10 ways culture is changing us
1. Culture is a key vector of innovation in communication technology. It is instrumental in the rise of e-commerce, the transformation of technology companies into entertainment businesses (Apple, Google, Amazon) and the rise of the sharing economy as human interactions predominantly take place when exchanging cultural preferences.
2. Internet penetration is the highest in Europe (compared to other continents). This is because of Europe’s distinctive reliance on trade and cultural exchanges, due to its geography and history.
3. Information and culture is economic and social power. The rapid spread of access to Hollywood movies has a transformative power globally. It contributes to the expression of the universal and the celebration of what is common to humans.
4. Culture through the arts helps to challenge issues like technological “advancement” and questions unrestrained and uncontrolled free market ideology. It has an important enlightenment role.
5. China has made the development of its culture and creative sectors a policy priority as a way to transform its manufacturing into a service economy, but also acknowledging that a country cannot rely on economic growth alone to support the development of a harmonious and peaceful society.
6. Culture contributes to innovation in a very substantial way, highlighting the importance of heritage and culture-based creativity (innovation stemming from artists and creative professionals) in the development of new services and products by providing meaning, beauty and competitive disruption. On the downside, this also serves to create desires and new needs which propel consumerism.
7. Culture is activated by European cities to transform their economy, reinforce social cohesion in the face of ethnic tensions, attract investors and tourists or restore pride amongst citizens.
8. Investment in culture can have a rebalancing effect in a world that leans more and more towards greater inequality. With globalization and market dominance in the technology sector threatening cultural expressions and identities, culture underpins the very fabric of human diversity.
9. Culture is helping to transform the labour market, facilitating the emergence of new skills and competences in art, science and technology to enable the emergence of the modern Leonardo Da Vinci.
10. Culture makes Europeans more aware of the impact of the rise of global communication and cyber surveillance on privacy.
Founder and managing director of KEA.