I popped along to a session entitled “The creative industries: A Cinderella sector?”, convened by Demos. The panel speakers were Luciana Berger MP, Helen Burrows, and Doug Richards.
I got there in time to here Doug Richards speak, who stated that the UK was the “most successful creative sector in the world”, but lacked support. Helen Burrows, report is now three years old, and either archived or behind a paywall, its launch was reported at billboard.com, where she put some numbers behind support, size and success. This is still missing the balance of trade figures; but the report acts as a prelude to the comments that ONS is not measuring creative business well i.e, the SIC/MLH industrial measurement model needs to be updated. It was published in 2010, just after the election as the coalition were settling in.
This meeting did not decline into an argument about copyright, probably due to the fact that there were many people interested in working in non-copyright protected creative business present. There was one question about the craft industries and several about skills investment and inclusion. In terms of infrastructural investment, Richards stated that the secondary schools core curriculum must include the arts and was persuasive in how new businesses must include a combination of creative and coding talent. (Of course, he adds that entrepreneurial talent is a pre-requisite.) A great quote from this part of the meeting is that,
Arts are the R&D for the Creative Industry!
Another comment made was that the Technology Strategy Boards have been incubating and encouraging technology startups, cn and should there be equivilant bbodies for the creative industries? I’d add that the EU’s FP7 technology R&D incubator programmes is an advantage and funding source that technoloy industries have.
One questioner raised the issue of how people, who are good at something, in order to succeed, need to become good at something else, i.e. sales and accounting. Are co-ops the answer? Do these industries have anything to learn from the I.T. contracting market? (I hope not, the agency layer is under skilled, often, although not always, morally deficient and exceedingly expensive, although subject to IT hosted reverse auction competition now).
No-one mentioned alterntive funding models, crowdfunding or co-operatives as alternative sources of funding or professional services.
Actually I though this a bitty meeting but if Labour can build a compelling story about infrastructure investment, supporting SMEs, recognising that not all creative businesses are copyright protected then this would be useful for the country as a whole.
While researching a later article in the #lab13 series, I went to the Demos site and found their publications page. The publication catalogue is awesome, the search feature less so. They are available for free download, and I have now followed Demos on twitter. I finallly found the paper, i.e. Risky Business using google, with a site:www.demos.co.uk argument. NB both duckduckgo and ixquick found it also, spelling the author’s name correctly is a big help. DFL 5/10/2013