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Ross Honeywill (born 1949 in Brisbane, Australia) is a social scientist, scholar and internationally published author.[1]

Honeywill specializes in social research, social equity, and the understanding and application of value theory. He is CEO at the NEO Consulting Group, an international management consultancy based in Australia. He is also Convenor of social equity think-tank, the Centre for Gender Equity, and a doctoral candidate at the Philosophy School of the University of Tasmania.

Creator of the NEO typology - a population classification providing a unique measure of high-value consumption[2] - his work is predominantly applied in North America, Australia and Asia.

He lives in Tasmania, Australia with his installation artist wife, Dr Greer Honeywill.[3]
File:Ross Honeywill.jpg


Ross Honeywill has been researching social patterns for more than 15 years. In 1997 professional services giant KPMG bought his Values Bank Research Centre and renamed it the Centre for Consumer Behaviour with Honeywill at the helm. He became an internationally recognized authority on the impact of a rapidly changing social fabric through his leadership role as a director at KPMG (Asia Pacific) between 1997 and 2001.[4] Prior to KPMG Honeywill was a research director and business strategist.[5] Before that, he worked as a retail manager for national chains and in arts administration, including general manager of the Queensland Ballet at age 21.[6]

He is currently CEO at the NEO Consulting Group, a management consultancy based in Australia. He has advised global and national brands including Qantas, David Jones, Lexus, Sony, Westpac Broking, Moët-Hennessy, National Australia Bank, Yahoo!, Fosters, Macquarie Bank, Energex, TXU Energy, among others.[7]

Social ScienceEdit

Honeywill is best known for his development of the NEO social classification and its implications for the marketplace, workplace, community and politics in the 21st century.[8] Honeywill's Law of Elective Consumption dictates that the majority of elective consumption or discretionary expenditure in any economy is always delivered by that minority of the population whose behavior is determined by progressive social attitudes and tertiary needs. Ross Honeywill used data, in alliance with Roy Morgan Research, from more than one million respondents over 15 years covering 3 continents[9] to test and validate that Law.

NEOs, an acronym for New Economic Order, are 24 per cent of the population but account for 54 per cent of all discretionary spending.

Honeywill combined 64 attitudinal, behavioral and spending factors to identify the mindset underpinning the consumers with both (a) the highest social intelligence; and (b) the highest spending behavior.[10]

Social IntelligenceEdit

Ross Honeywill is a researcher of social intelligence. Social intelligence describes the exclusively human capacity to use very large brains to effectively navigate and negotiate complex social relationships and environments. A social intelligence quotient or SQ is an aggregated measure of self and social awareness, evolved social beliefs and attitudes, and a capacity and appetite to manage complex social change. A person with a high SQ is no better or worse than someone with a low SQ, they just have different attitudes, hopes, interests and desires.[11] The social intelligence quotient is a statistical abstraction similar to the ‘standard score’ approach used in IQ tests with a mean of 100. Scores of 140 or above are considered to be very high. Honeywill's NEOs have an average SQ of 140.[12] Unlike the standard IQ test however it is not a fixed model. It leans more to Piaget's theory that intelligence is not a fixed attribute but a complex hierarchy of information-processing skills underlying an adaptive equilibrium between the individual and the environment.[13] An individual can therefore change their SQ by altering their attitudes and behaviour in response to their complex social environment.

History & Philosophy of ScienceEdit

Ross Honeywill is also well known for his work on Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck, an 18th century science philosopher who, pre-dating Charles Darwin by 50 years, created the first comprehensive theory of evolution.[14] Honeywill, citing the work of Dr Edward J. Steele created a concept he called meta-lamarckism bringing together the best of both Darwinism and Lamarckism.

According to Honeywill's work on Steele, forces outside DNA are at work determining which and why different genes are turned on or off. Meta-Lamarckism has RNA collecting changes from the soma (body cells) and not only taking them back to the germline (sex cells) but also translating them into DNA language. Characteristics acquired during a lifetime are being transcribed back into DNA.[15]

Reflecting on Steele's work and the visceral reaction it produced among some scientific communities, Honeywill stresses that the real issue is whether a modern, well supported Lamarckian theory can be devised, consistent with well-documented parts of modern molecular genetics, and be able to be articulated with a surviving core of Darwinian natural selection. A kind of meta-Lamarckism that combines the best of both Lamarck and Darwin.[16] One outcome of this work was the publication in 2008 of Lamarck's Evolution: two centuries of genius and jealousy.

Philosophy - PhDEdit

A doctoral candidate examining from a gender equity perspective the death of theoretical modernism and postmodernism, and the nature of both Before and After, Ross Honeywill plans to complete his PhD thesis in late 2013. His project explores the role of disruptive and destructive masculinity in the Western cultural imaginary. "Despite modernity’s demise after World War II and fifty years of post-structural male amelioration (e.g. anti-militarism in Japan), postmodernity fatally succumbed to destructive masculinity, ceased being the antidote and became redundant. Postmodernity failed a crucial purpose: to resist the pressure of man’s destruction coalescing yet again to repudiate civilization. The dominant intellectual and social framework, the cultural imaginary, had changed. While postmodernity’s cultural products were consigned to the same historicised status as modernism and romanticism, its intellectual tendencies (feminism, postcolonialism, etc.) however found themselves alive in the new cultural imaginary. We had entered a Momentous After. The Momentous After in the context of this study is characterised by self-determinism and reflects not ‘order out of chaos’ but the ‘order in chaos’; a ‘self-governing nature’. In the Momentous After, formality and freedom, boundaries and creativity coexist peacefully and sometimes passionately with science. In quantum physics a switch can be both on and off at the same time. Paradoxically, the quantum theories of chaos and complexity reaffirm the notion of structure and certainty. Both promise a Momentous After based on notions of humanism, holism, interconnection and the idea of an autonomous self-regulating nature. The Momentous After incorporates nature without making it sacred; recognising that we are free and responsible to give meaning to our existence while accepting that existence is beyond our control. The Momentous After rejects without critique what came before, embraces a humanist tradition of self-determination and binds it to a quantum reality. These glimpses of the secrets beneath the surfaces of the visible reflect the reality of the Momentous After and its role in diminishing masculine madness in the Western cultural imaginary."

Honeywill's project takes the best of the Renaissance and Enlightenment with their humanist tradition of self-determination[17] and binds it to a quantum reality. While postmodernity was unscientific, the ability of science to generate useful knowledge cannot be waved away[18] when considering what comes After.


Ross Honeywill's books have been published in Australia, New Zealand and mainland China. The author of and contributor to business books, as well as author of a number of mainstream books, his titles include NEO Power, Lamarck's Evolution and Wasted. The critically acclaimed Lamarck's Evolution was launched by Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty and Dr John Long at the 2008 Melbourne Writers Festival.[19] In 2011, Wasted was shortlisted in Australia for the Ned Kelly Award for true crime writing.

  • 2001: I-Cons: the essential guide to winning and keeping high-value customers (with Verity Byth) Random House
  • 2004: (Chinese edition) I-Cons: the essential guide to winning and keeping high-value customers (with Verity Byth) Citic Publishing, Mainland China
  • 2006: NEO Power: how the new economic order is changing the way we live, work and play (with Verity Byth) Scribe Publications
  • 2008: Managing the Innovation Faultline - chapter in Inside the Innovation Matrix (with Verity Byth) Australian Business Foundation
  • 2008: Lamarck's Evolution: two centuries of genius and jealousy. Pier 9 (a Murdoch Books imprint)
  • 2010: Wasted: the true story of Jim McNeil, violent criminal and brilliant playwright. Viking (a Penguin imprint)
  • 2011: ebook edition Lamarck's Evolution: two centuries of genius and jealousy. Murdoch Books, March 2011
  • 2011: Water in the Wires - fiction - Island Magazine edition 126 (Spring 2011)
  • 2012: One Hundred Thirteen Million Markets of One: How the New Economic Order can remake the American economy (with Chris Norton) Fingerprint, USA
  • 2013: "A Radical Dimension of Normality: Beauvoir as diviner of masculine madness in ordinary men". Sapere Aude - Journal of Philosophy, Vol 3, No 6. (Brazil)
  • 2014: Angel's Trumpet. A novel
  • 2014: Contagion of the Sphinx - the global challenge of gender inequity

References Edit

  2. Roy Morgan Research
  4. Schmidt, Lucinda, Sydney Morning Herald - Wednesday 15 September 2010.
  6. The Age newspaper - 15 September 2010
  7. Social Intelligence Lab
  8. Mercury Saturday Magazine - 6 November 2010
  9. Robert Gottliebsen, The Weekend Australian, 25–26 September 2004. P41
  14. Gould, Stephen J. (2002). The Structure of Evolutionary Theory. Harvard: Belknap Harvard
  15. Dr John Schuster - Glee Books launch of Lamarck's Evolution - October 2008
  16. Tom Frame, 'Evolution in the Antipodes: Charles Darwin and Australia'. Cambridge University Press.2009
  17. Professor Rob Tielman, co-chairman of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, a lecture to the Council of Europe Conference on Freedom of Conscience (Leiden 13 November 1992)
  18. Leo P Chall, (1952). 'Ágnes Heller in Abstracts: User's Reference Manual.' Sociological Abstracts

External links Edit

{{enWP|Ross Honeywill]]

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