According to UNCTAD (2018), the creative economy is recognised as a significant sector with a meaningful contribution to national gross domestic product. As part of this economic sector, creative industries can be a driver of economic growth by contributing to employment, new jobs and innovation. UNESCO further notes that the creative economy is “one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the world economy and a highly transformative one in terms of income generation, job creation and export earnings”.

Research from the World Economic Forum demonstrates that the Creative Industries:

  • Generate $2.25 trillion in revenue
  • Create 29.5 million jobs (2013)
  • Employ about 1% of the world’s active population.
  • Employ more people than the automotive industry in the United States, Europe and Japan combined, more than global telecommunications ($1.57 trillion)
  • Contribute more to global GDP than the economies of India, Russia, or Canada.
  • Employ more Europeans between the ages of 15 and 29 more than any other sector; 
  • Have more women participating in them than traditional industries. 

At EU level, Creative Industries have become high-capacity engines for economic growth, representing 11.2% of all private enterprises and 7.5% of all employed persons. Audience demand for content is growing, supported by the rapid expansion of platforms on which content can be viewed. In Europe, over 60% of leisure time is spent consuming film and media products. According to the OECD (2018), creative resources, also resources constitute an important element of tourism, which presents additional opportunities for the economies of the Western Balkans.

All around the world, governments have begun to recognise the importance of the Creative and Innovative industries as drivers of economic opportunity and social transformation. Creative Industries are valuable for developing economies because creativity is hard to automate and difficult to outsource. They also typically attract large numbers of both women and young people into the sector, allowing nations to address issues of equality, emigration and brain drain. Further, digitisation means that many Creative Industries products are no longer constrained by the “tyranny of location” meaning that content creators can now reach new, fee-paying audiences all over the world. Another clear benefit is the direct connection between the creative industries and tourism, with almost any kind of creative output stimulating the kinds of “stories” that respond to the trend of Experience Tourism.

However there are also challenges for sector development – not least the rapid transformative effects of digitisation on the financing, production, distribution and consumption of creative industries products. There are issues around experience economy, innovation, local development, digital media, copyright that all shape how the cultural and creative sectors can contribute to triggering innovation in the wider economy and society. These include challenges such as the financing of the Creative Industries and the lack of access of creative entrepreneurs to private banking services, a gap that prevents the cultural and creative sector from growing, creating more jobs and stimulating economic and social opportunity. And at a time when the world moves towards a low-carbon low-impact economy, there is need for environmentally sustainable models and processes in the Creative Sector. Challenges are further exacerbated by the fact that the process of supporting creativity is somewhat difficult to that of supporting industrial or business innovation, demanding different kinds of infrastructure, training and financial models.

My specialist experience is the development of capacity and networks across the Creative Industries. My work has included mapping, research, analysis and evaluation of the creative industries activity across a range of subsectors, (film, music, contemporary art, design, fashion etc.) and the development of the optimal programmes to support and promote each sector individually and as a whole. I have worked on the business and programme planning for Creative Hubs, Creative Embassies and outreach programmes, on Education strategies and programmes for skills development, on Sector Networking and Coordination, Careers Information and more. I have strategised and delivered International and Domestic Marketing of sector opportunities and investment potential,I have authored and/or provided editorial oversight for creative industries websites, marketing collateral, important reports and publications, prepared spokespeople for media and speaking engagements, I have devised and managed events locally and internationally and delivered familiarisation / press tours (inbound and outbound). I am particularly interested in boosting the connections between culture and creativity and the tourism sector. I recently drafted the National Strategy for the Creative Industries and the Strategy for Education in the Creative Industries sector for the platform and sit on the UNESCO Serbia Council for the Creative Industries.