Can Creativity Save the Economy?

The ‘creative economy’ – Richard Florida is synonymous with it, and it’s been called our best opportunity to pull nations out of economic crisis. Back in 1999, Simon Ford and Anthony Davies predicted that a new generation of professionals would emerge: ‘culturepreneurs’ who would package and market culture to a range of clients, and help create the new information economy by selling access to social and cultural networks.

The environmental efficiencies of urban lifestyles are well-known, but the cultural efficiencies are cited less often. When you’ve got a lot of people working in close geographical vicinity of each other, collaboration is easier and more likely to happen. But what is actually happening in the ‘creative economy’? Can it truly live up to the hype, offering cities and entire countries a new path to growth?

On May 26th in the London Transport Museum, that question – and doubtless many more – will be explored at ‘Connecting Creativity and Business – Culturepreneurs in the Creative Industries’. Hosted by Kingston University London (full disclosure: I’m undertaking a Masters at this university – but sadly won’t be present at the event!), the event will look at the role of the individuals who make the creative economy happen – the culturepreneurs – with presentations from a high-profile panel of professionals from a wide range of creative industries.

Most importantly, the role of culturepreneurs and the creative economy will be addressed in detail. Can they make our cities more dynamic places, improving local and national economies in the process? And if this is possible, what can we do to ensure it happens?

Connecting Creativity and Business – Culturepreneurs in the Creative Industries takes place at the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden between 2-7pm on May 26th. Entry is free but registration is required.

Image courtesy of Michael Comiskey on flickr