Cultural CreativesCultural Creatives are a growing segment of the Western population transforming mainstream culture.  Driven by their holistic values, integrated worldview and ability to synthesize vast amounts of information with an inner vision (insight) of wholeness, Cultural Creatives are in the author’s words, an “emerging wisdom culture”.

This was the opening of an article I happened to find in the latest Pathways to Family Wellness magazine that I get at Foster Family Chiropractic. I was very taken by what author Paul H. Ray, a social scientist had to share from his years of research about this group of people.  I related it to my life and to the groups that I am part of and realized that this brought more insight into the reasons why I am drawn to being part of or coordinating these groups. As I was preparing for a talk at one of them, the Green Connections Networking Group, I found the synchronicity of this article beautiful. Let me share a few highlights of what the article covered.

Cultural Creatives are known to appreciate people from different backgrounds. You get the impression from the news media that intuitives couldn’t be more than 10% of the population but they are about 40%. The ones who feel an inner pressure to have a more meaningful life and are good at making syntheses and perceiving larger patterns are typically people who become the core group of the Cultural Creatives, the natural opinion leaders.

I set out to describe human behaviour by collecting lots and lots of data. I found that values are terrific predictors. What was new, what nobody expected, was that this values group belonged to subcultures, a way of valuing things, seeing life and talking about the world. We knew about the Traditionals, who were social conservatives and religious conservatives, and the Moderns, who were very materialistic and live by getting and spending. And then there was this third group, that when we got started, represented about 20% of the population and was clearly growing, and clearly had not been there before the 1960’s. Paul noticed they were more creative about new ways of life, about the products they want and there were cultural differences so they must be Cultural Creatives!

Cultural Creatives were people who had paid a lot of attention to the new social movements: the women’s movement, the environmental movement, alternative healthcare, organic food, civil rights, native people’s concerns and planetary concerns. Over the years a picture was revealed that showed people who were best informed, who were trying to put together a better picture of the world around them than they were fed from the media with it’s fragmented factoids; people who were concerned about developing themselves over a lifetime, not just freezing themselves into one way of life in their twenties.

Cultural Creatives have been seen before. There were hermetic people who were spiritual in the Middle Ages, and the Catholic Church often persecuted them. Then there were Emerson the Transcendentalists in New England around the early 1800’s. We know that the anti-slavery movement and women’s movement came out of the Quakers 300 years ago. Quakers were there at the beginning of a whole lot of movements, but they didn’t get picked up in large numbers. It was always closeted away and considered dangerous.

Cultural Creatives are roughly about 35% of adults in all developed countries of the world. In addition to their concern about family and relationships, they are concerned about the environment, social responsibility, personal development and growth, both psychologically and spiritually, over their whole lives.  The annual growth rate is about 3% from the 1960’s onward. We had 20% of the American population in 1986, probably 30 million adults and now 35% or 80 million.

There is a major shift being made in American culture, it is based on practical wisdom: perceiving what is necessary for the world, and what is effective to do. People who are engaging and acting from practical wisdom are taking a larger, more whole-systems perspective on the world. They are willing to look at a longer timeline. Businessmen are only interested in the next year or next quarter. Cultural Creatives often have a generations-long worldview. These are qualities that have been marked as practical wisdom from philosophers from Aristotle to Socrates on up to the present!

To read the whole article, please click here.

I have often found myself feeling very blessed to be living in this amazing country and at this time frame where information is so accessible.  The opportunity to grow and learn is unlimited. I am thankful for the vast ways we can connect with other like minded and like hearted people on the planet and not feel so alone if our thinking differs from what main stream media chooses to share. I don’t know about you but I believe the future looks very positive with 35% of western adults falling into the Cultural Creatives genre…and we’re growing!  Cheers To Life!

I’d love your feedback. Don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one via the commentluv feature here on the site.

Until next time,




4 replies
  1. Andrea Mathieson says:

    An excellent guide-book for Cultural Creatives is Leading from the Emerging Future; from Ego-System to Eco-System Economics (Applying Theory U to Transforming business, society, and self by Otto Scharmer and Katrin Kaufer. There is a lot of hard pragmatic work involved in grounding the visions that cultural creatives are open to and fascinated by. The wave of potentially creative healing energy that is pouring in and through them requires a form of inner discipline and listening that is not cultivated in mainstream thinking or education and a purely ‘spiritual’ practice is insufficient for the range of innovative thought and feeling that this sector of our population is energized and inspired by. I feel the Cultural Creatives are, potentially, carrying a tremendous opportunity and responsibility for new forms in every sector of our society. TED talks is full of these individuals. But I have not found many sources for the challenges and fusion of inner and outer resources that need to be cultivated to be effective in our changing world. This is what interests me. How to cultivate the innate gifts and energies of a cultural creative (and I naturally include myself in this group!)

    • Karen Armstrong says:

      Brilliantly summarized Andrea – you are so gifted at expressing yourself in the written form. Thank you for highlighting the challenges that accompany those who lead in a different way. I believe that the power of communication online is assisting with the connection of like minded souls around the world so that the feeling of being alone is lessened. I know that work you do definitely supports the cultural creatives. May we keep learning and growing together! Karen

  2. Jeannie says:

    “Cultural Creatives have been seen before. There were hermetic people who were spiritual in the Middle Ages,….”

    Traditionally, mystery schools have been closed and by invitation only, but the Modern Mystery School (here in North America) opened to the public in 1997, in preparation for this particular time in Human Evolution. We were ready and seeking this information, knowledge and wisdom!

    You can read “The Hermetica”, or you can “live” it. The classes, meditations and healings that I offer are all based on Hermetic principles, to assist and accelerate people on their path and purpose – be it in “new social movements: the women’s movement, the environmental movement, alternative healthcare, organic food, civil rights, native people’s concerns and planetary concerns” etc…. When individuals are Empowered through knowledge of these principles, the shifts (individual and global) will occur bigger and faster.

    Thanks for posting!
    XO Jeannie

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jeannie,
      Well – how beautiful that we keep finding connections at so many levels! I love the work you are bringing to our area and look forward to attending more in the future. Thanks for posting this insight of the Mystery School and your work!! Namaste.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *