MERRY, Peter


Title of contribution:

Volution – beyond linear developmental thinking

Where & when:


Presentation: Volution – beyond linear developmental thinking

Ever since humanity moved from hunter-gatherer and agrarian, neolithic cyclical ways of life and into industrialisation, we have seen ourselves in the context of linear space-time. This linear perspective grew in dominance and brought forth evolution theory. It fuelled our quest for growth and development, not only in the material and economic domains but also in personal development circles, where the notion has taken root of a drive to transcend onwards and upwards beyond the limitations of our material reality. Current linear ways of understanding the life process in science and cultural studies are inadequate to help us embrace and engage with the ecological and societal interrelationships needed to navigate the complex issues that humanity is currently facing worldwide. The combination of these challenges is forcing humanity to seek out new ways of understanding ourselves, the world, and life itself. Although linear developmental thinking does not accurately reflect the latest findings from the frontiers of science, the predominant world views of our own individual and collective development, even in Integral circles, continue to follow linear ways of thinking. Volution theory is a way of seeing ourselves, our world and the process of life, that will allow us to be and act in ways that are more aligned with the life process itself, thereby increasing our chances as humanity of playing a constructive, co-creative role with all forms of life that are part of our worlds.

About Peter Merry:

Peter Merry is co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Ubiquity University and founder of the Center for Human Emergence (Netherlands). He has worked in and across different sectors. He is author of the books Evolutionary Leadership and Why Work?, and PhD dissertation on Volution Theory. He has an MSc in Human Ecology and practised deep ecology with John Seed.

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