My entire understanding of Life has arisen through a wide swath of previously-established teachers, authors, cosmologists, storytellers, organizations, philosophers, communities, artists, and ideas… What follows is an evolving, (i.e. totally incomplete and random ; ) list of people, organizations, & websites that have most influenced me over the past year.  –  The Rules is a worldwide network of activists, artists, writers, farmers, peasants, students, workers, designers, hackers, spiritualists and dreamers, linking up, pushing the global narrative in a new direction. We’re tired of the incremental reforms… We focus on five strategic areas that are in desperate need of radical reform: Money, Power, Secrecy, Ideas and The Commons. We work with social movements, community leaders, cultural players, and everyday people with common adversaries and common goals. We explore world-changing ideas, dig up dirt on corporations and corrupt CEO’s, hurl metaphysical stones at governmental and societal repression.  –  a growing alliance of activists, initiatives, communities, movements and people who recognize that today’s crises (climate change, poverty, economic inequality, etc) are not discrete problems with pre-existing features, and as such do not have ‘final’ resolutions. [that they] are intra-connected, that we cannot respond to one without drawing upon the others, and that the way we respond to these crises is part of the crisis. Our objective is to reimagine activism: dancing with confounding questions and experimenting with new practices that might entangle our work more deeply with one another and with the world.  –  Wow. That’s sometimes all I can say when reading Christopher Chase’s blog about complexity, living systems, science, & philosophy. Really some of the cream of the crop here. Check it out.  –  We solve real-world problems… The Evolution Institute uses evolutionary science to solve real-world problems. Currently, there is no mechanism for applying current theory and research to public policy formulation. We aim to provide the mechanism. Working with our large network of advisors, we can: Identify and assemble the evolutionary expertise for virtually any topic relevant to human welfare… Organize workshops, coordinate the writing of position papers, and provide advisors… Assist in the implementation of the policies that we formulate.  –  The Next System Project is an ambitious multi-year initiative aimed at thinking boldly about what is required to deal with the systemic challenges the United States faces now and in coming decades. Responding to real hunger for a new way forward, and building on innovative thinking and practical experience with new economic institutions and approaches being developed in communities across the country and around the world, the goal is to put the central idea of system change, and that there can be a “next system,” on the map.

Thank God For Evolution – The rich website of evolutionary evangelist Rev. Michael Dowd, based on his book by that title, explaining an evolutionary marriage of religion and science that has been endorsed by numerous Nobel Prize winners and evolutionary scientists as well as a wide spectrum of spiritual and religious leaders.

The Great Story – The original website of evolutionary evangelists Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow, created and maintained by science-writer Barlow since 2002.

Center for Conscious Evolution – The website built around the work of Barbara Marx Hubbard, an elder in this movement, who first brought the term “conscious evolution” into popular consciousness.  She has another site at the Foundation for Conscious Evolution.  Her work explicitly embraces efforts to transform social systems in many sectors of society.

EnlightenNext – The website built around the magazine of that name (once called “What is Enlightenment?” and now dubbed “The Magazine for Evolutionaries”) created by evolutionary enlightenment teacher Andrew Cohen.  Andrew Cohen also writes about conscious evolution in his blog.  While maintaining their own unique, Eastern spiritual center of gravity, they provide a rich and eclectic buffet of evolutionary perspectives.

Integral Institute – The website for the extensive networking, inquiries, and collaborations that have arisen around the work of integral philosopher Ken Wilber, focusing on models of the internal and external dynamics of individual and collective development, with an ultimate grounding in non-dual spirituality.

Conscious Evolution – The evolutionary thinking of holistic activist and social change philosopher Tom Atlee, including visions of a movement for the conscious evolution of social systems and his research with Peggy Holman on evolutionary dynamics that can be used to transform social systems.

A Call to Conscious Evolution – A wake-up call petition created and signed by evolutionary spirituality leaders and others — still open to signatures — to make our own conscious evolution a priority as part of our engagement to transform the world in life-serving directions.

Evolutionary Spirituality Wiki – An online forum where you can work with others to articulate and co-evolve the intersecting movements for evolutionary spirituality and evolutionary action.

Institute for Noetic Sciences – A major cross-roads organization exploring the realm where consciousness and science meet to further individual and collective transformation.

Global Mindshift – A website of ideas, stories and conversations to engage us as participants in the co-creation of global community by expanding our view of what it means to be human based on knowledge of our evolutionary journey.

Elisabet Sahtouris and Lynn Margulis describe the science that reveals cooperation at the heart of the evolutionary process and the insight that we are cooperative civilizations of microbes.  They also point out that bacteria have pioneered much of what we are struggling with today as we seek to become a sustainable global civilization.

Syntony Quest – The integral design work of Alexander and Kathia Laszlo, informed by an evolutionary systems perspective that seeks to foster life-affirming, future-creating, and opportunity-increasing possibilities.

Robert Wright comments on current issues from an evolutionary perspective, often explicitly.  His book The Moral Animal is considerd by many the best on evolutionary psychology and his Nonzero had a profound impact on our thinking about the evolution of planetary civilization.

David Sloan Wilson is one of the greatest scientific popularizers of how evolutionary dynamics and understandings apply to everyday life and culture.

Institute for the Study of Complex Systems – The center for Peter Corning’s work on the central role of synergy and cooperation in generating the evolving complexity we see everywhere in the natural world.

Jonathan Haidt researches and publicizes the psychological and evolutionary scientific foundations underlying our ancient ethical wisdom traditions.

Awakening Earth – Site of Duane Elgin’s visons of the immense evolutionary opportunity we have for creating a vibrant global civilization arising out of and enhancing our living, evolving, awakening universe.

Evolution’s Arrow – John Stewart’s work on the role played in the evolution of living systems by aligning the self-interest of individual parts with the well-being of the whole, which has had a profound influence on Michael Dowd’s social vision.

The Center for the Story of the Universe – Site of the work of cosmologist Brian Swimme who, with “geologian” Thomas Berry, founded an early spiritualized evolutionary perspective upon the principle of cosmogenesis — the idea that the evolutionary dynamics of the cosmos as a whole — self-creation, differentiation, and communion — unfold at all scales and locations.

Peter J. Richerson is one of the leading researchers of cultural evolution, grounded in principles of evolutionary biology, arguing in such papers as “Culture is Essential” that culture shapes behavior and beliefs in ways that impact the gene-based natural selection process.

The View from the Center of the Universe – Cosmologist Joel Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams’ remarkable science-based description of the the central place of humans in the cosmos, and what that means for our lives here on Earth.

Ursula Goodenough is a cell biologist playing a leading role in exploring the relationship between religion and science.  Her highly regarded book, The Sacred Depths of Nature, is a foundational document of Religious Naturalism, a major spiritual worldview of science-based evolutionaries.

American Teilhard Association – Dedicated to the work of Teilhard de Chardin whose 1940s vision of the merger of material and spiritual evolution in human civilization provides the inspirational foundation for many branches of the conscious evolution movement today.

The Journal of Conscious Evolution – An independent journal of evolutionary thought edited by Allan Combs and Sean M. Saiter to serve the “emerging field of inquiry informed and inspired by evolutionary developmental, and integral approaches to consciousness and our urge to understand the cosmos.”  –  Living systems theorist, author.  –  A blog exploring the co-evolution of humanity and our technologies. My passion has been in watching what is happening at the intersection of technology, communication and culture – how people are using the web and peer-to-peer technology to more effectively self-organize, collaborate, build community, and accelerate social innovation… I am scouting the edges of technology and innovation, right where the magic happens.  –  Dave Pollard’s blog: A realistic look at civilization’s eventual collapse, and how to holistically prepare ourselves for both it, and the transformation of consciousness that will take place as a result of it… (Highly recommended.)  –  We serve as a collaboratory of people and a constellation of projects gathered around a central flame of nurturing the emergence of new stories for who we are as humanity, what we can become together and how to navigate the process of change. We believe the stories we tell ourselves set our course for the future. When we turn to Life for inspiration, our stories motivate and support us as we engage our rapidly changing world.  Our purpose is to utilize and expand the field of story as a primary tool for social innovation by gathering, co-evolving, and disseminating new images and practices that inspire, encourage and guide creative responses to the unprecedented cultural transformation of our times.  –  Evolutionary biologist and futurist Elisabet Sahtouris’ personal site, making most of her work freely available to all.  –  To change the public conversation around what the real causes of our global problems are and what’s needed to truly resolve them.  To make the interconnectedness of seemingly separate issues clear and the specific ways the our current structures drive the problems.  To demonstrate the structural flaws of modern economics and governance, show the unavoidable harms that result, and make clear what actually has to be addressed to solve these problems.  To make obvious that any proposed strategies that don’t address these flaws are not adequate, and give a clear basis for the development of truly viable solutions.  –  Integral philosopher, systems thinker, author.  –  The Presencing Institute (PI) is an awareness-based action-research community that creates social technologies, builds capacities, and generates holding spaces for profound societal renewal.  The word Presencing means to sense, tune in, and act from one’s highest future potential—the future that depends on us to bring it into being. Presencing blends the words “presence” and “sensing” and works through “seeing from our deepest source.”  –  Integral philosophy applied.  –  one of the most depthful counter-culture philosophers of our time, Charles’ books and essays are published here under full Creative Commons License for all to read.  –  Systems thinker, buddhist scholar, author, elder.  –  The TRCC connects the growing community resilience movement to more of itself in support of large-scale social transformation towards a just and thriving society. We are a learning community of practice that hosts deep dialogues and gatherings, seeds and incubates collaborative projects, and fosters synergy among leaders. (there are an incredible amount of resources throughout this site!)  –  redirecting the current self-destructive trajectory of society into one whose actions can realize a vibrant community that transcends individual, human and geo-political boundaries. The Center achieves this mission by assisting people in making the transition from modernist forms of consciousness to the emerging forms resonant with an ecological civilization. Through the production and distribution of DVDs, the Center for the Story of the Universe provides educational processes for exploring and embodying the new cosmological understanding of the universe, earth and human.  –  Tom Atlee focuses on catalyzing co-intelligence in the realms of politics, governance, economics and conscious evolution of ourselves and our social systems. We research, network, advocate, and help organize leading-edge experiments and conversations in order to weave what is possible into new, wiser forms of civilization. This site includes hundreds of articles and references describing proven methods, innovative models, practical visions and the theoretical frameworks that weave them all together. It has rightly been called a treasure-trove.  –  looking beneath the surface turbulence, complexity, and challenge of our times to discover the deeper currents of profound change at work in the world and how we want to respond.  –  offering a context and container for connecting and empowering the vast global movement arising for positive change; making the efforts of this movement visible to engender greater coherence and synergy.  –  an informal association of independent leading personalities from politics, business and science, men and women who are long-term thinkers interested in contributing in a systemic interdisciplinary and holistic manner to a better world. The aims of the Club of Rome are: to identify the most crucial problems which will determine the future of humanity through integrated and forward-looking analysis; to evaluate alternative scenarios for the future and to assess risks, choices and opportunities; to develop and propose practical solutions to the challenges identified; to communicate the new insights and knowledge derived from this analysis to decision-makers in the public and private sectors and also to the general public.  –  A 7 day international summit in the Fall of 2014 at Findhorn Ecovillage, designed to support the emergence of a coherent new story for humanity and to produce practical, collaborative ways to live this new story.  “As we change our story, we change our world.  We humans find our way by story.  Our stories shape us, hold us and give meaning to our lives.  Every so often it becomes clear that a prevailing story is no longer serving.  Now is such a time.”  –  speaker, poet, writer, and teacher who has inspired minds and hearts around the world, performing poetry and keynoting on justice, ecology, cosmology, and compassion. He is also a consultant, publisher, and founder of Planetize the Movement.  –  carrying out the Great Work of Thomas in enhancing the flourishing of the Earth community. The Foundation has promoted Thomas’ ideas through publishing his essays, overseeing translations, and initiating an archive at Harvard.  –  an approach to leadership that scales up from the personal to the systemic using personal practice, dialogue, facilitation and the co-creation of innovation to address complex challenges.  –  promoting the transition to a nonviolent future by making the logic, history, and yet-unexplored potential of nonviolence more accessible to activists and agents of cultural change (which ultimately includes all of us).  –  approaching issues from the context of the emerging Planetary Era, rather than within the context of the waning Empire Era. This leads us to focus on yes rather than no, to integrate the full gamut of human concerns — environmental, social, economic and personal — into a long-term, whole-system, constructive perspective.  –  Rick Tarnas’ book. “The evidence contained here represents the most significant challenge I have seen to the materialistic paradigm of modern science.”

-Stanislav Grof  –  The Widening Circle (TWC) is an action campaign to advance a global citizens movement for a Great Transition. While continuing our independent efforts, the individuals and organizations committed to TWC recognize that the times call for a higher-order synergy. The complexity and scope of this undertaking requires a sustained effort and an adaptive strategy, a campaign that evolves and spreads across regions and issues in “widening circles.” TWC aims to engage myriad others in a process of co-creation, spawning associated  circles within a coordinated organizing process.  –  a community-rich, year-long counseling and coaching training program that offers a unique opportunity to work on yourself while you learn to skillfully support others. I went through this program, and give it a very personal recommendation.  –  The Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) offers inspiring examples of how people and communities can live healthy, cooperative, genuinely happy and meaningful lifestyles — beacons of hope that help in the transition to a more sustainable future on Earth. We foster a culture of mutual respect, sharing, inclusiveness, positive intent, and fair energy exchange.  –  a peace research project with the goal to create the model for a future society that is free from hatred, lies, violence and fear. Tamera should become an acupuncture point of peace, a greenhouse of trust, a prototype for an existence free of fear on this planet, a post-capitalist societal model and a place where the human and meta realm of life come together.  –  While not agreeing with everything on this site, it brings to light a lot of ‘intentional evolution’ theory & speculation that is very important. Radical in nature, declarative, provocative, and educated, John Stewart writes well about most of the current human condition and potential pathways forward.