Cultural Creatives

"Cultural Creatives are not yet aware of themselves as a collective body, they do not recognize how powerful their voices could be."
                                                                                                  --Paul Ray and Sherry Anderson

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
                                                                                                  --Margaret Mead

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Who are the "Cultural Creatives"?

In the early 1990s the name "Cultural Creatives" was given by Paul H. Ray, Ph.D., a macro-sociologist concerned with the evolution of culture, to the growing numbers of people in the United States who are literally creating a new culture in America. His findings are based on the 13 years of his own research on values and lifestyles and the surveys and focus groups which showed that an important and new subculture was emerging. In 1995 Paul designed and analyzed a national survey on the role of transformational values in American life, sponsored by the Fetzer Institute and the Institute of Noetic Sciences. In 1999 he helped design and analyze a study of the role of values and concerns for ecological sustainability in American life, sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the President's Council on Sustainable Development. In 2000 he and his wife, Sherry Ruth Anderson, Ph.D., a psychologist focusing on the qualities of inner experience, published The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People are Changing the World (Harmony, 2000). The following information, including the survey, is taken from their book and their website.

"As of the year 2000, there are 50 million adults in the United States who have the worldview, values and lifestyle of the Cultural Creatives. (There are probably about 80-90 million Cultural Creatives in the European Union as well.)"

"While Cultural Creatives are a subculture, they lack one critical ingredient in their lives: awareness of themselves as a whole people. We call them the Cultural Creatives precisely because they are already creating a new culture. If they could see how promising this creativity is for all of us, if they could know how large their numbers are, many things might follow. These optimistic, altruistic millions might be willing to speak more frankly in public settings and act more directly in shaping a new way of life for our time and the time ahead. They might lead the way toward an Integral Culture."

"When we discovered the great promise of this new group, we set out to hold up a mirror for them, so they could see themselves fully. We wrote a popular book that tells their story: what their culture is like, who they are as individuals and how they live, where they came from, and what they're creating now. It's called The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World (Harmony, 2000)."


Are you a Cultural Creative?

Choose the statements you agree with. You are likely to be a Cultural Creative if you...

  • Love nature and are deeply concerned about its destruction
  • Are srongly aware of the problems of the whole planet (global warming, destruction of rain forests, overpoulation, lack of ecological sustainability, exploitation of people in poorer countries) and want to see more action on them, such as limiting economic growth
  • Would pay more taxes or pay more for consumer goods if you knew the money would go to clean up the environment and to stop global warming
  • Give a lot of importance to developing and maintaining your relationships
  • Give a lot of importance to helping other people and bringing out their unique gifts
  • Volunteer for one or more good causes
  • Care intensely about both psychological and spiritual development
  • See spirituality or religion as important in your life but are also concerned about the role of the Religious Right in politics
  • Want more equality for women at work, and more women leaders in business and politics
  • Are concerned about violence and the abuse of women and children around the world
  • Want our politics and government spending to put more emphasis on children's education and well-being, on rebuilding our neighborhoods and communities, and on creating an ecologically sustainable future
  • Are unhappy with both the left and the right in politics and want to find a new way that is not in the mushy middle
  • Tend to be rather optimistic about our future and distrust the cynical and pessimistic view that is given by the media
  • Want to be involved in creating a new and better way of life in our country
  • Are concerned about what the big corporations are doing in the name of making more profits: downsizing, creating environmental problems, and exploiting poorer countries
  • Have your finances and spending under control and are not concerned about overspending
  • Dislike all the emphasis in modern culture on success and "making it," on getting and spending, on wealth and luxury goods
  • Like people and places that are exotic and foreign, and like experiencing and learning about other ways of life.

If you agree with 10 or more, you probably are a Cultural Creative.





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