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1. Emerging Cultural Creatives

Updated: Jan 3, 2021

Twenty years ago social scientist, Paul H. Ray with his wife Sherry Anderson, published a ground-breaking book: The Cultural Creatives: How 50,000,000 People Are Changing the World.

CCs are a growing subgroup, quietly transforming mainstream culture and advancing a missing but critically needed worldview for the 21st Century. They are able to synthesize vast amounts of information and bring forward choices for sustainability and wellness.


Paul Ray’s genius is discovering values to be a much better way of identifying consumer subgroups than surveying people’s buying habits. Creatives are not so interested in things and status. As their numbers grew merchandisers kept losing customers. Once surveys were developed that questioned random populations about their values and not their buying habits, this large social subgroup emerged.

“So, slowly over a number of years we were beginning to build a picture that showed people who were the best informed and were trying to put together a better picture of the world around them than they were fed from the media with their fragmented factoids; people were concerned about developing themselves over their entire lifetime and not just freezing themselves into one way of life in their twenties. Instead they kept redeveloping and trying new things, experimenting with their own lives.”—Paul H Ray, PhD


Ray found three subgroups emerged from the US, the EU and Japan:

– Traditionals tend to avoid change; engage in old-school thinking; long for a return of the Industrial Age; politically conservative; deeply religious

– Moderns believe in financial materialism; not particularly self-actualizing nor idealistic; orthodox religion if any; logical and pragmatic; achievement and success a high priority.

– Cultural Creatives are values-based, like to travel, see nature as sacred, altruistic, crave deep meaningful relationships, interested in self-actualization, maintain optimism about the future because they know intuitively or through asking the right questions, they can find or they are the answer. Primarily made up of millennials and teens. [Take the quiz here]


Society evolves along with everything else. What was once the smallest subgroup is now the largest. Traditionals are dying out and Moderns are losing numbers to the Creatives as chaos escalates and our future becomes more uncertain. This shift is happening spontaneously throughout the globe as the need for innovation and change increases. For many years Cultural Creatives felt alone in their yearnings, completely unaware of their growing numbers. They are just awakening as a catalyst for the change the young have been waiting for. Welcome!

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