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Over the past decade, the creative industries have been embraced enthusiastically as a new growth model. This has particularly been the case in places where natural resources are exhausted or non-existent, or where high laboratory or real estate prices make manufacturing industries uncompetitive.

Depending on how they are defined, the creative industries are estimated to represent anywhere from 3% to 12% of global GDP. In tough times for ageing economies, many politicians and business leaders look to the creative industries as a means of creating fast growth with a relatively low initial investment in soft infrastructure. They see these industries as a way of achieving stylistic and technological innovations, as well as advances in knowledge and economic development. Yet the creative economy is not simply limited to the creative industries. Rather, it comprises an entire cultural environment – one that generates benefits that may be slightly intangible, but nonetheless are clearly felt across society.

This is why many countries have put in place measures to create the next big creative centre. For all this effort, there have been more examples of failures than successes. This is partly due to a lack of understanding of the creative economy – what it means, what it takes to build it. Rather than simply throwing money at the problem, the answer seems to lie in the ability of countries to cultivate a local culture conducive to creativity.

To tackle this problem, the Global Agenda Council on the Creative Economy will begin by establishing a clear definition of the creative economy. It will take a closer look at what factors make some creative economic centres so successful, and how these factors can be applied to other projects. The council will also explore the creative economy’s role in boosting growth and employment. Ultimately, the council aims to initiate a pilot project, both at the policy and grassroots level, that will lead to the development of a long-term leading creative hub.

Contact Us:

Council Manager: Stefan Hall, Project Specialist, Report Review, Global Knowledge Networks, stefan.hall@weforum.org
Forum Lead: Mengyu Annie Luo, Director, Head of Media, Entertainment and Information, annie.luo@weforum.org