Ch.32 National conversation on, “Who are Cultural Creatives?”
Serializing Awakening the Inner Teacher, how Experiential Insight Colleges re-invents liberal arts college curriculum and teaching methods to produce graduates capable of redeeming-restoring Earth
In Chapter 32, in 2033–2034, a national conversation begins on Who, What and Where are Cultural Creatives?
Positive buzz spread from Women’s Summer Conference 2033. Rumors began circulating how a pilot program for re-making liberal arts colleges was afoot. Women everywhere began hearing the term, “Cultural Creatives” more and more. In Washington, DC, and online, thru presentations and dyad exercises at the Monday Lunch with Experts series, more and more elected Women In Congress began conceiving of themselves as CCs.
Psychologically oriented women began asking, “What useful characterizations and language do we have to talk and think about CCs?” And, “Could CCs be our ideal voter? Ideal donor? Ideal new hire?”
Cultural Creatives as “early adopters” and “opinion leaders”
In Everett Rogers’ famous book, Diffusion of Innovations (first ed 1962); “early adopters” and “opinion leaders” are the two most catalyzing groups for marketers to engage and address. These terms roughly define “Cultural Creatives” — even tho this term was not coined until 2001.
Cultural Creative have much in common with innovators, “possibility thinkers,” and “early adopters,” such as:
- Willingness to identify problems,
- Willingness and capacity to think “outside the box,”
- Joy in sensing both new connections and new opportunities,
- Envisioning future potentials; especially those aligned with truly human values.
The Writes Room began to understand Cultural Creatives as the leading edge of most Cultural Change.
Women historians began reviewing the 1950s “beats,” “beatniks;” and, before WW II even earlier “Bohemian” culture. A strong case was made how CCs had existed for a hundred years. An explosion of CCs came in the 1960s, due to the wide spread of free and low-cost college education.
Early adopters as Jerry Seinfeld
A good way to think of the role of early adopters is the sitcom “Seinfeld”. Kramer is the innovator, always trying kooky ideas which may or may not work. Seinfeld is the early adopter; liked and looked up to in his social system. If Jerry tries something Kramer does, and it works, then his friends are likely to accept and try it too.
Another name for the Seinfelds of the world (as denoted above) is “opinion leaders”. They are the people looked up to in a social system for what is new and workable. If early adopters report a positive experience, others are willing to try it as well. This reveals how opinion leaders influence, the way they work. It demonstrates the way to get an innovation to take off, is to locate and work with these opinion leaders. This requires focused, deliberate networking.
From a review of Diffusion of Innovations
The Cultural Creatives book by Paul Ray and Sherry Anderson, proved to be less durable than The Rise of the Creative Class, a 2002 non-fiction book written by noted American sociologist-economist Richard Florida. Both drew attention to the phenomena of Cultural Creatives.
Florida’s basic thesis is the economy of the Industrial Revolution, is behind us. In the 1700s, the ability to push a plow was the crucial talent. Now, creativity and imagination, leading to innovation, is the crucial talent. Creatives in many occupations are driving mainstream culture and virtually all of pop culture. Corporations and governments are re-orienting themselves away from the IBM corporate man; to, attract creative workers. History shows, the usual outcome is more creative industries and broader local and regional economic growth.
To keep straight in their own minds who a Cultural Creative is, Women passed around this thumbnail sketch:
- CCs are curious about local culture,
- CCs are curious about other Tribes and other cultures,
- CCs are curious about improving things around them.
For CCs, “improving culture” is an interesting and worthwhile project. The challenge calls forward their creativity.
Identify Cultural Creatives by their values
Values Cultural Creatives tend to care deeply about, a list:
- self-connection, self-expression,
- heartfelt encounters with like-minded people,
- peace, equality, social justice,
- ecology, saving the planet,
- self-actualization, spirituality.
These are also the values of those identifying with Douglas Rushkoff’s “Team Human” meme.
It’s possible to arrange live, in-person, face-to-face, group processes so each member of an audience explores their values and shares them with others. Identifying as a CCs per se is less crucial.
Cultural Creative mindset
values are the first and last thing which bring people together. Food is only second. Everyone wants to socialize with people with whom they are like-minded.
Whole-brained, iNtuitive Feeler values are what bring CCs together. This is the more common frame for many projects.
Cultural Creative iNtuitive Feeler values are characterized by:
- Willingness to learn, to explore life,
- Curiosity and open-mindedness,
- Curiosity about other cultures, other ways of doing things,
- Joy of shared discovery of new solutions to cultural and world problems,
- Concern for others (empathy of various degrees),
- Interest in how things we take for granted might be done better,
- Courage to accept challenges appropriate to their competency,
- Intention to be “true to myself” to various degrees.
In audiences when this list was read aloud, women looked at each other. “This is us? Yes, this IS us!”
The CC mindset is people ready, willing, able and wanting to make the world better, implementing evidence-backed solutions. This mindset is more flexible, more resilient and more creative than the demographic average, the middle of the bell curve.
“Can we improve on this?”
This is closely followed by the second most common frame for projects, “make it better, do it better, work smarter not harder. This is an iNtuitive Thinker value.
Monday Lunch experts informed Women the way to conceive of redeeming SpaceShip Earth from burning and crashing, was NOT to do it all themselves The task was too big. In 2034 the way to conceive of the task, was to focus on re-arranging policy, procedures, teaching methods and curriculum at liberal arts colleges to increase the numbers of Cultural Creatives, filtering out into the workplace and society at large.
CCs in MBTI
Women interested in personality references began reading and sharing Please Understand Me (1978). This book started the modern era of MBTI, identifying and comparing personal preferences. Women began looking up themselves and their friends on MBTI and 16Personalities. The preferences of most Cultural Creatives are within the category “Diplomats:” https://www.16personalities.com/personality-types#diplomats
Which preferences add up to be Cultural Creatives? These are likely to be iNtuitive Feelers (NFs), all four of Keirsey’s NFs. Secondarily, iNtuitive Thinkers (NTs), those whose values align with NF values at least somewhat.
Beyond NFs and some NTs, more research is needed to determine which other personality preferences are likely to identify as CCs.
Every speaker on this topic at Monday Lunches emphasized the danger of “typing” (labeling, judging) people. The better framing is “personality preferences.” You can change your preferences. Over 5–10 years, you will change your preferences. This is normal and natural.
In MBTI, most Cultural Creatives are “affiliative,” they enjoy cooperating and collaborating with other people. Please compare with Dr. Frankenstein, Ahab, and Dr. Jekyll, tragic, unhappy loners.
Additionally, you may be able to identify CCs thru how they treat each other and strangers. Do they look for differences first or commonalities first?
Rudolf Steiner’s cryptic 1924 remark
The Writers Room began discussing a pattern. Was it perhaps a natural evolution, out of Romantic literature of the 1700s-1800s, thru abstract-intellectual 1900s psychology, for learning in the 2000s to spiral into a live, interactive phase?
This possibility supported Writers efforts to remake colleges along experiential lines. It also echoed Rudolf Steiner’s cryptic remark about how he would remake Waldorf K-12 education, if he had the chance, “I would turn it 180 degrees towards performance.”
To get ahead of these waves of enthusiasm coming at them, the War Room said, “It’s time to hire the interns. Before we do, we need a printed prospectus we can use to hire and inform interns. ”