Evolutionary intelligence – integrally

The last five posts articulate a body of work called Spiral Dynamics:

  1. Pause for evolutionary understanding begins Chapter 3 – The Thriving Impulse outlines the need to pause and understand our evolutionary trip as we organize ourselves in cities.
  2. Primer on the emerging spiral reveals a pattern in our emerging intelligence: Spiral Dynamics.
  3. 7 principles frame the emerging spiral articulates how the Spiral works: the trends behind the trends.
  4. Conditions for evolutionary expansion articulates the conditions that need to be met for the natural growth in our intelligence.
  5. Evolutionary impulse to thrive looks at movement on the Spiral in the context of changing life conditions.
The perspective offered by Spiral Dynamics is best viewed integrally, that is to say in consideration of the spheres and scales by which we experience the city.  In City – a dance of voice and values, I begin to knit together the Spiral of values and the four integral city voices: civic managers, civic developers, civil society and citizens.
Imagine the Spiral alive in each quadrant.  Imagine the Spiral alive in each individual in each quadrant. Imagine the Spiral alive across the whole city: a symphony of voices each expressing themselves from where they are at any given moment.  When an earthquake hits and our city is destroyed, we will hunker down for BEIGE survival.  On a day when the local hockey team has just one a big game, the city experiences a surge of RED elation and pride.  On a day when a drunk driver has killed a busload of school children, we call for a recalibration of our BLUE rules.    When we reach the big job at the top of the corporate ladder, we revel in our ORANGE achievement.  When we realize that our success has meant that others do not succeed, we are motivated by a GREEN communitarian ethic.  There is a point where we realize that the gifts of all these value systems are indeed of value together, rather than in competition with each other.  This is when we hunger for the integration of YELLOW, to flex and flow.
In a city’s population, these value systems are forever in flux, in each and all of us. The dance of voice and values is in self, others and the city all at once, all the time, at every scale, at every moment.
It makes city life a wonderfully dynamic experience with endless possibilities.
The next series of posts will explore some broad, macro principles that help create the conditions for the self and the city to thrive: evolutionary intelligence.


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