Monday, 23 February 2009

Let's get creative - with design business models

In my last post, I touched upon the challenge of economic paradigms faced by designers, especially those wanting to participate in the public sector. Today's Guardian supplement, Lets Get Creative, paints a perspective on the Government's involvement with the creative industry, one year after it launched, Creative Britain: New Talents for the New Economy.

Screengrab from the Guardian website

The article Cultural Stocktake, take the perspective that not enough is being done, despite the fact that Britain is a hotbed of creativity.

The UK still has the largest creative sector in the European Union, and probably, according to the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta), the largest in the world relative to GDP. Until recession hit, the sector accounted for 7.3% of total UK gross value added (GVA), and was growing at double the rate of other sectors."

But the problems are complex. The article cites the fragmentation of the industry, the small size of companies and the common, "shortage of high-level management expertise and a serious lack of investment, according to the research director for Nesta, Hasan Bakhshi. "We don't seem to be able to grow companies so that they are leaders in Europe, let alone globally," adds Sir Michael Bichard, chairman of the Design Council."

It seems that it's not necessarily more creativity and design needed in Britain, but rather acting on those enabling conditions (provided by Government), networking in the industry (as seen in the Creatives v crunch article), business knowledge and know-how (provided by design schools and other organisations eg. NESTA who run a Creative Business Mentor Network) and more (continued) investment in education, research and development (as Dyson states in his article, Man with a plan) which can help the economic paradigms of the design and creative industry.

I am sure there is loads more to add, analyse, synthesise, discuss and debate here, but just some starting points for some thoughts collected from and in response to today's supplement.

It is as the article ends, "The danger, it seems, lies in assuming that creativity alone is enough."

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