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Spiral Dynamics is a dynamic model of human development and development of memes carrying systems - such as a social network, society or company - introduced in the 1996 book Spiral Dynamics by Don Beck and Chris Cowan. The book was based on the 1970s theories of psychologist Clare W. Graves. Spiral Dynamics argues that human nature is not fixed: humans are able, when forced by life conditions, to adapt to their environment by constructing new, more complex, conceptual models of the world that allow them to handle the new problems.[1] Each new model transcends and includes all previous models. According to Beck and Cowan, these conceptual models are organized around so-called vmemes (pronounced “v memes”): systems of core values or collective intelligences, applicable to both individuals and entire cultures. In spiral dynamics, the term vmeme refers to a core value system, acting as an organizing principle, which expresses itself through memes (self-propagating ideas, habits, or cultural practices). The superscript letter v indicates these are not basic memes but value systems which include them. The colors act as reminders for the life conditions and mind capacities of each system and alternate between cool and warm colors as a part of the model.[2] Within the model, individuals and cultures do not fall clearly in any single category (color). Each person/culture embodies a mixture of the value patterns, with varying degrees of intensity in each. Spiral Dynamics claims not to be a linear or hierarchical model. According to Spiral Dynamics, there are infinite stages of progress and regression over time, dependent upon the life circumstances of the person or culture, which are constantly in flux. Attaining higher stages of development is not synonymous with attaining a “better” or “more correct” values system. All stages co-exist in both healthy and unhealthy states, meaning any stage of development can lead to undesirable outcomes with respect to the health of the human and social environment.[3]

Spiral_Dynamics