The Coordinator of the European Commission expert group on development of cultural and creative industries discusses the creative component of economic development

Have you ever wondered why everyone started talking about the creative industries? It’s because they are something new, something present in every activity in which you engage. And I’m not just talking about ordinary business culture, I’m talking about life, where today every one of us is currently not only a consumer, but a creator as well. For example, in order to be a movie director or shoot your own reel, you don’t need to know much. It’s enough to have a semi-decent camera. 
In the past, one had to possess land and resources to be rich. Later on, to be rich a person had to produce something out of what was available, and the industrial revolution followed. Further down the line it was necessary to establish services to help manage production and cash flows, for example, banks, etc. Then it was important “to hear” thoughts, new ideas, innovations and to create something novel, because the countries who were ahead introduced new things that were their own, while those who clung to the past fell behind. Approaches to cultural understanding were changing over the centuries as well. At first, culture was a proper economic component, accessible to the majority by means of financial resources. Later on, it grew into a culture of mass production, that caused an increase in demand and opened further possibilities. Finally, the development of technology strengthened production capacities, and the audience started gradually turning into practitioners. At that very moment something became more important than just production of novelties, and that something was the unity of people, including Internet communications. Facebook, Twitter, and VKontakte give us nothing but a blank sheet on which we write, create and simply communicate. In fact, the richest global companies currently produce absolutely nothing. 
And so the question arises: why do you actually need a creative approach? You need it, because it changes the value of what you do, as creativity increases the value of what you create. Getting a successful project today takes more than thinking over and calculating a concept. The major focus should be on creativity, and only then can the project’s success be ensured.

* Ragnar Siil is the coordinator of the European Commission expert group on development of cultural and creative industries, the youngest Adviser to the Estonian Minister of Culture, one of the initiators of the Creative Estonia programme, as well as one of the founders of the Creativity Lab consulting company.

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