Spiral Dynamics Yellow/Interdependence Mindset


The first level within the Second Tier is the Yellow “Interdependence” vMEME, which is the 7th “awakening,” and it occurred about 50 years ago. The Yellow vMEME’s basic tenet is: Live fully and responsibly with authenticity.

Some of the characteristic beliefs and actions of the Yellow vMEME are:

  • Pursuit of learning for its own sake.
  • Systems thinking.
  • Viewing life as a kaleidoscope of natural hierarchies, systems, and forms
  • Valuing the magnificence of existence over material possessions
  • Prioritizing flexibility, spontaneity, and functionality
  • Valuing knowledge and competency over rank, power, and status
  • Integrating complex systems with ease
  • The risk at this level of the wave is what Darth Vader from Star Wars or Sauruman from Lord of the Rings faced, which is the risk of the fall downward.

The Yellow vMEME is expressed in the following: Carl Sagan’s astronomy, Peter Senge’s learning organizations, Stephen Hawking’s Brief History of Timechaos theory, appropriate technology, eco-industrial parks (using each others’ outflows as raw materials), Fred Alan Wolf’s “new physics,” Deepak Chopra’s Ageless Body, the movie What the Bleep Do We Know?Wired magazine, Gandalf the Grey from Lord of the Rings, and Dumbeldore from Harry Potter.

This is a recent vMEME, and only 1% of the population is found in the Yellow, but it holds 5% of the power world-wide.

The following qualities typify the Yellow “Inter-dependence” vMEME.

  • Characteristics: Big picture views; Integrative structures; Naturalness of chaos; Inevitability of change
  • Decision making: Highly principled; Knowledge centered; Resolved paradoxes; Competent get spoils
  • Education: Becomes self-directed; Whole-day package; Tuned to interests; Non-rigid structure
  • Family: Shifting roles; Expects competence; Takes each as is; Information base
  • Community: Does more with less; Appropriate technologies; Power is dispersed; Integrated systems
  • Life space: Life is learning; Intrigued by process; Freedom to just be; Rarely fearful

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