Sociologist Paul H. Ray and psychologist Sherry Ruth Anderson draw upon thirteen years of survey research studies on more than 100,000 Americans, plus more than 100 focus groups and dozens of in-depth interviews.  They reveal who the Cultural Creatives are and the fascinating story of their emergence over the last generation.  Using vivid examples and engaging personal stories to describe their distinctive values and lifestyles.

The Cultural Creatives care deeply about ecology and saving the planet, about relationships, peace, and social justice, about self-actualization, spirituality, and self-expression.  Surprisingly, they are both inner-directed and socially concerned; they're activists, volunteers, and contributors to good causes more often than other Americans.  But because they've been so invisible, they are astonished to find out how many other s share both their values and their way of life.  Once they realize their numbers, their impact on America promises to be enormous, shaping a new agenda for the twenty-first century.

What makes the appearance of the Cultural Creatives especially timely is that our civilization is in the midst of an epochal change, caught between globalization, accelerating technologies, and a deteriorating planetary ecology.  A creative minority can have enormous leverage to carry us into a new renaissance instead of a disastrous fall. The Cultural Creatives offers a more hopeful future and prepares us all for a transition to a new, saner, and wiser culture.  

Are You a Cultural Creative?

This list can give you an idea. Choose the statements that you agree with.
You are likely to be a Cultural Creative if you...

1. Nature and are deeply concerned about its destruction

2.  ...are strongly aware of the problems of the whole planet (global warming, destruction of rainforests, overpopulation, lack of ecological sustainability, exploitation of people in poorer countries) and want to see more action on them, such as limiting economic growth 

3.  ...would pay more taxes or pay more for consumer goods if you could know the money would go to clean up the environment and to stop global warming 

4. a great deal of importance on developing and maintaining your relationships

5. a lot of value on helping other people and bringing out their unique gifts 

6. volunteering for one or more good causes 

7. intensely about both psychological and spiritual development 

8.  ...see spirituality or religion as important in your life, but are concerned about the role of the Religious Right in politics 

9.  ...want more equality for women at work, and more women leaders in business and politics 

10.  ...are concerned about violence and abuse of women and children around the world 

11.  ...want our politics and government spending to put more emphasis on children's education and well-being, on rebuilding our neighborhoods and communities, and on creating an ecologically sustainable future 

12.  ...are unhappy with both the Left and the Right in politics, and want a to find a new way that is not in the mushy middle 

13.  ...tend to be somewhat optimistic about our future, and distrust the cynical and pessimistic view that is given by the media 

14.  ...want to be involved in creating a new and better way of life in our country 

15.  ...are concerned about what the big corporations are doing in the name of making more profits: downsizing, creating environmental problems, and exploiting poorer countries 

16.  ...have your finances and spending under control, and are not concerned about overspending 

17.  ...dislike all the emphasis in modern culture on success and "making it," on getting and spending, on wealth and luxury goods 

18. people and places that are exotic and foreign, and like experiencing and learning about other ways of life.

If you agreed with 10 or more, you probably are a Cultural Creative.
© Paul H. Ray. All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.


Paul H. Ray, PhD, was educated at Yale and the University of Michigan where he was also an associate professor.  Sherry Ruth Anerson, PhD, was educated at Goacher College and the University of Toronto where she was an associate professor and head of psychological research at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry.  


I had the good fortune to hear both authors speak at The Prophet Conference in Palm Springs a couple years ago.  I have great admiration for all the intensive research they put into their book and soon to be released movie.This has been the fastest development of a culture in the history of mankind, starting around the time of the Harmonic Convergence in the late 80s.  Most cultures take hundreds of years to develop.  I am sure that you will enjoy the trailer to their new movie based on their book.  Please take the above survey and let us know if you are one of the many Cultural Creatives on the planet today.  I have a feeling most here are.

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Replies to This Discussion

18 out of 18, Wow I have a Cultural Creatives. I'm off to watch the whole movie now.

It really is amazing that we have so many things in common, yet we hardly realized there are more of us out there.  More, meaning 50 million others like us, which is a staggering number, wouldn't you agree? And I am sure there are a whole lot more now since the release of their book in 2000.  

We have a very unique opportunity here at Pagan Space to connect with other like minded people and learn and share with one another.  And thanks to the magic of computers our connections stretch across the planet.  This global networking is something very unique to this generation and may have something to do with the accelerated growth of this Cultural Creatives culture.  Let us recognize one another and understand that we have something greater than a label, we have an entire culture that we share.  And our culture is changing the very fabric of the future.  

I thank you, Esobella, for such a kind compliment.  I must profess that I was not born to it.  It has been an acquired skill through both under garduate and graduate school.  I much prefer free lance writing, but alas most of my writing is buried deep in dry professional journals. Writing here is purely a labor of love compared to that which was required of me in my professional life.
As always, a wonderful post. It's ecouraging. Thank you Lady Moonheart.

Well I didn't get to watch the movie. The computer decided I didn't need to and after several try's, I let it

What has struck me in my additional research into this subject of Cultural Creatives is that so many see it as a new idea. lol. To us old birds of activism and ecology this is just business as usual. 

Now the question of whether are more people opening up to these idea's or are there just more people now and it just seems that it's becoming a more popular theme?

I haven't an answer to this question. 

I find that apathy-ism is alive and well in my day to day working in trying to re-create the world back to a more balanced organism. I have also seen more and more people that are willing to be a little inconvenienced  to help out others and this planet. 

I don't know if we can contribute what changes that have come about in the cultural perception of responsibility, to the higher energy that many have come to recognize, or if again, it's just a matter of more people are about now and it just seems that way. 

Because I have found an odd phenomenon that seems to be recurring. It seems the ones that profess a strong knowledge in the harmonic convergence to step away from the problems of this world. When asked why, I have had many varied reasons, but the general theme has because it makes them unhappy to witness such pain in others. When I explain it's in the fixing of the problems we see and face that brings the joy, the happiness in a job well done, they politely agree and then disappear.

We together are change for the better, what part of this statement don't they understand. Am I missing something? 


Perhaps it is the circles that you are traveling in Kixs, that you see this apathy of the people who participated in the Harmonic Convergence.  I was one of those and participating in the Harmonic Convergence was my calling to attention of the work that needed to be done in the years ahead.  I had been in training all my life for this point in time and have put all my spiritual skills to work at many different levels to enact change.  And every where I go, I find similar people doing the same, who likewise participated in this pivotal event.  They come from all walks of life, from all races and cultures, and they come with their sleeves rolled up and ready to dig in and get the job done.  We do not mess around, we mean business and know how to enact change.  I cannot express the importance of this group, The Cultural Creatives, as they are reshaping the very fabric of the future and they are doing it for the next 7 generations.

Oh I agree that The Cultural Creatives are very important group of people. There are a lot of people that are becoming a part of this movement that have never heard of the harmonic convergence. I do believe it is just the natural reaction to all the changes in the energy around. Weather people realize it or not.

I have had a chance since I first posted the above statement to talk further with people that seemed to turn away from the problems that this world faces and an on going reply has been with the harmonic convergence they became aware of there latent empathic abilities and most either have not had anyone to help them learn to understand and control these abilities or have tried to "shut" them off by avoiding others pain and discomfort. 

I believe the changes we make today will last for eternity.

Your experience with those who were part of the Harmonic Convergence is disappointing, but understandable, to a degree.  Although there was much genuine sincerity among the participants, there was also a significant percentage, of course, who got into it just because they wanted to appear to be cool.  I agree that some of us play at being spiritual and want to avoid real challenges for fear of finding out the truth of our folly.  It kind of gives the rest of the Harmonic Convergencers a bad reputation.

Another thing to consider, though, about those who seem to want to avoid the pain of reality is this.  In any movement, there is the vanguard who lead the way, who dream and aspire to the limits of possibility, but can only do so by releasing other burdens.  The body of the movement is comprised of all the strong believers who solidify the esoteric advances made by the leaders, and who help the movement to grow in acceptance and power.  Like climbing a rope, progress is not made by only reaching higher, you also have to move your body.  Likewise, you cannot move your body up the rope without reaching higher first.  

Have faith that there were enough of us to open the portal.  If there hadn't been, we wouldn't have PaganSpace to talk about it!




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