As I reflect on yesterday’s distillation of 12 evolutionary intelligences that serve cities, I can’t help but think that there are things for us to do and ways for us to be to allow these intelligences to flourish. If these intelligences flourish, then so will citizens and cities.
So what would activation of our evolutionary intelligences look like? Endlessly practicing to:
See the whole city, the good and the bad.
Notice the systems within the city system, and the systems of cities.
Integrate of the four integral voices of self and the city: citizens (psychological well-being), city managers (biological well-being), city builders (social well-being), and civil society (cultural well-being).
Take action with the knowledge that our cities are alive, and extensions of us.
Make decisions with the knowledge that we shape our cities and our cities shape us.
Nourish our cities with our curiosity and catalytic connections.
Name our destination – the relationship we wish to have with our cities.
As I look at these points, I see that living these intelligences means knowing where we are going and not knowing where we are going at the same time. It means being certain in uncertainty. It means trusting ambiguity, and seeing clearing in ambiguity. It means embracing the gifts of differing opinions. It means being the citizens we need to be to have cities that serve us all well.
It means courageously having a destination in mind, even if only a thread. It means accepting that as individuals and as a species we are on a learning journey. It means being open to the future that is wanting to come into being and trusting that the future we want is the future we can have.
It means organizing ourselves and our habitat – our nest cities – to thrive.
As I leave this post with you today, I am at the end of Chapter 3 – The Thriving Impulse. Beginning with my June 13, 2012 post, Pause for evolutionary understanding, I explored some theoretical frameworks to shed some light on our evolutionary relationship with cities: Spiral Dynamics and Integral Theory. My next post will begin the transition from city patterns – our impulses to create cities and organize them so we thrive – to how we can go about organizing ourselves in our cities for emergence.