It's enlightening when economists talk creativity, and dialog ideas and innovation into business speak, and when creative industries are highlighted for their unique strengths and economic potential.
That's what Jordan's leading economist Yusuf Mansur does as he positions Jordan as a creative economy in this interesting piece in today's Jordan Times. He starts off by asking,
Can Jordan become a creative economy where young people’s ideas, those with the most creative minds in the world, can be translated into a powerful industry worth billions of dollars?This economy is about the convergence of creativity, innovation and business, and his response is optimistic and attainable,
The answer is a qualified yes. Some work, however, needs to be done.He reminds us that the
....wealth of a nation, and thus its competitiveness, derives from the stock of the following seven types of capital: natural, financial and man-made resources, institutional, human, knowledge and cultural capital. The last four make up the core of a creative economy, the environment where ideas acquire an economic content (i.e., have value).and why creative workers are needed as important contributions to the workplace,
and like any good economist, he shows us the way,
A creative worker turns an event and its logistics into a holistic experience. He/she turns a monolog into an evolving dialog that rhymes with and resonates in the hearts and minds of others. A producer finds synergy among some of the most unlikely components and delivers an audiovisual output that sells and creates economies of scale and scope where there was none. The R&D worker designs the next patent or solution for an environmental challenge and benefits not only the economy of today but also that of the future.
Creative economy empowers the jewellery worker in a social development program to think in an entrepreneurial way about starting her or his own design line. A curator transforms buildings erected in the name of culture into a year-round dynamic and buzzing home for artists, audiences and the community at large, thus making culture, molding with creativity rigid mortar and structures into a working social and economic capital.
Urgently needed is the use of language and understanding of: creative economy, creative industries, creative workers; legal awareness and environment - legislation and intellectual property rights; restructuring and funding public plans to enhance capacity building of creative people; positioning and pitching Jordan as an investor in the creative economy; inviting local and foreign investment in the portfolios of specific industries with the aim of enhancing creativity; conducting economic evaluations of the impact of creative workers on Jordanian industries and categorizing them with Creative Economy global metrics; documenting stories of successes with facts and proofs; delineating potential growth trends, challenges, opportunities and strategies; transforming attitudes towards what we have and should do in order to create an urgent sense of commitment towards nurturing the potential of a creative Jordanian economy.
Jordan can deliver world-class creative work. The solution lies in cooperation between business and government to enhance, not harness, this creativity. Give creativity a chance and it will manifest itself. Better still, give it a platform and it will dazzle. Let it have centre stage and it will win the day and achieve for Jordan that competitiveness that has for long eluded it. read full article
Is creativity what we need to drive our new economy? Are these the industries that will help generate the jobs needed and the environment we desire?
This UNCTAD 2008 report on the Creative Economy provides an interesting overview from the world and delves into the components of this economy to help guide more informed policy making. On Facebook, Ramsey reminded me of Richard Florida's book The Rise of the Creative Class, and the importance of and impact on place. Something CSBE's architectural historian Mohammad al-Asad writes about thru his many soulful Amman and Arab city journeys. Among many others, a must read is his piece from last summer, The City's Creative Energies.
As we look towards a new year, yearn for creative and cultural richness, and search for economic optimism, an investment in Jordan's creative economy could offer that boost we deserve.
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