As the UN declares 2021 the International Year of the Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, we see another milestone that recognises the economic value of creativity.
“Human creativity is the ultimate economic resource … and the industries of the twenty-first century will depend increasingly on the generation of knowledge through creativity and innovation.” We’re already seeing the new model of the creative economy, with position descriptions for app developers, self-driving car designers and multimedia engineers – all roles that didn’t exist until just the last few years.
The term ‘creative economy’ describes an economy based on people’s use of their creative imagination to increase an idea’s value. Just as manufacturing typified the nineteenth century and information and knowledge the twentieth century, in the twenty-first century, economic systems value novel imaginative qualities rather than just traditional resources extracted from land, labour and capital.
A growing number of western and transitional economies are recognising the creative economy is a dominate force today and are seeking to build their economic competitive strength and resilience on this basis. Traditional industrial manufacturing is on the wane, leading to a focus on innovation policy with action on developing creativity in the labour force across all sectors.
We’re also seeing the growth of the creative industries, such as the arts, design and cultural sectors, architecture and the education industry. These creative industries are becoming increasingly important to economic prosperity, with more than 50% of consumer spending now on outputs from these industries.