Conscious evolution refers to the ability of human beings to become self-evolving and conscious participants in the evolution of their world.
The realization that cultural and social evolution can be guided through conscious decisions has been in increasing evidence since approximately the mid-19th century, when the rate of change globally began to increase dramatically. The Industrial Revolution and reactions against the effects of the Industrial Revolution; the emergence of new sciences such as psychology, anthropology and sociology; the revolution in communication; the interaction of diverse cultures through transportation and colonization; the awareness brought by different social movements – all would contribute to the growing awareness of social and cultural patterns as being potentially subject to conscious evolution.
Conscious evolution suggests that now that humanity is conscious of its history and of how things evolve (evolutionary consciousness) and given the rapid pace of change in society and culture, humanity can (and should) choose advancement through cooperation, co-creation and sustainable practices over self-destruction through separateness, competition, and ecological devastation.
Consciousness itself could have agency over its own evolution. A human being can be simultaneously conscious of the cultural evolution process, while consciously remodeling its own outer and inner environment, in order to influence its own evolution. Individual evolution is increasingly a process of self-knowledge, self-awareness and self-determination rather than an unknown pressure operating on the individual.
We have the potential to consciously redesign our societies, thus increasing our chances of survival. The central objective is to achieve a globally sustainable future.
Given that humans became aware of their evolutionary process, it is our highest responsibility to redesign consciously a fair and ecological society, to overcome the challenges of our time. Also, we need to develop the ability to remodel ourselves as individuals toward more cooperative abilities.