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Tara Joyce
Writer, Marketing + Communication Designer
Toronto, Ontario Canada
Greatly helpful
out of 10
38 votes

Innerpreneurship and the Bigger Movement Afoot

An innerpreneur is Cultural Creative who owns a business. A Cultural Creative is someone who has stepped away from mainstream assumptions and values to create a life they passionately care about. Read how this subculture is shaping the 21st century.
Written Sep 25, 2008, read 3393 times since then.


Excitement Over the Creative Class

When I learned about innerpreneurship a few months back, I knew there was a bigger idea involved. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was exactly until I started paying closer attention.

Everywhere I went, I heard rumblings of the ‘creative economy’, of this ‘creative class’ who’s importance was rising. I credit this to Richard Florida and his series of books on the topic. Bill Gates also spoke recently of the need for ‘creative capitalism’ as a solution to the world’s problems. It seemed to me, all of the sudden, the Western world was now in love with creative people.

The ideas these men keep circling around are purely economic. They believe that being creative and inventive will be the key to business success in the twenty-first century. That a country’s economic success will be determined by its ability to mobilize, attract and retain human creative talent. No wonder us ‘creatives’ are suddenly the belles of the ball. People’s priorities always seem to shift when money is involved.

What I noticed — as I listened to the echoes of businessmen praising and stroking the ‘creative class’ and the ideas we would bring — was that no one was addressing who we were as group and why we were so unique and valuable. I wondered why we were so damn important in shaping the twenty-first century world.

A week or so ago, I found out why.

You Say You Want a Revolution

I learned that there is a revolution stirring, only it isn’t being fought with guns and brawn. It’s a cultural revolution and it has been taking shape under our noses for the last 40 odd years.

Think of ‘culture’ as the solutions to the problems and passions that people consider important in each time period.

You are a Cultural Creative

And I bet you’ve never heard of yourself.

That’s because there have been only two voices protruding from our mainstream culture – the modern voice telling us to pursue money and the traditional voice telling us to resist change.

But you don’t identify with either because you don’t see the world in black and white, do you? You see the world in an entirely different shade of gray.

And you have always felt different because of it.

Ask yourself this:

  • Do you detest the emphasis modern culture has on success and making it, on consuming and being rich?
  • Do you care deeply about the environment and are willing to pay higher taxes and prices to improve the situation?
  • Do you place a lot of emphasis on developing and maintaining your relationships?
  • Do you give a lot of importance to helping people and developing their unique talents?
  • Do you demand authenticity – at home and work, from businesses and politicians?

Read a complete list of the qualities of a Cultural Creative

We Could Fill Russia

Would you believe me if I told you there were at least 100 million people throughout North America and Europe who identify with the above statements too?

Cultural Creatives are a real, identified and coherent subculture of the Western world. You can think of yourself, the innerpreneur, as simply a Cultural Creative who owns a business.

Since the 60’s, more and more people’s worldviews (what they believe is real), values (what they hold important) and ways of life (how they live) have been shifting away from the two traditional ways of thinking.

I was astonished to learn that millions of people live and think the way I do. It was especially surprising since I seemingly developed my ‘life truths’ all by myself and in the face of a culture that consistently insists that my thinking is wrong.

But we, as a group, have a big problem — we aren’t aware that we exist as a collective body — at least not yet.

The Two Established Schools of Thought...And the Ignored Alternative

I’m sure you recognize the below two points of view.

Modern Values (or seeing the world in black)

  • Making and having a lot of money
  • Climbing the ladder of success
  • Being hip, stylish or trendy
  • Consuming
  • Having a lot of choices
  • Rejecting the values and concerns of the minority
  • Bigger is better; time is money

Modern culture is what many would call ‘normal culture’. It is comprised of the people who believe that the commercial urbanized world we live in is the obvious best way to live. It’s the culture you find in anything mainstream, from TV to newspapers to magazines. It is the standards and rules we live by daily.

Traditional Values (or seeing the world in white)

  • Men should dominate in family and in business
  • Family, church and community are where you belong
  • Conservative religious traditions must be upheld
  • Familiar ways of doing things are embraced
  • Freedom to carry arms is essential
  • Foreigners are not welcome

Traditional culture is what many would call ‘cultural conservatism’. It is the people who, by the most part, are caught up with just getting by in life. They thrive on shared values and familiar customs. The culture is not primarily about politics but rather about beliefs, ways of life and personal identity.

The above two ways of thinking are represented daily in our culture while the third alternative, the Cultural Creative way, has been ignored almost entirely.

Cultural Creative Values (or seeing the world in shades of gray)

  • Authenticity (your actions are consistent with what you believe and what you say)
  • Social activism
  • Idealism
  • Globalism and ecology (the big picture effects of our actions)
  • Consciousness (feeling empathy and sympathy for others, understanding different viewpoints, valuing personal experience)
  • Personal growth

We are simply a group of people who have discovered our own truth our own way. Each of us, independently, has made a shift away from established culture. We are not represented as a group because we do not realize we are thinking as a unit. We do not know that we are a million voices strong.

The Rise of the Cultural Creative

Visionaries and futurists have been predicting our emergence for over two decades. And in 2000, in the text, The Cultural Creative, our way of life was finally identified and labeled by a husband and wife psychology-sociology team. They studied us for thirteen years, coined the term ‘Cultural Creative’ and deemed us the leaders of the long-anticipated cultural movement.

So you see, this is why we are so important to the future of the world. We are the future because we look towards it and shape it. We don’t look behind like the traditionals or straight ahead like the moderns.

And now we find that our time has come. The modern model of thinking doesn’t seem to be working out quite as well as everyone expected.

What We Need Now

We need one thing – an awareness that we exist as a collective group, that ‘we’ are a part of an ‘us’. We need to stop feeling so alone. There are millions of us sharing a common goal and dream. Once we realize this, we will begin to understand how truly powerful our collective voices are.

We will change the world. Just ask Bill Gates.

Learn more about the author, Tara Joyce.

Comment on this article

  • Printing 
Seattle, Washington 
Mike Young
    Posted by Mike Young, Seattle, Washington | Sep 26, 2008


  • Professional Coach  
Seattle, Washington 
Jill Sheldon
    Posted by Jill Sheldon, Seattle, Washington | Sep 26, 2008

    Cultural creatives unite!!!!

  • Therapist 
Seattle, Washington 
Karolyn McKinley
    Posted by Karolyn McKinley, Seattle, Washington | Sep 26, 2008

    Well said. And Biznik is just the sort of tool that cultural creatives need to find and connect with each other.

  • Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner  
Seattle, Washington 
Bryce Mathern
    Posted by Bryce Mathern, Seattle, Washington | Sep 26, 2008

    This is a great read Tara. Thanks for posting. There are lots of books out there now about this new culture and they aren't always referred to as "cultural creatives." Once place is to go to This is the place where Paul Ray and Sheri Ruth Anderson keep up to date with what they are doing. They are the people who did much of the original research that discovered this new culture we are talking about. The more we put it out there the better chance we will start to find each other and become more of a force for change in the world.
    Thanks for bringing this perspective to Biznik.

  • Communications consultant / producer 
Portland, Oregon 
Rebecca Heathcock
    Posted by Rebecca Heathcock, Portland, Oregon | Sep 26, 2008

    Your thoughts resonate with me and I do identify strongly with all the characteristics you define as cultural creative, but I wholeheartedly disagree with the way different groups of people are defined here. After all, no group of people or values is black or white, they are all shades of grey. And what we cultural creatives think of as "traditional" or "modern" are probably defined very differently by other groups of people in this world. And these values are often symptoms of bigger problems that we cultural creatives are not exposed to. But I do agree we should recognize ourselves as a collective and work together to try to solve some of those bigger problems.

  • Personal Coach, Life Exfoliator, Public Speaker 
Bothell, Washington 
Andrew Delany
    Posted by Andrew Delany, Bothell, Washington | Sep 26, 2008

    Thank you Tara! And Thank You Bryce, for bringing Paul & Sherry's name to the conversation. They are great people, and keeping up with them, and their latest contributions is a wonderful suggestion. Sherry also wrote a book called 'The Feminine Faces of God, (the unfolding of the sacred'), that I am fond of. Another juicy feast for Biznik tribe.


  • Professional speaker/author/business consultant plus painting contractor 
Seattle, Washington 
Jack Fecker
    Posted by Jack Fecker, Seattle, Washington | Sep 26, 2008

    Iv'e been waiting for this revolution for 25 years. Please read the book by Daniel Pink "A whole New Mind". I now have read it three times and it is just what your talking about. It is a great feeling to know that I am not alone in what I am attepting to do for the rest of my life. I have created over 20 businesses starting from nothing and thought this was normal. According to your article it will become the norm. Thanks for writing such an informative piece. Another creative mind. Jack Fecker

    100 Ideas an Hour
  • Writer, Marketing + Communication Designer 
Toronto, Ontario Canada 
Tara Joyce
    Posted by Tara Joyce, Toronto, Ontario Canada | Sep 26, 2008


    I'm glad you are familiar with too. All of my research was gathered from Sheri and Paul's book, The Cultural Creatives, which they published back in 2000. The website is a little archaic now but does a good job of defining and explaining the subculture of Cultural Creatives.

    I encourage everyone to check it out. The Cultural Creative questionnaire, which I referred to in the article, can be found there.

  • Seattle Coworking Space Owner 
Seattle, Washington 
Jacob Sayles
    Posted by Jacob Sayles, Seattle, Washington | Sep 26, 2008

    I've heard it called many things and I'm excited to see it growing. When I embarked on opening a coworking space in April of last year I knew that traditional business values were not for me. In the past year and a half I have gotten up on my soap box many times and when I look around I see many people who get it. You are correct, our time has come and we are not alone. I try to explain this when I tell folks what Office Nomads is but in a world where people are focused on stuff my words are lost. Susan and I decided early on to not waste energy talking at people and instead just invite people to come in and see for themselves. It's the fastest way to find the Cultural Creatives that I've found.

  • Writer, Marketing + Communication Designer 
Toronto, Ontario Canada 
Tara Joyce
    Posted by Tara Joyce, Toronto, Ontario Canada | Sep 26, 2008


    I completely agree with you that you can't define people in such black and white terms. Sherry and Paul's book, The Cultural Creatives, however, studied Cultural Creatives and the other subcultures of the Western world for 13 years and found that, well the truth is, some people's values are more black and white than others.

    Of course, the qualities of these groups aren't hard and fast and people's emphasis on them is varied but overall the descriptions stand true of the general attitudes of the groups.

    Thanks for your response,


  • Writer, Marketing + Communication Designer 
Toronto, Ontario Canada 
Tara Joyce
    Posted by Tara Joyce, Toronto, Ontario Canada | Sep 26, 2008


    I will be sure to check out A Whole New Mind. Thanks for the book referral and thanks for reading.

    We are not alone and now we know it.


  • Keynote Speaker, Event Facilitator and Trainer 
Seattle, Washington 
Leif Hansen
    Posted by Leif Hansen, Seattle, Washington | Sep 26, 2008

    Another inspiring and identity-magnetizing article Tara, thank you.

    Like Jack, I also recommend Dan Pink's book "A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age" . I tried to get him to do an interview with us Bizniks for an upcoming Biznik Live show, but received a v. nice email from him this morning (by interesting coincidence w/ this article):

    "...Alas, i can't do this interview -- at least not for awhile. my travel schedule and writing obligations are so ferocious over the next few months that i can't add anything else, no matter how worthy. sorry. feel free to try me again, though, in early 09 if you'd like.

    So hopefully we'll get to talk with him in early '09 to re-inspire us innerpreneurs.

  • Writer, Marketing + Communication Designer 
Toronto, Ontario Canada 
Tara Joyce
    Posted by Tara Joyce, Toronto, Ontario Canada | Sep 26, 2008


    I like your thoughts. I too agree that we can not convert people. It is best to speak of what you believe in and let those who agree come to you.

    Lead by example. That is my opinion on how we can best create the change we desire.

    Thanks for reading and connecting with the idea.


  • Writer, Marketing + Communication Designer 
Toronto, Ontario Canada 
Tara Joyce
    Posted by Tara Joyce, Toronto, Ontario Canada | Sep 26, 2008


    I will certainly check out the book and I look forward to hearing from Dan in 2009. I'm sure he has some fascinating insights.

    Thanks for reading,


  • Postural Therapy & Movement Rehabilitation 
Seattle, Washington 
Sukie Baxter
    Posted by Sukie Baxter, Seattle, Washington | Sep 26, 2008

    I was just having a conversation about the shifting values amongst new entrepreneurs with a friend over dinner. This article really validates my observations. Thanks for giving all of us creatives a new sense of identity and community.

  • Owner - Homestead Campground, Alpaca Products, Group Events 
Granite Falls, Washington 
David Capocci
    Posted by David Capocci, Granite Falls, Washington | Sep 26, 2008

    Wow, I can relate to this a lot as we put our stake in the ground and left corporate America to start a guest ranch/retreat center. Many of those values listed drive our vision. Hopefully, when we offically open this next summer we'll be able to host workshops at our site with topics such as this.

    Cheers, David Capocci Paca Pride Guest Ranch

    1 hour from downtown Seattle...think about holding your next offsite in our Roundhouse Yurt!

  • Interactive Marketing Consultant 
Portland, Oregon 
Jean Ann Van Krevelen
    Posted by Jean Ann Van Krevelen, Portland, Oregon | Sep 26, 2008

    Great post! I love your thoughts on this...and this is why location independence and virtual offices are on the rise!

  • Keynote Speaker, Event Facilitator and Trainer 
Seattle, Washington 
Leif Hansen
    Posted by Leif Hansen, Seattle, Washington | Sep 26, 2008

    Hey Bizniks, don't forget to take 2-3 seconds and use the voting mechanism in the upper right corner by the article title -just click "vote!"

  • Graphic Designer 
Traverse City, Michigan 
Joann Sondy
    Posted by Joann Sondy, Traverse City, Michigan | Sep 26, 2008

    Excellent article. Thank you for the insight.

  • Principal 
Seattle, Washington 
David Brown
    Posted by David Brown, Seattle, Washington | Sep 26, 2008

    Wonderfully put! Thank you for articulating where I am in my life in such an exciting and positive way.

  • Leadership Coach • Life Coach • Business Development Consulting • Real Estate Coach • Executive Coach • Speaker  
Silverdale, Washington 
Joanne Victoria
    Posted by Joanne Victoria, Silverdale, Washington | Sep 26, 2008

    Great job! Your article extremely helpful. - Joanne

  • jewelry designer 
El Paso, Texas 
Ellen Kass
    Posted by Ellen Kass, El Paso, Texas | Sep 26, 2008

    Now I don't feel so all alone.

  • Nia Fitness instructor, workshop presenter & freelance writer 
Mills River, North Carolina 
Ondine Constable
    Posted by Ondine Constable, Mills River, North Carolina | Sep 26, 2008

    While I think there is merit to this interesting topic about the evolution of society, I disagree with the generalizations made here about the three cultural groups, and the superiority complex which is implied.

    People of integrity who may be "Moderns" or "Traditionals" believe in the same values described here as characteristics of "Culturals." They may have different opinions on certain topics, but if you ask someone who you'd consider to be Modern/Traditional if they valued authenticity, social activism, idealism, etc etc. they would say yes, by their own definitions.

    Another way to see this is that young people naturally tend to look beyond the worldview of older generations (and to think they are the first ever in history to do so!) so in a sense each successive generation is culturally creative.

  • Founder & CEO 
Saint Joseph, Missouri 
Brent Stanley
    Posted by Brent Stanley, Saint Joseph, Missouri | Sep 26, 2008

    This article was eloquently written and right on target.

  • Top  Manager/Systems  thinking,non  linear  thinking,creativity,design  thinking. 
Sofia, Sofia Bulgaria 
Michael Yanakiev
    Posted by Michael Yanakiev, Sofia, Sofia Bulgaria | Sep 26, 2008

    Dear Tara, I enjoyed your 2 articles on what the new coined up term 'innerpreneur', means to such a 'creative class',young lady, full of life's driving force + intellectual curiosity. You remind me strangely enough of Isadora Duncan -"If, I could say it, I wouldn't have to dance it." Let us assume that you are right in defining 'The Rise of the Cultural Creative', as a third alternative of thinking, practiced by a group of people who have discovered their own truth in their own, independent way. The main problem as you perceive it is that 'we are not represented as a group because we do not realize that we are thinking like a unit....and do not know that we are a million voices strong.' You are not satisfied with 'Tradition'- literally a network of pre- understandings or prejudices from which we think and act; how we make sense of the world. Since the modern model of thinking(you don't specify it) doesn't seem to be working out quite well as everyone expected(very vague), being predicted by visionaries and futurists as something to emerge and be born, to change the world, here we are, but before that its not a bad idea to ask Bill Gates -'HOW?." In other words we will conduct 'Transformation Change'-Changes, modeled as an interconnected set of activities which convert an input to an output which may leave the system ( a' product') or become an input to another transformation, right? In introducing 'OUR NEW WORLD VIEW- that view of the world which enables each observer to attribute meaning to what is observed( sometimes the German word Weltanschauung is used synonymously).' Isn't there a danger that we can fall in a 'Trap'- A way of thinking which is inappropriate for the context or issue being explored, or you have foreseen everything, even the simple fact that someone has to empower 'US' to redesign the world, since we understood 'What We Need Now' (speaking for the entire humanity).

    • Our presumption can perfectly be a great statement made by, Margaret Mead -" A small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." But then we may stumble into something to alert us : "A Russian researcher Danailov has calculated, that throughout the whole history of mankind among the human population there were around 4000 Geniuses,120 000 major and great talents, 150 000 more or less able people. Only... This data was acquired by a careful analysis of encyclopedias and books of reference ( which according to us introduces a obvious bias, since not everything that mankind generated has been documented, known and has survived!?!). In the cited list all recognized geniuses were included as well as the most famous criminals created by humanity. The last cited number in the report was generated taking into account all literary, as well as heroes from all documented in the 'Worldly Tales and Folklore'. According to the estimation of expert demographers , for the time 'Humanity' existed on our planet the 'EARTH' there lived around 80 billion people(nowdays they are more than 5 billion). In this context if we calculate the 'Coefficient of useful efficiency' for mankind due to its geniuses and talents,we reach the following result: 'Coefficient of the useful efficiency' = (154 000 +120 000) : 80 000 000 000 = 0,000 00034. "OUCH!' it hurts, and is a insult for humanity as a whole: only a few creative individuals per million people - this can be resembled to some sort of noise, fluctuation or pure game of chance.'
    • taking into account,Bertrand Russell's frightening definition of 'Human Thinking' in his marvelous "Dictionary of Mind Matter Morals",1952, things do not look that optimistic as we try to present them in the many forums we participate!? -I would like to add to my rather heavy thoughts and reflections the following lines of ever lasting wisdom :

             "  Consequently: he  who  wants  to  have  right  without  wrong,
               Order  without  disorder,
                Does  not  understand  the  principles
                Of  heaven  and  earth.
                He  does  not  know  how
                Things  hang  together."
                   Chuang  Tzu, 'Great  and  Small'.
      • I would like to ask Tara, what managerial "miracles' does she suggest as a remedy as to meet the requirements of "Global Learning and ecology' for the Re-Generation ? Systems improvement or Systems design, as a concrete methodology for change or something completely new and non- linear, where the existing system is going to be destroyed overnight as the story goes in 'Management Guru' R.L. Ackoff's fables?
      • How in this context will another favorite of ours -Peter F. Drucker's predictions on 'knowledge workers perceived as society's greatest future's asset', with which the U.S. is 'blessed' in numbers and hopefully in quality will graciously give them the competitive advantage in the ' long run' towards a 'Human - Centric Knowledge Society' ?
  • Writer/Director/Producer and builder of bridges 
Seattle, Washington 
Tom McIntire
    Posted by Tom McIntire, Seattle, Washington | Sep 26, 2008

    Well done!

  • Teacher, Entrepreneur & Business Consultant 
St. Paul, Minnesota 
Rosemary Senjem
    Posted by Rosemary Senjem, St. Paul, Minnesota | Sep 26, 2008

    Another common term is "Inspired Entrepreneur."

  • All-Star Cheerleading Gym Director 
Tacoma, Washington 
Branden Hubbell
    Posted by Branden Hubbell, Tacoma, Washington | Sep 26, 2008

    Tara, that was an article that could not have come at a better time. On a whim, I decided to join Biznik, and so far, it is paying off in the first week. Thank you for showing me enlightenment. I have a name to give my thoughts and ideas, my visions and dreams. I thought it is was just overthinking, now I know it seems to be the way of the future. Mobilize as a unit, and the "Cultural Creatives" will soon Create a new existence.

  • Internet Marketing Educator/Consultant 
Portland, Oregon 
Colleen Wright
    Posted by Colleen Wright, Portland, Oregon | Sep 26, 2008

    The first time I heard the term "Cultural Creative" was when I was working with a housing developer who wanted to create a new community that served people with this mindset.

    He asked us to read "The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World" by Paul H. Phd Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson. This book inspired me to think more about the world at large.

    Through this book and working with this developer, I really began thinking about sustainability issues and took a class to become a Master Recycler. A Master Recyler is one who spreads the word regarding "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle."

    Any way that is how this concept enlightened me to work towards being a Cultural Creative.

    Thank you for sharing this article!

  • Eco Lifestyle Coach and     Brain Management Consultant 
Seattle, Washington 
Gina Diamond
    Posted by Gina Diamond, Seattle, Washington | Sep 26, 2008

    Bravo! I am so grateful that this shift is happening. When I read your article, I kept thinking about Check it out. Best, Gina

  • Counselor and Certified EBT Provider 
North Bend, Washington 
Jane Blinka, M.Ed., LMHCA
    Posted by Jane Blinka, M.Ed., LMHCA, North Bend, Washington | Sep 26, 2008

    YES! Magazine is also a wonderful champion of this "grassroots" swelling of people who choose to determine priorities for themselves, rather than swallow the dominant culture's prescriptions for our attentions and strivings. Tools like Biznik, along with the hearts and spirits of those creating them (thanks Dan and Lara!) fuel our capacities to truly change the world with an unprecedented rapidity. Let's envision a Velvet Revolution on a global scale... put all of this juicy attention and inspiration towards something dazzlingly spectacular... if We can Imagine it, it can happen! Thanks for the heart-lifting sparks, Tara!

  • Seattle Coworking Space Owner 
Seattle, Washington 
Jacob Sayles
    Posted by Jacob Sayles, Seattle, Washington | Sep 26, 2008

    If folks in Seattle are interested, I'd love to host a discussion on the topic. Tara, do you ever make it this way?

  • Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner  
Seattle, Washington 
Bryce Mathern
    Posted by Bryce Mathern, Seattle, Washington | Sep 27, 2008

    This is in response to Ondine's post. I think what you point out is very important. As this new culture emerges we must be clear that it is not to create a new hierarchy that places "cultural creatives" above those with "traditional" and "modern" values.
    It is true that each generation has new ideas and values but this idea of a traditional, modern and now "CCs" is not the same thing as having new ideas and experiences. There has been a tremendous amount of research done on the evolution of cultural memes and how they develop. (see It is much more in depth than generation to generation. What we are seeing is an evolution of consciousness that has happened over human history. What is different today from the past is that most of the evolution took place over eons. The Modern age started in the 16th century and progressed till today. Most people did what their parents did and parents parents did. They were not able to see the changes that could only be viewed after seeing the evolutionary development over time. But now through a confluence of technology, democratic freedoms and necessity (due to ecological breakdown) we are seeing an acceleration of this conscious evolution.

    The "cultural creatives" are a part of this acceleration. We are developing a values system that meets the needs of the world today. And in many ways we may see the next evolutionary leap which some call the "integral" meme. That is already happening but is much smaller and more difficult to track.

    What is important from my perspective is to find value in where we are coming from and where we are going. It is evolution not hierarchy. In evolution the next meme must include the previous meme. Ken Wilber calls these holons. A cell is in an organ is in a body. Cultural Creatives have some of the values of the traditional and modern cultures as well. And we couldn't be here today if we didn't have these necessary steps.

    As cultural creatives we can also value the modern and traditional cultures that exist in this country and attempt to recognize the many important gifts that they bring to the table.

    While valuing the roles of these different cultures we must also forge ahead and recognize that new values are also important and must be explored to meet the difficulties of the world today.

    I hope this wasn't too technical. It is an exciting topic to discuss and one that doesn't show up in your mainstream media.

  • Graphic Design 
Santa Rosa, California 
Alana Jelinek
    Posted by Alana Jelinek, Santa Rosa, California | Sep 27, 2008

    Hey, Thanks Tara for starting up this lively discussion... obviously a galvanizing topic!

    Looking at Cultural Creatives from a perspective of "Diffusion of Innovation", we could get to some further segmentation within these groups.

    I'm using a hypothetical recycling campaign as an example:

    1. The LOHAS (Lifestyles of Healthy, Alternative, Sustainable). These are the innovators on the scale of diffusion. They research their purchases, investigate corporate backgrounds and generally are concerned with the highest level of holistic health on both the personal and planetary level; are ahead of the curve in adoption of "green values". They are the ones who would have gone to the city council ad said, "We need a recycling program"

    2. The Naturalists. This group shares many values with the LOHAS but are motivated more by what's in it for them. These are "early adopters". They need a little bit of persuasion to get to a fully sustainable lifestyle, but with a little education would happily purchase organics vs non partly because it's good for them and partly because it's perceived as a "cool' thing to do. They will be the first ones on their block to put out their recycling (responding to the campaign their LOHAS neighbors initiated)

    3.Next would be the "Early Majority". For example, you set out your recyclables every week, just as awareness is going out that recycling is a good thing. Lots of people in your neighborhood are doing it and you join in. It's still voluntary, but it seems like a good idea.

    1. Late Majority. Ok, by now the city you live in has a full blown curbside recycling program. Everyone puts out their recycling and you can't imagine life before recycling.

    2. Laggards. These are the folks who have little consciousness about anything and are the least likely to ever recycle. To them, garbage is garbage and they see no need to recycle anything.

    We can look at these five stages as a time frame as well in designing a strategic campaign. Think of a bell curve with early adopters at the beginnig and early/late majority in the middle and laggards at the other end of the spectrum. Each phase would need a different tactic for getting out the word about recycling.

    This is very rich material and I'm grateful to TARA for bringing up the discussion.

    Green Blessings!

  • Top  Manager/Systems  thinking,non  linear  thinking,creativity,design  thinking. 
Sofia, Sofia Bulgaria 
Michael Yanakiev
    Posted by Michael Yanakiev, Sofia, Sofia Bulgaria | Sep 27, 2008

    Well, I must admit that I am amazed from the variety of interesting opinions and associations that are being generated by the participants in commenting Tara's most thought provocative article, pregnant with ideas that are to be born! It is an exiting experience to observe open-minded people contribute spontaneously on such a variety of questions (as the ones contained in the questionnaire,that Tara and most of us went through, scoring at least ten out of the list). I, personally am learning a lot from everyone and thus would be interested to hear your opinion on one issue that has been raised in the past but at least poor me, was never lucky enough to read or hear some more definite answer: The problem with the constantly rising overpopulation of our planet, the objective aging of the a large part of the population in certain parts of the world, the never stopping pollution, combined with global warming, in which we also subjectively contribute,etc. Any creative solutions that ring a bell? But let us try to be a bit more systemic in our responses- how to use these ideas to design and manage complex processes and constructions for the benefit of individuals, organizations and society.As Tara, says lead by example in order to change things we desire. Thanks and Cheers for the weekend!

  • Keynote Speaker, Event Facilitator and Trainer 
Seattle, Washington 
Leif Hansen
    Posted by Leif Hansen, Seattle, Washington | Sep 27, 2008
    • Bryce, no you were not too technical, you actually explained some Wilber-esque topics in a clearer way than I've heard before. Thanks.

    • Sounds to me like a Biznik event is stirring in the wind...who will be the one to create an event that is clearly relevant to business, not too woowoo, and incorporates many of these culture changing ideas...?

  • Taking real estate investing to the next level. 
Port Orchard, Washington 
Suzette West
    Posted by Suzette West, Port Orchard, Washington | Sep 27, 2008

    Another great article, Tara!

    Cheers and Kudos!

    Paul Newman: The Ultimate Innerpreneur

  • Transforming Teens' Experience of Community Service 
Seattle, Washington 
Katherine Burks
    Posted by Katherine Burks, Seattle, Washington | Sep 27, 2008

    I appreciate your article, Tara, and the earlier one that you wrote (I just read it, as well)!

    It is so exciting and encouraging to become aware of others that are coming from this world-view, and making conscious contribution of their particular gifts through their work.

    Thank you!

  • Business Consultant & Executive Coach for leaders seeking more balance, fulfillment, and prosperity! 
Berkeley, California 
Kelleen Griffin
    Posted by Kelleen Griffin, Berkeley, California | Sep 27, 2008

    Fabulously! You've done it again. I would add to your comment about 'what we need now: an awareness that we exist.' I absolutely agree that WE need to be aware that we are here, but corporate America has already been tracking this growing segment partially, by following the LOHAS market, as Alana mentioned. 10 years ago the stats showed the LOHAS market accounted for $226 billion, and that was only for natural and organic products. Services weren't even included. So what's that number today, $500 billion, $700 billion - maybe the size of the whole financial services bailout package! That's an impressive powerful group. Not woowoo, not crazy, not "fallen off the track"....Concerned, consciously living citizens.

  • Creative Clarity Coach 
Bainbridge Island, Washington 
Jennifer Manlowe
    Posted by Jennifer Manlowe, Bainbridge Island, Washington | Sep 28, 2008

    Wonderful writing, Tara! Great conversation starter(s).

    One aspect of a lot of Eastern philosophy (especially Daoism and Buddhism) that I love, and sometimes hear about from mod-inspired-entrepreneurs, is the notion of interdependence. Nothing is excluded, we are all interdependent jewels of an unlimited net.

    For more on this particular metaphor--called The Net of Indra--look at what Alan Watts said, "Imagine a multidimensional spider's web in the early morning covered with dew drops. And every dew drop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops. And, in each reflected dew drop, the reflections of all the other dew drops in that reflection. And so ad infinitum. That is the Buddhist conception of the universe in an image."

    I guess I believe the most revolutionary thing I can do each day and in all my relationships is "be the change I want to see," i.e., let transformation begin with me -- as Gandhi says.

    Buddhism is not a philosophy about converting others to MY way, the RIGHT way. It's about recognizing that the core mistake that individuals can make (seeing self-centeredly and as if we were totally separate, as if our actions don't affect each other) can be corrected with practice of seeing a much more interdependent world. "The world includes me but is not all about me," is what I like to say. The collective is the whole world, all beings, and this invitation to really see these connections and acting with radical responsibly, as if we shared this home called the planet, is quite revolutionary, don't you think?

    Thich Nhan Hanh likes to say, "If all humans are my siblings, there's no way I would kill another in war." Peace-seeking might be inevitable. These ideas, for me, seem way more revolutionary than being on "the right team," the ones who want to change or enlighten the wrong team.

    Believe me, practice seeing interdependently is only something I aspire to do/create (when I remember to do so), but I see it as a model that feels truly responsible to values that you seem to intimate when you speak about "cultural creatives."

    This has been fun to articulate -- hopefully in a way that people can comprehend (not too academic).


  • Top  Manager/Systems  thinking,non  linear  thinking,creativity,design  thinking. 
Sofia, Sofia Bulgaria 
Michael Yanakiev
    Posted by Michael Yanakiev, Sofia, Sofia Bulgaria | Sep 28, 2008

    Jennifer, What a great response! You demonstrate a truly profound knowledge of Daoism , Buddhism and eastern philosophy. It is absolutely true that in our western civilization we often tend to forget, that everything in this world is interrelated and that out of this context of interdependency one is not able to exist for a single moment. I completely agree with all your conclusions. One can add for additional flavor, the following thoughts of Chuang Tzu-"When Life Was Full, There was no History"-' In the age when life on earth was full, no one paid any special attention to worthy men,nor did they single out the men of ability. Rulers were simply the highest branches on the tree, and people were like deer in the woods. They were honest and righteous without realizing that they were"doing their duty." They deceived no one yet they did not know that they were "men to be trusted." They were reliable and did not know that this was"good faith." They lived freely together giving and taking, and did not know that they were generous. For this reason their deeds have not been narrated. They made no history.' In the these lines of thoughts, for example nowdays many people are convinced, that when they die they leave their interdependency with the world, which in many aspects should be considered as being obviously true. For this very reason even serious and responsible people that have encountered critical and extreme situations that they were not able to handle commit suicide. Thus the universal law of interdependency that dominates our world could easily be subjectively broken. What Jennifer is your opinion on this delicate and disturbing issue? I would like to use the occasion to thank Bruce, for his splendid input, that brings in clarity in an innovative field and adds to our understanding of the phenomena. Tara is clearly a master in facilitating creative sparks and imagination through her articles which according to Einstein is more valuable than anything else.

  • Creative Clarity Coach 
Bainbridge Island, Washington 
Jennifer Manlowe
    Posted by Jennifer Manlowe, Bainbridge Island, Washington | Sep 29, 2008

    Michael, your question is important but I'm not sure it relates to Tara's missive. Perhaps you'll want to write to me "off line" at

    I'd love to carry on the conversation about a very important topic.

    And, if you can't wait for my response, know that I think it is impossible to bust out of interdependency. That's like standing apart from the universe (a dualistic, perhaps egoic fantasy). Suicidal feelings often emerge when one FEELS painfully outside the whole, utterly apart from (not a part of) an enlivening community.

    I love Biznik and facilitating & enjoying well-being through connection!

  • Writer, Marketing + Communication Designer 
Toronto, Ontario Canada 
Tara Joyce
    Posted by Tara Joyce, Toronto, Ontario Canada | Sep 29, 2008

    I'm interested in the LOHAS idea. I'm going to explore it more. I hope my respect of Buddhist philosophy is reflected in my writing as well.

    Thank you everyone for connecting with my thoughts so much.

    All of your reflections have been thoroughly fascinating.


  • Top  Manager/Systems  thinking,non  linear  thinking,creativity,design  thinking. 
Sofia, Sofia Bulgaria 
Michael Yanakiev
    Posted by Michael Yanakiev, Sofia, Sofia Bulgaria | Sep 29, 2008

    Dear, colleagues , I am fully aware that it is not possible to see the creation of the world for just the price of 5 bucks . But, since such interesting conversations starters occurred, let us not fall in the 'Trap'- 'After everything was said and done, much was said and hardly anything done.' Therefore for future discussions, I would like to make the following suggestions: - It is obvious that the traditional ' American Dream', with all its promises(the false sense of limitless possibilities and expectations ,suddenly collapsed, clearly not without objective reasons, since some of its assumptions were simply wishful thinking that often leads to disaster!). In the dramatic times that we live, it is our responsibility as intellectuals to actively participate in a "New Idealized Re -Design of The American Dream."(In the context of the universal law of interdependency thus, excluding violence,in the sense in which Thich Nhan Hanh is saying-"If all humans are siblings, there's no way I would kill another in war.' Peace- seeking might be inevitable.) An ideally redesigned system is one with which the designers would now replace the existing system if they were free to replace it with any system they wanted. Such redesign is subject to only 2 constraints: 1)The design must be technologically feasible; 2)The design must be operationally viable; that is, it must be capable of operating in the current enviroment of the system planned for. I will post an article explaining in plain language the philosophy and principles that should be followed in the idealized design process. I believe based on my knowledge of American culture that the U.S., has a tremendous potential for the realization of radical changes 'on the move'. It clearly needs to redesign some of its major institutions and views to meet the new challenges of the modern world. This can not happen other night and may well take the following 10 years to come. One is for sure -The American intellectuals should not stand isolated in this proses, but take a firm stand and commitment, since the stakes are decisive and we all deserve a better future. As R. Ackoff would say: "The future is not contained in the past." -Perform a in depth and objective , unbiased analysis of what lead to the current situation, where the U.S., is loosing its role as "A World Leader"; By the way you must have managed to see -'How much the 'Wise Gays' believe in the axiom that the market self-regulates itself, by saving 'AIG', the bankruptcy of which would have busted the 'banking system' on the spot. More is to come - American Capitalism with all its evolutions, starting after the war, between the North and the South('Gone with The Wind' -The Epic Movie), where the the essential values of the south were destroyed- Is now paying a long range consequences price, and strangely enough : The System is falling apart determined by its Virtuality, Greed, Illusions, lack of realistic vision, aggressiveness, arrogance and outward stupidity( Americans are brave, dangerously decisive but unfortunately without a natural long range strategic perspective!).- They ran into deep trouble trying to outsmart themselves!!! A living Paradox and one of GOD'S favorite jokes.

    -Design a creative strategy to regain and fully justify the role of a " Qualitatively New World Leader". This task requires a sensible answer to another important question, predicted years ago: How in this context will the availability of 'knowledge workers perceived as society's greatest future's asset', with which the U.S. is 'blessed' in numbers and hopefully in quality, graciously give them the competitive advantage in the ' long run' towards a 'Human - Centric Knowledge Society' ?

    • The outlined long perspective strategic program may seem rather ambitious, but is certainly not impossible. Why don't we give it a try?
  • Personal Trainer for Hair 
Seattle, Washington 
Dawn Renee Mallory
    Posted by Dawn Renee Mallory, Seattle, Washington | Sep 30, 2008

    WOW! What a fabulous gathering of spirited brain power! Only in Biznik can I imagine such a multitude of imput at the drop of a hat!

    Thanx Tara for inviting such a strongly creative response... Dawn

  • Former Owner, PartyPeople Co. - Event Coordinator 
Bothell, Washington 
Kristeen Barclay
    Posted by Kristeen Barclay, Bothell, Washington | Oct 01, 2008

    I enjoyed this article. As I read the article, I sensed a collective mind composed of soulful authentic people. Thank you Biznik. kdb

  • Web Design, Wordpress & Facebook Customization 
Sequim, Washington 
Kelly Lenihan
    Posted by Kelly Lenihan, Sequim, Washington | Oct 02, 2008

    Hi Tara, What an insightful and interesting a Renaissance person, this topic really resonated with me, as it obviously did with others as well. Thank you, Kelly

  • Business Growth Catalyst -- Coach and Consultant 
St. Louis, Missouri 
Allan Smith
    Posted by Allan Smith, St. Louis, Missouri | Oct 02, 2008

    There is so much written here that I hesitated to add to it. Perhaps I don't have the incisive intellect to fundamentally push the discussion further, or maybe risk sounding like a "me too." Escaping the grip of my entropy, I decided to go ahead. I first thought, is it possible that there exists such a group so vast, with a shared culture and instrumentality, yet not self-aware? Were creatively different people - leaderless, associationless-- individuals alone and unconnected by any apparent string of relativity to others of their ilk wandering about? Well, maybe. Or maybe not. And if so, is there something that can or rather should be done with it other than make people feel better?

    Haven't there been people in every generation whose affinity or lack thereof for the dominant culture of their time -whether more Traditional or Modern- qualified them as Cultural Creatives? After all, relatively speaking, in every era there is a "modernist" or "culturally creative" movement of sorts--think Monotheism in the time of Abraham, the Greek version of democracy, helio-centric theory (let's not lose our heads over this), freemasonry, the Reformation--which went against the grain, had a different set of values, and were set apart. Today's Moderns and maybe even CC's are probably tomorrow's Traditionals.

    Now I know it isn't quite that simple, and I recognize that there really could be something to this, but not simply because there are a few well-written books about it. There are cultural icons-in-the-making every day in this era of mass communication and mega-publishing, and many can make a big short-term impact.

    But am I a member of this newly-identified group-Cultural Creatives-simply because I never felt that I fit in that well in bureaucracies, therefore was forced through the need to eat and afford living expenses to start my own business while at the same time trying to do the right thing by others? Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled that any club will have me, to refute Woody Allen's famous joke.

    I recognize that the movement is also importantly about a set of shared cultural values that run counter to traditional or modern--if ones accepts a rather inflexible set of attributes about these groups. But don't most of us in this group (if I'm actually in it--maybe I don't qualify) also maintain a twin value for us to do better and succeed financially and socially? Isn't that kind of "Modern?" If we are to be authentic, please tell me, all, how you joined biznik purely for the intellectual stimulation and that we eschew "modern" values such as increased income, peer recognition, and vulgar things such as learning how to better market our services. I may be too modern after all.

    What this Creative Culture concept (forgive me, but a picture of Boy George keeps popping up in my head--not welcome, either) does most for me, besides monumentally exemplifying the outstanding level of thinking and the high quality forum available on biznik, is put me on the alert to test it out in my thinking about what I'm doing and in the way that I see the world. Maybe it even gives a sense of legitimacy to many without political power. It also is quite refreshing to discover a more hopeful perspective once in a while, too.

  • Creative Clarity Coach 
Bainbridge Island, Washington 
Jennifer Manlowe
    Posted by Jennifer Manlowe, Bainbridge Island, Washington | Oct 02, 2008

    "We are what we repeatedly do." ~ Aristotle

    As I reread some of these posts, including my own, I notice something arise in me that is at once hopeful and, at the same time, a little cynical.

    I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that the variety of Bizniker's "out there" in the ether may have only a few things that are in common to us all and not one of them is all that revolutionary in and of itself (besides being human, I mean). We all have:

    1) a computer or access to a computer; 2) access to the web via our computers; 3) a desire to network in a way that doesn't suck (as the name Biznik makes explicit).

    What's funny is that "what doesn't suck" for one person sucks for another. For instance, person "X" might think it sucks to network for business in vivo while person "Y" would love to meet people in a face-to-face way.

    So, quite frankly, while the folks that responded to Tara's post may have quite a bit in common, philosophically and in practice, perhaps, I'm not sure the thousands of Biznikers "out there" are on board with the notion of "movement," let alone one called Cultural Creatives. Some of us eschew the language of revolution, finding it threatening, totalizing, or worse, a grandiose projection (of sameness onto difference). Others love the idea and feel less cynical and alone when they read about a collective sense of hope based on an allegiance to values in common.

    I say, "Yeah and hurray to all the Biznikers! And to those of you who won't ever meet anyone else in person, not to worry. No need to unite, we are united by our humanity, by numbers 1-3 (above), and by the philosophical/scientific premise that we are not fundamentally separate."

    Just remember Aristotle's maxim: "We are What We Do" .... now that's a movement that might have a ton of interpretations. Hey, wait a minute, there is actually a "movement" called WAWWD that advocates simple, hands-on actions, ranging from "practice good manners" to "recycle a printer cartridge." They are also the publishers of the bestselling "Change The World for a Fiver."

    What does it mean to "change the world?"

  • Top  Manager/Systems  thinking,non  linear  thinking,creativity,design  thinking. 
Sofia, Sofia Bulgaria 
Michael Yanakiev
    Posted by Michael Yanakiev, Sofia, Sofia Bulgaria | Oct 03, 2008

    When I read the last 2 posts and mentally monitored all the rest,

    it suddenly struck me that: Human beings are so constituted as to see what is wrong with a new thing, not what is wright. To verify this you only have to submit a new idea to a committee. They will obliterate ninety percent of rightness for the sake of ten percent of wrongness. The possibilities a new idea opens up are not appreciated, because not one person in a thousand has imagination! When I works, I works hard; When I sits, I sits loose; When I thinks, I falls asleep. We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drow. We have 2 opinions: one private, which we are afraid to express; and another one- the one we use- which we force ourselves to wear to please Mrs. Grundy, until habit makes us comfortable in it, and the custom of defending it presntly makes us love it, adore it, and forget how pitifully we come by it.-Mark Twain. I say that Wisdom is merely knowing what to do next and we seem to lack it. The three great requirements for a happy life are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for,-J.Addison In every human heart are a tiger, a pig, an ass and a nightingale. Diversity of character is due to their unequal activity.-A. Bierce The men the American people admite most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.- H.L. Mencken Aristotle could have avoide4d the mistake of thinking that women had fewer teeth than men by the simple device of asking Mrs. Aristotle to open her mouth.-B.Russell I kept six honest men serving men, they taught me all I knew; their names were What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.-Kipling Change is not always improvement, as the pigeon said when it got out of the net and into the pie. Albrecht's Law: Intelligent people, when assembled into an organization tend toward collective stupidity.-K.Albrecht.

  • Dream Interpretation & Education 
Seattle, Washington 
Mimi Pettibone
    Posted by Mimi Pettibone, Seattle, Washington | Oct 03, 2008

    GREAT article, thank you! : )

  • Founder, 
Bellingham, Washington 
Joy  Gilfilen
    Posted by Joy Gilfilen, Bellingham, Washington | Dec 06, 2008

    Fascinating conversation, excellent article. It is incredible the amount of passion, heart and soul I heard here. And the amount of hope and desire to help create a better future. It was a 'joy' to read.

    I will do an event in Seattle on this. While I have an idea of what I would like to do, I invite ideas on what you would like to see discussed.

    Recently, thanks to BizNik, I was able to attract some real teamplayers to work with me on some websites that are all about this. And we will be doing a conference in March on innerpreneuring and how this is changing the world. Our goal is to gather other industrious people together to innovate not just for ourselves, but on behalf the world at large.

    We have a concept called community entrepreneurism that we are pioneering. More to come on this later.

    The Cultural Creatives book is in fact one of the finest books I have ever read that puts peoples lives into perspective of time, place and history.

    While it is a massive read, it did more to calm my soul than virtually any book I have read in 30 years.

    If you have ideas for the creative change leadership conference in the spring, or for events you would love to attend, please post or connect with me directly at


  • Founder, 
Bellingham, Washington 
Joy  Gilfilen
    Posted by Joy Gilfilen, Bellingham, Washington | Dec 06, 2008

    Michael, I want to address your missives, for I hear the pain and frustration in your voice over the global challenges we face. Your brain is fascinating, and you are obviously very well read and concerned about our future.

    I have felt the despair that goes along with broken dreams and shattered illusions, and the worry over the future.

    I too have wrestled with the problems I have seen ever since I was 8 years old.

    What I have finally concluded is that it will take real, honest work to make the changes we must make. It takes hope, joy, commitment and desire to achieve a new world of possibility. It takes an all new vision, backed up by actions, and a willingness to change our minds.

    We need new stories, new ideas, new structures to play the new global community 'game of life'.

    We all must learn to be patient and compassionate with ourselves as we are reorganizing our collective intelligence to become sustainable, restorative, and regenerative as a species connected intimately with this living planet.

    As you and others have so eloguently stated, there is no black and white, and the ironies of life continue.

    So do the opportunities for change. I know that we can change, we are changing.

  • Founder, 
Bellingham, Washington 
Joy  Gilfilen
    Posted by Joy Gilfilen, Bellingham, Washington | Dec 18, 2008

    Hi, Everybody.

    As a result of this article, Jacob Sayles and I decided to host an event about this in Seattle on Dec. 30 from 4 to 6 PM. You are all invited...check it out:

    Distinguishing Ourselves as Creative Entrepreneurs: Conscious Change Through a Common Voice

    Would love to have any of you attend who can make it! Just to be sure I will send personal invitations to you as well...


  • insurance agent 
Edmonds, Washington 
sweethearts unite
    Posted by sweethearts unite, Edmonds, Washington | Feb 04, 2009

    One of the best articles I've ever read. Yes, Tara there is a Cultural Creative Movement and we need to be loud and clear especially for the young people. High school and college age kids need to know because such a large number of this generation coming up are ready, open to, and looking for this movement. If this movement had been a bit more boisterous it would have been popular years ago. It isn't something that can be pushed upon anyone but the voice needs to be just as loud as the opposition for the young people to hear. They are listening....waiting....wondering.... They need to know, they are not alone.! Rock On!