Spiral Dynamics: A Developmental Model of Worldviews


Spiral Dynamics is one of the most powerful tools that I’ve ever found to describe the evolution of worldviews on an individual psychological level as well as on a collective cultural level. Our personal value system and worldview is the lens in which we see the world and how we filter out what is meaningful and where our deepest priorities lie. Each individual has many different strands of development (such as cognitive, emotional, moral, spiritual, etc), but the entirety of our value system has a center of gravity that progresses through distinct stages and either evolves over time or plateaus into dogmatic fixed thinking.

The Spiral Dynamics model provides a framework for understanding how to transcend the negative limitations of each stage of development while including the positive and healthy aspects of the more inclusive stages. But more importantly, it gives us an understanding of where other people are in their values and gives some insight into how we can better relate to them.

Technological solutions alone can not save humanity from the many crises that our civilization faces. There’s also a cultural and psychological dimension that involves the evolution of consciousness towards more collaboration and sharing. Technology communities are on the leading edge of cultivating an Open Source Culture of collective individualism, changing business models to reward cooperation, and building infrastructures that support Swarm Intelligence. But it will take a lot more awareness and effort to spread these values into the mainstream culture, and this is where Spiral Dynamics can help identify where a culture at and where they need to go.

Spiral Dynamics is an amazingly rich and complex model, and this presentation will provide enough of a foundation for you to be able to learn more about it. I’ll be simplifying a selection of images from this curation of Spiral Dynamics visualizations: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kentbye/sets/72157622255211051/

Kent Bye

Website http://engagedheart.com/

Kent Bye is a spiritual geek who loves to conduct interviews and create wisdom media podcasts. He’s been informally studying Spiral Dynamics for the last six years, and has had the opportunity to interview Don Beck, who is one of the founders.