The central goal of the Higher Mind Initiative is to advance human development.  A key focus is on the development of higher cognitive and social-emotional capacities.  We see these as being essential if humanity is to deal effectively with the complex challenges facing us.  We believe current ways of thinking and being are incapable of solving the complex environmental, social, economic and political problems that are troubling the planet.

The spread of these higher capacities across humanity will constitute the Second Enlightenment.  This will build upon the First Enlightenment that emerged around the 1700s in which rational thinking, science and industrialisation were born.


In pursuit of this goal, key actions for the Higher Mind Initiative are to:

  • Identify the higher capacities that will constitute the next great steps forward in the development of humanity and that will enable the Second Enlightenment

  • Investigate and develop the techniques, practices, and educational approaches that can best develop these capacities in individuals

  • Develop strategies that will accelerate the spread of these capacities across humanity


Activities undertaken by the Higher Mind Initiative include:

  • Thought leadership in relation to all aspects of The Second Enlightenment

  • Theory about human development and how development can be facilitated

  • Practices and approaches that develop and transmit higher cognition and social-emotional capacities, including their use by members of the initiative

  • Interventions that catalyse the spread of higher capacities

  • Organising dialogue meetings, workshops, seminars

  • Promoting and publishing material relating to its goals and their achievement

As a next step in its activities, the Higher Mind Initiative is convening a series of dialogue meetings that will address the issues associated with the three key actions that will be undertaken by the initiative.



Victoria is a passionate human development thought leader known for helping, supporting and educating individuals with big visions and radical insights for changing the world.

Her particular focus is on the development of a new level of psychological management and its importance to the future of humanity. She believes humanity needs to consciously and intentionally develop their social, emotional and cognitive capacities to affect sustainable change.


As a prominent advocate for the advancement of human development Victoria has dedicated the past twenty years to mentoring change makers and influencers through her role as Founder and CEO of the SHIFT Foundation, Symplicitus and the Higher Mind Initiative.


Prior to pursuing her passion in human development Victoria worked for 25 years within the IT sector: Epson, Memorex, HP, Hayes in senior management roles before establishing a management consulting firm that provided leadership training, consulting and advisory services to CEOs, Boards of Directors and senior executives of global firms including Shell, Kodak and Telstra as well as Australian State and Federal Governments.


Victoria has been an active contributor and member of multiple international networks of leading thinkers and practitioners including the Global Leadership Network, Inter-developmental Institute, Growth Edge Network, Global Business Network and Tallberg Alumni.


John Stewart is an Australian evolutionary thinker who is a member of the Evolution, Complexity and Cognition Research Group of the Free University of Brussels. He has worked as a labor union official, manager of Australia’s north eastern fisheries, and as a senior policy adviser to the Australian government on labor relations regulatory issues. 


His main interest is in the development of an evolutionary worldview that reveals to us who we are, and what we should be doing with our lives. His work on the directionality of evolution and its implications for humanity has been published in a number of key papers in international science journals.  These include papers on the potential for humans to enhance their psychological capacities through the future evolution of consciousness. 


He is the author of the internationally acclaimed book ‘Evolution’s Arrow: the direction of evolution and the future of humanity’. More recently he has finalized ‘The Evolutionary Manifesto’ which outlines an evolutionary worldview and explores its relevance to humanity.

It is at


The Manifesto demonstrates the potential of the evolutionary worldview to provide meaning and purpose for human existence, and uses it to identify the actions that we need to take if humanity is to fulfill its potential to contribute positively to the future evolution of life in the universe.