red tulips | copyright Jill J. Jensen

 

 

Cultural Creatives

looking at the 'big picture' in a whole new way

 

Are there days when you're just sure you don't look at the world the way 'everyone' else does? And are you convinced you're out there on a limb (or down in that rut) all by yourself?

Well, take heart, literally and figuratively. You may be able to claim more collaborators than you think — and ones who encourage you to re-engage your heart and your spirit into your whole life. Check out the Cultural Creatives website, created by Paul H. Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson in support of their research and book of the same name.

After more than a decade of study, Ray and Anderson coined the term 'cultural creatives' to describe the 50-million-plus Americans involved in creating the new culture of the 21st century. The bulk may be American, but these folks live all over the world. They come from all backgrounds and income levels. They work in all kinds of occupations.

Traditional demographics doesn't 'get' it: the commonality is not age, income, geography, or other standard cohorts. The connection is values. Cultural Creatives are affecting the way America (and the world) does business and they're shaping the political landscape — but the quirky thing is that, because they're 'different' than the current mainstream, they don't even know they're such a large group! The goal of the research, the book, and the website is to describe these folks, make connections, help people decide if they share CC values, and if so, to recognize their collaborative power.

As the website says, "[Cultural Creatives] are making new kinds of businesses and nonprofits, and they're also driving the demand for: ecologically sustainable products and services, and concern for the whole planet.... [They]...insist on authenticity, personally, at work, in business [and] politics.... [They] bring...women's issues into public life.... [They do] the news differently...[seeing] the big picture, and first person stories, and good news too.... [They] bring...spirituality into American life."

In short, with the new sources of creativity CCs apply to their lives and their work, they're generating optimism for the future. No longer can we afford to compartmentalize our lives — as if we were ever really successful at it or that it had no consequences for us, our children, our families, or our workplaces.

At this point in our development, we're reaching a Malcolm-Gladwell-tipping-point — we know something must change, something must happen to help us feel more alive, more connected, more involved in the world.

Information about the Cultural Creatives may be just what we need to let us know we're not alone and to help us see ways to apply our creative spirits to making a better life and a better world. As Barbara Sher reminds us, "It's only too late if you don't start now."


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