​​​​​​​How the creative economy impacts the job market and education

Technology has been provoking great changes in the way we think and face the world. Many activities are being automated in our era and people have an even important role: to do what no machine or device is capable of. It doesn’t make sense to repeat standards in a digital universe and, accordingly, the human workforce must innovate and create new solutions.

The demand for more creativity and innovation in products and services gave an opportunity to the so-called ‘creative economy’. Experts consider it as an alternative towards sustainable development and, for its capacity to create new jobs, the creative economy has been transforming professional relationships, introducing a new structure for organizations and therefore, new education models.

Learn more about the creative economy

The concept of creative economy is relatively recent and became popular with the book of the same title, from British consultant John Howkins. According to the author, the activities embody processes that involve the creation, production, and distribution of products and services, using the knowledge, creativity and intellectual capital as main productive resources. Thus, it is not enough to be a creative activity, but creativity must be the main responsible for bringing significance. Which are these activities? Unesco and the EY consultancy published a study in 2015 detailing the 11 creative industry sectors:

  1. Architecture: architecture offices
  2. Performing Arts: performing arts activities such as dance, theater, live music, opera, ballet, etc
  3. Visual arts: visual arts creation, museums, photography and design activities
  4. Movie: motion picture production, post-production, and distribution
  5. Books: physical and digital books sales (including scientific, technical and medical books)
  6. Gaming: video game publishers, developers, and retailers; equipment sales
  7. Newspapers and magazines: newspapers and magazine publishing industry (B2C and B2B, news agencies and independent agencies)
  8. Music: sound recording and music publishing industry, live music
  9. Advertising: advertising agencies
  10. Radio: radio broadcasting activities
  11. TV: TV programming, production, and broadcasting including cable and satellite

In 2017, cultural and creative industries generated revenues of US$1,2 trillion worldwide, growing 17,8% in comparison to 2016. The creative economy is also growing in Brazil, with averages greater than around the world: the sector is expected to grow 4,6% by 2021, while in other countries there will be a 4,2% growth. The cultural sector solely managed to transact R$ 155 billion, or 2,64% of GDP in the country in 2015, according to the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES).

Creative economy and the job market

The massive economic transactions from creative industries brings great changes in the way companies operate and the type of product they develop. This explains startups growth, organizations with the mission to find practical solutions to ordinary problems and that are directly linked to the creative economy.

According to the Brazilian Startups Association (ABStartups), the number of startups in Brazil doubled between 2012 and 2018, and today there are more than six thousand of them, with 65 thousand entrepreneurs. Not to mention the companies that are still in the process of designing and developing their first product prototypes.

Aside from being traditionally smaller companies, agile and with great resources optimization, startups management gives an opportunity for more flexibility and freedom, two aspects closely connected to creativity, according to John Howkins. “This freedom must be exercised in the commercial markets, and that is where creative economy show up”, he says in his book.

There is also a change in the sales mindset, which is no longer solely focused on the product, but in providing a richer customer experience, giving an opportunity to fully customized services, suitable to a customer profile.

How it affects education

Innovation and collaboration culture affects directly what happens in the classrooms. It is a true challenge for universities and schools to educate young people to a world that urges the ability to offer solutions since they are still transitioning from traditional and mass education model to flexible and custom ones. Incorporate skill-based and project-based education models can help to stimulate creative learning.

Socio-emotional skills, which experts have to ponder as essential for the 21st century and are often neglected after basic education, should be specially considered by higher and technical education when preparing for the job market.

Maker education also contributes significantly to foment creativity and a sense of significance. Based on projects and on horizontal-oriented collaboration, this teaching modality stimulates interdisciplinary education through practical experiences, headed to solve real problems.

Are you interested in knowing more about creative learning? Find out know how to use “picting” in the classroom.

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