It’s A Prospector World

Surveys of 15 countries representing the majority of the global population show that it’s a predominantly Prospector world.

To understand more about the ‘three worlds’ of these three ‘Maslow Groups’ see my book What Makes People Tick: The Three Hidden Worlds of Settlers, Prospectors and Pioneers.

Taken together, the 15 countries make up 59.3% of the global population (they are Kenya, China, India, South Africa, Russia, Thailand, Philippines, Mexico, Indonesia, Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, Japan, UK, Australia and the US) . Each survey included over 2000 people, nationally representative for age and sex, and was fielded by GMI. The surveys were conducted by CDSM (Cultural Dynamics Strategy and Marketing) between 2011 and 2015 as part of a larger study with Campaign Strategy for Greenpeace.

the fifteen countries as a percentage of world population

The average proportion of Prospectors (Outer Directed) across the 15 samples is 55%.  An average 20% are Settlers (Security Driven) and 25% are Pioneers (Inner Directed).

percentage of prospectors, settlers and pioneers in the fifteen countries

global population by Maslow group

Above: ‘global’ population by Maslow Group – it’s mostly a Prospector World

As has been discussed in previous Three Worlds blogs, the predominance of Prospectors in many societies has important implications for campaigners, most of whom (especially in developed countries) tend to be Pioneers and to make intuitive Pioneer-type assumptions about other people.  Pioneers have a high sense of self agency, like complexity and debating issues, and some disapprove of people for being aspirational, even for wanting to have fun.  But that’s the way most of the world is and for their ’causes’ to have mass appeal they need to communicate them in ways that offer success, fun, looking good and achieving the best, and positive action rather than self-denial, if they are to attract what in most countries is ‘the mainstream’.

proportions of Maslow Groups in 15 countries (ranked by Prospector).

Above: proportions of Maslow Groups in 15 countries (ranked by Prospector).

The CDSM model splits out four distinct Values Modes within the Maslow Groups, each with a distinct motivational profile (see Campaign Strategy links to explanations of the Values Modes).

The survey results and global averages of the Values Modes are shown below:

global averages of the Values Modes


global averages of the Values Modes

Across the sample average, the two largest Values Modes are the GD Golden Dreamers and the NP Now People, both Prospector.  The former have recently transitioned from Settler World and are still quite conventional in their aspirations, although they are very motivated to find a quick route to acquiring the symbols of success.  The latter are much more confident and more interested in what Pioneers are doing, and exert the greatest influence over the other Prospector Values Modes, including the GDs.  The Now People are the arbiters of fashion.

Now People tend to look favourably on many ‘good causes’ but are often put off from engaging by the way that campaign groups try to approach or treat them.  Pioneer campaigners may even inadvertently drive Prospectors out of their own organizations by trying to make them more ‘worthy’, when it is often these people they need the most in order to engage the public.

The third largest Values Mode is the TX Transcenders.  This Values Mode tends to dominate amongst those actually taking action on ‘good causes’, especially where they are ‘global’ or challenging.  It is the Values Mode with the highest sense of self agency, and has greatest potential to act as a bridge for Pioneer ideas to the Prospectors but this is not always realized.

This is the first time these data have been published in this form and it is believed to be the only survey of its kind.

There is only one European country in the series above and CDSM plans to conduct a survey of more European countries in the next twelve months.  For more on that and for any methodological enquiries, contact Pat Dade at CDSM.

Thanks to CDSM and Greenpeace for permission to use these data.

Want to know your own Maslow Group and Values Mode ? Take the free CDSM online survey

headshot of Chris Rose

Chris Rose is an ecologist and communications and campaigns consultant based in the UK, a former director at Greenpeace, campaigner with WWF International and Friends of the Earth, author and host of Campaign Strategy, a free campaign planning website. This article was originally posted at ‘Three Worlds’ on Campaign Strategy, and has been republished with the author’s permission.

If you’d like to get Cruxcatalyst via email, click here to subscribe to this blog.

If you liked this post, please consider sharing it using the buttons below or to the left of this post.


Crux On Ice – A Change Agent’s Treasure Trove

polar bear slipping on his back in front of sign 'watch for ice'

Since late 2011, I’ve maintained the discipline of writing (and sometimes curating/negotiating republishing) an average of one article per week.

Around full time work and a range of other social media and activism commitments (and life!), the time has now come for me to put Crux on ice – not for good, and not completely, as I will continue to post here, but will do so on an as-needs rather than a once-per-week basis. One piece a week doesn’t sound like much, but it can be as much as another full work day split over two evenings, depending on how much research is involved, and whether or not you have any topics up your sleeve.

I’ve also got some plans to do something else with Crux, which requires me to free up my time from a weekly blogging schedule.

For recent subscribers as well as existing visitors to this site, the vast majority of content here is ‘evergreen’ and will continue to be relevant. I encourage you to rummage back through the Crux files menu on the right hand side of the blog, or browse this summary of areas covered, including:

Values & Motivating People

physical and sticker badgesfour different big cats, eyes featured in layered horizontal strips red, brown, green and gold eyes



man in suit holding a black face mask over his face, having just taken off a similar white face mask russell brand with his 'fag pimp brand' sign, a gift from the WBC


Sustainability Thinking

young child in a forest touching a web of energy, green light human brain - left half grey cubicle farm, right half colourful image of people in nature


Understanding People

grid of icons styled from iconic movie characters an early version of Bugs Bunny, reclining eating a carrot and reading 'Victory thru Hare Power'



cartoon images of people all speaking in different coloured cartoon bubbles (no words - different colours show different 'dialects') graffiti art of beggar holding a sign that says 'keep your coins, I want change'


Case Studies

screenshot of online news story about LDOA reuniting pets and owners Jamie Oliver, dressed in pea pod costume, holding fork to mouth of little boy pleading with the reluctant little fellow to eat!

  • the University of Adelaide’s campus sustainability program Ecoversity, and how the Lost Dogs of Adelaide social media phenomenon could translate to local sustainability


Self Care for Change Agents

heart shaped yellow candy with 'Just Say No' imprinted on it in red


Changemaker Profiles

  • how leading change agents approach their work


Michel Bauwens, founder of the Foundation for Peer-to-Peer Alternatives

headshot of Neal

Neal Gorenflo, founder of Shareable

headshot of Ben Dyson

Ben Dyson, founder of Positive Money

headshot of dana pearlman

Dana Pearlman, cofounder of the Global Leadership Lab

headshot of Brett Scott

Brett Scott, activist, campaigner and author of The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance

Thanks to everyone who has subscribed, commented, Tweeted and shared the content you’ve found on my blog, and to Donnie Maclurcan, Mike Freedman, Michael Michalko, Chris Rose, Susan WeinschenkBarrett C Brown and David Lavenda who contributed, or gave permission for me to republish their work as, a guest post.

I appreciate your support and interest and hope that the Crux ‘back catalogue’ continues to be useful for your work.



Lenses, Language and Engaging People

stack of seven pairs of eyeglasses with red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple lenses

Have you ever had a conversation with someone where you thought you were not in agreement, and then after some discussion you realise you’re both actually on the same page, it’s just that you were just approaching the same thing from a different starting point? It can be amusing when you both get to that ‘a-ha!’ moment!

In the last week I’ve had some interesting discussions with Transition folks about how to get more people engaged in Transition and other change movements, and what role perception and language plays.

An observation made by one of my colleagues was:

We tend to confine ourselves by the words we use – transition, transformation, sustainable. From my experience there are many young people doing stuff without putting any of those labels on it.

Coincidentally, one thing I’m doing right now is research with Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool to make sure the right terms are in my meta data for this site, so that Google can find and return in the results when people are searching for content I offer.

When I use the Keyword Tool to search on a phrase eg. ‘sustainability communication’ I find all the associated phrases people are searching on as an average global monthly search. This not only helps you with keywords to include in the metadata of a website (which helps you be ‘seen’ among a crowd), but gives you vital intelligence as to what people are looking for. 

One of the top searches associated with how I perceive people might find my site is (believe it or not) ‘sustainable sustainability’. People are actually plugging that into Google? Who knew?!

The same applies to change initiatives. People might not know that they are looking for ‘transition’. They might not yet know to look for ‘sustainable communities’. They might not grasp ‘sharing economy’. They may have a number of things they are concerned about, or want to see change in their communities or their own lives, but aren’t yet able to articulate it.

They use the words and concepts THEY know, not the ones sustainability change agents use, whether its online or offline.

So although you are singing a beautiful song of change, others may not be quite tuned in to your frequency.

screen shot of U2 sheet music to I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

For example, my keyword research has revealed that while I will include ‘sustainability communication’ in my meta data because I see that is what my site is about, from my potential readers’ perspective, I will be found more easily if I use ‘behaviour change’ which is what people are searching for.

When Adelaide hosted US producer and author John de Graaf last year, there was an overwhelming response in the RSVPs from the health sector, because the talk was framed not as sustainability, but ‘wellbeing’.

As the person ‘running’ John during an afternoon talk at the University of Adelaide and an evening talk on the same day at the University of South Australia, I was astounded to note that there were *none* of the faces I would expect to see at such a session had it been framed with ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ language.

cartoon images of people all speaking in different coloured cartoon bubbles (no words - different colours show different 'dialects')

Another colleague was speaking to her interstate counterparts recently, and discovered they were engaging in what they called “Secret Sustainability”. Having discovered that about a third of the number of people would turn up to a ‘Fair Food Week’ event (or similarly framed environmental or social justice get togethers) as they did to cooking events, they now run ‘cooking demonstrations’ attended by many more people – and at which fair food, food waste etc messages can be easily incorporated.

Further, while it is important for all the ‘green’ groups to know what each other is doing and work with each other where there are opportunities to do so, I see it as just as important that they are building relationships with other groups where there are commonalities; for example connecting with a local school or sporting club around energy saving or health themes, or with migrant groups who have food growing or ‘maker’ skills (which is also good way of helping to integrate these groups into the wider social fabric), or engaging with the local chamber of commerce on how transition-style relocalisation might support small business.

As the cooking demo anecdote reveals, one of the best ways to people’s hearts is through their stomachs – and bringing people together around food is through something that Transition is already great at doing! At the very least, sustainability incognito may well be the means to the ends.

In organisations, consider whether the language of ‘kilowatt hours’ and ‘tonnes of C02’ resonates with the different audiences you need to influence to gain support for sustainability.

For accountants and financial managers, present a business case that shows short term cost savings (such as energy bills) and also speaks to longer term value, such as insulating the organisation against future shocks as resources become more expensive or scarce.

For business development folks, demonstrate how sustainability could drive innovation and create new opportunities – and highlight the risk of inaction such as loss of competitive advantage.

For marketing and PR-types, show how sustainability can help with brand/reputation and market positioning, such as when large organisations are looking to ‘green’ their supply chains – early adopters in those chains will be in the box seat for selection.

pied piper followed by Mickey Mouse, Mighty Mouse, Speedy Gonzales, Stuart Little etc

If you want others to hear your tune, then sing the song of your intended audiences.

Go forth with ‘Transition’ or ‘sustainability’ in mind, but if you can connect to a wider base of groups with approaches that use their language, and address their interests, then you start to build some traction with mobilising other latent sources of time and energy.

If you’d like to get Cruxcatalyst via email, click here to subscribe to this blog.

If you liked this post, please consider sharing it using the buttons below or to the left of this post.


Changemaker Profile – Dana Pearlman

This is the fourth in a series of Changemaker Profiles, which introduces the work of changemakers I know and admire, and offers insights into their approaches to communication and change work.

Dana Pearlman is co-founder of the Global Leadership Lab, bringing together systemic change-makers to transform our world towards a thriving ecosystem through leadership, community and project/venture acceleration. She is co-author and publisher of The Lotus: A Practice Guide for Authentic Leadership Towards Sustainability. Please see Dana’s longer bio at the end of this post.

headshot of dana pearlman

1. Tell us about the work you are involved with:

In modern society, we have become fragmented and disconnected from many aspects of our true selves, disconnected from one another and from our deep human need for community and from our planet. My work is about reconnecting people to their true selves, to their values, to one another and to our greater global community.

I host conversations that matter and design and deliver learning experiences that enable transformation at the individual and collective levels.  My work aims to support capacity building in change-makers to help them become more effective in their work through collaborative and authentic leadership development as well as venture acceleration that aims to change the world for the better.

Oftentimes, world-changing ventures do not get the support they need to make an impact. We are building an ecosystem of systemic change-makers to support these ventures and giving them the attention they need to thrive.

2. What motivated you to be doing this work?

A number of years ago I went through a period of great discontent. I was no longer satisfied with my career and life path. I felt called to do something much more meaningful and I needed to be part of the healing of our planet.

I ended up attending an amazing graduate program in Sweden, and obtained a masters degree in strategic leadership towards sustainability. I actually ignored the fact that the word leadership was in the title, and while attending the program realized the huge global deficit in the kind of leadership that is needed in our world is also at the root of our current modern day challenges.

The success of an intervention depends on the interior condition of the intervenor.

Bill O’Brien (from the book Theory U by Otto Scharmer)

During the Swedish program my colleagues and I had a webinar with Otto Scharmer and he shared this quote. This sent a few of us into an exploration of what is the ideal interior state of the intervener?

We began speaking to a myriad of leaders working in transformational spaces and encountered a massive leverage point for change: Leaders that are authentic, and use their personal learning experiences enable vulnerability in those around them, it is these encounters that enable change. This simple yet profound realization is game changing. If you create spaces of meaning and vulnerability, healing will take place.

During this exploration we also synthesized 9 capacities authentic leaders find essential in their work (these include: being present, compassion, personal power, suspension and letting go, intention aligned with higher purpose, whole self awareness, whole system awareness, having a sense of humor and holding paradoxes, ambiguities and multiple world views).

Further, we explored the practices that enable the development of these capacities, such as yoga, meditation, dialogue, peer learning. aikido and many other practices. There is a freely downloadable guidebook here.

3. What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

It is all rewarding. Even the struggles. The human experience is a complex, juicy and relentless journey and in my work I am constantly being invited to deepen my own self-awareness in order to hold space for others to do likewise. I am reminded daily of the profound beauty that exists when I am able to be present with another human being and that when I really take the time to listen to another person there is an entire new universe to understand and connect to.

The work I get to participate in in our world vastly surpasses what I could have ever hoped for.

4. What do you feel is your biggest communication challenge?

I work in human complexity. When one thing is out of alignment (in ourselves or in our relationships) it blocks movement and transformation is stunted. At any given moment, a plethora of human dynamics are at play between our relationships to ourselves, and with one another.

I am constantly building capacity in myself to recognize these blocks and to address them compassionately and fearlessly. On some days better than others!

The key is to express yourself and be with those that invite this!

5. How do you handle a situation when you find yourself in conflict with someone about your work or ideas?

The pattern is typically to react. However, the goal is to navigate these moments with grace and a heightened sense of awareness. The practice is to notice the arising reaction and to take a breath. Recognize what is happening in the present moment and really focus in on hearing their perspective, or taking some space until I am able to really hear them.

In this work, it is not about agreeing with one another, it is about the willingness to listen to another human being for the simple fact that they are a human being and deserve to be heard and recognized. That is where real transformation occurs, when we can deeply care enough to listen. That is where social trust unfolds and begins to heal ourselves and our planet. It is in these small gestures of caring for another that healing occurs.

6. What’s your best piece of advice for change-makers and activists?

Rule number 6. Don’t take yourself, others and the world so f%#$ing seriously. When we were researching authentic leaders, the capacity that was essential for this kind of work was having a sense of humor. Without lightheartedness we will forget to enjoy the journey of deeply caring for our planet. Remember to take time for yourself, to reflect and remember why you are doing this work and to source your work from your deepest values and cares.

Oh, and if you don’t already have your tribe, find them! We need to be around each other doing this work!

Dana Pearlman designs and facilitates action learning experiences. Her academic background is in clinical psychology and strategic leadership towards sustainability. She uses participatory facilitation processes, frameworks and powerful questions to enable deeper wisdom at the individual, team, community and collective levels. Her sweet spot is at the intersection of authentic leadership, tapping into other ways of knowing (beyond cognition) the world, collective healing and community building in order to accelerate the profound transformation that is needed in our world. She co-authored and published: The Lotus: A practice guide for Authentic Leadership towards Sustainability. Dana is also co-creating a start up, the Global Leadership Lab, that is bringing together systemic change-makers to transform our world towards a thriving ecosystem through leadership, community and project/venture acceleration, working with ventures that will impact 1 billion people or more. 

If you’d like to get Cruxcatalyst via email, click here to subscribe to this blog.

If you liked this post, please consider sharing it using the buttons below or to the left of this post.


How Working Less Can Give Us More

red graffiti on a white wall with Anarchy symbol 'it's tough to make a living when all we do is work'

In ‘The Story of Change’, Annie Leonard pointed out that our ‘consumer muscle’ has grown strong, but as a consequence of overworking it, our ‘citizen muscle’ has gone flabby. We’re less active, engaged citizens.

But how can we be engaged citizens if so much of our time is taken up with paid work? Is there another way to structure our lives?

US author and documentary film maker John de Graaf recently gave two public talks in Adelaide, South Australia entitled ‘Shorter Work Time: The Missing Link Between Wellbeing and Sustainability’.

In Australia on a speaking tour for his new book ‘What’s The Economy For, Anyway?’de Graaf drew the links between quality of life, fairness and equity and sustainability by speaking of how society’s goals should be to achieve ‘the greatest good, for the greatest number, over the longest run’.

The ‘greatest good’ reflects all the quality of life issues, ‘the greatest number’ is about justice and fairness, and ‘the longest run’ is about sustainability – if we continue with an economic paradigm that results in overconsumption and climate change, then we could undermine our other intentions.

de Graaf used examples from the US, Europe and Asia to show how nations like Bhutan have enshrined ‘Gross National Happiness’ in their constitution rather than GDP as the primary indicator of success (ie. choosing to measure ‘better’ rather than ‘bigger’); how as a result of the financial crisis, Californian workers who were required to take a small cut in pay in exchange for an extra day off a week chose to keep their four day work week for less pay; and how many of our current societal concerns – overwork, underemployment, having time for family, friends, interests, exercise and sleep – could all be addressed by shortening paid work time.
(58 minutes – talk 35 mins, Q&A 23 mins – this will shortly be available on YouTube, so please check back soon)

He acknowledged that this was not the only approach needed, and that for many people – especially those working long hours or more than one job to make ends meet – other measures such as an increase in the minimum wage would be needed.

Professor Barbara Pocock, Director of the Centre for Work + Life at the University of South Australia, also expresses these sentiments in her book ‘Time Bomb’ – right now, sustainable living requires constant consciousness, and because conscious effort requires more time and attention, habit takes precedence over considered approach:

Time is a resource that makes change possible and without it, new ways of living are crowded out – decisions to reassess behaviour and do things differently require an investment of time and thought.

Juliet Schor, Professor of Sociology at Boston College and author of ‘Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth’, draws the links between time, healthy communities and wellbeing, and like de Graaf, argues it would be wise to convert increased productivity into more time rather than more consumption:

As more and more labor time went into the market, time for community disappeared.  Social ties frayed and neighborhoods hollowed out. But social relationships are a potent form of economic wealth, which people can turn to during financial instability or adverse climate events. People who have strong social connections, or what’s called social capital, fare much better when times get rough. Plenitude involves re-building local economic interdependence by trading services, sharing assets, and relying on each other in good, as well as hard times.

simple graph with 'respect' along x axis and 'transactions' along y axis - at top of 'x' axis 'citizens', at end of y axis 'consumers'

Image credit

Author Charles Eisenstein speaks of the relationship between time, money, community and the ‘gift’ economy (which is the oldest kind of economy, having persisted for millennia and which is still with all of us today):

…community is nearly impossible in a highly monetized society like our own. That is because community is woven from gifts, which is ultimately why poor people often have stronger communities than rich people. If you are financially independent, then you really don’t depend on your neighbors—or indeed on any specific person—for anything. You can just pay someone to do it, or pay someone else to do it…The less we use money, the less time we need to spend earning it, and the more time we have to contribute to the gift economy, and then receive from it. It is a virtuous circle.

If we truly want to flex our citizen muscle – to have an active, engaged citizenry, and to evolve sustainable futures – then one of the most important keys is to find ways to help people take back their time.

Thanks to Libby Dowling and Jonathan Pheasant of the University of Adelaide’s Ecoversity Program, Jen Manning and Barbara Pocock of the University of South Australia’s Centre for Work + Life and Zero Waste SA for supporting John’s visit to Adelaide.

If you’d like to get Cruxcatalyst via email, click here to subscribe to this blog.

If you liked this post, please consider sharing it using the buttons below.