© John Newbigin, The Creative Economy: An Introductory Guide (2010)

What do we mean by the 'Creative Economy'?

All around the world, the creative economy is talked about as an important and growing part of the global economy, at the interface of culture, business and technology.

In recent years, digital technologies have revolutionised creative processes and multiplied the number of ways we can communicate generating an unprecedented global thirst for pictures, words, music and video. Governments across the world have noticed its importance and are now actively developing policies to support its development.

This isn’t just because it’s a growing sector of the wider economy, creating new jobs and wealth. Many of the people working in the Creative Economy want to make a living, but they also want to connect with other people through their work. They are developing many of the solutions and ideas to how we live together in more urban, culturally diverse and ecologically precarious times.

A perspective from the UK
In 2010, the UK's creative industries employed 1.3 million people in 182,000 creative businesses, with a further 1 million undertaking creative jobs in other industries. The sector was responsible for generating £59 billion in gross value added to the UK. (DCMS, 2010)

Internationally, they represent about 8.7% of global trade (UNCTAD, 2008), and grow at twice the rate of the rest of economic sectors, even through the recession.

Demand for creative goods just keeps growing – between 2002 and 2008, the global annual growth rate was at 11.5%. Despite the threat of wide-ranging financial cuts, it is now acknowledged that the creative industries are central to the UK’s economic recovery. The success of the sector will be a key source of competitive advantage to the UK through to 2020 and beyond. (The Work Foundation, 2010)

The UK has been a leader in the development of this agenda, not just as a driver of the economy but also promoting social inclusion, diversity and development. This website is a contribution to our shared knowledge and understanding of this emergent and valuable sector.