Researching today for a post sometime soon about social sustainability, especially in Vietnam, I found this on Wikipedia about ‘LOHAS’ lifestyles.
It reminded me of 2006 in Seattle, when DK had just gotten started and when we had, way back then, as we aim to now, I feel, patronized other labels that also support environmentally (and especially socially) sustainable ideals. Truly and sincerely doing this, I mean. Not greenwashing or BS or nonsense. Just. Doing. Good things, in good ways. No one is perfect and of course we all have to make money to live; but that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice things. Things like, for example, taking the time that it requires to nurture relationships that add value to our lives in other ways, or do the work it must require to foundationally, and bolsteringly, build the communities we want to be a part of because they help us grow. You need to have a structure in place for a form to work well; the structure is the engineering bit. The form is all image-y these days and lacks substance, I feel*, which is why I’m getting back to my core work in Engineering and related fields (environmental work, sustainability, et al). It’s not something I can talk about publicly yet, but maybe, maybe I can later.
[*Aside: For further reading, refer to Guy DeBord’s Society of the Spectacle.]…
If LOHAS came about in the mid-2000s, what about ALOASS. A Life of Authenticity and Social Sustainability, for 202Xs? Hrm.
Much, much more to say about this. Soonish, or whenever it makes sense to share, I’ll get to it. If I want. For now, this is this. Here is this snippet, a kind of footnote for my future post. This bit’s from Wikipedia…
Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) is a demographic defining a particular market segment related to sustainable living, “green” ecological initiatives, and generally composed of a relatively upscale and well-educated population segment. The author Paul H. Ray, who coined the term Cultural Creatives*:“What you’re seeing is a demand for products of equal quality that are also virtuous.” Included in the cultural creative demographic are consumers of New Age goods and services.
Just under half of the CC population comprises the more educated, leading-edge thinkers. This includes many writers, artists, musicians, psychotherapists, alternative health care providers and other professionals. They combine a serious focus on their spirituality with a strong passion for social activism.
Green “Cultural Creatives”
The more secular and extroverted wing of the “Cultural Creatives”. They tend to follow the opinions of the core group and have more conventional religious outlooks. Their world views less thought-out than the core group and less intensely held.
Ray and Sherry Anderson created a questionnaire to identify “Cultural Creatives” in Western society. The characteristics below were identified as qualities of a “Cultural Creative”. Agreement with 10 or more indicates status as a “Cultural Creative”.
- love of nature and deep caring about its preservation, and its natural balance.
- strong awareness of the planet-wide issues like climate change and poverty and a desire to see more action on them
- being active themselves
- willingness to pay higher taxes or spend more money for goods if that money went to improving the environment
- emphasize the importance of developing and maintaining relationships
- emphasize the importance of helping others and developing their unique gifts
- volunteer with one or more good causes
- intense interest in spiritual and psychological development (personal growth)
- see spirituality as an important aspect of life, but worry about religious fundamentalism
- desire equality for women and men in business, life and politics
- concern and support of the well-being of all women and children
- support spending more money on education, community development programs, and the support of a more ecologically sustainable future
- unhappy with the left and right in politics
- optimism towards the future
- involved in creating a new and better way of life
- concerned with big business and the means they use to generate profits, including destroying the environment and exploiting poorer countries
- unlikely to overspend or be heavily in debt
- dislike the emphasis of modern cultures on “making it” and “success”, on consuming and making money
- like people, places and things that are different or exotic
Ray and Anderson: “Values are the best single predictor of real behavior”. The list below outlines the values dictating a “Cultural Creative”‘s behavior:
Authenticity, actions consistent with words and beliefs
Engaged action and whole systems learning; seeing the world as interwoven and connected
Idealism and activism
Globalism and ecology
The growing cultural significance of women
Core “Cultural Creatives” also value altruism, self-actualization, and spirituality.
The concept of “innerpreneurs” to denote persons who create a business that focuses mainly on their own inner goals and development was first introduced by Rebecca Maddox in her 1996 book Inc. Your Dreams The “innerpreneurs” concept is also central to Ron Rentel’s 2008 book Karma Queens, Geek Gods and Innerpreneurs, in which he identified the “Cultural Creative” subculture in entrepreneurship. Rentel named entrepreneurial “Cultural Creatives”, “innerpreneurs”.
While entrepreneurs use their business for monetary gain, “innerpreneurs” use their business to find personal fulfillment (creatively, spiritually, emotionally) and create social change.
“Innerpreneurs” have the defining characteristics of an entrepreneur:
- high need for achievement
- high need for independence
- low need for conformity
- internal focus of control
- love of ambiguity
- propensity for risk-taking
- obsession with opportunity*
[*Editor’s note: Super true, for me, here. Ahem.]
In 2008, there was much discussion in the Western media on the ‘creative economy’ and the importance of the ‘creative class’. Richard Florida published a series of books on this identified ‘creative class’ and their upcoming economic importance. Bill Gates spoke at the World Economic Forum 2008 on the need for ‘creative capitalism’ as a solution to the world’s problems. They theorize that being creative and inventive will be the key to business success in the 21st century and that a country’s economic success will be determined by its capitalists’ ability to mobilize, attract and retain human creative talent. See Douglas Rushkoff for an update on how this evolved.
Use of the term integral
Ray gives the term “Integral Culture” to the growing subculture. He also refers to this as transmodernism, which he refers to as the “Cultural Creatives”. They are concerned with ecological sustainability and in the case of a core group have a commitment to personal and spiritual development. These are individuals who can meld the best of traditionalism and modernism to create a new synthesis, having a cognitive style based on synthesizing varied information from many sources into a big picture. This term can also apply to integral theory, a conceptual framework expounded by Ken Wilber.
Products and services
The marketplace includes goods and services such as:
- Organic and locally grown food
- Organic and natural personal care products
- Hybrid and electric cars as well as city bicycles
- Green and sustainable building
- Sustainable or Ecotourism
- Energy efficient electronics/appliances
- Socially responsible investing
- Natural household products (paper goods and cleaning products)
- Complementary, alternative and preventive medicine (Naturopathy, Chinese medicine, etc.)
- Fair trade products
- Literature in the Mind/Body/Soul, Holistic Health, and New Age genres
- Cortese, Amy (July 20, 2003). “They Care About the World (and They Shop, Too)”. Business Section. New York Times.
- Everage, Laura (October 1, 2002). “Understanding the LOHAS Lifestyle”. Gourmet Retailer Magazine. Nielsen Business Media. Archived from the original on 2015-02-21. Retrieved 2014-04-06.
- Judith Rosen (2002-05-27). “Crossing the Boundaries:Regardless of its label, this increasingly mainstream category continues to broaden its subject base”. — Publishers Weekly.
- David Moore (June 17, 2002). “Body & Soul, yoga w/o the yoyos”. Media Life. Archived from the original on November 13, 2002.
- Cohen, Maurie J. (January 2007). “Consumer credit, household financial management, and sustainable consumption”. International Journal of Consumer Studies. 31 (1): 57–65. doi:10.1111/j.1470-6431.2005.00485.x. S2CID154771421.
- Halweil, Brianink =; Lisa Mastny; Erik Assadourian; Linda Starke; Worldwatch Institute (2004). State of the World 2004: A Worldwatch Institute Report on Progress Toward a Sustainable Society. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 167. ISBN0-393-32539-3.