Picking up on the Matteo identifying 'Creative Clusters' as one of the key buz-words of recent years, a clever operator in this domain is someone called Simon Evans who about four years ago started 'Creative Clusters Ltd' based around a yearly conference on the creative clusters 'idea'. He originally raised money and executed the first conf in Dublin (I think) it is now an annual and well attended event and a successful company (Yes it makes money!). There are of course many events like this which are quite expensive to attend and interestingly the only kind of people rarely found in attendance is anyone who actually makes anything, certainly not artists or even any real business people. It is full of policy wonks and consultants and wakademics (usually all three combined).Many of those who attend are VERY far from stupid. They are extremely familiar with the the kind of radical critiques circulating on this list. Like all well bred ideological cynics they will know how to deploy them cunningly to 'add value' to their operations. Many of them could do a better job critiquing themselves than we are doing right now. So what could this meeting do that would really impact rather than be the radical ghetto sounding off to itself.Maybe Yes Men' style of tactics which instead of situating its language entirely on the critical outside somehow comes from inside the CI culture and mindset turning the language the (CI lexicon) in on itself. As they would say lets 'start 'singing from the same hymn sheet' (NOT) and 'thinking outside of the box'. 'Eyes down' to start compiling a lexicon for a game of CI buzword bingo.
In the mean time -to really help to turn numb our brains here is the latest call for the Creative Clusters Conference
Creative Clusters is the international conference, network and events programme for people working in the development of the creative economy. We are interested in development and regeneration projects that deliver outcomes in both cultural and economic terms.
Our goal is to help people engaged in the development of the creative economy to communicate and share resources with one another.
The theme for Creative Clusters Conference 2006 is MainstreamingCreativity.
After only a few short years in the policy spotlight, the creativeindustries are no longer considered a marginal or specialist sector,but are seen to impact on all areas of the economy. Around the world,from Brazil to Korea, New Zealand to Lithuania, and at the level ofnations, regions, cities, towns and neighbourhoods, creativeindustries appear as key components in both cultural and economicdevelopment plans. There are countless creative development projectsin progress, there are rich currents of academic discourse, and thereis a huge market of consultants and organisations with creativeservices and expertise on offer. Increasingly, the concept'creativity' is replacing 'knowledge' as the pundit's definingcharacteristic for the modern economy.
In short, the creative industries are here to stay, and they are amajor force in global economic and cultural development. But whatdoesthis really mean for creative industries and culture-led development?
As the creative industries collectively become major employers,exporters and sources of wealth, are they ready to take on theresponsibilities of holding up the economy? It's one thing for thecreative industries to demand serious attention as economic players,and quite another for them actually to take on the role in society ofthe manufacturing, engineering and extraction industries it is claimedthey are replacing. And is government really developing the policiesto cope with these changes?
What is more, 'creativity' is increasingly being seen as the strategythat all businesses must adopt to take on the challenges ofglobalisation. In the West this tends to mean deploying IP-relatedskills to take on low-cost competition from China and India. In China,India and other developing countries, entrepreneurs see no reason whythey should not use their creativity too, alongside lower costs and awealth of cultural assets, to redress historic imbalances of powerwith the West. Disempowered minorities in the West see similaropportunities within their local cultures. But are globalisation andthe opportunities of creativity really the zero-sum games that thesepositions imply?
And if creativity is a driving force in economic development, are thevalues hitherto championed by culture, or by commerce, drivingchange?
Or is there another future, a third way, in which people, places andprofit reach a new accommodation?
What does the economy really look like when creativity ismainstreamed?