There is a great deal of talk today about creative economies. In order for municipalities and communities to leverage results and grow their creative economies, it is necessary to distinguish three distinct but inter-connected ideas: creative economies, creative industries, and creative cultural industries.
Creative economies are ones in which people are paid to think, where wealth creation is drive by ideas and innovation. The creative economy exists across all sectors of the economy – including the ‘old economy’ of manufacturing and agriculture; for example, an industrial designer working in an automotive plant.
The creative industries are a subset of the larger concept of the creative industries. The latter encompasses a wide range of economic activity in which ideas, innovation and intellectual property are at the centre of value creation – science, engineering, medicine, financial services, etc. Richard Florida has distinguished two categories of creative occupations:
- Computer and mathematical occupations
- Architecture and engineering occupations
- Life, physical and social science occupations
- Education, training and library occupations’
- Arts, design, entertainment, sports and media occupations
- Management occupations
- Business and financial operations occupations
- Legal occupations
- Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations
- High-end sales and sales management
Creative Cultural Industries
The creative cultural industries are a sub-set of the creative industries in which cultural expression and aesthetic value are the ‘traded good.’ Statistics Canada defines the creative cultural industries as including written media, the film industry, broadcasting, sound recording and music publishing, performing arts, visual arts, crafts, architecture, photography, design, advertising, museums, art galleries, archives, libraries, and culture education.
The Conference Board of Canada determined the sector is growing at 8% per year since 2000, far outpacing the rest of the economy. Direct and indirect impacts total $84.6 billion.
How do we build local creative economies?
We know that one of the biggest challenges in communities is lack of connectivity.
- Social connectivity – Many people work independently and often from home making them somewhat invisible – to one another and to the larger community. Creative work thrives when people ‘bump into’ one another generating new ideas, products and services.
- Business connectivity – Most creative businesses are small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s) requiring collaboration and shared investment. Creative economy work often results in short term project teams assembling and disassembling. Business networking is required to form these new relationships collapsible alliances.
A range of tools and strategies exist to build these connections. The cultural mapping system developed by AuthentiCity in cooperation with The Breken Group is one tool to better connect people and businesses in communities. When linked to social networking sites and platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, the power of the system expands still further.
Learn more about this mapping system.