Beyond the creative industries

Paul Owens

I think that there are two key connections between creativity and the rest of the economy and society. And I think that this is where the interest policy makers is going to focus. It is also where most of the money is going to be chaneled in a future. The first key connection is the connection between creativity and technology. That does not need anyone to encourage it to happen it happens anyway.

But I think what we have learned in a last 10 years with the emergence of social media, with the emergence of all these new mobile platforms is that technological innovation often happens when it is driven by content and audiences. And creativity and culture are the content that drive technological innovation. And that is going to happen increasingly in a future. And I think that the technology R&D centres switch on that. And I think that there are really interesting things going on every single continent. If you look at what is going on in Africa around mobile technology and micropayments. If you look on what is going on in South America around mobile platforms for consuming a creative content. It is a massive huge new thing and it is going to get even bigger.

I think that the second area equally important overlaps a bit is what some people call social innovation. Or some people in Asia call it social design. And that is where creative innovative techniques are used to deal with a social challenges and social problems. And I think that we only just started to see the potential of this movement. In the UK it has been led by organizations like the Young Foundation and they have a whole programme of social innovation across Europe.

And I noticed when I was in Asia last time that South Korea is pioneering approaches toward so called social design across Asia actually which is really interesting. The person who actually founded the movement of socia design is now the mayor of Seoul and he is doing a really interesting things as the mayor of Seoul. For example he has called it a city of sharing. And he is developing all these spaces in a city where people are going and share their resources and build a new social network to deal with particular social issues like ageing or enviromental dedication. That is fascinating development. So I think that it is whole area where the creative thinking and design and innovation processes can be applied to very human local social challenges. It is a huge new area of interest for everybody that has a huge potential. 

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Paul Owens

Paul Owens

Co-founder of BOP Consulting in London, United Kingdom

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