Pioneers under-index against the rest of the population on ‘Being British’ as an important part of their self-identity. They account for 37.7% of the population but only 29.6% of those espousing being British, an index of 74. This is 10.1% of the British population.

Within this Maslow Group there are no significant differences between genders or socioeconomic groups. There is significant under-indexing in the under 21s and the 45-54 age groups; and significant over-indexing in the over 65s, who are more than twice as likely as younger groups to acknowledge this as important factor in their identity (index 208). These over 65s make up 43.8% of all Pioneers ‘self-identifying as British‘ (SIB). The 55-64 age group contributes another 13.4% – together creating a base with nearly 60% being over 55 years old.

This is important for decision makers to keep in mind when designing strategies and communications to appeal to a sense of Britishness, i.e., being British among the Pioneers is correlated with the oldest of them. Overt appeals to Pioneers under 55 are unlikely to have the same impact as they would to the over 55s.

The most over-indexed among the Top 7 Attributes is NATIONAL PRIDE:

It is important to me to take pride in British history and traditions. I am proud to be British.

Pioneers may be under-indexed in terms of self-identifying as being British, but the SIB Pioneers are over-indexed on taking pride in their country. They are close to 60% more likely to espouse NATIONAL PRIDE (index 157).

It may seem counter-intuitive to many, but these older Pioneers are the most likely of the Maslow Groups to equate Britishness with their pride in British history.

These Pioneers have a perspective that extends beyond current events; an expanded view of their own being. Being British is not about the last international football result, or the latest economic forecast. Their perception of their place in the world incorporates a feeling of being connected to their country’s history.

Reviews of supporters of historical and conservation charities and NGOs illustrates then when CDSM profiles are surveyed, almost invariably an older Pioneer profile emerges in terms of numbers of supporters and amount of support given – both in money and time.

To the Pioneer SIBs, preserving and remembering the past is not a case of preserving the culture and history in amber - a static past viewed darkly - but a method of placing themselves in a positive living history; to observe the new world in terms of a glorious history, warts and all. Perhaps this is best summed up in a lyric from Paul Simon, “These are days of miracle and wonder”

History, tradition and finding their own place in the modern world are all parts of the same lifelong search for meaning. SIB Pioneers feel they have largely found what they’re looking for. This is clear to see in the Attribute MEANING:

My life has a clear sense of purpose. I have a good sense of what makes life meaningful.

These people have been searching for and now have a clear purpose to their life – something that makes their life meaningful. Their thought patterns and behaviours are more likely to be aligned with their values system than those who are still seeking meaning to their life. This is one of the key differentiating factors of Pioneers – a connection between their values and behaviours in ways that are rooted in their personal ethics, which may, in fact, be in opposition to more pragmatic or survival-based systems of values. Discovering and being true to their purpose in life creates people who are likely to have a firm lens through which they view the world; i.e., harshly judgemental towards opportunistic, but unprincipled options, for quick fix solutions.

Their opinions on solutions will not be weighed simply on the basis of ‘opportunity’, but also on congruence with those values that make their life meaningful.

It should be kept in mind that these are people who have established a pattern of behaviour that has been developed through their search for meaning, and this inquisitive searching will not change. This adds a dynamic component to their sense of what makes their life meaningful - knowing their purpose – and also looking to deepen that through an understanding of their place in the historical arc of being British.

Britain is a place – not just a state of mind. Protecting their country is important to them but the ultimate expression of protecting their country is protection of the natural, and evolving countryside of their native land.

This is measured by the Attribute NATURE:

I strongly believe that people should care for nature. Looking after the environment is important to me.

SIB Pioneers are 31% more likely than the rest of the population to strongly agree with this. Environmental organizations find that these people are above average in their support and active engagement with their companies or charities. These Pioneer SIBs know and understand that solving issues that arise from a lack of care for nature is the responsibility of us all – not just waiting for governments or organizations to impose or find solutions to problems.

Nature is important to them, and it drives their engagement with organizations who aspire to protect nature from present and future ecological damage – as well as trying to conserve that which is being lost already.

Many of them will be among the viewers of the BBC’s most watched factual program “Countryfile’. This popular television program provides an insight into the everyday lives of those who live in farming environments. It highlights, on a weekly basis, the effects climate changes and government policy response have on their lives. Because they are the first step in our food chain, and custodians of our land and water quality, and the wildlife that supports the ‘natural’ ecology of Britain, they in many ways represent people like the Pioneer SIBs, who have a meaning and purpose in their life. SIB Pioneers may live in the urban environment – as do more than 70% of all people in the UK– but they do not view the farming community as something ‘different’, to be looked at in a voyeuristic way. Rather they see them as people with a purpose responding to the vicissitudes, both short and long term, in one of the most important careers in the modern world.

We know from our own research that this Attribute is espoused by the majority of supporters and members of, for example, the RSPB and Greenpeace.

At times, when thinking about taking care of Nature, visions and speculations are presented in terms of fear and doom, or apocalyptic thinking. The projection of current ‘negative’ trends can lead many people to see only a dark future. This fear is used by both climate change deniers and the activists of ‘green’ groups; because it often helps them achieve their objectives.

One of many things we have discovered in over 35 years surveying and analysing human values systems is that some people are more predisposed to being fearful than others. This means they are easily affected by messages and memes designed to scare them. The fear-generating algorithms that produce the headlines and ads consumed daily on the internet and social platforms work on fear-receptive people – even when the headlines and communications are obviously, given a moment of reflection, not true.

But doomsters and fear mongers will find little purchase among the SIB Pioneers. Rather than being down at the mouth about adverse trends and projections and feeling they ‘have been given a raw deal in life’- i.e., PESSIMISM, which the SIB Pioneers rank last among all 118 Attributes – they feel grateful for the life they have led.

This is measured by the Attribute GRATITUDE:

I have so much in life to be thankful for. If I had to list everything I felt grateful for, it would be a very long list.

SIB Pioneers are 24% more likely than the whole population to have this orientation.

This is an orientation that largely prevents them from seeing the future as dark. To them there is little in their life experience that leads them to expect anything but light. Life may have been tough at times, but they have come through it and feel grateful that whatever happened to them, the good and the bad, it made them who they are today – a person with a purpose in life, when many of their contemporaries are still searching for it or have given up ever getting to this state of mind. In other words, being gloomy makes no sense to them.

When they experience fear and gloom like other people their reaction is different. Being pessimistic is really not in their nature and any pessimism is soon dismissed upon reflection and realizing that feeling this way is an ‘option’, not a state of being. The SIB Pioneers are not big believers in pre-ordained fates.

This has many implications.

One of them is that other research has shown that this positive attitude to life and the issues it throws up is highly correlated with creativity – actively seeking out and engaging with new ways to respond to changing conditions. This openness to new experiences, based on their awareness of the benign nature of their own life experiences, is critical for all organizations and groups that are proposing or supplying new ideas and options for behaviours. The Pioneer SIBs are motivated and engaged by the possibilities for tomorrow; based on their lack of fear and their gratitude for their life up to now.

Their sense of possibilities for tomorrow is tied-in with one of their main characteristics that is at odds with many models of economic change, and especially the dominant model, posited on increasing ‘growth’ through the creation and extraction of wealth through increased consumption of the Earth’s resources.

The unsustainable harvesting of materials, typified by today’s economies, is a major part of the concern for nature - the third most over-indexed of all Attributes among the Pioneer SIBs.

One of the many ways in which they address this issue, at the heart of climate change, is to feel and behave that they have ‘enough’.

Their values set is not anti-growth as such – but it is anti ‘unthinking consumption’. Buying material objects because they are told they ‘need’ them to lead a good life, or that they will be happier if they have x, y or z in their home, or that they need a ‘new’ x, y or z even though the one they have now is still fit for purpose, is not the way they run their lives.

The next most over-indexed Attribute, that measures this, is NON-ACQUISITIVE:

When I've bought something, I don't immediately start thinking about what I can buy next. I wouldn't say that the more I have the more I want.

The nature of personal values changes is such that most Pioneers have previously been much more materialistic in the past – typically during their earlier Prospector days. The SIB Pioneers will have been largely able to buy and maintain the articles they wanted for their personal surroundings – their home. They will have ‘unthinkingly consumed’ like most other people, and not seen themselves as a part of ‘the problem’.

The problem is that the current system of extraction and consumption has created a situation whereby increasing and maintaining human life is effectively demanding resources beyond the capacity of the Earth to supply it. By some standards, we would need 1.8 Earths to supply the needs of economies based on the current mainstream models of ‘growth’.

But the Pioneer SIBs’ values have shifted; and that unsustainable behaviour is seen to be at odds with their life’s purpose; and that, by being guided by their life’s purpose, they can become part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

Rather than being driven by ‘more’, they can be more in harmony with their values and realize they have ‘enough’. This is a major driving force in their lives – the awareness and deep understanding that what was seen as a virtue in earlier parts of their lives are now one of the vices they can control and manage by being more purposeful and caring about nature and the country they live in.

This new awareness and behaviour was promulgated first by the Pioneers and noted in the late 1970s, when social commentators began writing about a minority of the affluent middle class had begun to ‘downshift’ in their lifestyles – consuming less not more, not regularly ‘trading-up’ for newer versions of products they already had, beginning to think about ‘sustainability’ rather unthinking consumption. They were resistant to producer and brand appeals to buy and, instead, long before the internet, created markets for publications like the original ‘Whole Earth Catalogue’ or for organizations like the Consumer Society and its publication “Which?”.

Non-acquisition became a virtue and defined a form of sustainability that has framed many organizations' efforts to create a brand appeal not based on ‘unthinking’ consumption and a need for 'more', but on ‘purposeful’ consumption and sense of 'having enough'.

So far this group of people have been presented as deeply connected to their personal and cultural history and a sense they can overcome most obstacles by remaining true to their purpose in life. Capable of changing their thoughts and behaviours in ways that are creative – often based on their deep awareness of issues and trends others aren’t aware of at the moment – they can be seen as outliers in respect to fears others feel about the security of their beloved country.

But others would be wrong in this assumption.

Perhaps seemingly counter-intuitive to what’s been said before about their values profile, SIB Pioneers believe that the country they take pride in is not inviolate - that a vigil must be maintained if the country they live in is to survive in the turbulent years ahead.

We see this in their over-indexing of NATIONAL SECURITY:

It is important to me that my country be safe from threats from within and without. I am concerned that social order be protected.

They are 22% more likely than the general population to espouse this Attribute.

This group is not a bunch of idealistic ‘hippies’ loving Mother Earth and denigrating others who fear for the safety and security of the land they live on. The SIB Pioneers understand the dynamics of social change, often only subconsciously - that the only constant is change, and sometimes the change is for the worst in terms of their own life purpose, but also the life of the country.

They may sometimes wish they could have a revolution to change movements they feel threaten social order, up to and including their own government. But they also know that revolutions based on hatred can lead to untold suffering by those who didn’t want revolution; who were resigned to surviving to some extent in a less than desirable social system.

They are among the most aware of issues that threaten a healthy stability; not an authoritarian stability based on consensus of what is good for the many not the few. They understand that stability is a function of healthy debate of differing ideas, but with respect for each other’s points of view and a willingness to accommodate those they disagree with. For the SIB Pioneers society can only work if it is 'civil'.

Threats from within their country are people and organizations that don’t tell the truth in societal debate – those who deny, distort, deflect, or in effect lie. These are the enemies of civil and respectful society, pretending to be seeking consensus but instead dividing the nation. This is what the Pioneer SIBs see as the major threat to their country – not just a minor annoyance that can be skirted around and portrayed as ‘business as usual’, or ‘he would say that wouldn’t he?’. It is sense of a creeping normalization of uncivil society that spurs SIB Pioneers to seek more creative responses to the threat. Their response is to set new issues on the cultural and political agenda. Issues like legal reforms, recognition of ‘unheard voices’ in the body politic through new forms of voting legislation, up to and including Constitutional reform. All are creative response to threats to their country from within.

In today’s world of external threat, it is more than obvious that attacks from outside the country are not limited to attacks by politically driven military forces – though they still exist. Today’s attacks on the country are economic, cyber, environmental and often just plain existential - too big to easily categorize but felt to be threatening – but felt to be ‘not British’. This expanded security environment is fully recognized and part of the instability the Pioneer SIBs want to steer clear of if possible. They are clear that sabre-rattling or sending in gunboats is a thing of the past for protecting their country. Being open to new ideas but prepared for hostilities is the way of the national security conscious SIB Pioneers.

All of the preceding is reinforced in their values system with the last of the Top 7 Attributes which leads them turn thoughts into positive actions - SELF CHOICE:

It is important to me to make my own decisions about what I do. I like to be free to plan and choose my activities for myself.

They know what they want, and they want to be free to choose. This can run counter to going along with a conformist culture, doing what others are doing. An overwhelming desire, i.e., “It is important to me…”, indicates why being free is the nubbin of this Attribute. It leads the Pioneer SIBs to embrace actions that follow from knowing their purpose; to power their choice of actions in relation to the environment and to create new ways of protecting civil society and remain grateful in the face of issues that induces pessimism in many others in society.

Without understanding the complexity of the interconnection between the Attributes it might seem that SELF CHOICE is merely a selfish form of libertarianism – Me, Me, Me! Nothing could be further from the truth.

Remember that these SIBs welcome robust creative debate about the best ways of constructing their lives and the country in which they live. British democracy provides a framework for this to occur and additional restraints on their freedoms run counter to this. The creation and imposition of new restrictive legislation will be seen as ‘not British’. And ‘tearing up regulations’ in the name of ‘making my own decisions’ is not necessarily a desirable action if the new regulatory environment induces instability that harms the many for the sake of a few. Cutting ‘red tape’ that was designed to prevent iniquities in processes is not a way to insure healthy stability.

SELF CHOICE when exercised by people with a ‘Me, Me ,Me!’ orientation is a recipe for selfishness, greed, avarice, and exploitation of others. But for the Pioneer SIB it is the freedom to create a universal identity of ‘WE’; i.e, we are all together on spaceship Earth and we need to work together to maintain the healthy, non-repressive freedoms that are manifest in many British traditions.

To the Pioneer SIB, fighting for, and exercising, basic human rights is a way of displaying their pride in their country. Waving a national flag is often seen to signify a pride in living under that banner and proclaiming ‘we’ are different from you – an exclusive club.

Waving a flag proclaiming their differentness is most definitely not what SIB Pioneers support.

Motivated by their freedom to express themselves in a way that suits their purpose means that waving a flag is expressing their unique form of inclusiveness; a form of inviting all who are proud of their country to join them in expressing their gratitude in being British. A form of loving their country (patriotism) rather than a form of hating other counties (nationalism).

Summary: Pioneer SIBs are complex and guided by knowing their sense of purpose and a desire for freedom to make their own choices in life. They are largely non-materialistic and aware of their impact on nature. They may criticize restraints that impinge on their freedoms, but they are grateful for those freedoms that come from being British. That is the ultimate source of their pride in being British.