The Creative Economy

An Opportunity for a Shared European Identity

By: Marte Martin | February 27, 2020
Category: Big Picture

“Go West, young man, and grow up with the country” became one of the most famous phrases of the late 19th century, inspiring millions to find their fortunes beyond the Mississippi river. Today, as America and the world move into the digital age, many are still ‘moving west’ in great numbers, giving a new metaphorical meaning to the old saying.

The excited buzz that drew miners, cowboys and settlers to the west of America resurges to encourage new and old generations around the world to create new technology, spreading innovation to break through the new frontiers of knowledge and into the first digital civilization.

This story is about where we are as Europeans in a creative economy, it's about Europe being competitive in attitude and values which result in entrepreneurial creativity, innovation, and perhaps, a shared European identity.

Where are we as Europeans

The world is going through the eye of the storm, a period of life-altering creative destruction as a new economic order and a new way of life emerges from the old. We are witnessing a tectonic shift result of the passing of the old industrial order as it gives way to ​the creative economy​.

It is fair to say that European policy makers and public leaders across Europe (finally) comply with the notion that entrepreneurship is good for economic growth. It has become clear that it’s the dynamic of new companies that drive innovation, and create new industries and a huge share of all jobs.

So, where are we now? -​ ​Well, we are precisely at a place where we need more accountability from our public and private leaders, where we need more confidence in ourselves as entrepreneurs and professionals, and where more innovation has real meaning for Europeans.

Europe is embracing entrepreneurs, disseminators of entrepreneurship and success stories, and that’s all great. But Europe also needs to come to the realization that a new model of economic growth is taking over the world –a new direction powered by a cultural and technological phenomenon, and which has the ​creative industries​ at its core.

The most creative organizations, those with the newest communication methods, will be the ones in continuous expansion. The engine driving trade will be ‘culture & creativity’ (vs merely good advertising), and social impact will go hand in hand with businesses’ economic role.

Globalization 2.0 -​ ​Aspiring Europeans entrepreneurs need to apply creative, out of the box thinking to not only bring something new and innovative to the market, but to also find ways to improve collaboration, production, and communication in the workplace and in European society.

As the US repositions itself to compete globally in a creative economy and as China attempts to spread its values across the globe, Europe may be destined to partner with one of the two sides instead of creating its own destiny.

While the EU is paying attention to some aspects of the creative industry, there is an urgent need to (1) develop a comprehensive plan to facilitate connections between creative talent and potential markets, (2) create a perception of opportunity, and (3) crop a sense of identity based on European creative potential.

European efforts

Since its establishment in 1992, the European Union (EU) has continuously rethought its global position and attempted to formulate strategies to increase its competitiveness. The objectives of the Lisbon Strategy of 2000 were very ambitious and set the main issues around innovation, enterprise and competitiveness. Europe 2020 is the latest economic strategy replacing the Lisbon Strategy.

As Europe emerges from the worst financial and economic crisis of the past 80 years, several EU countries continue to struggle to lift millions of youths out of unemployment and idleness, with no sign of a quick fix.

The same way Europe has sank vast amounts funds into highways, railroads, airports and other physical infrastructure to power industrial growth and the economic union, the continent today needs to massively increase its investments in its human creative capital.

We need to see all members of Europeans society as potential innovators, stoke their innovative potential, and extend the definition of innovation beyond technology and R&D to include investment in the arts, in culture, and in every other form of creativity.

Our history and creativity is our most precious resource; we can not afford to waste it.

EU Programmes

Europe 2020​ (2010 - 2020):​​ ​7 flagship initiatives which represented the first reference of the Commission to ‘entrepreneurship’ in terms of economic strategy.

Horizon 2020​​ (2014 - 2020):​​ ​7 flagship initiatives which represented the first reference of the Commission to ‘entrepreneurship’ in terms of economic strategy.

Creative Europe​​ (2014 - 2020):​​ ​7 flagship initiatives which represented the first reference of the Commission to ‘entrepreneurship’ in terms of economic strategy.

Investment Plan for Europe: the Juncker Plan​ (2014 - 2020):​​ ​the EU’s​ ​infrastructure investment programme, which has triggered € 439.4 billion –results by country ​here​.

InvestEU​​ (2021 - 2027):​​ ​InvestEU is expected to mobilise at least €650 billion in additional investment.

Horizon Europe​​​ (2021 - 2027):​​ ​the EU scientific research initiative meant to succeed Horizon 2020. The European Commission raised science spending levels by 50% up to €100 billion.

By: Marte Martin

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