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Cities Rising for a Regenerative World

Course Description:

With its roots in the Humanity Rising 2021 Cities Rising for a Regenerative World, this micro-course focuses on human systems at the scale of the city. We define “city” as the human habitat (or “human hive”) at scales from village to megalopolis, embracing the ecoregion in which the city is located. The inquiry embedded in Cities Rising complements other courses in the BRA/MRA, by highlighting the context–cities–in which most humans live, and the contribution cities can make to a Regenerative World.

Cities are the habitats where more than 50% of humanity live – in the developed world more than 90%. This course reframes cities from the bricks and mortar infrastructures of the visible city into a human system with consciousness, culture, behaviors and structures. This is the Integral City–a fractal that lies on the trajectory of living human systems, stretching from the individual, to the collective, to the city, to the planet Gaia (person, people, place, planet). This way of looking at the city assumes that it is a complex adaptive living system, evolutionary in its nature and integrative in its potential to serve the wellbeing of Gaia.


The 2020-21 years of the pandemic have taught us that it is at the scale of the city where humans make life and death decisions. Cities are where people have the opportunities to thrive or decline. The overriding purpose of this course is to inquire how people serve the wellbeing of the city and how the city serves the wellbeing of people, while together we serve the wellbeing of Gaia.


The overarching theme of the Cities Rising course is to help you experience your city/community as a dynamic living system.

Each lesson introduces you to a theme that is explored by a group of Reflective Practitioners who gathered to explore the city through the 5 windows through which we viewed their cities (from all the time zones of the world):

  • Lesson 1: Notice your relationship with your city/community and your learning edges.
  • Lesson 2: Experience your city /community as a living system of complex, adaptive dynamics.
  • Lesson 3: Discover and explore the governing principles and structures that best support the local conditions of your city/community functions.
  • Lesson 4: Generate ideas for your “civic practice” that will enable you to use the tensions in your city /community to shape your service to your city/community so that it can best serve you.
  • Lesson 5: Notice how you and we are mobilizing with regenerative action in ways that enable relationships of reciprocity with, within and from cities/communities, ecoregions and Gaia.
  • Lesson 6: Synthesize your learning through a creative art work.

Each of these themes are explored with the following key points in mind:

  • Scale of cities as human habitats
  • Cities are alive
  • Governance–local and global
  • Mutual Agency is a survival skill
  • Regenerativity
  • Synthesis

Who is This Course For?

This course is specifically designed for people interested in the regenerative, natural living systems of the city. Like our guests, we invite you to take the course as a Reflective Practitioner, noticing where you embody one or all of the 4 Voices of the Integral City:

  • Business Leader/Innovators seeking greater understanding of the opportunities for their businesses.
  • Civil Society (Third Sector) Leaders seeking more effective ways of delivering the services they provide.
  • Local Government Leaders/Civic Managers with responsibilities across a range of services, such as public service, healthcare, schooling, law enforcement etc.
  • Engaged Citizens, who explore, create and live their lives in the “human hive”.

The Reflective Practitioners

Each day of the Cities Rising week on Humanity Rising, we called a global group of Reflective Practitioners to reflect on the theme of the day. We had a different combination of guests each day, some participating for the whole week. Each day we invited one of the Reflective Practitioners to provide additional focus on the theme by sharing a model or framework that would deepen our reflections. We also finished each day with a visual representation of our conversation, provided by Hugo Araujo and his 7Vortex model. (A link to the 7Vortex model is provided in the course pages.)

While creating Cities Rising, systems thinker Donella Meadows provided inspiration for us to imagine the world as if it were a village of 100 people, noting demographic proportions. (In the video for Lesson 1, we share 2016 statistics by 100people.org and what the faces of New York City look like as a gallery of 100 faces.) We did not have the luxury to have 100 people join us as Reflective Practitioners during the Cities Rising week but we did invite a constellation of Reflective Practitioners with enormous international, transdisciplinary, multi-cultural life experience. (A link to the Reflective Practitioners’ bios and webpages are provided in the course pages.)

The Reflective Practitioners who participated in the Cities Rising week, who you’ll meet in this Micro-Course, are:

  • Jim Garrison, President, Ubiquity University
  • Hani Quan, Life Coach, Social Entrepreneur, Canada
  • Jorge Garza, Future Cities, McConnell Foundation, Canada
  • Hugo Araujo, Founder 7Vortex, Mexico, Belgium
  • Taina Ketola, Public Sector Specialist, Finland
  • Andres Malave, Cultural Consultant, France
  • Mark McCaffrey, Founder Co-Focal ECOS, Author Climate Smart & Energy Wise, Initiator Powers of 10 Framework, Italy
  • Stanley Nyoni, The Natural Step Consultant Africa, Sweden
  • Paddy Pampallis, Founder Integral Coach Africa, South Africa
  • Raji Jayasinghe, Ubiquity U Youth Initiatives, Sri Lanka
  • Luis Camargo, Biomimicry Expert, Columbia
  • Katerina Zalamova, Smart Cities Expert, Russia
  • Lev Gordon, Co-Founder of Living Cities Russia Association
  • MiraMichelle Jones, Founder The Sacred Female Rising Institute, Shaman
  • Soni Dasmohapatra, Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Specialist, Ayurvedic Explorer, Canada
  • Keren Tang, Public Health Professional, Participatory City, McConnell Foundation, Canada
  • Taisa Mattos, Global Ecovillage Network, Brazil
  • Indra Adnan, Journalist, Founder Alternative UK
  • Shweta Srisastav, Design Researcher, Architect, Sustainability Consultant, India & Netherlands
  • Julian Baller, ED Co-Creating Europe, Germany
  • Yene Assegid, International Coach, Ghana, Africa
  • Vandana Shiva, Author Earth Democracy, India
  • Lin Zhang, The Natural Step, China

Short biographies for the Reflective Practitioners are located in this Google Doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xW8wkHHQSqvckagarKdQs5rtqO4WKF_iuYa2p5mAQvw/edit

You are invited to participate in the spirit of the Cities Rising week and the principles we used to create the best possible reflective experience for an audience in a webinar format–or you in this course:

  • Enable various levels of participation
  • Enable agency at scale
  • Display and integrate diversity of faces and experiences from around the globe
  • Make the community system visible to itself

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Recognize how you interact with your city:
    • How do you contribute?
    • How do you experience the city?
    • What gives you comfort or anxiety in your city?
  • Name qualities of aliveness that energize you in the city?
    • What metaphor or image captures aliveness in the city?
  • Describe how you experience the city through the 5+ senses?
  • Name a structure in the city that holds you? How and why does it give you assurance and invite you to stay?
  • Recognize how trust and respect enable wellbeing.
  • Describe how Caring for Self, Others, Places, Planet contribute to city care.
  • Learn how Care translates into manifestation and action
  • Identify models of cooperation and collaboration
  • Point to ways we are interconnected, cross-connected, non-locally and non-linearly
  • Explore the meaning of ONEness


We have 2 faculty for this course. We act as a team, holding the space for the lesson themes, the Reflective Practitioners and facilitating learning opportunities.

Marilyn Hamilton, PhD CPA/CGA(ret) – Founder Integral City Meshworks; author Integral City Book Series, co-host Cities Rising for Regenerative World/Humanity Rising & curator Urban Hub 20, City Change in VUCA World co-evolves human hives as Gaia’s Reflective Organs. She is inspired by the Master Code of Care – caring for Self, Others, Place and Planet – to design courses & degrees with Ubiquity University for the wellbeing of the 4 Voices of the city: Citizens, Civic Managers, Biz/Innovators and the 3rd Sector. She is/was CEO, COO, CFO and CIO in the private and NFP sectors. She is a Findhorn Fellow and Fellow of Urban Arena Europe. Marilyn resides in Findhorn Spiritual Ecovillage, Scotland. www.integralcity.com



Course Modalities:

Non-Credit Options

Lite Level – This course is delivered on-demand with no faculty interaction and is perfect for lifelong learners who want to go at their own pace and who are not interested in academic credit but still want to experience the course.

Audit-No Credit – If you would like to participate when this course is offered in our Live Virtual Classroom mode, you may attend the live faculty webinars but will not be required to submit assignments for credit.

If you take a few courses and decide you want to officially enroll in a degree program, you can gain academic credit for Lite versions or Audit-No Credit versions by paying the difference between these course fees and a normal academic fee, successfully completing quizzes, submitting your reflection journals and delivering a Final Creative Assignment that will be graded.

For-Credit Options

Live Virtual Classroom: Study that takes place within Ubiquity University, in which Ubiquity academic coursework is accomplished through attendance in Live Webinars, with faculty and student interaction being a part of the Live Webinar content. To receive academic credit, you must not miss more than 3 live sessions, you must complete the quizzes and submit any other required assignments (if any), and a final creative assignment for grading at the degree level you are enrolled in.

Internal Online Independent Study: Study that takes place within Ubiquity University, in which Ubiquity academic online coursework is engaged in independently on one’s own and does not include faculty interaction. To receive academic credit, you must complete the quizzes and submit your reflection journals and final creative assignment for grading at the degree level you are enrolled in.

The rules guiding our assignment collection and grading process can be found here: Ubiquity University Grading Policy

Information about how we process refund or cancellation requests can be found here: Refund and Cancellation Policy


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Our shopping cart is simple and easy to understand. If you do not have a user account, you will be able to create one upon purchase. Save your username and password as you will need it to login to access course materials later. For more detailed, step-by-step instructions you can review our tutorial How to Purchase a Course. Again, if you experience any issues, please email Veronica Saldias at registrar@ubiquityuniversity.org.

We allow students at all academic levels to participate in our online courses. However, those students who are enrolled in MA or PhD programs are expected to offer a more sophisticated analysis on reflection tasks, writing assignments, and in the final creative assignment. You will be graded commensurate with your degree level. Except for the Final Creative Assignment, word counts are offered as guidelines. If you need to exceed the word counts to submit an MA or PhD level response, you may feel free to do so as long as the word count expansion is reasonable and necessary.

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Course Contact Information:

Live Virtual Classroom macrocourses are delivered by faculty in live Zoom sessions. You will have a course facilitator who is available to answer questions and offer additional assistance and that information will be provided to you upon registration. Please do not email faculty directly with any technology or registration issues.

For on-demand lite or Internal Online Independent Study versions, click the “Chat” button down on the left-hand side of the screen for any technical issues or questions you may have about the content.

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