Spiral Around the World and the Global Financial Crisis: A Conversation with Dr. Don Beck
Note: This interview begins with music by Cal Tjader.
Don Beck has been developing, implementing, and teaching the evolutionary theory of Spiral Dynamics for more than three decades. Beck has elaborated upon the work of his mentor, Clare Graves, to develop a multidimensional model for understanding the evolutionary transformation of human values and cultures. As cofounder of the National Values Center in Denton, Texas, and CEO of the Spiral Dynamics Group, Inc., Beck is employing the Spiral Dynamics model to effect large-scale systems change in and among various sectors and societies of the world. He is the author of Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership & Change, written with Christopher Cowan in 1996.
Beck's long consulting career has taken him to such diverse settings as 10 Downing Street to consult with Tony Blair's Policy Unit; the south side of Chicago to address the problems faced by inner-city schools; the World Bank to consider the future of Afghanistan; and the boardrooms of major banks, energy companies, airlines, and government agencies. In his 63 trips to South Africa between 1981 and 1988, he had significant impact on political leaders, the business sector, religious leadership, and the general public in order to help bring about the peaceful transition from apartheid to democracy. Out of his experiences there, Beck wrote The Crucible: Forging South Africa's Future (1991) with Graham Linscott.
Before his work in South Africa, Beck taught for twenty years at the University of North Texas. There he was named Outstanding Professor in 1978, named Honor Professor in 1979, and listed as an “Outstanding Educator in America” in 1980. Beck has also been the team psychologist for The South African Springboks, winners of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, and has been associated with the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, the Texas Rangers (baseball), and the U.S. Olympic Committee for Men's Track and Field. He writes a “sports values” column for the Dallas Morning News. He makes his home in Denton, Texas.