A recent CCI research report on the UK's creative economy casts light on some of the most influential work in this field, by the American writer Richard Florida, and in particular its claims for a new “creative class”. Geoff Mulligan, Director of Nesta, writes:
My colleague Hasan Bakhshi has just published a brilliant analysis of the creative economy in the UK. Written with Alan Freeman and Peter Higgs, this is the first time I have seen a seriously rigorous approach to creative industries and creative roles.
It shows that there is a distinct set of creative industries with a high proportion of creative roles, but also that there are more people with creative occupations outside the creative industries.
This work has many implications. Clearly creativity matters to some extent in almost any job. But a relatively small number of jobs give it much greater prominence. Hasan, Alan and Peter define creative jobs as ones with "a role within the creative process that brings cognitive skills to bear to bring about differentiation to yield either novel, or significantly enhanced products whose final form is not fully specified in advance".
Using existing definitions they show that there are some half a million people in creative roles in the UK's creative industries - over half of all jobs in those industries, and slightly more in creative roles in other industries, but making up only 2% of total employment. Overall about 4% of the workforce fill creative roles.But applying their new more rigorous definition some roles fall in and others fall out and we're left with a significantly higher estimate closer to two million, or around 7% of the workforce. The paper looks at different options and definitions but feels broadly right in the orders of magnitude it suggests.
One of the many implications of this work is to cast light on some of the most influential work in this field, by the American writer Richard Florida, and in particular its claims for a new 'creative class'. Florida has become a best-selling author, a highly paid speaker and consultant, and has attracted his fair share of critics and enemies....
Read Geoff Mulgan’s full blog >
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