Show Me the Money–EU and the Cultural Economy

The U.S. economy may have it ups and downs, but one thing is clear: business is good when it comes to creative industries. Organizations that create the culture generating high levels of creative output and valuable IP are the future.

It seems the EU is in a catch-up race to get a piece of the action. I came across a recent report on the Lisbon Agenda that highlights the plan:

“At the beginning of the German EU Presidency in 2007, the German Federal Government placed the issue of culture and creative industries on the agenda of the informal meeting of the European Ministers of Culture in Berlin. … In November 2006, the report “Economy of Culture in Europe”, commissioned by the EU Commission, was presented. According to this report, the gross value added of the creative industries in Europe amounted to 2.6% of the GDP in 2003. This corresponds to a turnover of about EUR 654 billion in 2003.

From 2002 to 2004, employment [in creative industries] grew by 1.85%, while total employment across the EU decreased. Therefore, the creative industries are one of the driving forces of the European economy, with a potential to contribute significantly towards reaching the goal of the Lisbon Agenda to make Europe “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion.”

The EU is on to something. There is an eco-system that makes a creative economy thrive. It includes for-profit and non-profit players buttressed by government policies that foster collaboration and innovation. The nation or city that gets this mix right will win the day.

While the U.S. has concentrated its energies on growing individual disciplines–filmmaking, advertising, design, publishing, the EU plans to foster a more cross-disciplinary approach.

This EU strategy is worth watching!

Hat tips to Alan Freeman, Paul Turpin and Donna Surges Tatum for the bread crumb trail.