiom my stuuio theie's a little commeicial stiip that we
actually call "The Stiip." It's on Cumbeilanu Avenue. Theie's one little elegant iow of
builuings that aie built up on the siuewalk anu have stieet tiees in the fiont, anu they'ie
eaily 2u
centuiy, built out of masoniy, with nice stoie fionts. You walk uown the stieet,
anu theie's a kinu of pleasant expeiience; it feels alive, you can see what's in the stoies,
anu you feel goou about walking in anu getting youiself a beei at the local bai. But that
only happens foi one block. Since I've been at the univeisity heie, piobably ten oi twelve
yeais, my estimate is about half the builuings on that stieet have been iebuilt oi majoily
ienovateu. Yet no one has actually saiu, "hey, theie's a pattein which, if they can uo it on
that block, anu I uiu it on my block, then maybe the next peison woulu come along anu
help to complete that pattein." Insteau what we have is a seiies of little fiee-stanuing,
inuepenuent fast-foou joints that aie suiiounueu by a ciicle foi the uiive-thiough, anu the
iest of the site is completely taken up with paiking. So theie's a kinu of mis-fit between
seeing that theie's a possibility foi an inuiviuual action, which ovei a peiiou of only a few
yeais woulu actually auu up to cieate an entiiely uiffeient kinu of qualitative expeiience,
anu an entiiely uiffeient kinu of ieally piactical anu functional oiuei at the same time. So
that's one of the stiuctuies, just to see the woilu as a seiies of nesteu, holaichic systems,
nesteu systems within systems, in which eveiything is a pait, anu eveiything is a whole.
When we'ie uesigning something, we look to the laigei scale anu ask, what's the whole,
what's the pattein in which this paiticipates, anu to which my action as an inuiviuual oi as
an ownei, might contiibute.
E(,62 Bi Naik. I'm a piofessional plannei, city uesignei, that's the scale I'm woiking at.
I've noticeu that folks like us aie showing up moie anu moie in oui piofessions. What
peicentage woulu you estimate we aie, among uesign piofessionals. Anu seconu, how uo
you see piactices of piofessionals evolving to accommouate uesigneis in all quauiants.
="/>2 uieat questions. I'u have to give a wilu guess about the peicentage. 0ne of the
things woith noting is that people who aie natuially attiacteu to uesign anu planning aie
thinking at a veiy integiateu anu integial level in geneial. Whethei oi not they've auapteu
the mouel, theie's a ceitain cognitive complexity that people who aie aichitects, lanuscape
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 16, 2u12 19
aichitects, planneis, uiban uesigneis, they natuially uevelop those capacities. I think it
may uepenu on what you mean by "people like us." I think on ceitain lines, what gives me
hope foi the uesign fielus is that, geneially, they'ie aie veiy intelligent anu smait people,
capable of giappling with, anu who aie at least willing to attempt to giapple with,
completely unsolvable pioblems. In the sense that theie is no iational methouology by
which you can solve a pioblem with a thousanu vaiiables. Anu that's just the builuing,
with at least a thousanu vaiiables. A city - just multiply that by seveial oiueis of
magnituue. So I uon't know, ieally, what the answei to that is. I think that cognitively,
these people may be 7u-8u% integial thinkeis. In teims of values anu woiluviews, I woulu
guess it's maybe uouble the geneial population. So oveiall we might have 1u-12%
uesigneis who aie woiking at an integial level of piactice; that's a wilu guess. I think that
planneis, in paiticulai, aie piobably moie uieen, moie pluialistic in geneial than
aichitects. I uo finu lanuscape aichitects to be highly uevelopeu in teims of theii ecological
knowleuge, anu people like aichitects to be a bit moie foimalist anu in some ways not
ieally tuneu in neaily as much to the notion that the lanu might be a living system.
In teims of youi seconu questions ie: the piactices that might biing uesigneis foiwaiu, I
uon't know. That's a big, open-enueu question. I think in some ways the piactices one
might uo to uevelop as an integial uesignei aie not so unlike in geneial the piactices one
might uo to move foiwaiu in any kinu of integial uevelopment. Which is simply cieating
some kinu of integial tiansfoimative piactice that might engage the multiple peispectives
in some kinu of sequence, on a iegulai basis; anu in paiticulai, the ones that maybe we
feel less familiai with.
Biu you have any iueas, Beth, about what kinus of piactices those might be. 0i can you
shaie any expeiience fiom youi own self in uoing that.
E(,62 Foi my own self, I have an integial tiansfoimative piactice that has mutateu ovei
the yeais. I watch my piofession; I'm also the piesiuent of my piofessional association,
anu the neeu foi theie to be an awful woik on self, inuiviuually, anu ouiselves as a
collective, to be able to toleiate a laigei anu wiuei paiticipation fiom othei quauiants of
the city expeiience in actually uesigning anu co-cieating the city. Some piofessionals can
enu up in a iathei naiiow peispective of theii iole as an "expeit," anu finu it veiy uifficult
to let that go. I'm wonueiing what successes you've seen in youi piofessional piactice anu
teaching, wheie the piofessionals aie able to ielax anu sit in anu tiust the confiuence anu
co-cieativity of the wiuei city, client, stakeholueis, whatevei language you want to use.
="/>2 I think it helps if theie's a facilitatoi oi leauei in the piocess that can mouel that. I
think a lot of people aie willing to step out of theii ioles if they'ie challengeu anu given the
possibility. 0ne of those ways of moueling is a piactice of "ueep listening." 0ne of the ways
I've thought about that, anu have been taught to think about that, I guess, is to ieally
"listen foi the golu." Listen foi what it is that the othei peison may have to offei. In fact,
actually listening foi the commitment that's unueineath whatevei it is they'ie saying.
Paiticulaily if it's a complaint. In public piocesses, anu often in inteiuisciplinaiy teams,
people take on the ioles of being the complaineis. If we can tuin that aiounu anu say, "0K,
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 16, 2u12 2u
I heai you. Anu unueineath that, I'm heaiing that you'ie ieally committeu to something."
Then we can kinu of tease out what theii ieal conceins aie. Anu we can have some
ielationship to those conceins. Anu give them some voice. Anu then they'ie moie willing
to paiticipate, I guess.
I think theie's a lot of piactices, in geneial, that aie necessaiy foi evolution of oui
inuiviuual awaieness. I think the uifficult pait of that is that it takes so long. So even in
school, let's say in my case, I might have a stuuent foi 14 weeks. I'm not inteiesteu, oi
attempting to tiy to move them up a level in theii awaieness. I'm basically tiying to woik
with wheie they aie. Anu hope that ovei the entiie couise of theii foui oi five yeais in
aichitectuie school, that they will have uevelopeu in many ways. But the oveiall iesult
sometimes comes up much latei.
="/#*A12 Naik, what you aie saying aiounu piofessionals iesonates with what we leaineu
fiom oui Cultuial Piactitioneis yesteiuay. They talkeu about the ueep neeu to piactice
Listening, anu also the Respect of 0theis. That's what I heai you talking about with youi
stuuents, that as in all integial piactice, anu in Integial Intelligence in the city, is, we must
allow people to be who they aie, wheie they aie. Peihaps as uesigneis, oui iesponsibility
is to cieate the habitats foi theii next natuial step, oi theii next natuial capability as
uesigneis. So this is a beautiful place to concluue oui uialogue touay. Thank you so much
Naik foi shaiing youi ueep insights about Integial Sustainable Besign anu how it biings
such a life giving view to the stiuctuies of city opeiating systems.

Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 2, 2u12

!"#"$% '()*(+,#-( ./0"12 31,(0/"* 31,(* 31%#4(
56", "14 76(/( "/( 7( #89*(8(1,#10 %,/:+,:/"*;#1)/"%,/:+,:/"* #1,(**#0(1+(<
Speakeis: Naileen Kaptein anu Alex von 0ost
Bost: Beth Sanueis
Septembei 1S, 2u12
="/*((1 >"9,(#1? a foimei theatiical uesignei anu inteiioi aichitect
is the initiatoi anu catalyst of EvA Lanxmeei. Naileen, seeking a moie
sustainable way of builuing housing in uiban aieas, cieateu stiong
paitneiships among (lanuscape) aichitects, consultants, futuie
inhabitants. In 1994 she founueu the EvA Founuation anu founu in the
city of Culemboig a ueuicateu paitnei foi the uevelopment of an
ecological housing uistiict, baseu on the integial EvA piinciples. EvA
Lanxmeei's Suu houses (built fiom 1999 to 2u1u) has become a high quality,
enviionmentally fiienuly neighboihoou that incoipoiates many of the piinciples of eco-
towns. Its piincipal oiiginality is the constant paiticipation of (futuie) inhabitants
who weie incluueu in a cieative uesigning piocess with all othei expeits: fiom top-uown
to bottom-up. EvA Lanxmeei is now iegaiueu as a mouel in Euiope by Eneigie-Cités anu
in Fiance. EvA Lanxmeei anu Naileen (who iesiues theie) aie iecognizeu as inteinational
iefeients, iegulaily visiteu by aichitects, uibanists, uevelopeis, futuiists anu
activists inteiesteu in sustainable uevelopment.
@*(A B"1 .C%, is a city plannei, foimeily with the Netheilanus new city
of Almeie. Be co-uevelopeu with Almeie stakeholueis, anu aichitect,
William NcBonough, the Almeie Piinciples, which set out the piinciples
foi an oiganic city baseu on NcBonough's ciaule-to-ciaule fiamewoik.
Alex has since moveu to noithein Bollanu anu is now the stiategic
spatial uesignei foi the Piovince of Bienthe, NL. Alex is also co-cieating
with his paitnei, Kaien Rikkeis, Senioi Stiategy Auvisoi at Allianuei, an
innovative expeiiment in competitive co-uesign foi the Eneigetic City 2uSu - a pioject to
ieinvent eneigy piouuction anu use off the giiu in 2uSu.
(Note: A puf file about EvA Lanxmeei is posteu on the membei website heie. Also a link
to the Almeie Piinciples anu Eneigetic City 2uSu uiscusseu below).
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 2, 2u12 2
D(,62 I am ieally cuiious touay, I have a question foi both of you whethei it's about EvA
Lanxmeei oi Eneigetic City 2uSu, how we can ieally cieate a civic enviionment foi oui
cities that is life-sustaining foi us .
Naileen I'm going to touch base with you fiist anu specific to EvA Lanxmeei, tell us how
you - anu I know that you woikeu with a numbei of othei people - but how have you
uesigneu foi life-sustaining eneigy in the stiuctuies anu systems that you built in the
="/*((12 EvA Lanxmeei. Well the pioject is complex as you know, so the uesign of this
whole |placej was an inteiactive piocess between the most ielevant paities anu as you
saiu alieauy we founu a municipality, as oui main paitnei, who maue this pioject possible
in the fiist place. But we hau a whole team of 1u uiffeient uisciplines anu people who
woikeu with us anu we oiganizeu a piocess that we uevelopeu in two yeais befoie the
builuing piocess staiteu. So it was an exciting time - it was a new plan in the Netheilanus
that uiun't exist befoie so we weie all kinu of in a pioneei state anu also finuing oui way to
uevelop anu implement oui goals which was fascinating - anu luckily also leu to a pioject
wheie we aie veiy happy. I myself also live heie anu enjoy it with all my neighbois.
D(,62 Who aie all the paitneis you biought togethei Naileen.
="/*((12 Well fiist . my whole iuea staiteu with the pioblem I iecognizeu in the
Netheilanus that the goveinment hau in ieaching people with theii new policy of
sustainability in the late 8u's. Anu I thought that they weie kinu of abstiact in theii
infoimation anu I thought I coulu builu peihaps - by showing solutions in the live
enviionment anu biinging people in touch with the qualities that belong with sustainable
measuies. Anu I wiote a pioposal anu I founu ten people - people that I knew in my
netwoiks - aichitect, lanuscape aichitects, eneigy specialists, peimacultuie specialists,
people who woik in healthcaie, oi school teacheis - anu we all woikeu out this concept.
Anu then the city of Culemboig heaiu about us anu was inteiesteu anu wanteu to contact
us. You know to cieate a neighboihoou iequiies so many uisciplines, anu when people
also want to be pait of it, you have to oveicome youi own limits peihaps even. Anu you
ieally have to wish to coopeiate togethei anu woik on one laigei whole togethei. Anu
that's what we uiu, in fact.
D(,62 That's quite a iange of people - can you paint us a pictuie about what you built.
="/*((12 A neighboihoou on a site of about 24 hectaies (one hectaie is about 1u,uuu
squaie meteis). The unusual thing is that it was pait of a uiinking watei piotectoiate of a
uiinking watei company anu the lanu was a foimei agiicultuie zone that came available
because this company hau to go to a ueepei level anu also pump clean uiinking watei - but
that is anothei uetail. The city was able to buy the lanu foi this pioject anu we hau a goal
to builu at least 2Su houses, because also people who weie on the boaiu of the founuation
- two piofessois - saiu that the most, the gieatest, piofit when you look at sustainability,
is founu in the infiastiuctuie knowleuge in the inuiviuual houses. What we also wanteu
was to be in haimony with the existing natuie; that's pait of the oiganic aichitectuie
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 2, 2u12 S
piinciples that we followeu. So we uesigneu this uistiict within the existing lanuscape,
iespecting qualities that weie founu, like an olu iiveibeu that was iestoieu. We also
wanteu a biological faim. Theie is a huge oichaiu in the miuule of the uistiict. So we
uesigneu this whole uistiict aiounu a piotecteu zone of the watei company, anu with
sustainable eneigy. It's uifficult to mention all the uetails. But what can I auu to what
I've shaieu.
D(,62 I am cuiious to know how many people aie living theie now oi how many houses
say. Anu what kinu of houses.
="/*((12 Suu houses, seveial offices, five schools. anu 9uu to 1,uuu inhabitants at the
D(,62 Wow, that's a wonueiful neighboihoou. So you've got the basic seivices one woulu
expect in a neighboihoou to be theie, because I heaiu you say schools anu offices.
0bviously theie aie people living theie, theie aie people able to woik theie. Bow uoes the
infiastiuctuie woik that you have theie. Basic things like watei, wastewatei, gaibage,
foou. Bow uo those systems woik in EvA Lanxmeei.
="/*((12 Pait of the whole uistiict was set up as a uemonstiation pioject foi sustainable
uevelopment, anu theiefoie foi instance, the watei concept is uiviueu in foui stieams. We
collecteu iainwatei that comes fiom the ioofs in ponus anu also lovely elements in the
lanuscape. The iainwatei that falls on the stieets goes to uitches anu they aie leu away
fiom the piotecteu zone. The householu wastewatei is puiifieu biologically in ieeu beu
systems at the boiueis of the uistiict. Anu only the toilet watei is going into the sewage of
the municipality.
We uiu have a plan foi a biogas plant to ieuse the eneigy that is in the wastewatei of
toilets but that was pait of the builuing that we have not been able to iealize. So at this
moment only toilet watei is leu to the municipality sewage system, anu the iest is puiifieu
locally, anu also in the lanuscape visible foi eveiyone.
D(,62 All the watei that folks neeu comes fiom the site anu it is not pipeu in fiom the
municipality. Say youi uiinking watei - uo youi pipes come into youi neighboihoou oi is
all the watei you neeu alieauy theie.
="/*((12 That is fiom the local uiinking watei company, which is pait of the whole city of
Culemboig watei system.
D(,62 You mentioneu the places foi foou to giow. Coulu you tell us a little bit moie about
="/*((12 Yes, that was pait of oui concept, to biing people in touch with natuie again,
anu also with wheie oui foou comes fiom, anu also as an activity zone, peihaps - you can
join if you like, anu help the faimeis. So pait of the uistiict is a faim of five hectaies, anu
we have oui foou locally piouuceu. They have a lot of clients, anu the iest of the town as
well, anu fiom towns aiounu Culemboig. That was one of the goals that we wanteu to
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 2, 2u12 4
accomplish. To close cycles anu biing natuie anu foou piouuction visible again in the
quality of oui lives.
D(,62 That biings me to my next question, which is about the eneigy that the builuings
neeu, anu what aie you uoing on that fiont. Electiicity anu that kinu of thing.
="/*((12 Again, being a uemonstiation pioject, we wanteu to make things visible foi a
laigei public - the houses have solai panels foi waim watei systems, anu most of the
houses have laige photovoltaic seivices on the ioofs. The whole uistiict is uesigneu to
make use of passive solai eneigy, anu the offices also use similai heating systems. We
have low tempeiatuie heating systems in the walls in oui houses, so we uon't have
iauiatois in fiont of the winuows. We all have low tempeiatuie heating in the walls. Aftei
the fiist phase that was built - aftei the fiist SS houses weie iealizeu - we oiganizeu the
local city heating system baseu on low tempeiatuie. It was baseu on the tempeiatuie of
the giounuwatei fiom the uiinking watei company. So we hau woikeu togethei with this
company anu oui eneigy expeits - anu foi instance in my house, I uon't have a heatei
upstaiis. I only have this low tempeiatuie system in the walls. I enjoy a veiy low-cost
eneigy system.
D(,62 I neeu to ask a veiy piactical question. I live in Eumonton Westein Canaua, which is
not by any stietch Noithein Canaua, but it is ceitainly noithein Noith Ameiica, anu
whenevei we aie talking about new iueas on any kinu of fiont, the typical question is
"Boes it woik in a wintei climate." So I just neeu to ask the question, what is the weathei
like in youi place.
="/*((12 Well it is a moueiate climate. In wintei. like the last winteis weie iathei
seveie. I think we hau tempeiatuies of -1S° Celsius. Sometimes winteis aie moie gentle
like five below zeio. But the last yeais weie quite colu - foi instance we coulu skate in the
uistiict on this olu iiveibeu that we iestoieu. I uon't know the tempeiatuie wheie you
D(,62 In the wintei wheie I am, it can get to -Su°C oi -4u°C. That woulu be typical. Bow
waim uoes it get |wheie you aiej.
="/*((12 Well a few weeks ago. noimally we have a veiy moueiate sea climate. we
have summeis of say 2S°C to 24°C. all ieally veiy pleasant, anu in August we hau some
uays. a week peihaps. tempeiatuies about Su°C. anu also foi the iest of the
D(,62 I'm just going to check in with Alex, because you've given us an insight how
specifically you builu a physical enviionment that is veiy iesponsive to a site anu habitat,
anu supei iesponsive to the uieam that you've been holuing foi a long time, that you
founu othei people to woik with anu pull it off. Anu Alex hau a iathei inteiesting uieam
that he is woiking on iight now aiounu the Eneigetic City 2uSu. Alex coulu you please tell
us what that this is all about.
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 2, 2u12 S
@*(A2 Yes, well I can give it a tiy. It's one of my latest piojects anu foi the fiist time it's a
collaboiation with the woman I love, with my wife. Bei name is Kaien Rikkeis. We
uieameu togethei of this pioject, anu how it enhanceu the view of the ielationship
between eneigy, city anu uaily life in the city. So we came up with this pioject calleu
Eneigetic City 2uSu. Which is a |foim ofj speculative anu competitive uesign ieseaich,
with thiee piofessional teams consisting of five people each, anu two stuuent teams anu
two aitists. We gave them all the same question, which is pait of the quest of Eneigetic
City 2uSu: 3) 9(C9*( #1 EFGF ,"H( +"/( C) ,6(#/ C71 (1(/0I? 76", 7#** ,6( +#,I *CCH
*#H(< The cential question we put into this uesign ieseaich foi aitists, aichitects,
economists, sociologists |was aimeu atj a tiansuisciplinaiy team. Foi the last couple of
months we have been on what we call an expeuition within the city of Ainhem, NL. It's an
existing city of about 1uu,uuu people. Plus we aie tiying to wiuen oui thoughts in answei
to what can be the oveiiiuing system foi a city like that, when this is the cential question.
People take caie of theii own eneigy, anu fossil fuels aien't available anymoie, oi you
can't pay foi them anymoie in 2uSu. So what kinu of solutions can we come up with, anu
how will this question anu this uevelopment tiansfoim the city. 0f couise it is a
theoietical question, but we think it's pait of an existing question, anu pait of a futuie
question, because in 2uSu, 8u peicent of people will live in cities, so we neeu to come up
with answeis.
So my wife anu I saiu, can we cieate a pioject that will speeu up oui piofessions, speeu up
connections in uay-to-uay life with citizens, to make it as a kinu of call to action. So we
staiteu now with Su people, anu pait of the ciew of the expeuition, anu will finish this
pioject in the stait of 0ctobei with a Futuie City Festival which will attiact about S,uuu
people. So we see this kinu of a pioject as a kinu of "flywheel" foi engagement on this scale
on these topics.
D(,62 I'm fascinateu by youi Su people being a ciew foi the expeuition. We hau a
conveisation last week when we weie looking at the Planet of Cities - that was the theme
foi the week - anu one of oui speakeis invokeu the notion - look when you'ie embaiking
on a big oi small pioject, you neeu to be woiking with people that shaie youi vision, etc.
But the othei thing he saiu is, you neeu to hang out with the kinu of people you'u be happy
with if you weie stianueu on an islanu. Anu to me that's soit of a similai thing; if you'ie on
a ship going out on an expeuition, oi it's just you anu youi iesouices, whethei oi not
you'ie on a ship, oi you aie in the wilueiness - what aie the qualities of people you want
on youi expeuition, that you neeu to fully access the wisuom that they have.
@*(A2 Well of couise we uiscoveieu those qualities along the way, anu of couise we fiist
uesigneu this piocess, anu we saiu, well, we neeu tiansuisciplinaiy teams - so aichitects,
uiban planneis, lanuscape aichitects, but also aitists, also economic scientists, agiicultuial
people, maiketing people. So fiist of all we saiu, the qualities we neeu aie uiveise - we
neeu a lot of uiveisity, because the challenges we aie facing uon't have a single stiaight
answei, anu we neeu all the uiffeient points of view, anu mix it in oiuei to be able to come
up with answeis. So that's one. A uiveisity of ciaftsmanship I woulu say.
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 2, 2u12 6
I think maybe the biggest competence we neeu is flexibility. This whole pioject has been a
test in auaptability anu flexibility, because eveiy time we came togethei, things tuineu out
to be uiffeient, oi we came up with questions that we haun't confionteu yet. So it has been
anu it still is one big exeicise in flexibility anu auaptability. So I think to take on a pioject
like this, of couise, it is goou to have people you like. But I think it's even moie impoitant
that you aie togethei with people who aie able to auapt to uiffeient ciicumstances. Anu
foi my wife anu I, it's also been a big challenge, because you plan foi things, anu often it
tuins out completely uiffeient, so you neeu to auapt in that moment on the spot. So I think
that is a veiy big anu neeueu quality foi these types of expeuitions.
Anu you neeu openness - the open minus, open heaits to giow as a team anu to be able to
leain, because this pioject is also uesigneu as a leaining expeiience. Anu it has been a
leaining expeiience on uiffeient levels. So those aie thiee qualities we neeu: uiveisity,
flexibility anu openness.
D(,62 Bow uo you maintain youi peispective thiough all of this, with all the unceitainty.
You aie a city plannei anu I am a city plannei, so we know about the value of planning, but
things change anu it iequiies us to be able to auapt. But I'm wonueiing what you uo to
look aftei youiself in the miust of all the uiveisity, flexibility anu the openness.
@*(A2 Bo you mean that as a piofessional oi uo you mean that peisonally oi uo you mean
the couise of the pioject anu the uestination weie heauing foi.
D(,62 I guess incieasingly I'm looking at the piofessional anu the peisonal as viitually the
same thing. So foi youiself in the miust of all of the woik that you aie uoing, how uo you
maintain youi own peisonal life-sustaining eneigy.
@*(A2 That's a goou question. Because what you often see in having those uieams like
this. it's not been my fiist uieam, woiking on biggei piojects oi with a lot of people -
sometimes theie is this tenuency to giow anu giow, anu sometimes theie is this notion
that you can contiol it, anu then when you stait tiying to contiol it, it uoesn't flow
anymoie. Ny biggest lessons so fai on woiking on things like this has been to be tiustful
oi have confiuence that what is theie, is what is neeueu. So we ueal with the people we
have on the teams. Anu sometimes you think: Is this all iight. I long foi bettei people oi
foi moie clevei people. Anu it's the same foi youi peisonal life. Sometimes I'm haish on
myself - |I thinkj I coulu have uone oi piepaieu bettei. It's also piactising being humble to
what is tiying to evolve, maybe thiough you, oi thiough myself, anu so I piactise on my
openness - foi myself too - a lot. To tiy anu stay in touch with what inspiies me oi what
come thiough me as iueas oi neeus to be put foiwaiu. Bence I can say that is a challenge.
D(,62 Aie you comfoitable in shaiing with us what you uo to allow things to simply
@*(A2 Well suie. 0ne of the things is, I meuitate. So I tiy to finu moments in my hectic life
to get in touch with my suiiounuings, natuie oi the lanuscape I live in. I take long walks
with the uog oi with my wife anu just connect to my place, to my context. I finu that veiy
soothing, oi in a way, comfoiting, anu feeling connecteu to the biggei thing, the biggei
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 2, 2u12 7
scheme anu that helps to finu youi place in the stieam of life. Anu I also tiy to take caie of
myself with just eating goou foou, vegetaiian foou, exeicise. }ust noimal things, but taking
caie of youi heait is, I think, one of the most uifficult things. Anu I piactice vulneiability,
because when something huits, it is easiei to contiact than to stay open. Anu I think what
we all neeu, oi what the woilu neeus - what we as a people neeu - is openness oi
connection, anu theie can't be a connection if you aie shut oi closeu. But that is a uifficult
thing. It's not something we aie taught, oi see as a common piactice aiounu us. So it's
something you have to uiscovei.
D(,62 We aie in the piocess of uiscoveiing how these eneigy systems move in us, anu you
aie just aiticulating how this happens wonueifully, anu how these eneigy systems move
up into laigei anu laigei systems - such as a city, oi the planet of cities, oi the whole
planet. 0ui theme foi this week is uaia's Reflective 0igan. You have just given us some
peisonal examples anu peisonal piactices all the way up to a uieam of a big city of the
I want to weave Naileen back in, with what I think is a pietty stiaightfoiwaiu question
that Naileen is going to have lots to say about - what aie the qualities of healthy city
stiuctuies that suppoit the well-being of all.
="/*((12 Foi me it is to have an enviionment aiounu you that you can feel with all youi
senses. Not only the noimal five senses, but what I leaineu uuiing seveial yeais of oiganic
aichitectuie that theie is this whole spiiitual, biggei fielu - that we aie, as humans, pait of
a biggei whole, anu that we expeiience that also with oui senses that we uon't noimally
know about. But foi me, to be in this enviionment with so much natuie, anu moie than Su
peicent of my well-being comes about in this lanuscape that I'm a pait of. this uistiict
that I live in.
D(,62 You aie just evoking such a big pictuie about how poweiful it woulu be if we each
walkeu aiounu oui homes, oui neighboihoous, oui cities, oui planet, fully taking in
eveiything with all of oui senses. Because that's a ieally stiong imageiy you've just
biought foiwaiu foi me. I'm wonueiing what the qualities aie of the physical stiuctuies
that we builu that woulu suppoit the well-being of all.
="/*((12 Well the physical stiuctuies - it is not only the mateiials that shoulu be
sustainable anu shoulu be healthy anu goou quality oi ceitificateu goou, but it's also the
uimensions of the stiuctuies anu the peisonal wishes of people who live theie. Bow the
builuing is uesigneu; how they aie placeu in natuie. I must say that is not an easy question
foi me to answei because that uepenus on whethei you want to builu a huge office oi uo
you want to builu a peisonal home oi an apaitment builuing. But always it is about how
uimensions aie ielateu to the mateiials you use, colois that aie useu.
D(,62 Can you uesciibe the choices of the colois you maue foi the homes in EvA Lanxmeei
anu why you chose that.
="/*((12 Well in fact, Baibaia Eble-uiebnei, the wife of }oachim Eble, the uiban plannei
anu one of the aichitects of this uistiict, she maue a coloi concept foi the whole uistiict.
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 2, 2u12 8
They aie natuial colois, anu the paint that is useu is all natuial paint, anu it gives a kinu of
balance aiounu the whole uistiict. The colois |iecuij anu theie is not a totally inuiviuual
choice by eveiyone - houses aie in balance with each othei. The coloi pattein is also kinu
of a peace-giving pattein that is thioughout the uistiict.
D(,62 When you talk about the uimensions of builuings, what uiu you enu up choosing foi
youi uimensions of builuings - whethei they weie the homes oi the office oi schools.
="/*((12 What I peihaps have not emphasizeu enough is that pait of oui whole uesigning
piocess was woiking togethei with futuie inhabitants, anu that we involveu them in the
piocess, anu also staiteu with an investigation about what kinu of house woulu you like.
So we ieally wanteu to involve people who aie going to live theie, because it is theii
uistiict. Anu theie became a whole vaiiety of wishes fiom people |about theiij inuiviuual
homes. In the Netheilanus you often builu in ioaus. We uiu not want to have many villas
because we neeueu uensity in the Netheilanus, because we uo not have so much space.
But theie aie many people who also wanteu to have an apaitment, anu theie aie people,
foi instance, who have a penthouse on top of an office. So theie is a whole vaiiety of small
apaitments, smallei houses, laigei houses. Also a few initiatives came fiom aichitects who
wanteu to iealize theii own uieams, anu so we have houses within glass houses, foi
instance - 18 houses in total that aie ieally exceptional - wonueiful to live in, I think, anu
beautiful to look at when you also have teiiaces insiue youi house anu behinu these glass
walls. So theie is a whole vaiiety baseu on the wishes anu tastes of people who joineu anu
wanteu to be a citizen heie.
D(,62 Naileen can you tell us how you woikeu with people to uo this co-cieative soit of
piocess. What uiu you uo.
="/*((12 It was one of the unusual things that I think still ieally auueu to the success that
we hau. When I staiteu this whole pioject, I liveu in Amsteiuam. It was 199S anu I hau
laige netwoiks, so I hau wiitten a pioposal anu hanueu it out to many people. Anu alieauy
befoie we got in touch with the city of Culemboig, theie weie 82 families that saiu,
wheievei you finu a place, we want to live in such a uistiict. So we hau alieauy a whole
gioup of people aiounu us that weie inteiesteu, anu hau not signeu a contiact, but the
wonueiful thing was that the uiiectoi of the planning uepaitment in Culemboig was veiy
open to the fact that we hau so many people who weie wanting to join in. Be maue it
possible to give them a ceitain iole uuiing this whole piocess, befoie the builuing, in fact,
staiteu. Then we got a subsiuy fiom the Ninistei of Bousing, who was also inteiesteu in
this pioject. I think even Alex was theie at that time to join. So you weie one of the 7u
people we oiganizeu, thiee weeks long, eveiy weekenu, woikshops foi people who weie
inteiesteu, anu we staiteu to infoim them totally about the uepth of eveiy concept. We
hau lectuies about the integial watei concept. Lectuies about aichitectuie anu lanuscape
that we wanteu to uesign. About the piinciples. We hau the location at the time, but we
wanteu to give them a ueep insight in all the qualities, so that they woulu be able to be a
paitnei on speaking teims about it. Anu the city gave them a place, anu even aftei two
yeais |whenj they staiteu theii Association of inhabitants, then they weie inviteu to join
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 2, 2u12 9
in the pioject gioup, anu ieally became pait of the planning phase. So the city was veiy
open to incluue these people, anu they unueistoou it woulu be pait of the success of this
pioject that you make it a ieal peisonal expeiience. It tuineu out anothei wonueiful thing,
the city maue also pieces of lanu available - pait of the uistiict is built in kinu of a
couityaiu situation, anu we all have inuiviuual gaiuens. But we all aie also besiue lanu in a
communal gaiuen |maue availablej foi a cheapei piice - this was ieally the basis foi a
veiy ueep social life togethei in this uistiict. We uesigneu these gaiuens togethei, we uo
the maintenance togethei, was also the basis of new initiatives by people who wanteu to
take new steps. It has become a veiy lively pioject, anu at this moment the inhabitants
have, in fact, taken ovei the whole maintenance of the uistiict.
They have oiganizeu anu they aie now the ownei of an eneigy company - they have taken
ovei the local eneigy company that was situateu in the uiinking watei company. So they
ieally want to be iesponsible anu cieate theii own lives, anu that was the whole wish foi
the EvA pioject. To cieate ciicumstances foi people to be the uesigneis of theii own lives.
D(,62 So Alex, as a paiticipant in these eaily woikshops, what was that like foi you.
@*(A2 What it uiu to me was - it toucheu me, because these types of piojects weie pait of
the uieam I hau myself, anu Naileen was a big example foi me. The thing she uiu was
showing what is possible, anu at that time I was still a stuuent, so I was able to integiate
these types of expeiiences in my own stuuies, focusing my stuuies at the faculty of
aichitectuie aiounu sustainability. Thiough the yeais, Naileen anu I always stayeu in
touch, anu I woikeu foi the city of Almeie also, foi ten yeais. Anu the uieam of EvA
Lanxmeei - in a way, I tiieu to implement it on a city level in the city of Almeie, with
piinciples I leaineu in EvA Lanxmeei, but then on a biggei scale. Foi me it's been an
empoweiing expeiience.
D(,62 Alex can you tell us about the Almeie Piinciples
. Tell us about what they aie.
@*(A2 The Almeie Piinciples aie kinu of a ueclaiation oi agenua oi iueological fiamewoik.
In 2uu6, the city of Almeie was askeu by the cential goveinment to uouble in size, to builu
an extia 6u,uuu uwellings, anu cieate anothei 1uu,uuu new jobs. We calleu this pioject the
"scale jump-Almeie." Almeie is one of the new towns in Bollanu, anu it's now about
19u,uuu inhabitants anu it shoulu giow to SSu,uuu inhabitants. 0f couise these aie all
quantitative numbeis, but the coie of this question was the qualitative question - how can
we uo this in a sustainable way. Bow can we enhance the alieauy existing city anu its
enviionment by this type of huge uevelopment - this huge giowth. At that time I was the
Sustainability Auvisoi foi the city, woiking foi the city, anu I was in the lucky position that
I coulu auvise my alueiman to be in touch with Bill NcBonough, because he was asking me,
uo I know a peison - a uesignei inteinationally who can cope with a question like this.
Anu the only one I knew of was Bill NcBonough.

See e.g. http:¡¡¡2u11¡u4¡2u¡almeie-piinciples-guiue-city-giowth¡
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 2, 2u12 1u
So we set out on an expeuition with him, also collaboiating with Nichael Biaungait, in
ueveloping the Almeie Piinciples. They weie inspiieu by the woik that hau been uone by
Bill NcBonough anu Nichael Biaungait foi the Banovei Piinciples - the uesign guiuelines
foi the Woilu Expo in 2uuu in Banovei, anu, of couise, latei in the sustainability
philosophy of Ciaule-to-Ciaule. The pioactive anu innovative appioach that was pait of
Ciaule-to-Ciaule, iecognizeu by us anu also my alueiman, that that was the next step in
sustainability thinking - foi us, sustainability thinking 2.u. We woikeu closely togethei foi
a couple of months with the office of Bill NcBonough, anu we uevelopeu these seven
Almeie Piinciples.
If you aie talking about piinciples foi healthy city stiuctuie fiom a physical point of view,
one of the piinciples is "uesign healthy systems." We saiu that to sustain the city, we
woulu use Ciaule-to-Ciaule solutions, iecognizing the inteiuepenuence at all scales of
ecological, social anu economic health. 0f couise, we useu the simple concepts that aie
pait of Ciaule-to-Ciaule, like waste equals foou, iely on ienewable eneigy souices, anu
iespect uiveisity. But we enhanceu those piinciples, anu we uesigneu an extia six, like
cultivate uiveisity, connect place anu context, combine the city anu natuie, anticipate
change, continue innovation, anu last but not least, empowei people to make the city.
Togethei these piinciples aie a kinu of manifesto - an act of cultuie fiom oui own city of
Almeie, to confiont these challenges we weie facing as a city, anu as a countiy, anu as a
woilu, in a positive way. Because a lot of times it's not possible to uo it. To quote Bill
NcBonough, "uesign is the fiist signal of human intention." That ieally stiuck me, that
uesign can be aligneu oi tuneu in with youi intention, as an inuiviuual, oi even moie
poweifully, as a gioup of citizens, who aie even moie poweiful as a whole city. That was
my uieam, that as a city of Almeie, we coulu collaboiate along the way, step-by-step, anu
tiansfoim into a tiuly sustainable city. That woik is still in piogiess. I left the city about
two yeais ago, but I see that the uevelopment is still continuing. 0f couise it's not easy,
anu with political changes, it changes oi becomes moie uifficult, but these Almeie
Piinciples aie kinu of an anchoi point - they offei guiuance - foi all those who aie
involveu in the fuithei uesign of Almeie as a sustainable city, foi the next uecaue.
I'm still veiy piouu of being pait of the piocess, anu being able to put that maik on the
hoiizon, anu inspiie othei people to woik with these types of piinciples. Because I think
they aie pait of the integial appioach, because they aie inviting anu also honoiing the
inuiviuual powei of people anu the collective powei of people.
D(,62 They stanu out foi me like a gioup of people going on an expeuition thiough a
mountain iange, like tiail maikeis - you've left nice cleai tiail maikeis foi people.
I am going to swing ovei foi a moment back to Naileen. When people visit EvA Lanxmeei,
what is the most common thing that people notice as they aie walking thiough it.
="/*((12 When people come - usually gioups who inquiie - we give them a piesentation
about the whole pioject, incluuing all the piocesses, etc. Then we have a guiueu walk of
about 1V houis, noimally. But what I finu iemaikable is that whethei people aie "high oi
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 2, 2u12 11
low" - people who come heie aie Loiu mayois oi ministeis of Fiance, oi big uiiectois of
big companies, oi aichitects, oi gioups of inhabitants - |no mattei whoj in fact, they ieact
out of being a human being. So they almost all ieact out of theii solai plexus - feeling,
insteau of an intellectual ieaction. That is what I ieally enjoy, that people feel just a human
being heie.
D(,62 That's poweiful. That's a measuie of success, in my book. Alex, I am ieally stiuck -
I'm a city plannei, you'ie a city plannei. I'm ieally stiuck by the couiage that you have to
take such a big piogiessive view of youi woik, anu I'm wonueiing what's youi hot tip foi
fellow planneis that aie uieaming, anu just neeu to finu the couiage. Bo you have any hot
tips foi folks like that.
@*(A2 I think I talkeu about it alieauy fiom my peisonal point of view. Listen to youi heait.
Baie to follow youi heait. 0f couise that's easiei saiu than uone. Foi me. I've giown into
this fiom a youngstei, fonu of auventuie anu fonu of tiaveling. so I think it's alieauy pait
of my genes oi BNA. I uon't finu it too uifficult to uo. 0f couise. I can imagine |big uieamsj
. anu sometimes theie is feai. too. But like I saiu, what can ieally happen. What is youi
feai foi not uoing |youi uieamj. Foi me it's been a veiy iewaiuing expeiience to follow
my passion anu to follow my heait, anu leaining that it is a piactice of stumbling foiwaiu.
It's not that you know the path - but it's about tiusting youi instincts, tiusting youi gut. So
that is my hot tip - uaie to listen to what is insiue of you, anu tiust it.
D(,62 Well that's a pietty poweiful notion actually. To just simply tiust youiself anu what
youi self knows - that's pietty poweiful.
JK@ )/C8 ":4#(1+(2
L#"1(2 A speakei yesteiuay spoke about using the momentum, the eneigy that people
have, in tiying to quickly uevelop something, so that eneigy is quickly mateiializeu. Ny
question has to uo with, how uo you choose whethei to move veiy quickly on a pioject, oi
having a long piocess of people being involveu, talking anu uieaming, anu that kinu of
thing. Is it uepenuent on the people theie that aie willing to paiticipate, anu what they aie
wanting, oi on the uigency of the pioject that neeus to be finisheu.
="/*((12 That is inteiesting - that is just what happeneu almost 2u yeais ago - we aie
talking about the eaily 9us - it was my ieaction to a pioblem that I iecognizeu in society.
The fact that we hau a long piocess is because you cannot uo it alone. You have to fiist
answei - give shape to youi own feelings about the pioblem that you see, anu then finu
paitneis to uevelop it with you fuithei. Anu then finu a possibility to iealize it. In oui case
it was, in fact, happening quite quickly, if I may compaie it to many othei piojects that I
have witnesseu. But the fact that you finu a city who wants to buy the lanu necessaiily, etc.
- this kinu of pioject you cannot uevelop oveinight. It is a long way that you have to tiavel,
but you can make use of the momentum when it aiises. Anu that is, in fact, what we uiu.
We knew that it was not something that you coulu uo in a week oi a month, anu in fact, it
was also the ieason that in the beginning it uiu not appeal to pioject uevelopeis, who, in
geneial, at that time weie much moie inteiesteu in theii piofit in a much shoitei time. So
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 2, 2u12 12
we took the time to have oui piocess. Anu I'm veiy happy to say that it has been totally
|extiaoiuinaiyj iesults of how it came about - it was fai bettei anu moie beautiful anu
moie pleasant than we coulu have evei imagineu. Especially because of the iole that
inhabitants took on. So sometimes you have to be patient, but still you can make use of the
D(,62 Alex uo you have any thoughts on the woik that you have uone anu the woik that
you will uo all the way to 2uSu.
@*(A2 I think momentum is always pait of the success, using the momentum oi
iecognizing the momentum. Anu it's not that theie is only one momentum. Someone once
tolu me it's like a sushi bai |with ievolving uishesj anu sometimes the challenge oi the
moment comes aiounu again, but maybe at that time, someone has alieauy taken the uish
fiom the ciiculating plates. Nomentum is impoitant, but I uon't have a key foi iecognizing
momentum. If I look at myself - it often shows itself when things fall into place easily, anu
things stait coinciuing without too much effoit - people calling each othei at the same
moment, anu stumbling upon things without ieally looking foi them. Foi me, that is
always a signal about something that wants to emeige.
0ften it's also about meeting the iight people. They stait asking you about things that you
neeu at this moment. So it is about tiusting that things aie theie at this moment to make it
happen. Naybe not looking too fai aheau, about what you aie planning foi, but iecognizing
what is in fiont of you. So much foi using momentum - but connecting with people who
aie in fiont of you, oi aiounu you, oi that aie even closei by than you might think, in
making it happen. So that is one of the lessons I leaineu thiough all of these piojects.
="/*((12 It is exactly how you uesciibe, how the fiist yeais that the EvA Lanxmeei
pioject woikeu - how things fell in place - like automatically almost. Anu sometimes you
get veiy optimistic that it will always be that way.
@*(A2 But it isn't always like that.
="/*((12 But it just happeneu. The things that we coulu not imagine - they just happeneu.
@*(A2 Foi me the example with the Almeie Piinciples was a piofounu expeiience. 0ne
moining, walking to the office anu aftei alieauy woiking foi six yeais on my municipality,
I came acioss my alueiman, who hau just iecoveieu fiom two weeks of illness. Be hau
seen a uocumentaiy about Ciaule-to-Ciaule, anu was veiy inspiieu, anu just that moment,
in the moining, he tiiggeieu a whole chain of actions that maue it possible to cieate the
Almeie Piinciples.
D(,62 Aiounu the eneigy that shows up when we weie talking about the momentum -
theie is an eneigy aiounu the eneigy when we cieate a system. Naileen uo you have a hot
tip about how to make this come to pass.
="/*((12 It uepenus so much on the scale - whethei it's a peison who wants to stait a
pioject on theii own, oi a gioup of people. I think on youi own, it's always haiu to stait
something. But this |piojectj is paitly something you can |shaie withj people. I staiteu
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 2, 2u12 1S
thinking about the Tiansition Town movement that is expanuing so much in the woilu anu
staiting activities. 0i about installing solai panels, oi staiting vegetable gaiuens in youi
stieet - those |aie piojectsj on a moie peisonal level. You aie able to uo iathei small
things because they can be veiy impoitant in youi life.
But if theie aie laigei gioups, fiom city councils, oi othei laigei gioups, I thought about
the woik of }ohn Thompson anu paitneis |fiom the 0Kj, who woik all ovei the woilu anu
aie ieally expeits with uesigning piocesses foi laige gioups of people, so |they can helpj if
theie is ieally a ueep wish, to ienovate a pait of a town oi a neighboihoou - because the
oiganization of the piocesses is ieally impoitant to obtain the iesult that you uieam about.
I hau the luck to have a laige gioup of people aiounu me - piofessionals in all kinus of
piofessions - that fiist wanteu to uevelop the concept with me. So fiist you neeu to look
foi the piofessionals that you neeu, anu then you must look foi the finances to pay them.
0n the othei hanu, theie aie so many things going on in cities that aie veiy valuable, anu
you can finu like-minueu people aiounu you - whethei they aie piofessional oi not. But I
think it woulu be a goou iuea to foim a gioup of people who shaie iueals anu stait to go
foiwaiu with them. But what you neeu uepenus on the scale that you have in minu.
D(,62 Yes, that seems to be a bit of a pattein touay. To be cognizant of the scale of the
pioject. Eailiei touay, with oui Thought Leauei Aichitect, Naik BeKay, we weie talking
even about the scale of time. You know you can woik on a small pocket paik pioject (like
the Pomegianate Centei in Seattle, 0SA, we heaiu about yesteiuay). But, I am wonueiing
about EvA Lanxmeei anu Tiansition Towns - coulu you uive into that a little bit please.
="/*((12 Theie is not such a big connection at the moment. Because although people
think that EvA Lanxmeei was a big bottom-up uesigneu pioject, it was not, in fact, the case
at all. Theie is no uiiect connection to the Tiansition Towns. I heaiu fiom a Fiench
jouinalist, a iequest to wiite a hanubook foi them, to help stait a laigei pioject. But in oui
case, a gioup of piofessionals - we founu a paitnei in a city - anu it was oui wish to
incluue the inhabitants anu futuie inhabitants in the pioject.
In Tiansition Towns, it is noimally focusing on the ienewal of existing neighboihoous. You
have a totally uiffeient staiting point. You have alieauy an uiban plan; you have an
amount of houses anu stieets; you have existing sewage system; anu you have peihaps
|gieateij limitations in the possibilities of ieuesign oi to ieaiiange youi whole
enviionment. But peihaps I am not totally familiai with all the uiffeient kinus of plans
they accomplish. But at the moment |when I set outj we hau a gioup who wanteu to have
a look heie. But this pioject uiu stait as a new uistiict, anu not pait of a ienovation of an
olu town.
D(,62 Yes anu as you say that, it stiikes me about how both Almeie was builuing a new
town, anu youi expeiience |in EvA Lanxmeeij was the same. Alex I want to zip back ovei
to you anu ask you what youi expeiience is with Eneigetic City 2uSu - to what uegiee aie
you looking at iecieating oi iegeneiating the cities that we have.
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 2, 2u12 14
@*(A2 As well as in Almeie, in Ainhem we aie uealing with existing cities. When we staiteu
with Almeie, we weie giowing fiom Almeie 1.u to 2.u, fiom 1Su,uuu to SSu,uuu
inhabitants. A lot of people weie looking at the gieen fielus of new uevelopment, but the
existing city iose up anu saiu, "What about us. We aie alieauy heie - not foi such a long
time, but alieauy foi Su yeais." So Almeie was ieally a new town, anu we |eaily
inhabitantsj aie alieauy connecteu to the space with existing stiuctuies - a lot that we
0f couise a lot of stiuctuies weien't in place yet, because it was still a city in giowth. So
what we tiieu to uo was connect the new uevelopment, the new phase of giowth, to the
existing stiuctuies, anu by uesigning new stiuctuies, cieating moie value foi the whole
city. So I think theie is always an existing quality when you stait uesigning a place. In the
case of EvA Lanxmeei, I iecognizeu one of the contiibutions that pioject maue was that it
enhanceu the foimei qualities of that existing site, because they iaiseu the quality of
stiuctuies like the olu iiveibeu. They ieintiouuceu the biouiveisity of floia anu fauna that
useu to be theie. So foi me, my uieam as an aichitect anu city plannei is to always
maintain the existing qualities anu tiy to builu on that, to enhance anu to implement new
oi extia qualities.
The same thing is happening in Ainhem - looking to the futuie. We have seen the uesigns
fiom thiee completely uiffeient teams. 0ne team is cheiishing the whole city, saying the
existing enviionment won't change too much. But the use of the existing enviionment will
change. While anothei team says the city of 2Su,uuu will be completely uiffeient than
what we know now, because we uon't neeu the whole city to expeiience city life. Anu they
aie ieally inteivening in city stiuctuies, fiom a completely uiffeient point of view. What
we will see fiom uiffeient points of view fiom Eneigetic City is what aie the basic
stiuctuies you will neeu foi a iesilient city - anu in this case it's Ainhem. What aie new
stiuctuies that you can implement anu make the city a healthiei oiganism.
So in Almeie, as well as in Ainhem, with the Eneigetic City appioach, what I iecognize is
that, we look at the city moie anu moie as a metabolism, anu we as citizens anu we as
people aie pait of that biggei metabolism. So theie aie inteitwining ielationships between
the people who live in the city anu what you call the opeiating system foi the city. 0ne of
the teams that is calleu "Eneigie," they say that in 2uSu, the whole eneigy question we aie
iaising is alieauy solveu by technical solutions. So fiom that point on, people will uiscovei
that eneigy - theii own spiiitual eneigy - is the most impoitant eneigy to look aftei anu
D(,62 0ne of the seven Almeie Piinciples is to empowei people to make the city. Coulu
you give us some insight about the most effective stiategies you know to accomplish that.
I think this gets at the new opeiating system.
@*(A2 What we have been woiking on in the city of Almeie auuiessing that point,
empoweiing people to make the city, staiteu quite liteially. We gave the citizens moie
oppoitunity to make theii own homes, to uesign theii own homes, by iegulating oui
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 2, 2u12 1S
enviionmental plans in such a way that it is not an obstacle, but an invitation. Because
often iules aie uifficult to oveicome to builu youi own uieam. So as a city we ueciueu to
make new iules anu new enviionmental plans oi city plans that aie able to anticipate
inuiviuual oi collective uieams foi people to make theii homes oi make theii own gioup
of homes. So that is one. If you built a home in Almeie |that was the situationj. It staiteu
off as inuiviuual housing oi piivate housing initiatives on a scale of a uistiict like EvA
Lanxmeei. Anu it tuineu out to be quite successful, but it also innovateu oui way of
woiking as a municipality. We weie useu to woiking with piofessional companies, like
builuing¡constiuction uevelopeis, who woulu like to builu maybe 2uu homes at one time,
anu now we hau to ueal with citizens who want to builu one home at a time. So it is a
completely uiffeient way of woiking, anu it connecteu us much moie to people who
alieauy liveu in Almeie oi who wanteu to live theie.
As pait of that piogiam we saiu that it is oui conviction that eveiyone shoulu be able to
builu theii own home - even lowei income people. So we collaboiateu with housing
companies anu making financially suppoiteu constiuctions to have a kinu of stiategy of
shaieu piopeity. So you buy that pait of the home, that you uesigneu youiself, that you
can pay foi, anu the iest is paiu foi oi owneu by that company. As you move along thiough
the yeais eaining moie money, you can buy a biggei piopeity of youi own, but you
uesigneu youi own home accoiuing to youi own uieams. So we helpeu people fiom
uiffeient layeis in society to make theii own home. Anu that has been quite a
bieakthiough, too, because in oui cultuie in Bollanu, it's kinu of an elite kinu of thing to
make youi own home. Because othei people just buy theii homes fiom builuing
companies oi housing coopeiatives. So we staiteu off on the level of uistiicts.
Now theie is this big plan foi the eastein pait of Almeie, wheie we applieu a stiategy not
on the level of an inuiviuual home oi a gioup of homes, but to complete uistiicts. So we
uesigneu a kinu of oiganic piocess. We've uesigneu the containeis, setting the conuitions
foi being able to make whole uistiicts, oi even a whole city uistiict, on the basis of
inuiviuual oi collective initiatives. So that's been a veiy successful anu wiuely copieu
stiategy thiough the whole of Bollanu to empowei people to make theii own city, liteially.
D(,62 When I askeu the question, I was thinking of piocess, but you have taken us to how
citizens liteially make theii own city in which they'ie going to live. It uoesn't get any
bettei than that, so that's fabulous.
I want to check in with the two of you to see if you have any ieflections on the
conveisation the two of you have hau, anu any last thoughts that you may have on the
ciitical impoitance that stiuctuies have on oui cities.
="/*((12 I was just thinking of a question I have foi Alex. What I was always wonueiing
about, if you hau many fiienus who wanteu to builu theii house heie. Then we hau this
caiefully uesigneu uiban plan which was the basic basis foi them to uesign theii homes on.
I was always wonueiing how this woikeu in Almeie, in ieality, when, of couise, you hau an
uiban plan, anu what weie the fieeuoms oi limits of people who wanteu to builu theii
Ç Integial City eLab 0ctobei 2, 2u12 16
own houses. What uiu you have to iesponu to. Because I think that is a veiy impoitant
thing when you have people builu theii own city.
@*(A2 Tiue. In the fiist level about uevelopments empoweiing people to make theii own
city oi what we calleu, "I builu my home oi I builu my company" - in Almeie , we hau a
municipality who uesigneu the basic fiamewoik on a system-level - staiting on a spatial
level, but also on eneigy, sewage systems, watei, etc. - so we maue a kinu of basic
stiuctuie wheie inuiviuuals oi collectives coulu builu theii homes anu how they wanteu
to builu those homes, we gave them as much fieeuom as possible. But the spatial anu
infiastiuctuial stiuctuies we pioviueu, anu that went successfully. What we leaineu is,
theie aie quite a lot of people who want to ueciue what type of eneigy, oi what type of
watei system they want to connect to, oi want to have pioviueu foi |theii usej. So in the
seconu phase of this uevelopment, we pioviueu moie libeity in choosing what type of
systems you woulu like to connect to. So we pioviueu foi a moie uiveise city. Pait of the
uistiict was pioviueu with |one kinu ofj heating system, the othei was electiicity. So theie
was moie fieeuom of choice on that level.
Anu the thiiu level we aie now encounteiing oi exploiing is that even on that level we
only pioviue foi, I woulu say, the ambitions foi the inteiconnecteuness, that we seaich foi
in this whole aiea wheie Almeie is involveu. We invite people to make theii own solutions
on a system-level, builuing the system fiom within insteau of we, as a municipality,
pioviuing foi infiastiuctuie on the whole uistiict level. It is not ieality yet, but I believe we
aie piepaiing foi that jump that people aie feeling comfoitable with, even on a system-
level, builuing the system fiom within - on the watei level, eneigy level, sewage system
level - even on a mobility level. The choice you have is on an inuiviuual scale but you can
also uo it on a collective scale. So we pioviue foi uiffeient plots in that aiea. But eveiy plot
in itself you can consiuei it as a holon. Eveiy plot coulu be - anu that is a choice - coulu be
self-sustaining. But it is moie woithwhile to connect to youi neighboi oi two othei
neighbois anu maybe oiganize youiself with neighbois to make a biggei holon, oi biggei
D(,62 I am completely stiuck how thioughout the conveisation how when we aie
physically builuing the stiuctuies, theie is a huge amount of self oiganization that is
natuially taking place, anu how in the piojects you aie both talking about, how self
oiganizing is woven into the hieiaichies that aie theie anu also natuially occuiiing -
whethei that's buieauciacy oi simply how we oiganize ouiselves. You aie both wonueiful
uesign leaueis giving oui listeneis veiy piovocative examples of the woik that we can uo.
You aie cleaily tiail maikeis foi us. You aie tiail maikeis at eveiy scale that I can imagine.
So I thank you both veiy much foi being heie. It is a huge contiibution that you have maue
to Integial City 2.u 0nline Confeience.

© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012

Gaia’s Reflective Organ: Integral Intel Inside
What and where are we implementing structural / infrastructural intelligence?
Speakers: Brian Robertson, Brett Thomas
Host: Dr. Marilyn Hamilton, PhD
September 13, 2012

Brian Robertson is an experienced entrepreneur, CEO, and
organizational pioneer. He is best known for his work developing
Holacracy, a social technology for purpose-driven organizations. Brian’s
passion for software and business began early; he began programming at
age six, and launched his first software-related business at age
twelve. His initial work with Holacracy took place at an award-winning
fast-growth software company he founded and led for seven years, which
was recognized as one of the world’s most “democratic” workplaces. The system has
continued to evolve and spread under the stewardship of HolacracyOne, an organization
Brian co-founded to further develop the method and bring it to the world. He currently
works with HolacracyOne to help consultants and change agents bring its evolutionary
approach to organizations across the globe.

Brett Thomas is the co-founder of Stagen, a Texas-based organizational
consulting firm that specializes in Integral Leadership. He is the author
and architect of the Stagen Leadership Academy’s 52-week intensive
Integral Leadership Program, now in its 10th year. Brett is a 20-year
veteran in the field of human performance and organizational
development having designed and facilitated hundreds of workshops and
corporate training programs. Brett has logged over 10,000 hours
coaching CEOs. He has published work on applied integral theory and has co-designed and
co-delivered international conferences and seminars on applied integral theory. Brett
served many years as the Managing Director of the Integral Institute Business and
Leadership Center and on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Integral Theory and
Practice. Brett currently serves on the boards of both Integral Leadership Review and
Integral Publishers. He is writing a book with Russ Volckmann on Integral Leadership.

© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 2
Marilyn Hamilton: It’s my pleasure to introduce this session by first framing it within the
theme of the second week of the conference. In the first week we started to explore how to
create a new operating system for the city, and we called that first week the Planet of
Cities, and thinking about how Mother Earth is our Motherboard. This week we’ve been
talking about Gaia’s Reflective Organ, with Integral Intelligence Inside. This theme today
has been focusing on the intelligence of structure, or infrastructure, or systems. This tends
to be the way that we think about our built city.
In my book, Integral City, I define structural intelligence as “the Its space of the city. It’s the
intelligence that connects us to the realities of the city that we see, feel, hear, smell, touch
and taste. It gives us the capacity to both structure and systematize our environment.”
Introducing our two presenters today, I’m excited that their contributions will bring a way
of engaging with the practice of this intelligence, both at the organizational level and at the
individual level.
We’ve heard today from Mark DeKay talking about how to approach design from the
perspective of this intelligence. Earlier we heard two designers who are actively involved
in living the designs. But we wanted to offer some real tools that people can use in
approaching both structures and systems within this intelligence.
Introducing Brian Robertson, I’ve found his “dynamic steering” principles invaluable in
expediting organizations, projects, and at many different scales. Joining Brian is Brett
Thomas. I met Brett last year at the Integral Leadership Collaborative conference he
produced, and was so impressed with the conference that I persuaded Brett to be a
partner in delivering this Integral City 2.0 Online Conference. I give a special warm
welcome to Brett to join the conference as a presenter.
It’s interesting when we look at the city through the lenses of organizations, we’re often
thinking about it in ways that divide up the organizations into sectors. We’ve been
exploring this week using the Integral model of how to bring the picture of the city
together as a whole living system. We started off earlier in the week with Ken Wilber, then
yesterday we heard Jean Houston’s wonderful insights on cultures from around the world
and looking at cities that way. We’ve explored this intelligence of structures and systems,
and I really want to bring the framing of Holacracy into this discussion, because I think it’s
so valuable to have a way of looking at organizations through this same kind of paradigm.
Brian, what is Holacracy, and how did you develop it?
Brian Robertson: I think you can best think of it as a social technology for purposeful
organization. I think we often don’t think of organizations as having a social technology
that runs them, but of course they do. Any organization is built on some framework of how
us humans show up and work together. When I say “social technology,” I mean something
pretty deep… the core operating system of how the organization works. How power flows,
how decisions are made, how communication happens, who has the authority to decide
what, and when. We’re used to these organizations today which are “top-down,”
command-and-control paradigms. We often think that we don’t really have a choice; that
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 3
that’s the only way to organize. But it’s not; it’s just one power structure that could be in
At its core, what Holacracy is, is a different social technology. It embodies some different
principles than what we see in the world today, commonly, and it provides some new
capacities. Just like when you upgrade the operating system on your computer, from DOS
to Windows, or Windows to Mac, perhaps, you get new capacity. Our organizations are
running with an operating system, a core power structure, organizational structures, that
really emerged and matured about a century ago, in their roughly current form. That’s
pretty old technology. Holacracy is a new technology, and we can get into some of the new
capacities it offers as we dive in further. But that’s a broad frame.
Marilyn Hamilton: When we were thinking about how to frame this conference of
looking at the future of the city, the idea, the metaphor of creating a new operating system
for the city came up. Having you here to share the social technology of Holacracy is vital to
our understanding. We’ve been exploring “energy” in different ways, and we’ve framed
the city as a living system. Can you explain how Holacracy manages life sustaining energy
for organizations?
Brian Robertson: Let me ask a rhetorical question to start. If you imagine a typical city,
and imagine all the many people going to work, and all the many organizations in that city,
how often do you think people go into work and have a work day where they sense
something that’s “off,” or that’s constraining that organization from being the best it can
be, from expressing some useful purpose in the world. Maybe, a process that leaves
something falling through the cracks or something that’s just not getting done as good as it
could be, or whatever. It’s a common experience; we probably have this experience many
times in any given work day, on average. We go in and see little things that could be better.
The sad truth is, in most organizations today, there’s very little that most people can do
with those things they sense. In Holacracy we call this “sensing tension.” If you look at the
root of “tension,” it’s tendere from the Latin meaning “to stretch.” When we experience
tension in organizations, it’s a stretching between where we are, and where we could be.
We might judge this as a problem, or a bad thing, but really it’s just the sense that we’re
here, and we could be there. Kind of like a rubber band stretched between two points.
There’s energy there. There’s a lot of energy there, if we can harness it.
You speak of life-sustaining energies, and to me, a lot of that is what we sense internally
when we sense this tension that things could be better than they are… could be further
forward, further along somehow. Yet in most organizations, there’s very little that most
people can do with the tensions they sense. I’ve been in the CEO seat in organizations, and
we like to think the leaders at the top, the CEOs, can process any tension, do anything with
anything they sense to move the organization forward, but the sad truth is, even in that
top seat, you’re in a world of overwhelming complexity, and there’s still very little even
you can do, sometimes, with all the things that you sense could be better than they are.
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 4
What we’re missing - this capacity to sense tension, to sense a gap between where we are
and where we could be – really comes down to human consciousness. Each of those many
millions of humans in a typical city, they are points of consciousness and they’re sensing
things that could be better. If we don’t harness those tensions into meaningful change,
we’re losing one of the greatest sources of energy that we have available to us.
With Holacracy, the goal of this system, social technology, is powered by human
consciousness. It’s powered by our capacity to sense and process tensions. One of the
goals is: any tensions sensed by anyone, anywhere in the company, has a place to go to get
rapidly and reliably processed into meaningful change. I don’t know many organizations
in a typical city, or anywhere, that can genuinely say that. When you can do that, the
source of energy that you’ve unleashed is quite significant. When you can give everybody
in the organization the capacity to hold a purpose – the purpose of the company and their
own purpose personally as well – and show up in service of this organization, by their own
choice and free will, to help its purpose in the world, by using their full consciousness,
their full capacity, to sense and process whatever they sense into meaningful change. We
have a totally different way of energy flowing, and it changes some of the fundamental
nature of what we’re used to in organizations today.
Aside from the burnout we see, the apathy, the lack of motivation and engagement, it’s no
wonder when we show up in an environment and we can’t really bring our full capacity
into that organization that it fails to spark our energy, our capacity. But when you can
show up in an organization and really bring all your gifts, and have them used, to the
extent that they can help this organization express a purpose in the world, that’s pretty
incredible. It all sounds great, but it’s not enough to hold that as a goal. As we’ve learned, it
does take a technology. It takes systems, structures, processes. Holacracy includes
meeting processes, decision making processes, governance processes, ways of structuring
the organization. It’s a whole system shift from what we’re used to, to an entirely new
operating system, one which is, again, grounded in a different paradigm than what we
typically experience today.
Marilyn Hamilton: I love this idea of the tensions. When I hear that you can take a tension
and rapidly process it, I think of Aikido, taking this energy that feels like it’s coming at you,
and actually flow with it. Could you give an example of how tensions get resolved, in a real
situation? Say there’s tension between two people who don’t agree on how to resolve a
decision that needs to be made… how would you release that tension?
Brian Robertson: There is no one way in Holacracy to process tensions. There’s multiple
pathways, and which one you want to use depends on the nature of the tensions. For
example, here’s one general split – the difference between governance and operations.
Many people in the organizational world have heard the metaphor of working “in” vs.
working “on” the organization. It comes from a book, E-Myth, and it talks about how a lot
of entrepreneurs and organizational leaders fall into a pitfall, where, especially in smaller
organizations, they get so stuck working “in” their business, getting the work done,
executing what needs to happen, that the fail to adequately focus on working “on” the
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 5
business. Or stepping back and looking at the structure, figuring out “how” things work
around here. Not the specific day-to-day tasks, but generally how do things flow through
this business? How do the different roles interconnect, processes, decision making… those
are all working “on” the business. In most organizations, there’s no disciplined process for
working “on” the business. So it’s no wonder we get stuck just getting the work done in
front of us. It’s all we can do. But when we do that, we have no consciousness going
towards structuring a better approach for the organization. Or if we do, it’s in giant
restructurings that happen every 18 months or whatever, and, of course, they get it wrong,
and we live with the structure for a while, realize it’s wrong, then just get it wrong again.
In Holacracy we recognize these two domains: governance and operations. Operations is
about working “in” the business. Governance is about working “on” the business. In
Holacracy, each one has a different way of processing tensions. For governance, we have
governance meetings. It’s a very disciplined, structured meeting process that, as inputs,
take tensions about how things work around here, and process them into some kind of
clarity of structure – how things work. Versus operational decisions, operational meetings,
and a lot of operations happen day-to-day getting the work done. Operations is about
processing tensions into actions: what are we going to do? Clear work.
Let me give an example. Imagine you’re building a website, and thinking about what
colours to use and how should the information be structured. That’s an operational
question you’re asking. What are we going to do? What decision do we make? The
governance question behind it is: Who makes that decision? With what authority? Who do
they have to integrate input from? Who don’t they? Can they just dictate, “this is the way
it’s going to be,” and others have to follow along with that, if they’re also working in
similar areas? Or not? The governance questions aren’t about which decisions to make, it’s
about who makes the decision – no even about a person, but rather about the functions or
roles of the organization, within what limits.
If you look at those two areas, we often get sucked right in to the “what decision should we
make,” the operational realm. What Holacracy provides, first, is a channel to clarify the
power structure, if you will. Otherwise we end up with long, painful meetings where we’re
trying to build consensus or buy-ins with others, because we’re not really sure who makes
the decision. Or we end up with an over-involved boss who steps in and makes decisions
for everybody, because of that. All of that, to me, is a symptom of lack of clarity of the
governance. One of the main ways that tensions get processed in Holacracy, when they’re
about the governance, when you’re feeling, “I think we should reorganize our Home page,
we should put the information in a different way,” if you don’t know who has the authority
to make that decision, clearly, and the boss isn’t the answer… if everything defaults back
to the boss, we’re not going to get many decisions made… if you don’t know who exactly
has that authority, then you have unclear governance. And if that person doesn’t know
whether they can make that decision, or who they need to get input from, then you don’t
have clarity of governance. With something like that, Holacracy provides a governance
meeting channel, which has a pretty cool integrative process that gives everyone a voice,
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 6
without what I call the “tyranny of consensus.” Anyone can bring in a tension. Everyone
else gets a chance to integrate anything that needs integrating into that resolution, that
proposal, and in the end you get clarity on who has the authority to make the decision.
And then, not everybody needs to agree. If we know that this role needs to use their best
judgment, even in the presence of disagreement, to make the best decision they can, with
input from these roles, and within these constraints; once you know that clearly, then you
can go do the work, and you don’t need the painful meetings and painful consensus-
seeking, and all this stuff we have in the way in organizations, because you can just go get
the work done, with clarity. If you’re not sure what to do, then you want an operational
meeting, and there’s other ways in that space to process tensions into clear outcomes and
actions we’re going to take. But really, the whole thing is about generating clarity – of
structure, of work, and the meeting processes are integrative in their nature.
What you have at the end, if you follow this through, is a distributed authority system. So
rather than your typical hierarchy, with bosses who theoretically delegate authority, but
in reality, rarely do, Holacracy in its full expression, there is no CEO. In my organization,
HolacracyOne, when you read my bio, I’m not a CEO at this point because there is no CEO.
There are no bosses, no managers. There are a whole pool of partners; everybody who
works in the organization is a partner, that is showing up in a legally, Holacracy-powered
partnership. Everyone has a voice in the governance of that process, and no one person is
CEO, leader, boss, whatever. Rather, everyone is a leader for their area, for their roles,
with real authority. Authority that trumps anyone else’s authority, in their roles. And clear
responsibilities, connections, where they have to integrate with other roles. Just like in our
modern societies we have a legislative process to sort all that out. One that is purpose-
driven, so it’s not governance by the people, of the people, for the people. With Holacracy
in play, it’s governance of the organization, through the people, for the purpose.
That’s the endpoint to it. Once you have a true Holacracy-powered system installed, with
this distributed authority structure at play, then everyone, anyone who senses a tension,
has a governance process they can go through, to clarity what are the connections, what
can we count on each other for, how do things work around here. Or an operational
process to clarify what work needs to get done, and to go do it.
Marilyn Hamilton: I’m tempted to follow on with another question related to the city, but
I think it would be useful for our audience to hear an example. Your framing of the
governance of the organization through the people, and for the purpose, is a very elegant
way of summarizing what you just shared with us. Could you give us an illustration?
Brian Robertson: One example is my own organization. We have all our partners here in
town; we’re kind of virtual, but we come together every six weeks. We’ve just been going
through some of our governance processes. One of the things that came up recently was
that I had a tension. I lead our Holacracy trainings, and I often refer people to our website.
Our website has some really great information about our trainings on it, but not as much
information about our licensing program, and our consulting services. So there’s a tension.
I really think the website should have more information that on it.
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 7
The first thing I do with that is, we have a little software tool that shows you the skeletal
workings of our organization. It shows you what are all the various structures and roles,
and who has what authority, and all that. So the first thing I do is I look in there and ask,
who is accountable for this? Who has the accountability, and thus the authority, to update
our website and to get information about these things on there? I find we have a web
director role as part of our organization. So I go talk to that guy in that role. He says, well,
yeah, I’d love to update it, but nobody’s giving me information. Nobody’s telling me what
the services are. That’s in a different part of the company, and he’s not sure.
So I realize that the other part of the company, nobody knows who’s accountable for
writing the actual marketing copy for our licensing or consulting programs, which is why
the copy that’s out there is four years old. Nobody’s accountable for it, nobody knows. This
kind of thing happens in organizations all the time. It’s a specific point, I’m feeling tension
about it, and what do I do? In a typical company, I might go to the boss, or build buy-in, or
something around trying to build consensus on what we should do. Now I don’t have to do
that. I go to our governance meeting and I bring a proposal that we take one of the existing
roles we have in our licensing department, and I make that role accountable for drafting
marketing copy for the website guy. I make the website guy accountable for keeping up-
to-date information out on the web.
What I’m doing is actually defining the process flows in the organization; defining the
expectations that we can count on each other for. Through that process, everybody else
has a voice and objections can come up. Objections are very specific things with some
rules in the process around them. If somebody sees a reason why my proposal, of making
these two roles accountable for writing copy and keeping it up to date on the website, if
anyone sees any reasons why that’s going to move us backwards, or cause harm, they can
raise an objection and we’re going to integrate that objection. In this case I think there was
one that came up, and we did, and we ended up with two clear new accountabilities in the
system. With those clear, I now know I can count on those people to do it, and those
people know they have the authority to do it. They don’t need to get anyone else’s
permission. It is their authority to make a decision, make a judgment call, integrate
whatever information they can, and run with it.
Then we go to an operational meeting and I bring up a request for a project, or an outcome
to work towards, which is: all the information’s updated on the website. We capture that
project, we’re now monitoring it transparently, every meeting we see progress towards it,
and the people that have the authority know they have the authority, and are taking
actions on getting it done, and it’s all starting to happen and shift. That’s just one simple
The interesting thing is, that example becomes something that anyone in the organization
can do, wherever they are in the organization, any tension they sense. It’s so minor; it’s an
everyday occurrence of sensing, attention, and processing. To either clear structure, or
clear work.
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 8
We’re working with a company in San Francisco run by some Twitter founders, which is a
cool high-tech company to work with. The same thing; we’re seeing that, as is typical, the
first handful of meetings, there’s a whole lot of tensions that come up, because they’ve had
nowhere to go to get processed. So one of the first meetings we have brings a flood of
tensions into the space. Things they’ve been sitting on, feeling pain about, maybe chatting
around the water cooler or whatever, but they haven’t been able to get clarity on how to
resolve them. In this case it was really cool; I went through one of their meetings a few
weeks back, and within a span of maybe 90-120 minute governance meeting, we had
probably half a dozen tensions that had been sitting around and plaguing them for months,
processed into clarity. So they knew exactly who was accountable for resolving what, who
had what authority to make which decisions to move them forward, and you could feel the
energy released. Going back to your question about life-sustaining energy, you could feel
the energy released by taking these frustrations and turning them into a better way of
working together.
Marilyn Hamilton: I know that I’ve more or less decided, once I encountered Holacracy,
that I never wanted to work on a project again where it wasn’t part of the process.
Because it really does help resolve the whole decision making flow. The thing that strikes
me that’s almost a fractal of how I’m thinking about the city, is that it’s purpose-driven.
You actually are having all of the process you’ve derived from the purpose of the
organization. I know that in human systems, the city is the most complex organization of
humans; it’s a system of systems of systems. I think over time, cities are going to actually
discover that they do have a purpose. I’m sure there are many cities who can see
themselves in that role, but I imagine that on our Planet of Cities, it’s possible for
individual cities to discover what is it that they contribute to the larger whole, the larger
living system. I know, Brian, that you and I toyed with the idea of taking Holacracy to the
scale of the city. I’m curious if you’ve seen that happen anywhere, or if you’ve seen, say, a
City Hall, within their own city structures and systems, actually be courageous enough to
start using a set of Holacracy principles?
Brian Robertson: We’ve seen just a few beginning examples. We had one department in
the D.C. government running on Holacracy a few years back. I know there’s a team within
the European Commission that runs the EU that’s also running with Holacracy. But, again,
it’s just a team. I think there’s still a lot more to be done at the governmental level. But
there are huge potentials. The structure that Holacracy uses is a very fractal
organizational structure. It structures an organization kind of like a human body, a bunch
of different autonomous cells, distributed authority among each cell. Each does its own
governance and they group together into broader cells or organs. It’s a very organic
structure for the organization that embraces distributed control, distributed authority.
Those governance and operational processes I mentioned, they’re distributed as well.
Every team does them. When you have that fractal structure, whether you’re talking about
a small company or one with 10,000 people, it scales really well.
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 9
Even beyond the company, Holacracy can scale beyond a single organization quite well.
We already see this happening. HolacracyOne has a licensing model, so we license other
organizations, qualified service firms, to use the Holacracy brand and tools to spread the
social technology to their clients. That creates an ecosystem that currently consists of 13
firms doing Holacracy work all over the world. Instead of being 13 independent firms,
we’ve interlinked them together. Each firm appoints a representative, which becomes a
channel for processing tensions into HolacracyOne, which is governing the ecosystem. And
vice-versa, our organization appoints somebody into each of theirs as a channel for
flowing tensions. It’s a bi-directional linking structure, the same structure we use within a
company between different teams – these bi-directional double links. Now we see it
actually governing an ecosystem. So we’re taking these different licensees and wrapping
them together, and because we’re legally Holacracy–driven, it’s actually grounded right
down to our legal bylaws where every one of our licensees has a voice to flow tensions
and process them within our organizational ecosystem.
If you look at an example like that, and ask what that could mean at a broader city level,
that’s pretty cool. If we can actually flow and process tensions, and that’s really what it
comes down to, across organizations, at the level of one firm, up to its ecosystem, all to
align with the various purposes at play, at every level, that’s a powerful capacity to adapt,
which is really what tension processing does. It gives you agility and adaptability to
whatever’s arising in the consciousness of the system.
Marilyn Hamilton: This resonates strongly with our thinking about the city as a living
system. Thank you for the ecosystem example, and the hope that what I saw as a
possibility by looking at the governance within an organization; that maybe someday we
might have governance defined in a city as, “of the city, through the people, for the
purpose of the city.” Thank you for coming today to bring this framing for organizations,
because that seems to me a place that we can start, is within individual organizations, as
you started. And now you’re spreading it; it’s a positive virus I’d like to see go in many
I’d like to now turn to Brett, and bring him into the conversation, and ask him to share a
tool he’s been developing through Integral Leadership, and would probably integrate well
with this Holacracy approach, because it involves communication. Brett, can you start by
framing how you think about Integral Leadership and how you want to introduce a tool
that could help us with city stakeholders and communication.
Brett Thomas: Thanks Marilyn. It’s an interesting and wonderful challenge. I’m very
inspired by many things Brian said, and I think we can tie in nicely. Brian and I have
collaborated in the past, and I love his model, especially his term “dynamic steering,”
which I use a lot now the teaching of Integral Leadership. I look forward to comparing our
ideas. Brian mentioned a few things I can use to build on Integral Leadership. It used to
take us, going back ten years, about 12 months to teach Integral Leadership. Of course,
that’s a very intensive course. Over the years we got so we could explain it in a full-day
workshop, in terms of giving the overview. The basic and perhaps the most effective parts
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 10
of it can be done in about an hour, but I’ve never actually done it in the time I’ve got today,
so I’m up for the challenge.
Essentially, what is the high-level overview of Integral Leadership? Let’s build on what
Brian talked about. He talked about power structures, about how do humans organize,
where does leadership reside, who has the authority, how does leadership influence
individual and collective expectations and behaviors? He also talked about this idea of
tension; tensions about how things are now, and how things could be better. I wanted to
start with this idea of authority, and where does leadership reside, and how different
humans think about how things could be better. For those of us that know anything about
integral approaches and integral psychology, we know that even though these are crucial
questions, you’re going to get different answers from different people. Therein lies a
tremendous amount of complexity. Certainly within an organization like my firm and
Brians’ firm works with, in terms of consulting and coaching and organizational design
and development. But also in a city, which is an organization made up of lots of other
organizations, and lots of stakeholders.
The reality is that there’s a staggering amount of complexity because different
stakeholders in the city, everybody from citizens, to educators, to city managers, to
business people. Each of these people can have a different sense, going back to what Brian
said, about how to make things better. So how to you define “better”? How do you define a
social system, or an educational system, or the laws about business, or the expectations
about how we handle our natural resources in a city? The way that individual people in a
city define what’s better depends on their value system, on what’s important to them.
So when you bring this way of understanding about what matters to people, what’s
important, let’s be commonsensical. The environmental ecologist person has different
things that are important than the real estate developer, who’s trying to get a license to
remove a section of natural ecosystem and put in a shopping mall. And that might be
different than a person who’s focused on child development and education, and someone
else may be very concerned about something else. So people have different values, and
when you add the element of values, what matters to someone, what’s important, it’s
going to determine how they define how “things could be better,” the tension between
what is and what they want.
The real estate developer wants less regulation; their “better” is more freedom to build
more malls. The environmental ecologist thinks “better” is less malls and more trees. So
this is a function of each of their values. So values bring a huge amount of complexity to
any human organization, especially a city. And values are not homogenous. But what’s cool
is that even though they’re really diverse, and there is complexity, there are patterns, as
you well know, Marilyn, as a complexity thinker. There are patterns in complexity. While
the values in the city are diverse, they’re not random. In fact, there are four predominant
value systems, which we like to refer to as worldviews that we see, individually and in
combination, in typical people in a city, and in typical groups of people, organizations, and
cultures, in a city.
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 11
So if we recognize these four predominant value systems, this becomes an unlocking key.
What we’ve found in our work over the last 12 years, building on the shoulders of giants,
many of our fellow colleagues have been exploring value systems, what motivates people,
and how to communicate to different value systems, and leadership styles, and so on, far
longer than I have. But we’ve had a lot of success in the last 12 years teaching leaders how
to understand how each of these different value systems has a different set of priorities, a
different sense of how to make things better, and a different sense of meaningful change.
Brian talked about meaningful change… well, meaningful change for the real estate
developer might be more malls, and meaningful change for the environmental ecologist
might be more trees. So leaders in the city, at all levels of government, education, social,
non-profit and business, it’s very complex, it’s very frustrating, and it can be incredibly
difficult when you have a mess of all these different people. So what we teach in the area
of Integral Leadership is, we teach leaders how to understand that people with different
worldviews respect different styles of leadership and need to be communicated with in
different ways in order to treat them with respect.
There is a “dialect” for each value system or worldview that people recognize and
appreciate, so this is what Integral Leadership boils down to: recognizing that people,
legitimately as they should, have different worldviews, and for each of the different
worldviews there’s a certain values dialect. If you don’t speak that dialect adequately,
you’re likely not to be well heard or respected, much less trusted. Beyond that, there’s a
leadership style that we’ve all seen, everyone here has already been exposed to and seen
pretty much all of these leadership styles.
But until the last decade or so when we’re really started to crack the code on this
leadership question, we didn’t know which leadership styles would work well with
different people. Now we’ve put the two together into a framework that we call the
Leadership Rosetta Stone. The metaphor of the Leadership Rosetta Stone originally helped
modern researchers understand Egyptian hieroglyphics, because it had the same message
translated into three languages, or dialects. In the same way, the Leadership Rosetta Stone
shows these four predominant leadership styles that we see in human culture, and then
the worldviews/value systems, and links them together. People with a certain worldview
are going to trust, respond to, and benefit from, a particular style of leadership. The real
train wreck happens when we mix them up; when we use the wrong leadership or
communication style with people with a different worldview, and it creates lots of
unnecessary interpersonal conflict and failure to communicate.
That’s the promise. So how does that fit with your understanding of where we need to go
in order to be able to lead the future of the city and how we’re going to organize, Marilyn?
Marilyn Hamilton: I think you’ve raised some wonderful and relevant points. In being
able to gain any insight into the patterns in the city, you remarked on how complex it is.
It’s not only a system of organizational systems, but there’s all those individuals
interacting, there’s a whole holarchy of interconnected, nested systems. So if we were able
to understand those four key worldviews and the four styles that interact with them, I’m
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 12
imagining we might even be able to reduce some of the tensions that Brian was talking
about before we even got into the decision mode. Can I ask you to get a bit more granular?
Can you tell us what those worldviews are, and how they respond to the leadership style
that’s most appropriate to them?
Brett Thomas: Absolutely. I’m making available a couple of tools listeners can download
for today’s sessions. One of those tools is a document called “Introducing the Leadership
Rosetta Stone,” and it explains it. It has a single page has an image of the Rosetta Stone
that’s been divided up into these four styles of leadership, these universal styles of
leadership, and you can follow along. The other tool is called the Universal Translator,
which has a reference sheet that describes each worldview, the core motivational drivers,
their primary concerns, and how to communicate, using those different dialects.
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 13

The Leadership Rosetta Stone shows us is something we’ve intuited all along, but we
didn’t exactly have names for, and we didn’t have a clear-cut definition and description
that was well-vetted by psychologists and sociologists. We have that now.
I’ll now describe the leadership styles. Let’s begin with one of the most familiar,
authoritarian leadership. We’ve all had family members, or a school teacher or principal,
or if you were in the armed forces in the enlisted ranks, or you had a boss who used to be
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 14
in the infantry. There’s a style of leadership called authoritarian leadership. It’s basically
that the person with authority leads via chain of command. So it tends to be pretty black-
and-white, you comply with the established rules, and you meet the requirements, and
you conform to the expectations and behavior that the authority prescribes, right? That’s
authoritarian leadership.
Some of us think, “ugh, I don’t really like that. I like something a lot more flexible, not
nearly so black-and-white or bureaucratic.” Yet, there are many, many people who totally
appreciate that style of leadership. There are many followers, many employees, many
citizens, that really like to be told what’s right and what’s wrong, these are the rules. This
is how you function in society, by following and conforming to these rules, and you have a
predictable sense of punishment and reward, and this is the basis of human civilization,
you know?
There are situations in which authoritarian leadership is very appropriate and helpful.
Then there are other situations where authoritarian leadership can be very off-putting.
With different people in different situations, people may not trust it or appreciate it. I
think we all can relate to that.
Another style we’re all familiar with, certainly those of us who’ve worked in the corporate
world, or in business, we call strategic leadership. Whether or not you’ve heard the phrase,
you’ll recognize the style of leadership. The person with the most expertise leads, via
strategic planning and tangible incentives. We’ve got a goal, we want to increase our
profits, we want to increase our market share, we want to accomplish building this
successful performing team, or whatever it happens to be. We’re going to break it down
into its component parts, we’re going to incentivize people to hit or exceed those goals. So
this style of leadership is very strategic, very goal-oriented, highly competitive. And again,
works great in a lot of situations. Lots of organizations, sales organizations, businesses,
etc., this style of leadership is very effective. However, once again, there are situations in
which this is either confusing, puzzling, off-putting, or even offensive to some
organizations. Some people don’t want that style of competitive, goal-oriented type of
leadership. But that’s strategic leadership, very common in businesses.
A third universal style of leadership – and these can occur in isolation, or they can be
combined… you can see combinations, once you learn to recognize them. A third is called
collaborative leadership. Collaborative leadership is leadership that is not vested in any
single person. Rather, consensus-based, self-managed teams lead themselves. There are
many liberal arts universities, many non-profits, many creative shops, ad agencies,
marketing firms, alternative sustainability-driven organizations, with employees, and
teams, and executives, that don’t like to think of leadership as being a single person, or
some kind of black-and-white, authoritarian list of rules, but there’s really no single leader.
There’s just leadership that emerges in the group. By gaining consensus, or by having
different perspectives be heard, and this is a wonderful form of leadership. And it can be
incredibly irritating to people who are looking for more authoritarian or strategic
leadership styles.
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 15
Each of these styles of leadership is useful and helpful in certain contexts, with certain
people. And can be very off-putting and frustrating with the wrong people.
The fourth kind gets a bad rap. It’s the style of leadership that’s considered very old-
fashioned, even more old-fashioned than authoritarian. It’s oftentimes not appreciated,
and yet, here again, there are situations in which this style is actually appropriate and
helpful. This style of leadership is called autocratic leadership. The person with the power
leads via command and control. There’s one person, he or she is the most powerful person,
and that’s who calls the shots. “It’s my way or the highway.” It’s an approach that tightly
controls information, rewards compliance and punishes disloyalty. And yet again, on the
battlefield, perhaps in certain situations with emergency response teams, firemen, there
are many situations in construction, on construction crews, and manual labour, heavy
equipment operators. There’s one big boss or foreman, and they’re telling everybody what
to do. And you do it the way he or she says.
The most fascinating thing about authoritarian leadership, strategic leadership,
collaborative leadership and autocratic leadership, that I’ve been implying, is that it’s not
random. It’s not that you can walk into any situation, and use any style of leadership and
have it work. It all depends on the people involved, and the circumstances. This was the
big breakthrough in the Leadership Rosetta Stone. As well as the work being done at
Integral Institute, Stagen Leadership Institute, Spiral Dynamics, many studies of values
systems and so on. You can start to link up worldviews with these leadership styles.
Marilyn Hamilton: I find, Brett, that you’ve painted a picture that’s easy to visualize. I can
imagine every time you’ve described one of those styles, somebody that I know who fits
into that particular style. I can also think of situations like you’ve described, where you
might not like an autocratic leadership per se, but when we have emergency response
teams that need people to be directive in an autocratic process, and that they’re actually
required to have command and control in order to respond. I can see that there’s room for
all those different leadership styles. I’m curious now if you can relate that to what matters
to people, their worldviews.
Brett: Yes, it’s so fascinating, because people can be so puzzling and frustrating
sometimes. Because it’s like, “Why do they think that way? Why does this person think
more trees are better, and this other person thinks more malls are better?” And depending
on what side you come in on, you tend to view the other side as “not getting it.” What
Integral teaches us is that everybody gets it in their own way. And what “it” is, is their
worldview. This is incredibly clarifying to know, that there’s not a million different
worldviews, there’s four. There’s four basic worldviews we see in developed cities in a
developed world. And sometimes you can see them in combination in a single person. But
once you understand those four worldviews, it’s so clarifying. You begin to understand
that different people value different things, and define “better” and “meaningful
improvement,” to use Brian’s excellent terms, in different ways.
These worldviews are listed on the Universal Translator Reference Sheet below.
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 16

Let’s start with the one we can use as our basis which is the Modern worldview. The
Modern worldview is; the world is a fairly level playing field, of unlimited possibility
where winners takes all. It’s a modern world view it’s scientific, materialistic worldview
we are very familiar with it, it’s the modern age. People with the Modern worldview have
a set of values distinct from other worldviews. Achievement, success, status, and define
progress in terms of economic progress, and in terms of more opportunity, getting ahead,
living the good life, advancing, recognition. People with the Modern worldview share
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 17
these core values. Sometimes we refer to people who hold this Modern worldview as
The Modern worldview certainly has been popular for the past period of time in modern
history, but the Modern worldview’s not the only world view. There’s also a Traditional
worldview. There are many people today who hold a Traditional worldview. For these
people, the world is an ordered existence under control of a higher authority, or ultimate
truth. People with a Traditional worldview value stability, order, security, self-sacrifice,
and truth as defined by the tradition in which I was raised. So whatever part of the world
you live in, I’m here in Texas, whether you’re here or in Iran, a Traditional worldview is
identical. There’ll be differences in details, about the religion or local cultures, but they’ll
both value living the One True Way, and be concerned with fitting in, fulfilling duties, and
preserving tradition and doing the right thing, as defined by those Traditional values.
Their goals are to faithfully follow the rules and dictates of the respected authorities. And
the respected authority is the authority of the tradition. So that’s the Traditional
worldview, and we call people who hold this worldview traditional. A traditionalist,
having traditional values. For those of us in Western culture, this is traditional family
values; it’s exactly what it sounds like. People with a traditional worldview trust and will
follow a certain style of leadership, one of the four, and not the others.
Those of us who live in the developed world and who have been exposed to many types of
culture have come to recognize that there’s something called a Post-Modern worldview.
Modern vs. Post-Modern. The Post-Modern worldview can be described as “the world is a
diverse web of interrelationships, where humans and other life depend on each other for
survival and wellbeing.” That’s the Post-Modern worldview. People who have a Post-
Modern worldview tend to have core values of things like personal growth and
development, connection, diversity, contribution. They tend to be concerned with things
like making a difference, cultivating harmonious interpersonal relationships, and fostering
equality and fairness. Historically speaking, the human rights movement, and many of
these developments in society came out of when this Post-Modern worldview emerged.
So what you can see here is a Modern worldview, Traditional worldview, Post-Modern
worldview, but there’s one other. This is called the Imperial worldview. There are still
many places on the planet and many cultures, even in our own neighborhoods, in our own
communities. There are many people, perhaps in the inner-city, perhaps in rural parts of
town, perhaps in maybe the rougher part of town, maybe the bar district, or where a lot of
folks do manual labour kind of cultures; there’s this Imperial worldview. Which
historically emerged on the planet before the Traditional worldview, and it will always be
with us, because societies and cultures have these different worldviews.
The Imperial worldview would be described like this: “The world is a jungle, where the
strongest and most cunning survive, gain power, and satisfy their desires.” We all know
people like this. I’ve got aunts and uncles like this. I don’t know whether you do or not. I
come across people with this worldview all the time. People with an Imperial worldview
we sometimes refer to as being “power-centric.” Folks who are power-centric have core
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 18
motivational drivers and values of things like: respect, personal power, and not following
the rules like the more conformist, traditional folks, but actually not having to follow the
rules, not being constrained by conventional society. But rather to live outside of
conventional society, and to be unconventional. They’re concerned with things like being
top dog, breaking free from limits, gratifying desires, living life on one’s own terms. Their
goals include things like gaining control, being strong and breaking free from limits. Again,
we all know people like this who have this worldview.
So from all these worldviews, each of these folks is going to trust a different kind of
leadership, look for a different type of leader, define authority in different ways, have a
different sense of expectations and behaviors of a good leader, and they will also define,
differently, how things could be better. To link them up explicitly, people with a Modern
worldview, what we call achievers, who seek opportunity to advance toward their goals,
they’re going to trust Strategic leadership. They’re going to trust the leader with the most
expertise, who can, in a very strategic and rational way, lead us toward achieving our
goals, having more success. This style of leadership works great in sales departments,
professional services firm, innovation-driven companies, senior management positions, in
roles that require advanced levels of education. Achievers are going to want to trust and
follow Strategic leadership.
People with a Traditional worldview are very authoritarian oriented. They look to the
authority to tell them what things mean, what’s right, what’s wrong, and so on. They will
trust Authoritarian leadership. They’re looking to the person with authority; that’s either
a person in authority because they have the position, or the person with perceived moral
authority, that perception of moral authority as defined by Traditional values. Those folks
value stability and conformity and they rely on people in roles of positional or perceived
moral authority for direction and meaning. They’re going to look for and trust an
authoritarian leadership style, and not the others.
People with a Post-Modern worldview we sometimes refer to as being pluralistic, or
having a pluralistic worldview. They like to refer to themselves as having a Progressive
worldview. We also sometimes use the term Relativistic worldview. In any case, what are
they looking for? They’re going to look for a leader who treats other people as equals.
Where a leader isn’t coming in like the Big Boss with all the answers, the leader is
someone who asks questions, and who perceives everybody as being a leader. Naturally
then, a person with a Post-Modern worldview is going to look for Collaborative leaders.
Where leadership is not vested in a single person, but it emerges via consensus. So
collaborative leaders invite people’s perceptions, feelings and intuition, via discussion and
dialogue, trying to work toward consensus, and collaborate toward the common good.
Some of us are saying, “But doesn’t that sound like the best type of leadership? That’s what
I want.” No! That’s not what people with Modern, or Traditional, or Imperial worldviews
want. To people with those other worldviews, Collaborative leadership is weak, is overly-
process. It’s just lots of talk, no action. So which style of leadership is “good” all depends
on our worldview.
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 19
Finally, we talked about people with an Imperial worldview who are more power-centric;
they’re looking for the strongest leader. They’re looking for the leader that is the most
powerful. People that have a power-centric mindset are going to trust Autocratic
leadership. The person with the power leads via chain of command. So that type of leader
is going to impose their will through reputation, fear and respect. They’re going to tightly
control information, reward compliance and punish disloyalty. That works great with
combat units, physical labourers, etc. This is an underlying pattern of human meaning-
making that defines interpersonal relationships, and determines what people in the city
look for in their leaders. And if we are Integral leaders in a city, if we can recognize that a
particular group of people has a power-centric worldview, achiever mindset, or
collaborative approach, then we can start to appreciate how they’re going to look for
different leaders, and what we can do as Integral leaders is, instead of being a one-trick
pony, where, “hey, I grew up around authoritarian leadership, or strategic leadership, and
that’s just what good leadership is, and people who are just like me? Hey, I can motivate
and influence people that think just like me. But people that don’t think like me, I can’t.”
That’s the difference.
Marilyn Hamilton: What I hear you saying is something that’s a very powerful framing
for the complexity of the city. That leadership can’t be a one-size-fits-all. Brett, with your
laying out these four worldviews and four styles (and I have to give you full compliments
because you mentioned that it usually takes a much longer time do to that, and I think you
covered a lot of ground – very rich for trying to understand the complexity of the city). So
Brian, we’ve listened to Brett present these four worldviews and four styles, I’m
wondering how you would see that Holacracy can actually embrace within organizations
all of those styles? Or is Holacracy actually demanding yet a fifth worldview and style, and
that’s where it emerges from?
Brian Robertson: It’s a great question. One of the fascinating things about Holacracy,
when I see it in play, it creates a ground through the structures and systems where
everybody can show up with whatever worldview, value system, they have themselves,
and bring the best of whatever it is they can offer from that space, as long as it serves the
purpose. To me, in terms of Holacracy, that’s what integrates everything else… is purpose.
Not purpose as in “what’s my purpose?”; “what’s your purpose?”; “what’s the collective
human purpose?” It is the purpose of the organization. Holacracy requires getting clear on
what the purpose of the organization is. When we get a good process for sorting out what
is serving that purpose, or increasing the capacity to express that purpose, versus what
may be more about us personally, my values, my interests… which are fine, too, but not to
be brought in and dominate the organization. What Holacracy does, which is so beautiful
to me, is sort those two out, so that everyone can show up with their values, capacities,
wherever they are, and bring the best of them. But the process screens and filters to
what’s relevant to the purpose. In doing that, it sends a message. It doesn’t force anyone to
be different than they are.
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 20
When I see people showing up in this, one of the beauties of it for me is that it just
embraces people, wherever they are in their own development, in their own journey, in
their own values. It embraces them and says, “Clearly, if you choose to show up here, it’s to
express this organization’s purpose. And you can bring your full self to do that, but you
cannot dominate it with your own stuff.” Then it sorts that out in real-time. What that does
is to harmonize these different value systems. I see that a lot. And there’s a lot of different
ways to slice things. I love the model Brett brought up, and you can also slice things
around different types of people, and different types of information we tune into. There’s a
lot of different models out there. All show a different slice of our human capacity to
perceive, tune in, select and filter our reality, and bring it forward. Holacracy is kind of a
meta-level system. It’s not operating from any one of those. Rather, it’s holding a neutral
space where all can arise to the extent that they serve the purpose.
Marilyn Hamilton: That’s a beautiful way of framing something I often get asked about
Integral Cities. They think maybe what I’m talking about is some great utopia that at some
point the city’s going to levitate into some kind of uniform worldview and set of values. I
try to dispel that illusion very quickly, because I think there are two reasons that that’s not
likely to happen in our cities any time soon. The first is that worldviews and development
happen naturally across an individual’s lifetime, so you actually go through developmental
stages we’re born into, having to learn how to be human. So we can look very quickly
around the city and see how different generations express their values differently. You can
look within your own lifetime backwards and see that when you were a kid, you saw the
world much differently than when you were a teenager, or young adult, or as you are now,
a mature adult.
That kind of natural, living, organic system is going to continue with us, I think, for a long
time, maybe forever. The other thing that’s happened in cities is that, especially in North
America, where I believe all three of us reside, and certainly you can see this in northern
Europe, is that the whole world has come to each city.
It used to be that there were fairly homogenous cultures and structures in cities. You
could even predict how organizations would work. Thinking about Brett’s reference to
“Imperial,” I think of China, which had the world’s first civil service with a meritocracy
there. It had already embedded into it the idea that you could actually measure people’s
performance. But when we look at today’s modern cities, we see that there are many
tribes that have come from all the four corners of the world, so all the cultures and
worldviews Brett’s talking about don’t just come from homogenous sources, but from
where they originated, from people who were born in India or Scandinavia, or Australia,
or Japan, or Texas. All of a sudden we’re in the same organization, trying to work together;
in the same city, trying, as Brett was saying, to satisfy what’s important to us; and try,
actually, as a complex adaptive system within the city, to make heads or tails of it. So
thanks Brian for bringing that meta-view of Holacracy. And thank you, Brett for that very
granular, but useful, look at the four worldviews and four leadership styles. Do we have
any questions from the audience?
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 21
Eric Troth: One of the things I’m trying to get a good sense of is; our life conditions at this
time in history are demanding something more that’s pushing us to a new level of
organization. We see these four different leadership styles and worldviews, yet at the
same time the complexity at this time in history is driving something more. I’m seeing
Holacracy as a response to that. I’m curious if you can flesh that out a little more, in terms
of the complexities of life at this time, and how things are inadequate at some of these
other levels of development. For instance Brian, you refer to the “tyranny of consensus,”
which in a developmental frame of a Post-Modern worldview, gravitates toward
consensus. Yet we don’t have the luxury of taking in so many different worldviews. We
need those that are necessary and sufficient to move the organization’s purpose forward.
Brian Robertson: This kind of “meta-capacity” I mentioned about Holacracy points to
something else. Each of these different styles has gifts it brings, and also some blind spots
or limits to it. In the world today, the increasing complexity and uncertainty, the pace of
change, the interconnections… the complexity of everything around us seems to be
increasing. More and more in today’s organizations, we’re going to need all of those
different strengths at play. I’ve worked in many organizations, as I’m sure have others,
where it seemed like certain talents that they all “biased” for certain worldviews. And
others that were excluded or rejected. Like many of the non-profits I get to work with
have a predominant Post-Modern or Collaborative worldview. If that becomes a bias that
excludes others, you start losing something; you lose a speed of responsiveness,
sometimes. You can actually hide the purpose of the organization by it collapsing back
down to “what do we, the people, want?” In a way that then dominates some larger
purpose from emerging through us.
I think increasingly, when you see organizations that are not able to embrace all of this, it’s
a limit to how much they can response to today’s world, and express a purpose in it. One
of the things I often find about Holacracy is that it’s easy to mistake it for coming from any
one, actually, of those worldviews, because it leaves a space that integrates all of them. So
I’ll often find people, whatever worldview they’re coming from, whatever they most
resonate with, will first see Holacracy and say, “Wow, this is great!” If it’s a Post-Modern
space, they’ll say, “Wow! This really embraces people, it gives everyone a voice, it
distributes power…” Which it does, but it actually distributes and uses autocratic power…
but distributed autocratic power, which is interesting. Anyway, they’ll see what they love
in it. Then they’ll get into practicing it some, or they’ll learn more about it, and suddenly
there’ll be something that’ll start challenging them. One of the things I’ve learned and
warn people about now in our deep trainings, is: Whatever it is you most value, chances
are Holacracy will provide that for you in your organization, more than you even thought
possible. BUT… it comes at a price. And the cost of that is that you must be equally
prepared to embrace its opposite.
So whatever it is you most value: giving everyone a voice; collaborative decision making;
excellence; responsiveness; agility; listening and responding to the market. Whatever it is
you most value, Holacracy probably does it better than the conventional operating system,
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 22
probably quite well. But the cost is; you’ve got to embrace these other polarities with it to
get them. In fact, if you’re practicing Holacracy well, the beauty of it is, you don’t have to
love these other polarities; you don’t have to even understand them. The system holds it.
It’s baked into the processes. To me, that’s a critical capacity, because these worldviews
get pretty entrenched. We can’t rely on a person suddenly flipping a switch and naturally
hold and harmonize all of them. I can’t… I don’t know when I’m getting stuck in my own
biases and blind spots. None of us do. No matter how much I develop my own
consciousness, capacity, and all of that, there’s still the risk that I’ll still get stuck
sometimes, as will everyone else. What Holacracy does is bake it into the structure of the
systems and processes; that hold up a mirror and don’t let any of us get stuck and
dominate the organization. They’ll let us get stuck, but not dominate the organization with
it. Which means that everyone can show up and bring whatever it is they have that’s
worthwhile for the purpose, they can contribute. I think that’s an interesting point; we’re
dealing with all these different worldviews, and in a world that increasingly calls for more
capacities. The organizations that can embrace the best of all of these different capacities,
and others (however we’re slicing and dicing things), what we need is a space where
whatever the purpose is, whatever we’re trying to express or achieve in this organization,
anything valuable to that can show up and get harmonized and integrated. That takes a
really meta-level structure and system. Frankly, I’ve never met a single leader who can
hold all that heroically. I think it has to be in the system, if you really want to get there.
Marilyn Hamilton: That makes a lot of sense Brian, that you’re really calling forth this
larger system. As we were talking earlier today from design perspectives, it really strikes
me that even Mark DeKay was referencing what Brett was talking about, in the styles of
leadership, Mark was talking about styles of design, about worldviews of designers
themselves. I referenced the city as holding the whole world, and one way that’s often
referred to these days is that the tribes of the world are here. There’s a new book out
related to tribal leadership, by Dave Logan. Can you comment on that, Brett?
Brett Thomas: Dave Logan’s book has been very popular. I think one of the reasons is that
his book talks about cultures. It’s certainly not about Integral Leadership, so I can
differentiate the two. He talks about different cultures. He puts it on a hierarchy. Cultures
that are autocratic, rough-and-tumble, people are suspicious of one another, at its worst.
From there it might evolve into a culture that follows the rules, and is much more
conformist and a little more ethnocentric. Then it could evolve into a culture where people
are more strategic, and people are more competitive, and get a lot more done, and so on.
But that competitiveness ultimately evolves into a collaborative culture, which is the “best.”
What’s great about the book is that it gets people to really think about these different
cultures that are suspiciously sounding like the worldviews. You’ll notice that when you
read the book. He did draw on Spiral Dynamics and value systems and Ken Wilber’s
approaches. I think it’s good that he’s popularizing and getting people to think about how
cultures can have these different value sets. But Ken and I very much disagree with Dave
Logan’s conclusions. From our point of view, each of these cultures - autocratic,
conformist, strategic and collaborative – we don’t see it as a hierarchy at all. Rather, we
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 23
see each of those cultures as being legitimate, having healthy and unhealthy versions. In a
fire department, you could have a healthy version of autocratic, and in the enlisted
services you could have a healthy version of authoritarian, and in a sales department you
could have a healthy version of strategic, and in a non-profit or ad agency you might have
a healthy version of collaborative. We diverge there. But there are different cultures, and
we need to respect and appreciate the differences in cultures, and leaders would do well
to read all kinds of books, including Tribal Leadership, to have a different appreciation of
how cultures show up, and how different cultures will tend to resonate with, and benefit
from different leadership. What Dave Logan and I completely agree on is that leaders that
are more versatile, that can create and appreciate different cultures, and use a versatile set
of leadership styles, are better. Tying back to something Brian talked about, I agree that
Holacracy is a structure, a set of rules that we can buy into and agree to follow. Whether
any of these worldviews that we have, if we’re willing to follow the rules, and if we believe
in the purpose of the organization, whether it’s a fire department, platoon, sales team, or
non-profit, if we buy into that, regardless of our worldview, Holacracy is a good thing.
In conclusion, I would build on one thing. Brian likes to use the term “tyranny of
consensus,” and that’s right. With a very Post-Modern culture, that consensus can be too
much if there always has to be consensus. But there can also be a tyranny of bureaucracy
in organizations that are too traditional and authoritarian. Or, a tyranny of
competitiveness, where even the teams in an organization are competing against each
other and fighting to get a promotion. There’s a tyranny of being overly-competitive, if
you’re too much of a strategic leader. Lastly, there’s the tyranny of the autocrat, the tyrant.
“My way or the highway.” So the cool thing about Holacracy and Integral Leadership,
where we come together, is that we want to create space for different worldviews and
different leadership styles, but we also want to bring wisdom to appreciate that they’re
not all equal. In certain situations, circumstances and people, we do need “distributed
autocracy,” “limited authoritarianism,” “necessary bureaucracy,” and a proper amount of
perspective-taking and consensus in airing tensions.
Whether you’re using Integral Leadership (lower-left interpersonal phenomena), or
Holacracy, which we might say is a structure or system that’s certainly all-quadrants,
though we often think of it as a structure or system which we might initially anchor in the
lower-right. Either way it’s to allow space for all the differences and diversity, yet do it in a
more wise and effective way so we’re not just arguing with one another, but rather we’re
working together toward the common good and purpose of the organization or the city.
Marilyn Hamilton: Thanks Brett. That’s a beautiful way of summarizing it. Earlier this
week in speaking with Ken Wilber, we talked about my use of the four maps of the city.
The fourth map I call the genealogy of organizations. Over time, organizations have
become progressively more complex. The organizations you refer to in the styles of
leadership and worldviews, I have eight of them, which parse your four out into a more
granular analysis. I agree with you that although you can look at the genealogy of the
complexity, in fact they all coexist. All the organizations you mentioned are alive and well
© Integral City eLab October 13, 2012 24
in the city. They do have very valid roles to play. So thank you for giving us a way we can
value these different value systems in the city.
As we’ve looked across this week of Gaia’s Reflective Organ, something that’s come up
again and again is the way that we emerge new intelligences is to make more
interconnections. One of the things I’ve always loved that Meg Wheatley says is, “If you
want to improve the health of a system, connect it to more of itself.” I want to thank Brian
for sharing the Holacracy approach as a social technology that allows us to do that within
organizations. And as we move forward, Brian, I’m looking forward to continuing to be co-
creative around this and discovering how we might take this meta-approach even to the
scale of a city, across all the system of systems. And Brett I want to continue to take the
brilliance you’ve got in working with organizations, through all the worldviews, and
enabling them to be effective in ways I think the future of the city will absolutely depend
on. So I would like to thank you both for today.

© Integral City eLab October 6, 2012
Aligning Strategies to Prosper – Logic Processors Connecting the
What and where are we implementing inquiry intelligence?
Speaker: Dr. Ann Dale
Interviewer Dr. Marilyn Hamilton, PhD
September 18, 2012

Dr. Ann Dale is a faculty member with the School of Environment and
Sustainability at Royal Roads University. Ann holds a Canada Research Chair in
Sustainable Community Development ( and is a Trudeau
Fellow Alumna (, as well as a Fellow of the World
Academy of Art and Sciences. She chairs the Canadian Consortium for
Sustainable Development Research (CCSDR), a consortium of all the heads of
research institutes across Canada, and is active in the Canadian environmental
movement. Ann chairs an organization she created, the National Environmental Treasure (the
NET, Current research areas include governance, social capital and
sustainable community development, biodiversity policy, and deliberative electronic
dialogues ( She is a recipient of the 2001 Policy Research Initiative
Award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Policy for her most recent book, At the edge:
sustainable development in the 21st century.
Marilyn Hamilton: This week we are curious about how can we align the strategies to
prosper? I am really interested in the depths of both your compassion and commitment to
both of these inquiries. Particularly in creating sustainable communities and how thriving
cities can actually feed this. I want to start with a question that explores what I called
‘Inquiry Intelligences’. How have you developed your approached to research to discover
in the communities that you are working in what is working and what isn’t working?
Ann Dale: As you know my research is applied and it is interdisciplinary. Interdisciplinary
research is very different from multidisciplinary research. I define multidisciplinary as
everyone comes together at the end and pretends that they were collaborating together.
Where in interdisciplinary research is when you come together at the very beginning of
the research project or question or whatever it is that you are exploring and you co-create
the research questions and you are an integrated research team from the very beginning.
Then there is trans-disciplinary research which means you bring in other sectors of
© Integral City eLab October 6, 2012 2
society which are critical to the production of useful knowledge for sustainable
community development. So that is the basis of where I come from.
So that is all about collaboration. Essentially when we are in this field, what we are talking
about is social innovation. What is social innovation? Social innovation is inherently
collaborative. It is a collective exercise. No one person does it alone. So I am thinking along
the themes of collaboration and communication. You have to get the information out there
to communities and research inquiry as it is happening on the ground. Because what you
want to do is share your learning. Share the nuggets of gold. Share what is working and
what isn’t working as soon as possible. That is a very atypical type of research agenda.
Because as academics we are supposed to wait to make sure everything we write is letter
perfect. Everything is wonderfully thought out. We have gone through extensive peer
review. I think there is a different way of doing research. Because sustainable community
development is beyond any one sector, beyond any one level of government, any one
discipline to solve. So it is inherently collaborative.
Just recently started thinking about bring social innovation into my work because that is
what we are about. We want to infuse social innovation throughout communities
everywhere. One of the issues with social innovation, particularly at the community level,
is how do you scale them up and then how do you get them to influence government. A
colleague of mine, Francis Westly, the head of the Centre for Social Innovation - The
pyramid of power in government is such that we are at the bottom and government is at
the top. So how do we invert that triangle?
I think there are some cities that are actually more open to really progressive and
community engagement. Interestingly enough, those communities who have got strong
community engagement processes in place, where they listen, where its appreciative
inquiry, it’s not consultation, its engagement, are farther along sustainable development
pathways than other cities. Malmo, Sweden comes to mind, Växjö. They all have very
strong community engagement programs to implement their policies and there climate
change adaptation and mitigation strategies. So, you can see your concept of the hive is
embedded in what I am talking about.
This is a collective exercise. It is collective intelligence. I think that sometimes we miss the
many important small steps searching for the big perfect Meta fix. And what we have to do
is remember that there is a big implementation gap between the research communities.
There is an awful lot of science, a lot of information about sustainable community
development. Why isn’t more happening on the ground? How can we accelerate the
sharing of that knowledge? So the other things I have been looking at in terms of speeding
the exploitation of knowledge are peer to peer learning exchanges. Most of the literature
shows how do adults learn? They learn from their peers. So how can you accelerate those
peer-to-peer learning exchanges both on-line and in face-to-face? And, in a combination of
face-to-face and virtual? So what I am participating in today is what I see as a very
important experiment in trying to accelerate all of the stuff that I have just been talking
© Integral City eLab October 6, 2012 3

Marilyn Hamilton: Thanks. I think you did hit on many of the points that are really
relevant to how this conference was shaped. I did see it as an experiment and that it would
be emergent. We would have a few surprises along the way and indeed that has happened.
Another thing you mentioned that I would like to ask you to unpack a little further is your
interest in collective intelligence. This is something I have suspected related to the hive
and the hive mind. So maybe you can tell us a little more about the collective intelligence
that you are noticing and I would also like to know how you see that connecting to the
social innovation factors that you are also seeing patterns emerge in society.
Ann Dale: It is interesting because I was just with my research team. The other thing I
actively experiment with is this novel kinds of way of doing research and research
partnerships. So for example I have been working quite closely with a workers not for
profit cooperative for sustainability solutions. They are a team of sustainability
practitioners. Some of who were my former graduate students. They work all across the
country. And look at new models of government. So I have been looking at how can
research, my research team, work with a group of practitioners. And how can we make
our research out there? It’s the communication aspect.
It is really interesting. I will talk about networks first. When I bring my networks together
and they bring their networks together there is an emergent property where our outreach
if far greater than using one in isolation from another. I compare it to when you skip a
pebble on a pond and the ripples spread out. I think it is the synergy that comes together
from combining two diverse networks and then they then communicate further out. So it’s
many to many instead of one to one. So you are doing many to many, many many. It
spreads out. And our ability to be able to bring groups of people – of experts – together in
our on-line dialogues is consequently further enriched because they bring their people
together with my people. The emergent thinking and solutions are much richer.
What we are learning, and this gets back to inquiry – is the first conversation we always
have on-line bringing together essentially strangers, but, strangers into a safe place is that
we always have to have some inquiry. We have to go through questions, we build trust, we
learn how others communicate and then we move on.
I just came from a research workshop in Kingsburg, Nova Scotia. One of the things about
inquiry or the research process is as you know the Holy Grail. You never really find out the
truth and it is always elusive. That is what keeps you researching, right? Because, if you
ever found all the answers, then you would probably stop doing it. I find the research
process really interesting. You start off, especially as the leader of the group, and you think
we have this big question, how are we ever going to solve it. And sometimes I lay awake at
night thinking about it. But I am always amazed that we go through this process and by
the second or third day I am thinking, “Oh, we are never going to get anywhere. This is all
over the map. What is happening?” And then it starts coming together in a very novel and
interesting way. And that is what I call collective intelligence. But there is a process
© Integral City eLab October 6, 2012 4
involved in that. You know there has to be trust there has to be sharing, there has got to be
no fear to put something really strange out there. I am always amazed and it is based on
the principal that the group always out performs the individual.
I know some of my students have a problem with that. Because some of use think we are
more brilliant than others. But it’s true all the literature points that the group always
outperforms the individual. So I think this is a really important concept for city planners,
anybody involved in our field, economic development officers. And, I do wish politicians
would start paying attention to the group always outperforms the individual.
So then that gets to social innovation. And social innovation is different from innovation,
because innovation can be technological. But social innovation is inherently collaborative.
Therefore, you need groups of people coming together to be able to solve what a problem
is in a community. Just as you need groups of people coming together to solve what
collectively makes your city more sustainable. And it’s in that group and collective
exercise and through the collaboration you come to the much deeper solutions. But,
collaboration isn’t easy. It is similar to good communication. We all think that we
communicate in our marriages and our relationships. Well quite often we are not
communicating. So collaboration means letting go of your boarders. Letting go of your
own ego and approaching it with the idea that what the group is going to come up with
will be far greater than any of the individuals. The whole is greater than the sum of the
Marilyn Hamilton: I think that your idea around collaboration not being easy and the
whole precept of groups outperforming the individual I have been watching the literature
on that for a long time. In a society where individuals are kind of hyper individuated in
some stages of development now it means I also encounter with my students this sort of
reluctance to let go and see how we might learn as teams.
Last week on of our presenters actually challenged the whole concept of design in group
and was proposing that something different happens when you go into what he calls hive
mind. Even on the first day, Michael Zimmerman questioned whether our concepts of
design are going to get us where we need to go. So it sounds to me like you too are actually
experimenting with how to tap into collective intelligences in which there is no small print
or guidebook written. You are just trying to experiment with what is possible. Is that a fair
and admirable observation of your daring to do in setting up your research framing?
Ann Dale: Yes I agree, I always try to work with others. Going back to its beyond any one
discipline, any one sector whatever. So whenever I am starting an inquiry or a research
project, I try to form an advisory committee or for example my Canada Research Chair has
a board of directors because I try to identify where the gaps are in my knowledge. And
when you look at it, most of us are very impoverished when it comes to ecological
knowledge. When you live very disconnected from nature, which we do in our cities
because there is more concrete and our infrastructure and our services are hidden. Also
too you are disconnected from a lot of biodiversity.
© Integral City eLab October 6, 2012 5
So it is very important to know about the ecological services, the functioning of the
infrastructure of your city. That is your bread and butter. That is what we are all
dependent on. And yet we are so ignorant and have so much education in so many other
things. I like to argue that there is an inverse relationship between ecological literacy and
the level of decision making in this country [Canada].
It is just really important to identify where the gaps in your own knowledge are how are
you going to fill those gaps in the teams that you are going to assemble around any project
of inquiry that you are doing? I do believe deliberate sign. I wish I had listened to the
earlier conversations because I think we as human beings – based on my knowledge of a
former executive in the federal government, and my work on deliberate dialogues and
using it for research dissemination – we human beings are very bad at different. We don’t
embrace diversity. And so you have to deliberately design the people you need at anyone
table to help you solve something. And quite often the voices of the poor and the
marginalized are always absent from the table. They are most often absent from the table.
I think this is a major problem facing cities.
We have a book coming out in November on Urban Sustainability: Reconnecting Space and
Place. We have neighbourhoods of haves, and these neighbourhoods of have-nots. And
that is not sustainable. How do you create bridges between the haves and the have-nots?
How do you deliberately design communities so you have diversity? Particularly in
cooperative housing? How do you do that? Give people space to come together for social
capital, for getting to know one another. One of the best ways to bring people together is
through food.
I see the 100 mile diet, the 100 mile stuff and all the local markets happening. It’s
phenomenal. If you go to one of those markets you’ll see such an exchange of information
between the client and the farmer: sharing of recipes, sharing of knowledge about food
production. Nothing is more primordial than food. So it’s really interesting what is
happening. I often wonder if maybe we had just concentrated on food and linking
sustainable development to food security in the 1980’s, when some of us started to work
on this, we would be a lot better off.
It is interesting, if I can just digress a bit here. I was in Halifax. I didn’t know this but
Halifax has the largest organic food market in all of Canada. It is housed in two buildings.
That is interesting to me because Nova Scotia is one of the provinces that didn’t have the
highest per capita income although, that is changing. I live out of Ottawa, which is the
capital city of our country. Ottawa doesn’t have a large year round indoor food market like
Montreal has, like Vancouver has food markets. It’s amazing to me that you have such a
significant gap in a country that has as many resources as Canada. So we have these
pockets of knowledge. We have pockets of best practices. But they are not diffused across
the country.
Then on the other hand, the community in which I was staying with was an old fishing
community. My team had made me question what the meaning of community was. I met
© Integral City eLab October 6, 2012 6
people in that community from Texas from Florida from wherever. They had come into a
beautiful landscape and renovated these old fishing homes. They come in for two or three
weeks of the year and then there are $2.5 million seasonal homes. The place has a great
beauty, but it’s kind of violent. There is not a bee hive of activity. So what is community?
Marilyn Hamilton: I know that in one of the prologues that you and I had where we
talked a lot about the background of how you actually, in your own career, came into this
whole inquiry and research work. It is something that is recent and emergent for you even
in the last ten to fifteen years. It is out of a long term executive position in federal
government. So when we look at now thinking what is the meaning of community? It is a
reoccurring theme that we are finding. People are asking how we make meaning about
communities that are now often are electronic they are not face-to-face even. So it is
interesting that both of us in our own inquiry into what makes humans fully conscious and
fully engage that we both experimented with face-to-face as well as electronic ways of
One of the conversations that I had with Terry Patten, who will be one of the though
thought leaders next week on our conference, had him remarking when he goes to
Starbucks he can sit down and connect with friends in Thailand, Japan, Canada and Europe.
He lives in San Francisco and might not know anyone who is sitting with him in Starbucks.
So who is in community? He electronically with his friends or because his body is in
Starbucks is he in community with people that are with him who probably live within
walking distance? We are at a very interesting stage of evolution in our cities.
Ann Dale: I completely agree. Relationships are changing in fundamental ways because of
our internet communication tool. We don’t even know what is happening as these
relationships are evolving. Some of it is evolving in healthy ways and some of its not. We
have to start asking ourselves very profound social questions. Wouldn’t it be better if he
was both talking to people in Starbucks and also talking to people in far away countries?
Putman asked the question, “Do we need to know more people by knowing our
neighbours or more policemen on the street?” in his book Bowling Alone. Because, we
need both.
Let’s take virtual connectivity, for example, (and I will speak very personally). I live in a
beautiful place outside of Ottawa. We cannot underestimate people’s connection to place.
So, one of the important questions that I’m asking myself about cities is, “How can we
make places more beautiful? And through that beauty connect people in more diverse
ways with more diverse people in those cyber places?”
If I didn’t work virtually I couldn’t have my five acres by this small place that I work.
Through virtual connection I can connect to libraries and for forth. But I also learned I
have to be careful about not becoming isolated and disconnected from my own people,
from other people. So I deliberately now go into town and into those spaces. It’s
interesting that on one hand people can criticize and say we have all these coffee shops
there is so much consumption. Yet I see spontaneous conversations between people in the
© Integral City eLab October 6, 2012 7
lineup for coffee. They are places of connectivity. But they are not if we use them just to
come in and use your computer and you don’t interact with the people around you.
Marilyn Hamilton: One of the things I’ve noticed and talk to my current Royal Roads
community development cohort about is, “Are people afraid to actually meet people’s eyes
in the city?” I know I live in a smaller city and I feel like I know everyone. Of course I’m
open to talking in grocery store, to stopping on the street never mind in Starbucks. When I
go into larger cities, I am conscious that I have to become aware of the different context.
Yet, I feel these days that it might be I am walking down the streets of Vancouver or
Ottawa or Amsterdam. I am passing people that I may well have known on-line and I just
don’t recognize them face–to-face.
So I do think we are at a really interesting stage of human evolution. The kind of inquiry
and research that you are opening up that I think co-generates relationships and also
carries what you say the intention of a research question is with the design, bringing in
what I would call a “on purpose” group of people or population to participate in the actual
inquiry is very important. It’s kind of curious Anne when you talk about some of your
work some of it has been with the not-for-profit organization with the downtown eastside
of Vancouver. Is that correct?
Ann Dale – Yes.
Marilyn Hamilton - I’m curious there because one question we are asking the conference
is who else should be here? And you pointed at people that are marginalized and don’t
usually have a voice. How do you engage with people that you can’t usually get on-line or
you can’t usually find through the usual institutions? How do you find the people that are
marginalized to bring in their extra voices?
Ann Dale: What a great question Marilyn. Because, I learned over four years. I originally
started to do research in the downtown eastside with the binners or dumpsters divers.
They are the people that go into the garbage and take out the recoverable or recyclables
and then take them in. There was the founder of United We Can which is $3.5 million 40
person recoverable society in the downtown eastside. And he founded it. I started working
with him for three years. I was interviewing him. Typical researcher goes in and
interviews. And I always took a research assistant because at the beginning it was very
frightening to go into the downtown eastside as a female.
And, over three years we built this trust relationship. So then I built another three year
research project. I employed him as a co-researcher. That’s how you do it. Instead of
interviewing the subjects, work with them as co-researchers in the fundamental design of
your project. I employed another person who had previously been homeless. That didn’t
work out because of some personal issues and that was fine. But Ken was able to retrieve
data or information from the residents of the downtown eastside that is totally unique. It
could never have been collected by someone who wasn’t member of the community. It is
the same as do you work with the community or do you work for the community? And
when you bring the people you never know where someone else walks. Unless you have
© Integral City eLab October 6, 2012 8
been in their shoes, you have to bring them to the table because you are going to have and
implementation gap if you don’t. For instance, the downtown eastside has millions and
millions of dollars have been poured in to trying to fix the level of addiction. Now that the
people who suffer from the disease of addiction are being allowed to self organize and
emergent organizations are coming. I refer everybody to “Sole Food”. The concrete jungle
that is now green. They built gardens for themselves and they are now giving the food to
some of the residents in downtown, but selling organic to somewhere else. It is just
amazing what is happening there now. And you know it was small steps, not a million
dollar program to try and do this or try and so that. Those people must be brought in to
the design of any programs that are intended to be able to help them.
Marilyn Hamilton: So it isn’t a matter of throwing a gazillion dollars at something to
solve the problem. I love the term you used earlier called “meta fix” as opposed to actually
engaging people and asking them what is important, what is not working, and asking them
would they like to see, and creating perhaps space conditions for them to actually be able
to do so.
Ann Dale: You create the enabling environment for them to develop greater agency.
Agency doesn’t refer to organization there you are the agency. And that is a fundamentally
different approach.
Marilyn Hamilton: That is one of the terms that I have heard you and one of your
research student’s use recently. I think you have written a really interesting article about
it. Tell us more about what you mean by greater agency. How does that relate to
something like opening up communion with the larger community? What do you mean by
greater agency?
Ann Dale: Yes there is a connection there Marilyn. It would take more time then we have
to explore. I stumbled upon agency because I originally had a three year research project
on social capital and network formations and how can you mobilize social capital before a
crisis because we are really good a responding to crises. But in this field it may be too late.
So then the question arose in my mind. Why do some communities when the single
resource collapses, they collapse where others thrive? Same as why does one individual
transcend a horrible tragedy while another one collapse. Social capital refers to the
relationship between people. It is the collective. So then I game to the idea that there had
to be something a prior priority to that. I started to dig into my physiological image and
the question of agency came up. There seemed to be something that happened at the
individual level before they moved into capacity. We define agency as the will or the intent
on the part of the individual to take action on something. I am trying to finalize this journal
article where I am going to do 12 individual brilliant leaders age 14 to 54 across this
country. And I am amazed that there are some unanimous characteristics that come out of
these 12 interviews. Limited sample, but I think someone can take that on if they are
interested and research it. So I think we have to really look at, especially in our social
policies and especially in our cities where we want to be able to connect people. We want
© Integral City eLab October 6, 2012 9
to create the space for those connections for people. So you create the enabling conditions
for them to be able to express their own agency in solving the problems of their
community. Because if a person who has high agency does not have the enabling
conditions to be able to express that agency, that agency can then turn in on them. I have
often wondered about the change in the demographics in homeless people, especially in
cities, and about the high percentage of youth among the homeless now. What is going on
Marilyn Hamilton: That is a really powerful question that has a lot of tension that
deserves our attention around it. I can see that our t