Steve McIntosh

Long Biographical Statement

Steve McIntosh is a developmental philosopher who focuses on the evolution of consciousness and culture. He is the author of Developmental Politics (2020), The Presence of the Infinite (2015), Evolution’s Purpose (2012), and Integral Consciousness and the Future of Evolution (2007). He is also coauthor of  Conscious Leadership (2020), with John Mackey and Carter Phipps. McIntosh is the cofounder of the Institute for Cultural Evolution nonprofit organization, and cocreator of DepolarizingGPT, a 3-answer AI chatbot.

The Institute for Cultural Evolution

After working in developmental philosophy for over a decade, Steve concluded that this philosophy could do the most good in the realm of politics. So in 2013 he cofounded the Institute for Cultural Evolution, a 501c3 nonprofit organization based in Boulder, Colorado.

Between 2014 and 2016 the Institute convened a series of invitational conclaves on hyperpolarization which brought together influential thought leaders on both the left and the right. The participants in the Institute’s conclaves included prominent luminaries such as social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, political scientists Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, PBS’s Firing Line host Margaret Hoover, controversial scholar Charles Murray, The Breakthrough Institute’s Ted Nordhaus, Reason magazine’s Nick Gillespie, founder Joan Blades, Log Cabin Republicans founder Rich Tafel, and Daily Beast editor-in-chief John Avlon, as well as many others. Then in 2017, Steve began work on Developmental Politics, which was published in 2020.

The publication of Developmental Politics led to the expansion of the Institute’s board of directors and the hiring of staff. The Institute’s board now includes John Mackey (former Whole Foods CEO), Jeff Salzman (Host of the Daily Evolver podcast), John Street (CEO of Pax8), Rand Stagen (CEO of Stagen Leadership Academy), Nate Lowery (CEO of LexTM3 LLC), John Mistler (Emmy-nominated composer and philanthropist), Ralph Gregory (retired media executive), Carter Phipps (Author and Co-founder), and Steve (Political Philosopher and Cofounder).

In 2023, the Institute launched its flagship program: The Developmental Politics Project, which is led by Steve.

The Developmental Politics Project

The Developmental Politics Project is a nonprofit organization supported by the Institute for Cultural Evolution. The Project seeks to:

  1. Use the insights of developmental philosophy to help heal the torn social fabric of American culture.
  2. Advance and promote the work of philosopher Steve McIntosh.
  3. Foster cultural evolution on every front of its development.

The Project’s essential value proposition is based on the “New Truth” of developmental philosophy, which shows how America can overcome its social problems by growing out of them. This philosophy’s developmental perspective synthesizes and harmonizes values from across the political spectrum. The strategies it uses to widen perspectives and integrate politically opposed viewpoints are new and unique. The Project’s political position is neither left, nor right, nor centrist. Its theory of change is that culture and consciousness coevolve when people expand the scope of what they can value.

Developmental Philosophy

Steve became a dedicated scholar of philosophy and spirituality in his teens. He was especially drawn to the evolutionary philosophy of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and later to the work of Alfred North Whitehead, Ken Wilber, and Holmes Rolston. In the early 2000s he joined Wilber’s Integral Institute think tank, but left on good terms in 2003 in order to make an independent contribution to developmental philosophy. His first book, Integral Consciousness, was published in 2007, followed by Evolution’s Purpose in 2012, The Presence of the Infinite in 2015, and Developmental Politics in 2020.

Business Experience

Upon graduating from the University of Virginia law school in 1987, Steve became a member of the California bar and practiced corporate law with Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro, the state’s largest law firm. In 1990, after three years of law practice he was recruited to become Vice President of a start-up environmental products company in Boulder, Colorado called Earth Wise. Then in 1991, Earth Wise was acquired by Celestial Seasonings tea company where he served as Director of Corporate Development and General Counsel. In 1995, he left his position at Celestial Seasonings to found Now & Zen, Inc., a brand of “natural lifestyle products,” featuring the famous line of Zen Alarm Clocks, which Steve conceived, designed, and patented. In 2012, Steve stepped down from his position as CEO of Now & Zen to co-found the Institute for Cultural Evolution think tank.


After graduating from University High School in West Los Angeles where he grew up, Steve received a bachelor of science in business administration from the University of Southern California in 1984. His major emphasis was in USC’s Entrepreneur Program, where he received The Best Business Plan Award. In 1987 he graduated among the top of his class from the University of Virginia Law School, where he served as Articles Editor of the Virginia Law Review. Since the completion of his formal education he has continued to educate himself through voracious reading and extensive travel.

Other Life Experiences

In the 1970s Steve was active in the counter culture, and traveled extensively in Europe. Beginning in 1979 he dedicated himself to bicycle road racing, winning major races throughout North America in 1980 and 1981. Then in 1982 he became a member of the world’s first factory sponsored mountain bike racing team. After finishing law school, he traveled throughout Asia and spent a month in Tibet, reaching the 20,000 foot level on Mt. Everest. Steve married in 1989, and had a son, Ian McIntosh, in 1992. He was divorced in 1994, after which he became the primary parent of his son Ian. In 1999 Steve met the love of his life, Tehya, whom he married in 2003. Then in 2005 Tehya gave birth to Peter McIntosh, Steve’s second son. Since 2008, the McIntosh’s have divided their time between their Victorian home in downtown Boulder, Colorado, and their desert retreat—an off-the-grid yurt on 5 acres in Castle Valley, near Moab, Utah.

Steve can be reached at: