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The 10% Project – A tipping point possibility July 9, 2009

Posted by Dixon de Leña in Change leadership, Cultural Creatives, Emerging Wisdom Culture, tipping point.
Tags: , , , , , ,

I’m going to try to make a very simple argument that we should ride the horse in the direction it is going – only make it go a little faster. What I mean by this is that we are a mere 10% of the US adult population (23 million) away from having the majority of us Americans living out our lives from green values or at the green meme as Clare Graves defined it. The people who make up to this 10% are American adults who currently are in-transition from Modern values to adopting Cultural Creatives values for a variety of reasons but mainly because they are disillusioned by the pursuit of modern life. Paul (Ray) calls them Transitionals. When, not if, they complete their transition, it will bring the total population of Cultural Creatives in the US to 45%. Not even the Moderns could claim that percentage at their peak despite the incredible and effective efforts of mainstream media’s avalanche pitch of the convenience, new-ness and sexiness of modern life.

Just how fast did this happen? Taking a look of the updated stats from our 2008 study, it breaks down like this:

Cultural Creatives – A steadily growing population

In 1995, Cultural Creatives were 23.6% of the US adult population, or 44 million adults.

In 1999, Cultural Creatives were 26% of US adult population, or 50 million adults.

In 2008, Cultural Creatives were 34.9% of US adult population, or 80 million adults

[US Adults 18+ years in 2008 = approximately 230 million]

175% growth in 13 years is a little over a 3% per year constant annual population growth rate.

However we have to factor in that the US adult population is growing too. So, the Cultural Creatives’ share of US population went from 23.6% to 33.6%. That is a 42.4% increase in share—about a 2.5% annual growth rate as an increasing share of the US population.*

Getting back to the when, not if, remark that I made earlier, it would appear that this potential tipping point will happen eventually. There’s no question of the potential positive impact on how politics, business and environmental policies are done by having a majority that would argue for change that is influence by the sensibilities and sensitivities of the Cultural Creatives consciousness.

The major influence on their growth has been that new values and worldviews grew out of their involvement in all the new social movements, from civil rights, to women’s, to social justice, to environmental, to concerns for hunger and third world peoples, to new spiritualities and psychotherapies, to bio-foods, and finally to ecology and the growing climate crisis of the planet. The other major influence on their growth has been the growing information saturation of the world since the 1950s. In fact the Cultural Creatives are simply the best informed people. They take in more of every kind of information through all the media, and are more discriminating about it as a result. (Though they are somewhat more educated than the Moderns, they have twice as many professionals.) Many successfully blend their personal experience with new views about how the world works, and why—their new values and commitments have rather organically grown out of their synthesis of all the information. By contrast, Traditionals tend to fend off new information that Cultural Creatives absorb, while Moderns leave media information quite fragmented and undigested that Cultural Creatives are determined to make sense of. Cultural Creatives are also mainstays of middle class support for the arts and good causes in America, for they are America’s practical idealists.“*

Cultural Creatives also represent the potential emergence of integral creativity, behavior that is seriously needed in this era if we are to successfully overt a global scale disaster. Moreover, a worldwide majority of Cultural Creatives is needed for us to move to second-tier consciousness according to Ken Wilber. The green meme is still considered first-tier consciousness though some argue that yellow and turquoise systems are expressions of the green meme but that’s another post entirely. The big curveball in this wonderfully, transformational, and potential evolutionary tale is that there is no guarantee that Cultural Creatives are capable or willing, even as a majority or possibly because they are majority, to create the breakthrough to second-tier thinking and behavior.

Wilber really flushes out his reasoning behind this difficulty, in his The Theory of Everything, calling the syndrome Boomeritis – a bad case of “pluralism infected with narcissism”.  Sheesh, what a knock-out cocktail! But after studying my own developmental trajectory as well is working shoulder to shoulder with Cultural Creatives over the last 10 years, I am almost in total agreement with his assertion – almost. I’ve also got nearly 29 years of real-life experience of transformation in individuals, groups and organizations to convince me there is an exception to such theories, that sudden shifts in consciousness can, and do, produce real breakthroughs into new ways of being.

So, over the next few posts I’ll tease out The 10% Project because I’m staking my reputation that it is one possibility that can lead to a breakthrough through Boomeritis. Stay tuned and keep those comments coming. Please!

[*Excerpts from “The Potential for a New, Emerging Culture in the U.S., Report on the 2008 American Values Survey” by Paul H. Ray, Ph.D., Research Director, Institute for the Emerging Wisdom Culture, Wisdom University; Research Director, State of the World Forum; Founding Partner, Integral Partnerships LLC, March 2008]



1. The 10% Project – A tipping point possibility » Dig for Leadership - Stories that try to make the world a better place. - July 10, 2009

[…] going to try to make a very simple argument that we should ride the horse in the direction… carry on reading. AKPC_IDS += "631,"; (No Ratings Yet)  Loading … Posted in Leadership | Tagged […]

2. KATHLEEN MARIA DERDERIAN - January 21, 2010

Need to think international guys! Ok, the United States is one powerful place but the more nations involved the better no? We got a social network up in italy just last spring and there are already 372 cultural creatives on it, a hundred more than are on the american facebook page! I’m very disappointed that have not given any credit to the italian researchers, Enrico Cheli and Nitamo Montecucco, that brought the study to international level…

Dixon de Leña - January 27, 2010

You know, I agree with you Kathleen. Us U.S. Cultural Creatives have had less exposure here in the States than they’ve enjoyed in Europe. Paul has collaborated on Cultural Creatives studies in Holland, France, U.K., Japan, and So. Korea. As you know, he collaborated with Enrico, Nitamo and Ervin Laszlo on “I CREATIVI CULTURALI” and yet very little press coverage happened in the U.S. What do you think is missing? For me, we could’ve done more to leverage Paul’s work in the EU and work the press here. I realize everyday that the Cultural Creatives were only named by Paul in 1996, and 14 years of this emergent new culture pushing against a pervasive Modern culture of over 500 years is only a beginning. From me to CCs in Italy: La realizzazione fantastica, le congratulazioni!

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