Global creativity, the UK and the arts

The UK’s love for creating goes even further back than William Shakespeare put ink on paper; we’ve been proud of our heritage and our creativity ever since. Across time our creative output has given the UK weight globally with it’s constant appearance in films, cutting edge design, architecture and music that continually push the boundaries. The UK is the 3rd largest exporter of creative goods amongst developed economies. With its creative footprint the UK has consistently been in the global public’s consciousness, spreading our brand and way of life across the world; and back home that translates into tangible economic benefits (~£90 billion a year).

But how long can that last; emerging economies are home to 6 billion people, and have accounted to 80% of global growth since 2008. China alone has lifted 600 million people out of poverty in the last 30 years and now has a bustling middle class the entire size of the US population. With emerging markets becoming increasingly competitive, is our golden creative age coming to an end?

Creative economy

China alone makes up 25% of the global market for video games, internal revenues from live entertainment and theatre is booming (£1.9 billion in 2015, up 9% from 2014), and music concerts and festivals have increased up 24%. This has been fueled by China’s ‘Go Out’ policy, which encourages China’s economic, political and cultural interests overseas, IP and copyright reforms, and a 5 year plan which focuses on “Everyone is an entrepreneur, creativity of the masses”.

Worth noting that China is one of the many nations focusing on building their creative economy – to that you can add India, Turkey, Mexico, Nigeria…so how can we as a nation ensure our creative industries remain global leaders?

Creative economy

China alone makes up 25% of the global market for video games, internal revenues from live entertainment and theatre is booming (£1.9 billion in 2015, up 9% from 2014), and music concerts and festivals have increased up 24%. This has been fueled by China’s ‘Go Out’ policy, which encourages China’s economic, political and cultural interests overseas, IP and copyright reforms, and a 5 year plan which focuses on “Everyone is an entrepreneur, creativity of the masses”.

Worth noting that China is one of the many nations focusing on building their creative economy – to that you can add India, Turkey, Mexico, Nigeria…so how can we as a nation ensure our creative industries remain global leaders?

Handimals and Painthands - Guido Daniele

Work on a long-term strategy

With China looking up to 30 years ahead, we can’t afford to be short sighted; allowing our industries to flourish in this environment demands a re-evaluation of how we support our economy in the longer term.

Hunger for our creative content is increasing across the world. We need to ensure we grab the opportunity of collaborating with these new growing markets, and carefully carve trade partnerships that ensure our continuous economic growth (note: this needs to be carefully planned due to it’s hypercomplex nature).

Work on a long-term strategy

With China looking up to 30 years ahead, we can’t afford to be short sighted; allowing our industries to flourish in this environment demands a re-evaluation of how we support our economy in the longer term.

Hunger for our creative content is increasing across the world. We need to ensure we grab the opportunity of collaborating with these new growing markets, and carefully carve trade partnerships that ensure our continuous economic growth (note: this needs to be carefully planned due to it’s hypercomplex nature).

Brighton Pride in black and white - Heather Buckley

Catalyse funding for and value the Arts in education

The EIS and SEIS schemes have helped prop up grassroot funding for new initiatives; these models could be simplified, made more obvious and cover a wider remit to allow funding to flow into the creative industries.

Past decades have seen an erosion of creative subjects within our curricula. We need to reevaluate the needs of future generations and pivot education to best serve them.

Catalyse funding for and value the Arts in education

The EIS and SEIS schemes have helped prop up grassroot funding for new initiatives; these models could be simplified, made more obvious and cover a wider remit to allow funding to flow into the creative industries.

Past decades have seen an erosion of creative subjects within our curricula. We need to reevaluate the needs of future generations and pivot education to best serve them.

Flower Studies by Bradley MJ

Balance intellectual property and openness

Our success is driven by the diversity and talents of our population – the UK has attracted some incredible talent from across the globe. It will be important to continue valuing their input to our industry.

As well as this, being able to secure IP is the cornerstone of protecting our talent’s income; but we should proceed with caution since it can just as well restrict our creative output. Copyright was created to protect the creator and has slipped over time to protect the institutions that own their content. A careful re-balancing of intellectual property could boost our ability to create and put the income back into the creator’s hands.

Balance intellectual property and openness

Our success is driven by the diversity and talents of our population – the UK has attracted some incredible talent from across the globe. It will be important to continue valuing their input to our industry.

As well as this, being able to secure IP is the cornerstone of protecting our talent’s income; but we should proceed with caution since it can just as well restrict our creative output. Copyright was created to protect the creator and has slipped over time to protect the institutions that own their content. A careful re-balancing of intellectual property could boost our ability to create and put the income back into the creator’s hands.

Supporting our emerging talent

It’s not just about education – supporting emerging talent as they develop is pivotal to the future of our economy – this could be done through accelerators, a dedicated funding body which covers all the facets of the creative economy  (currently we have bodies specializing in specific industry sectors such as UKIE, ACE, BFI) and recognizing their challenges across the UK.

We’re hoping to do our part with our Emerge Awards.

Supporting our emerging talent

It’s not just about education – supporting emerging talent as they develop is pivotal to the future of our economy – this could be done through accelerators, a dedicated funding body which covers all the facets of the creative economy  (currently we have bodies specializing in specific industry sectors such as UKIE, ACE, BFI) and recognizing their challenges across the UK.

We’re hoping to do our part with our Emerge Awards.

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