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What are Creative Industries and Creative Economy

All around the world, the creative and cultural economy is talked about as an important and growing part of the global economy.

The term refers to the socio-economic potential of activities that trade with creativity, knowledge and information. Governments and creative sectors across the world are increasingly recognizing its importance as a generator of jobs, wealth and cultural engagement. At the heart of the creative economy are the cultural and creative industries that lie at the crossroads of arts, culture, business and technology. What unifies these activities is the fact that they all trade with creative assets in the form of intellectual property (IP); the framework through which creativity translates into economic value. The UK has the largest creative sector of the European Union. In terms of GDP it is the largest in the world, and according to UNESCO it is, in absolute terms, the most successful exporter of cultural goods and services in the world, ahead of even the US. The UK government has taken a lead role in developing the creative economy agenda, with mapping exercises in 1998 and 2001 as well as further policy strategies and interventions in subsequent years. The UK’s definition of the creative industries - ‘those industries that are based on individual creativity, skill and talent with the potential to create wealth and jobs through developing intellectual property’ - includes thirteen sectors: advertising, architecture, the art and antiques market, crafts, design, designer fashion, film, interactive leisure software (ie. video games), music, the performing arts, publishing, software, and television and radio. Because it was the first definition offered by a government, this original UK definition has been widely adopted by other countries, with sectors adapted based on local commercial and cultural importance. UNCTAD’s 2008 report Creative Economy suggested a more inclusive definition which brought this term into popular use and recognised the wider societal impact: ‘the interface between creativity, culture, economics and technology as expressed in the ability to create and circulate intellectual capital, with the potential to generate income, jobs and export earnings while at the same time promoting social inclusion, cultural diversity and human development. This is what the emerging creative economy has already begun to do.’ The British Council's Cultural and Creative Economy programme builds on the UK’s position as a world leader in the development of the creative and cultural economy and the UK Government’s aspiration to support further growth. This is an economic agenda but it also has a deep social and cultural relations purpose.