Cultural Creativity: The New Brand of Esoteric
Since the idea of the Cultural Creative inspired this business network, it seemed natural to include the term in the title. Since then, I've found I need to explain everything from the beginning -- the book, the authors, their findings, the value set -- before I can even get to the point of the network, which is to connect Cultural Creatives in business and to explain how building meaningful relationships is at the forefront of our business world today.
It's quite long winded. Especially for those who see themselves falling toward the Modern or Traditional subcultures. The wind typically pays off after my mini thesis. Only in my own circles, I am delighted to learn that someone has actually read the book, Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People are Chaging the World.
I was grateful to meet Leif Utne, Editor of Utne Magazine (formerly known as the Utne Reader) at our winter networking mixer, who has also struggled with the usefulness of the term. After rebranding their press kit classifying their audience as Cultural Creative, Utne was met with raised eyebrows of advertisers and consequently went back to selling ad space as they always had. He wondered if the Cultural Creatives Business Network, using that term, would really draw Cultural Creatives together.
All I could do was shrug.
I'm quite certain Leif and I share this common wrinkle around Cultural Creatives because the term is so new. Not enough people know about it to use it as a marketing or communication tool.
The National Science Foundation notes that when people use new and emerging terms, they are effectively driving language change:
The vocabulary and phrases people use depend on where they live, their age, education level, social status and other factors. Through our interactions, we pick up new words and sayings and integrate them into our speech..... Some of them spread through the population and slowly change the language. (Mahoney, Nicole. Language and Linguistics, Special Report of the National Science Foundation.)
I agree that the term Cultural Creatives is indeed of little use to anyone. Like an infant, it requires constant nursing to keep it alive. This changes the question from "Should our network use the term Cultural Creatives to express our identity?" to "Are Cultural Creatives in general committed to the idea of the Cultural Creatives subculture? Are we willing to identify ourselves as Cultural Creatives --Are we willing to spend the time to propagandize it as liguistic change requires?"
Only time will tell.