The evolving Cultural Creative movement has expanded to slow cities, slow parenting, slow homes, slow marketing … you get the idea.
In their article Not So Fast, the Boston Globe interviewed Carl Honoré, a Canadian journalist whose two books, “In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed,’’ and “Under Pressure: Rescuing Our Children From the Culture of Hyper-Parenting,’’ have made him a quaisi-spokesperson for all things ‘slow’.
Slowing down to experience life fully is a core cocept in the Cultural Creatives values subset. It’s a vivid example of a dividing line between Moderns and Cultural Creatives, joined at the neighborly hip with Traditionals on this particular issue.
No one believes that ‘slow’ will become any kind of European-inspired, major mantra in America, but the economic meltdown will clearly bring more adherents into the philosophical fold. Adherents argue that instead of believing that ‘speed wins’ at all costs, we must find the right speed of our individual lives.
In the case of investing, Brookline-based Slow Money Alliance seeks to “reconnect investors to that in which they are investing and to the places in which they live.’’ Compare this approach to Modern commodies trading, in which a single barrel of oil was traded on average 27 times, in recent years. Was there any actually value-added benefit for a barrel of oil traded so often? None whatsoever.
The argument that the current global meltdown was created by mindless folks stuck in a fast-forward, Roadrunner-mentality continues to gain traction. At the same time, history has never slowed down voluntarily. In America, slow is lazy, for slckers or — worse yet — for stupid people only. Slow is unAmerican.
But the Cultural Creatives are committed to slow in ways that are different than the Traditionals. CCs are technologically sophisticated and understand that their best business thinking often comes from a walk in the slow lane.
The Boston Globe introduces us to the Norway-based World Institute of Slowness, who says that European corporations are increasingly asking for advice on how to reformulate their workplaces not so much to facilitate ‘slow’ as to activate creative, inspired thinking.
“In a fast company, they are in a firefighting mode. They are reactive; they don’t have time to think,’’ said Geir Berthelsen, founder of the WIS. “You will have people being creative and inspired if you take away the short-term focus.’’
Meandering through the WIS website, I noticed that the institute is now affiliated with SlowPlanet.com, founded by Carl Honore. Researching more about Honore, I find he presented one of the top 10 TED Talks of all time, based on votes.
TED Talk: Carl Honore Praises Slowness
Enjoy it now and ponder the possibility of maybe even one slow day a month in your life. Go ahead and think about the idea; you have time.
As for me, well I must research the Slow Sex movement. I assume it’s associated with tantra, which I embrace. Let’s see what other luscious details I can dig up about the Slow Sex movement. I know you’re waiting for me with bated breath. Anne
You might like our Smart Sensuality feature: J’Adore Alabama Chanin. The company’s a new American lifestyle brand, produced in Florence, Alabama with sustainable ‘slow design’ principles. Great website!A
This update is a response to Georjina’s comment that the “slow” movement is not the best synergy inspired by the Cultural Creatives. She believes that “slowing down” doesn’t solve the world’s urgent problems.
I just hopped over to Wisdom University, where Dr. Ray now operates, picking up this quote:
“Two thirds of Cultural Creatives are women, and in many ways the new value system the Cultural Creatives represent is inextricably related with the fact that this is the first time in history that women’s values have been widely and publicly articulated. They are spiritually motivated and committed to personal growth but are not dogmatically religious. They embrace technology and economic development but only within a deep affirmation of the environment and community. They tend to view the world from the perspective of holistic systems. They are the people paying attention to world events and global trends. “
On the same page, Dr. Ray mentions a 2008 research result that puts 35% of the Italian population as Cultural Creatives, and we know that Italy is the home of the Slow Movement. Interestingly, they are also 5% of A of C’s traffic.
Reading now off the new PDF from the study we’ve been awaiting, these same values hold. Even in the original research, the CC emphasis on relationships was at the core of one’s identity.
Relationships aren’t very important to pure Moderns. He (or she) who has the most toys wins the game. Self-identity is determined by possessions. I believe it’s the Modern culture that has done the most damage to the environment because it pushed consumption without consideration for credit card debt or damage to the environment.
When the Moderns emerged out of WWII, the only way to keep the wartime economy moving was to consume, initially via owning homes in suburbia and filling them with electronic treasures. This defined the good life. Later fashion & style became part of the mix, defining us based on our designer clothing.
Certainly,we associate coal mining and other environmentally-dangerous industrial activities with the Traditionals, but the Moderns embrace coal as well — if the price is right and short-term profits will benefit, driving up the stock price.
I think the slow movement puts this emphasis on nature, taking time for each other, spirituality, and self-knowledge and that’s why it has a lot of appeal to Cultural Creatives or a progressive Traditional/moving to CC hybrid.
Also, we must remember that the CC’s are two-thirds women. While I try to encourage women to expore technology and science, over in Smart Sensuality, the fact is that women are more driven by relationships and concern for child welfare. Women are also stressed out, to the detriment of their relationships, so getting women to “slow down and smell the roses” is generally considered to be good for all.
In the for what it’s worth column, the slow article is one of the top three at A of C. It keeps getting circulated, perhaps with its TED Talk on child-rearing.
Your call-out, Georjina, that only truly smart thinking, with a degree of fast-paced urgency will get out of this global mess is a good one. “Progress” must include technological innovation, not merely consuming less and taking time to nurture non-materialistic pursuits.
Trust me when I write that I do not believe that a return to non-consumption as the way forward. There are pure Cultural Creatives who embrace this idea. I can’t imagine the state of the global economy in such a scenario.
But we also must acknowledge the greatest plunge in greenhouse gases in over 40 years, resulting from the current global recession and the fact the so many of us (including me) just aren’t buying anything.
As I’ve worked with the Cultural Creative data over the years, I find some of the most interesting go-forward thinking coming from the hybrids — the intersections of the Traditionals and CC’s and also the Moderns and CC’s.
I’ve written elsewhere in the website that I believe that the Buffetts are an excellent example of the Tradition/CC hybrid and Bill and Melinda Gates are a Modern/CC hybrid.
Gates is probably one of the most interesting characters of all in this discussion.
Reflecting still on the reader’s comment, skyrocketing importance of Biomimicry — finding scientific answers in nature — is another example of a hybrid Traditional/CC concept. The Moderns believe that man can triumph over nature, destroying the environment in the process.
The CCs believe that nature often holds answers to everyday design challenges— giving us the design discipline of Biomimicry. A purely Traditional values-driven mind wouldn’t seek this solution.
The new Cultural Creatives 2008 Research update PDF I refer to is located on this page:
I will summarize it in a CC feature shortly. Anne
Speaking of biomimicry, my next stop at Science Daily, leads with this feature: Secrets of the Sandcastle Worm Could Yield a Powerful Medical Adhesive.