Imagine the city as a human hive – a living ‘reflective’ organ whose purpose is in service to Gaia’s well-being and sustainability and is embraced by its citizens.
I have recently moved to Findhorn Foundation to continue my research and development so that we can design cities – I call them ‘Integral Cities’ – so they add value to Gaia’s living system. Findhorn has become my new home, my new base for “Integral City work as love in action, co-designed with Nature” and my new teacher of “deep inner listening”.
Cities can be easily imagined as ‘human hives’, that can fulfill their purpose with internal and external resources. The human hive can be viewed as a living eco-system that facilitates connections between what I call the ‘Four Voices of the City’; citizens, civil society, city/institutional managers and business/innovators – so they not only thrive today but create a legacy of life conditions for future generations to evolve and develop.
My work is very much about acting as a ‘meta-pollinator’ who wakes up our human hives as part of the living system of Gaia, an idea shared by James Lovelock, author of the Gaia Hypothesis. A healthy human hive knows how to connect. It can align people to purpose and priorities. It can amplify what works, let go of what doesn’t and continuously enhances its contributions to Gaia. Human hives that learn from each other help develop the whole system in an evolutionary direction. That is what my work at Findhorn is about – I want to attract the ‘Four Voices of the City’, so they can meet one another, learn from the Findhorn experiment and co-create new systems of aliveness for the city.
If we can imagine such flourishing cities, we can imagine creating and implementing solutions for our current global challenges of climate change, energy and water management, food security, financial performance and cultural vibrancy. And we can imagine how to release unnecessary of unhelpful patterns of usage.Findhorn’s amazing legacy is to show how people from the world’s myriad cultures can learn from each other and pioneer ways to use not just sustainable resources and renewable energy but access the evolutionary impulse that comes through Spirit.
Projects like Integral City Meshworks and the Findhorn College use many of the principles practiced by the Findhorn Foundation in helping to manifest what we might imagine for the ‘human hive’. For example, though modelling ‘work as love in action’ and ‘co-creating with nature’, as well as sharing and teaching how ‘deep inner listening’ is fundamental to mutual trust and respect and cooperation through teamwork. It is through such work that we can imagine creating the model for community engagement, city development, business strategies and communication technologies to evolve our cities into thriving human hives.
Marilyn Hamilton Ph.D., is the author of Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive, and founder of Integral City Meshworks Inc. Marilyn leads a practice community using Integral City frameworks and practical tools to support multi-stakeholder groups in transforming their whole city and eco-region into habitats that are as sustainable and resilient for humans as the beehive is for bees. You can read more about her work at integralcity.com