Creative Ecologies: Where Thinking is a Proper Job
Published by UQP in 2009, Transaction (USA) in 2010
Author’s web: creativeeconomy.com
- The old question ‘Where do you want to live?’ is now ‘Where do you want to think’ – p2
- Modern ecology is part of the shift in thinking generated by quantum physics and system theory, from the old view based on reductionism, mechanics and fixed quantities to a new view based on holistic systems where qualities are contingent on the observer and on each other – p3
- Creative or repetitive? – p5
|Diverse / variegated||Unified|
|Unstable (challenges/questions)||Stable (safe/ answers)|
|Desires beauty||Desires irder|
|High automnmy / low dependence||Hidh dependence / low autonomy|
|Systemic / whole||Fragmented / parts|
|Analogue||Digital (especially binary0|
|Process / collaboration||Event / Competition|
Learning to look
- Vincent van Gogh’s nine weeks with Gauguin in his studio were astonishingly creative for both of them. Van Gogh produced 49 oil paintings, several watercolours and hundreds of drawings and Gauguin about one-third as many. – p8
- Creativity is the use of ideas to produce new ideas. The input, the original idea, may be novel or familiar…. The output’s commercial value may depend on this uniqueness …or on how easily it can be copied. – p9
- This raw creativity is not the same as talent, which is a kind of expertise, usually learned and repeatable. – p9
- Creativity is not the same as innovation. Creativity is internal, personal and subjective, whereas innovation is external and objective. Creativity often leads to innovation, but innovation seldom leads to creativity – p10
- Business has seen creativity and innovation as specialist functions. I call this repetitive economy. –p10
- But while the commodities and manufactures goods in a classical economy are physical and quantifiable, the inputs and outputs of a creative economy are subjective and qualitative –p11
- A creative ecology is a niche where diverse individuals express themselves in a systemic and adaptive way, using ideas to produce new ideas; and where others support this endeavor even if they don’t understand it. These energy-expressive relationships are found in both physical places and intangible communities; it is the relationships and actions that count, not the infrastructure. –p11
- Maslow spent years clarifying and refining what he meant by self-fulfillment, and in 1970, just before he died, he replaced the term with two others: the ‘aesthetic (appreciation of the beauty) and ‘cognitive’ (desire for knowledge and particularly understanding knowledge). – p18
- Network economy, knowledge economy… all these labels miss something vital. … We need to treat people not as an economic unit but as autonomous, thinking individuals…. The theory of creative ecology … tries to answer:
- What is the nature of creativity?
- What is the nature of creative work and the creative economy?
- What is their relation to other factors of change, such as innovation?
- What should governments do, if anything?
- DCMS : thirteen industries: advertising, architecture, art and antiques, crafts, design, designer fashion, film and video, interactive leisure software, music, performing arts, publishing, software and computer services, and TV and radio. – p22
- My own added R&D and toys and games, and I referred to ‘core’ industries with significant multiplier effect, especially in media, advertising, design and software. – p23
Individuals and occupations
- The nature of creative work means that industries are not the main characters in the story… the large number of people who are full-time creative workers but work outside an industry requires an economic model based on individuals and what people do… -p25
- Florida’s approach generates a more subtle and more multi-dimensional approach and helps us to relate creative work to demographic and socio logical conditions that facilitate it.
Cores and circles – p26
- Britain’s BOP Consultants: 1) creative Originals (i.e. art) ; 2) creative content (music); 3) creative experiences (live performances); 4) creative services (advertising)
- NEFA: core, cultural periphery and creative industries
- Kern European Affairs (KEA): 1) Cultural products that are non-industrial; 2) Cultural industries whose outputs are exclusively cultural; 3) Creative industries and activities that incorporate elements of 1 and 2; 4) related industries specializing in equipments to facilitate the use of copyright works.
- Ambiguity of these descriptions…blurred relationship….
- …the economic conundrum (infinite need, limited resources) collapses. – p30
- Whereas Schumpeter focused on the entrepreneur’s skills in fomenting creative destruction, the creative ecology treats all individuals as potentially creative, thus generating greater scale and scope. – p31
Scope and scale
- We enjoy crossovers between art and science, between fashion and technology, between fact and fiction (i.e. Tusquets and Krasu in auditorium in Grand Canaria) – p37
- McKinsey consultants: “45% of British jobs require the workers to exercise their tacit knowledge, or talent… 70% of new jobs in Britain and America require personal judgment – p38
- Everyone can go. The creative ecology has very low barriers to entry
- Although creativity has few barriers to entry except education and ambition, some creative businesses can face very high barriers of talent, capital, regulation and market power… few large companies that dominate distribution, especially where they can achieve significant economies of scale.
- Exponential variety: … varied because they express personal meanings and contradictory because there is virtually no consensus.
- These two factors, low barriers to entry and exponential variety, result in high level of volatility. Life in an ecology requires rapidly adaptive behavior of an organism ist o survive, let alone develop. – p40
- Autonomy and openness… diversity and collaboration. Compared with previous emphases on institutions and mechanics, there are themes of fluidity and fuzziness, and of emergent thinking. – p42
The adaptive mind
- By including an awareness of the self and perception, deep ecology is especially relevant to creativity. – p45
- Four aspects of ecological thinking relevant to creativity and innovation:
1. Diversity: tolerance (Florida)
2. Change: theory of evolution
- There is not a gene for creativity however “there may well be genetic sequences that predispose people towards characteristics that assist creativity, such as reasoning, memory and spatial awareness. P50
- Whereas biological evolution precedes by increasing divisions into separate species, cultural change occurs by borrowing and mixing; and whereas evolution is Mendelian (inherited, digital), cultural change is Lamarckian (learned, analogue), – p51
- Instruction will be replaced by dialogue in which listening ia a respected and enjoyable as speaking. Since it is impossible to anticipate a new idea or the appropriate group to develop it, you will have access to many different groups and the ability to form an indefinitely large number of new ones. –p72
- This process can flourish in large organizations so long as they operate as a network of small groups. ..p72
- A creative dialogue is informal –p72
- My own RIDER system consists of Review, Incubation, Dreams, Excitement and Reality Checks – p74
- Cities have become icons of the creative economy: their startling new building. Their crowds, clusters and cultural diversity, their elite stars and industry gatherings, … p74
- Cities: Creative magnets (p76)….CREATIVE CITIES
- Cities score high in our four indicators of a creative ecology: diversity, change, learning, and adaptation. – p78
- Urban-based collaboration is one of the most powerful forces in contemporary social change -p79
- Architect Jaime Lerner, the charismatic mayor of Curitiba in southern Brazil, invented the idea of “Acupuntura Urbana” to describe the insertion of building-as-events into the urban landscape to spice it up. (Joern Utzon, Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Starck, Moneo..)
- In ecological terms, cities are prime energy exchangers. They attract people that are both producers and buyers –p81
- The focus now is on sustainability. Can cities,,, lead in creating sustainable eco-systems? – P82
- The internet: The world’s most adaptive market –p82
- The internet’s greatest impact is on individual autonomy and network collaboration. These may seem mutually incompatible. –p85
- If we want to turn an idea into money, we have to negotiate a contract.
- The ten factors in these negotiations are:
- Serial change
- The personal difference
- Meaning is uncertain
- Value is uncertain
- Demand is uncertain
- The network office
- Copyright is currency
- Mixed portfolios
The way forward
- Schumpeter rejected the classical assumption that supply and demand would always resolve themselves around equilibrium point. ….He was more interested in the process of moving from one state to another. – p106
- The claims for today’s creative ecology rest in Schumpeter’s first claim about creative destruction being right and his second claim about hostile intellectuals being wrong. – p107
- An economic system that consists entirely of state- or oligarchy-owned resources of land, capital and labour dos not prevent creativity but it does prevent a creative ecology. – p108
- In some European countries, the creative ecology is seen as the side-effect of a a decline in manufacturing,
- Japan’s weakness is its uniformity –p110
- China: its main vulnerability is its dislikes of diversity,. Perhaps matched by the current shortness of creative talent, but its creative ecology has grown faster than any other country, ever.
- East and West: Western companies emphasize the novelty of what is produced and sue ‘breakthrough’ and ‘disruption’ as words of praise….There are signs of change on both sides. –p114
New places, new policies
- A government’s job is to know and to control, but creativity is often not knowable and never controllable. – p117
- Governments that want a creative ecology will carry out a policy audit on their laws and regulations to ensure that they are fit for the ecology… Three examples: learning to learn, copyright (balancing ownership and access) and international trade. – p120
Three steps to growth
- Everyone is creative
- Creativity needs freedom
- Freedom needs markets
- In this sense, freedom is a primary tool that enables one to use other tools such as technology and money.
- A market of some sort is a necessary condition for economic activity.
- Creativity needs an indefinitely large number of market-places: social marketplaces… Commercial marketplaces… -p134
The new billion
- There will always be a tension between private creativity and the public transactions that result, between the individual and the group, and between freedom and regulation.
- Looking for a job: every few years, a billion young people are looking for their first job (thinking is a proper job).
European Ambassadors for Creativity and Innovation : Manifesto