Managing the Creative Economy
Because of its powerful impact on the creation of lifestyle and social value, and because of its
very real economic impact, the creative industry sector needs proper management. It needs the
kind of cultural policy that will stimulate creativity and competitive diversity, as well as wealth
creation. Governments increasingly recognise this, but effective management of the new
cultural landscape requires a new vision of culture, and new tools to articulate that vision. There
are three significant challenges for governments wishing to develop effective policy for the
creative economy: gaining information on the new economy in order to intervene effectively;
sharing power and using new partnerships in the management of culture; sustaining the locally
based creative pool, while creating access to international cultural exchange.
POLICY CHALLENGES TO SUSTAINING A CREATIVE ECOLOGY
First Challenge: Information.
Governments cannot intervene in a vacuum. They need useful information on the new sector.
There is little systematically developed information on the CI sector. The new cultural landscape
is linked to new information technologies and this means it is in constant evolution. In order to
develop good policy and invest realistically in the new cultural economy, governments need a
source of relevant information that can be continually updated from within the cultural sector.
Second Challenge: New management partnerships
First, the cultural industries sector is both cultural and economic; its products: film, music, video,
design, architecture, crafts etc. contain both a cultural vision and an economic value. The
cultural industries do not sit squarely either in the field of cultural policy or economic policy, they
straddle the two policy fields. But, unlike traditional cultural policy, which is associated with a
close and direct involvement with the sector, policy for the creative industries requires a more
arms length approach, facilitating and enabling but not directly supporting. A new type of cultural
interface based on cultural intermediaries can assist in this.
Third Challenge: Sustaining local creativity while ensuring access to transnational
cultural exchange. Smaller cultural producers need help gaining access to the market. One of
the biggest hurdles to this is the fact that while cultural production is local, the market is regional
and global, and so cultural producers need the kind of assistance which is transnational. They
need actual and virtual mobility in cultural exchange but there are few regional mechanisms
which enable independent cultural producers to directly work in the regional or global market.
Local cultural producers do not need to be protected and directly funded, but they do need to be
given a level playing field and the capacity to use it. In this they need: relevant information on
the cultural sector locally, regionally and internationally; they need access to information on
financial and other resources; a free and open local and regional/European cultural exchange
ACT’s RESPONSES TO THESE CHALLENGES
Activity: Development of cultural data and information through cultural mapping:
Objective: To provide governments and cultural authorities with the information necessary to
develop policy tools for the creative industries sector.
Activity: Training of cultural entrepreneurs or intermediaries with the capacity to develop
capacity and facilitate market access on the part of local level cultural producers:
Objective: To promote a European expertise in cultural entrepreneurship which respects and
adapts those local level cultural conditions which are the source of diversity and creativity.
Activity: Creation of an electronic network linking the localities engaged in the project,
through interactive cultural portals:
Objective: To create local level capacity through access
to an international exchange of a broad range of cultural information and services accessible to
all cultural actors.