Barbara Marx Hubbard, 89, noted futurist thinker and popularizer of ‘Conscious Evolution,’ passed away on the evening of April 10, 2019, in Loveland, CO, surrounded by her family, after a brief illness. Influenced by Catholic theologian Teilhard de Chardin and dismayed by the misuse of humanity’s extraordinary technology, Hubbard sought to promote a spiritual interpretation of evolution. She saw humanity’s purpose as to fulfill our creative potential and collectively evolve toward a divine potential, which she envisioned as becoming a ‘universal species.’
Buckminster Fuller said of Hubbard: “There is no doubt in my mind that Barbara Marx Hubbard, who helped introduce the concept of futurism to society, is the best-informed human now alive regarding futurism and the foresights it has produced.” In 2012, the New York Times described Hubbard as “a beatific presence with a mantle of white hair who quoted Jesus, Buckminster Fuller, the Jesuit philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and the current pope, Benedict XVI.”
NYT Columnist Ross Douthat said of Hubbard, “I suspect that the religious trends that a figure like Hubbard embodies — which lead further away from core Christian ideas without shaking off the Christian influence entirely — may be more important to the future of American religion than the more familiar post-1960s story that the press has been telling.”
Born December 22, 1929, in New York City, Hubbard was the eldest child of toymaker Louis Marx, founder of Louis Marx Toys, the world’s largest toy company in the middle 20th century, and hailed as “the Toy King of America.” After attending Dalton and Rye Country Day schools, she graduated Cum Laude from Bryn Mawr College. While studying abroad at the Sorbonne in November 1949, she met artist and painter Earl Hubbard at a Parisienne café. They married on January 3, 1951, in New York City at St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue. After two decades of intellectual collaboration that saw them become leaders in the pro-space movement, they separated in 1973.
In the 1970’s Hubbard formed the Committee for the Future in Washington D.C. and she co-invented the SYNCON PROCESS developing a new social process moving toward a more synergistic democracy to seek common goals and match needs with resources The SYNCONS were held, with many different types of groups, including gang leaders from Los Angeles, space scientists from Huntsville, and students at Southern Illinois University to examine a new global goal to build new worlds on Earth, new worlds in space, new worlds in the human mind.
In 1984, her name was placed in nomination for the Vice Presidency on the democratic ticket proposing an office for the future to map, track, connect and communicate what is working and a peace room as sophisticated as a war room in the office of the vice presidency. She delivered a speech on the convention floor.
In the early 80’s she was an active Soviet-American Citizen Diplomat, working with Rama Vernon to hold Soviet-American Citizen conferences in Moscow and in Washington D.C. using the SYNCON conference format.
In 2011, Conversations with God author Neal Donald Walsch wrote the biography, The Mother of Invention: The Legacy of Barbara Marx Hubbard and the Future of YOU. She was also the subject of the recent documentary film American Visionary. Hubbard’s books include The Hunger of Eve, Conscious Evolution, and Emergence and in recent years she worked closely with Catholic sisters to bring forth her view of the evolutionary approach to the New Testament.
She is a co-founder of the World Future Society, the Association for Global New Thought, The Club of Budapest, the Evolutionary Leaders, and is co-chair of The Foundation for Conscious Evolution. Barbara Marx Hubbard is survived by four children, Suzanne, Alexandra, Lloyd and Wade Hubbard and eight grandchildren. Her longtime partner, Sidney Lanier, passed in 2013.