The Creative economy is one of the most important and rapid growth sectors in the world economy. Many nations and cities are focusing on policies to attract and support creative populations that can build innovative and creative organizations. The creative economy is comprised of arts, culture, media, design, technology, education, law, and healthcare. Strides in technology and the assistance of enlightened government programs are making this dramatic workforce change possible.
Creative economies are powerful contributors to income generation. Creatives are playing an increasingly important role in the workforce, making up 34% of the U.S. workforce and 45% of Europe’s workforce.
I live and work in Silicon Valley, CA and the Bay Area, spanning San Francisco to San Jose, which is the epicenter of innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship. No other region in the world has demonstrated the wealth generation and world changing potential of creativity and innovation as powerfully as Silicon Valley.
I also travel extensively, as I see other powerful examples of cities that are being fueled by creative development. Miami is a great example, with the art and design districts of Wynwood and the Design District. The creative and culture economy have attracted global visitors and billions of new investment dollars into new real estate development, fabulous restaurants, and city infrastructure development. Art Basel Miami, an annual weekly festival offering $3 billion of artworks to a global audience, is just one of the spectacular annual cultural events that takes place in Miami, which has a large creative community with over 700,000 creative economy workers.
On a much smaller scale, Bend, Oregon has a vibrant arts, entertainment, and cultural scene and provides a relatively affordable, peaceful environment to nurture creativity and the arts. It has become an economic powerhouse over the last few years. Bend is filled with concerts, art galleries, and film festivals. One annual festival, Art in the High Desert, is a community favorite. There are many creative communities spanning the U.S., but these two locations are definitely on the rise and demonstrate the importance of creative economies as a model for future growth.
European cities are also fueling creative jobs that are enhancing their economies. A few examples of prime locations are Helsinki, Paris, and Milan. I was just in these cities and was struck by the depth of creativity and culture unique to each city.
Helsinki may not be one name that automatically comes to mind, but it has a thriving art and design scene. Helsinki was awarded a UNESCO City of Design Designation. The city applies design and technology to strengthen city initiatives and has interesting architecture and designs throughout the city.
Asia has one of the largest creative economies today. Seoul is the latest hotspot for all things trendy. Fashion and technology are on the rise. Just this year, Conde Nast Luxury Summit held their summit in Seoul and declared Seoul as Asia’s Luxury City for fashion and style innovation.
The creative economy has changed the playing field, and now has become a force for worldwide change. The desirability of attracting knowledge workers has fostered an active outreach to people that bring human innovation, creativity, the arts, and culture to cities and regions around the world.