Economics enters XXI century

“Economics is the art of making the most of life” G.B. ShawThe rentrée brings good news to the world of economics!

Economics is often criticized by many for the responsibility for not being able to predict the Great Recession or for not providing the right solutions to the crisis, the growing inequality and adverse consequences of globalization on local economies and growing populism. I am glad to have discovered on The New Yorker about the CORE Econ project an accessible, relevant, real-world economics teaching tool free to anyone to browse online.

Back to my University time, I remember that many students we were already frustrated because the curriculum was focused on the free-market doctrine, considering the real life ‘ceteris paribus’ or constant. The most interesting topics on how economics can transform the way we live and contribute to more inclusive and sustainable societies were part of textbooks too, however they came after the orthodox topics on consumer preferences, supply and demand curves, the theory of the firm and the efficiency properties of atomized and competitive markets.

Although the CORE Econ approach seems not to be very radical or fully original (The Institute for New Economic Thinking in the US –which has contributed with some funds to the project- and the New Economics Foundation in the UK, among other institutions, have been working for some time to research and disseminate an alternative approach to economics to tackle XXI challenges), the interactive methodology that CORE presents together with its emphasis on providing tools to students and general public interested on economics and on finding answers to the complex questions we are facing (inequality, pollution, migration, among others), the global and collaborative team behind it (more than twenty economists from both sides of the Atlantic and India from Universities such as University College London, Science Po, Columbia and Oxford) and the aim of creating a global community of teachers and learners make this project a landmark for economics to enter XXI century, making possible to create a global campus, harnessing critical thinking to find solutions to real world problems.

As Christian Gollier, one of the founders of the CORE Econ project, highlights ‘The CORE is the best innovation in economic education that I have seen in my career. A smorgasbord of ideas that refresh our old concepts, moving our standard discourse from dismal to light, from a dehumanized science to a spirited vision of the world’

It is particularly the move from a dehumanized science (centered on the rational behaviour and on the ‘homo economicus’) towards a curriculum which takes seriously economic history, the fact that people aren’t fully rational and the free market is actually the ‘special case’ rather than the norm, what opens up a new horizon to the future of economics and economists themselves.

A new wave of economic thinking is on the rise to define in a global and collaborative way more sustainable and inclusive society in which people and the planet would be at the heart. I have called a while ago the ‘Cultural Era’. So let’s begin!

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‘Trust’ and care, the wind for our sail

‘ The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them’ Ernest Hemingway
This week on the State Of the European Union debate #SOTEU, Jean Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, introduced his speech highlighting that the ‘wind is on Europe’s sail’, and that ‘Our values are our compass. For me, Europe is more than just a single market. More than money, more than the euro. It was always about values’. He pointed out three principles that must always anchor the European Union:

A Union of freedom from any kind of opression

A Union of equality, remarking that ‘In a Union of equals, there can be no second class citizens’

Third, our Union is not a State but it is a community of law

However these principles are fundamental for the prosperity and cohesion of the European Union and, in a wider sense, to any region or community in the world, it seems that a large part of European citizens do not –at least- perceive these principles on their everyday lives. They do not yet feel the wind back on the Union, because they do not feel the wind back on their lives and on their communities. This discontent with the current ‘status quo’ has been spoken out by the British people vote for Brexit and by a growing number of euro-sceptics in Poland, Hungary and other Member States; and on the other side of the Atlantic by the election of Trump as President of the US.

So why is this disenchantment spreading all over the ‘Western’ societies?

I went yesterday to Elektrownia Studyjne Kino, (a cinema co-founded by EU at Masovian Contemporary art Centre, Radom, Poland), to watch the Polish ‘premiery’ of the last Palm D’Or at Cannes Film Festival, The Square, a Swedish film directed by Ruben Östlund (and also supported by EU), which helped me to find the path for answering this question and understanding what is happening.

The Square is a poignant satirical drama reflecting our time; about how the sense of community and moral courage have been lost; about the affluent person’s need for egocentricity in an increasingly uncertain world; about the lack of trust and care about others, about our community and, in consequence, about oneself as human being.

The Square shows a broken society in which there not only second class citizens, but ‘human waste’ as Zygmunt Bauman described the wasted lives of the ‘superfluous’ populations of migrants, refugees and other outcasts as an ‘unavoidable’ side effect of economic prosperity.

Christian, the protagonist of the film, presents the idea behind a new artistic project that will be shown at the museum of which he is director, The Square, which symbolizes ‘trust and care’: everyone in it has equal rights and responsibilities within. People refer to each other with respect and help themselves’. This sounds great, in theory, in practice the movie shows that elementary concern for another man seems to be utopia, which has no right to exist in a postmodern, socially overlooked society.

The principles that President Juncker has highlighted on his SOTEU speech sound also great in theory; however it is needed a strong effort to implement them in practice to be able to transform the actual populism and discontent into a sense of collective purpose and community based on mutual trust, care and genuine interest for the other, open to diversity and the richness of complex identities of nowadays.

Although the European Commission, the European Union and Member States have to work hard on transforming the ‘community of law’ –which is necessary but not sufficient- into a ‘community of citizens’ in order to open up new horizons for the European project, it is resposibility also of the citizens themselves and of the different actors and stakeholders who we together shape our society, our economy, our art and culture and our institutions.

In doing so, we all will be contributing to our own prosperity, economic and community development. Nonetheless Guidao Tabelini on ‘Culture and Institutions: Economic Development in the Regions of Europe’ (2010) proves that ‘trust’ and ‘values’ contributes to economic prosperity.

But how we can regain the lost ‘trust’? The best way, as E. Hemingway said, is simply to start trusting others.

A global perspective on ‘creative economy’ for development


It is very actual the debate about the term ‘creative class’ and the question whether Richard Florida assumption that the rise of the creative class implies -per se- economic development and social inclusion for cities and regions which would be able to ‘attract and retain talent.However the so-called creative class represents an important role on the dynamism of a place and on its innovative character, it seems that a more global perspective on cultural and creative economy is needed to fully spread the virtuous circle that creativity harnesses throughout the whole population and neighbourhood of cities, not just for the creative class or in the creative districts.

On this direction, I have had the privilege of attending Sir John Tusa ‘Masterclass’ this week at the I Cultural Economics Congress in Lublin (Poland) where he gave the insightful and inspiring lecture ‘’Nurturing the Grassroots in the Arts the Basis for a Healthy World of Creativity”. The title captures by itself the need for a global perspective on creative economy for ‘a Healthy World of Creativity’.

In order to achieve a Healthy World of Creativity, regional development policies have to consider a wider concept of ‘creative economy’, term often confused with creative industries; and harness a holistic development of the local ‘culture’ and people’s creativity to add value to the whole economy and society, as John Howkins defined creative economy in 2001.

Cultural and creative economy to be the catalyst for a sustainable and inclusive development cannot be implemented as a ‘branding’ strategy for attracting ‘cultural tourists’ to a ‘destination’ by iconic projects (museums, creative centers, etc.). Although these projects can be important to change the perception of a city or a place, there are not sufficient to achieve an integrated ecosystem able to thrive and nurtue creativity and transform it into an endogenous engine for economic development.

A bottom-up approach is, therefore, needed for cultural and creative economy to seed the ground, pollinizing the multiple economic sectors, resurfacing the local culture and identity and its linkages with the wider world; making people aware of their own creative power to transform their reality and, ultimately, themselves. That is why the emphasis has to evolve from atracting and retaining the ‘creative class’ –understanding that there are a class who is creative vs. others who are not- towards empowering people to be creative.

This has also been debated at Forum Europe Ruhr Culture 360 celebrated this week in Germany –which I have followed on twitter – underlining that when ‘the ministry of economics or science would have organized a cultural conference’ then ‘culture’ will play its full role (quoted from tweet by Bernd Fesel).

In consequence, cultural and creative economy have to be understood by governments, stakeholders and society not just as a sector but as a new paradigm of society built by creative people.

Get in touch for consultancy on creative economy ecosystem development and capacity building on developing creativity (individual and organizations): contact@economiacreativa.eu

Exploring ‘The Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor’

The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission has recently published the Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor, an excellent tool accessible to everyone interested in the impact of culture and creative economy and urban and regional development.

The Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor (CCCM) is a new tool to monitor and assess the performance of ‘Cultural and Creative’ cities in comparison, both in quantitative and qualitative terms, with others across European countries (this first edition covers 168 cities in the EU-28 plus Norway and Switzerland).

The CCCM evaluate cities/countries using 29 indicators relevant to nine dimensions reflecting three major facets of cities’ cultural, social and economic vitality:

Cultural Vibrancy measures the cultural ‘pulse’ of a city in terms of cultural infrastructure and participation in culture

Creative Economy captures how the cultural and creative sectors contribute to a city’s employment, job creation and innovative capacity

Enabling Environment identifies the tangible and intangible assets that help cities attract creative talent and stimulate cultural engagement.

The Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor offers an interactive online tool that allow ussers to browse the 168 selected cities and the quantitative and qualitative information about thir performance. It also includes key facts about the cultural life of the city (I have just discovered a ‘Europe for Festivals’ on Traditional and Avant-Garde Music in Lublin!). It has also the option to create a new city entry, by adding new data, and to compare it to selected cities in the Monitor (however not fully available yet).

Culture and Creative Economy has become central to urban and regional development, particularly since the adoption of the first ‘European Agenda for Culture in a Globalising World’ (2007). However, mapping cultural and creative assets and measuring their value and impact in a systematic way acrross Europe has remained a challenge, particularly at city level. The CCM has the aim to meet this challenge, providing common evidences and insight on culture and creativity at city level to:

Support policy makers, identyfing strenghts, learn from peers and assess policy impact

Advocate and disseminate the importance of culture and creativity for improving socio-economic perspectives and resilience

Inspire new research questions and approaches to studying the role of culture and creativity in cities

So, let’s explore the CCCM for a couple cities, Seville (Spain) and Lublin (Poland) and see what key insight we can obtain.

Seville is the largest eity of the autonomous region of Andalusia in southern Spain. In 2006 Seville was appointed the first UNESCO Creative City of Music (important festivals include the ‘Festival de Música Antigua’ and the Biennial of Flamenco) The overal Seville Cultural and Creative Index is 20.1. The weaker facet of Seville is the ‘Creative Economy’ with only 7.2 on the index for Jobs in Media & Communication and only 2.2 on ICT patent applications. On the Cultural Vibrancy Seville shows strong index, 44.7 on Concerts & Shows indicator.

Lublin is the capital of the Lublin region and the biggest town in eastern Poland. It is known as a student city due to the presence of five universities. The overal Cultural and Creative City Index of Lublin is 14.2. Lublin shows strong performance on ‘Satisfaction with cultural facilities’, 35.7 (Cultural vibrancy) and on ‘People trust’, 63.6, (Enabling Environment).

Find out how does your city perform on the Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor and how it compares to peer cities on your country or across Europe!

On my side, I look forward to the availability of the ‘create your own entry’ option. In the meantime I will continue exploring and disseminating this great and inspiring tool for evaluating the Cultural & Creative Economy contribution to urban, economic and social sustainable and inclusive development.

Get in touch for policy evaluation and impact assessment studies on cultural and creative economy: contact@economiacreativa.eu
References:

Montalto V; Jorge Tacao Moura C; Langedijk S; Saisana M. The Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor. 2017 Edition doi:10.2760/031627

Online Tool: https://composite-indicators.jrc.ec.europa.eu/cultural-creative-cities-monitor/

How to improve stakeholders’ engagement


After the holiday season, September brings us a rentrée full of projects to plan, implement and disseminate. Great part of the success of these projects will depend of how key stakeholders engage on them; therefore it is fundamental to strategically consider stakeholders’ involvement from the conceptualization stage of project management.
The first question is why to involve stakeholders?

In the indutrial era the path of change was slower and stability greater than nowadays in our disrupted digital and global societies. Then companies and institutions were also considering the importance of society and other actors on their activity. However they were considering them more as ‘external factors’.

In the current context of constant change and ever more complex societies there is a higher level of uncertainty which makes very difficult for any single actor, whether public or private, to develop any project without considering other actors that directly or indirectly would be involved or taking part on it. It is, in consequence, essential to consider the role each stakeholder (customers/users, scientific institutions, corporations, government bodies, international organizations, civil society, NGOs, etc.) plays in achieving the general objective we pursue with a project and how they can contribute to the value creation and to minimize risk.

Secondly, we can ask ourselves which are the key principles of stakeholders engagement:

Identifying who are the key stakeholders

Relationship management,

Communication and planning

Understaning what ‘success’ means for every stakeholders,

Compromise and Responsibility

The first step is to identify, with a global and cross-sectoral perspective, who are the key stakeholders that can add value to the project (it might be financial support, endorsing and disseminating, institutional support, co-designing the service/product, providing insight, etc.).

Once we have identified them, it is crucial to communicate in order to understand the people/institution you will be working with and to gather information about them, so you can get to know better their behaviour and aspirations and find a better way to work together.

Remember to invest in a careful planning before engaging stakeholders and make an effort to build relationships based on mutual trust with the aim to increase confidence across the project environment, minimise uncertainty and speed up problem solving and decision making.

Keep the road map simple, using foresight to anticipate hazards and taking timely actions that can improve delivery. The initial step of this road map is to establish the most acceptable baseline across a set of stakeholders’ expectations and priorities, taking into account that project success means different things to different people. In this regard, the project will benefit from a good understanding of how each stakeholder perceives success in the context of the project delivery.

Finally it is the responsibility of everyone to understand the role in maintaining and ongoing dialogue and compromise for the overall value creation, risk management and successful delivery of the project.

 For consultancy and capacity building on improving your stakeholders’ engagement, get in touch: contact@economiacreativa.eu

Creative Innovation Global


At Economía Creativa we are proud Endorsing Partners of Creative Innovation Global 2017 Asia Pacific -for second year in a row- that will be held in Melbourne, Australia, 13-15 November 2017.
Early bird tickets are still available until 31st August, so do not miss this unique opportunity to stand with the global leaders and disruptors that are making a difference on creativity and innovation; join 40+ innovators and take part on Conferences, Master Classes, Deep Conversations and a Gala Dinner. Book your tickets on: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/tickets-external?eid=34564605666&ref=etckt

Ci2017 will help you understand and make the most of the exponential advances in artificial intelligence, automation of jobs, healthcare, energy, worksplaces of the future and other major trends. This event will give you the knoledge and tools to develop the leadership mindset you need to transform your organisation.

Who should attend? Ci2017 is the ‘must’ event for

change-makers, policy makers, activists, influencers, innovators, industry and government leaders,

CEOs and senior executives

Board Directors, entrepreneurs and business owners

HR & innovation professional

Coaches and consultants

Educators

Non for profit and CSR professsionals

Ci2017 will bring you unique benefits:

– Over 40 world class Australian and international innovators and leaders

– Highlight risks, opportunities, future scenarios and global megatrends

– Provide insights and techniques for unloking personal and organisational creativity and exponential thinking

– Deliver strategies, structructures and processes for creating transformation, greater organisational performance, productivity and wellbeing

– Showcase the world’s best practice solutions and ideas

– Bring together leaders and emerging talent to discover corss-disciplinary solutions

– Offer outstanding networking and buisness opportunities

As the pace of change accelerates, we are increasingly asking organizations to become more agile. Ci2017 will help you understand the importance of strategic creativity to our nations, communities and individuals to making the transition to innovation and knowledge based economyies. Creativity and innovation are vital for businesses exposesd to globalisation, increased competition, consumer diversitiy and rapidly changing technology.

Don’t forget that tomorrow’s competitive success will be based on the implementation of creative ideas and the ability to keep up with an ever-accelerating world! Don’t miss this exceptional event, Ci2017 where global leaders will meet! THINK, LEARN and BE INSPIRED!

You can download Ci2017 program here: https://www.creativeinnovationglobal.com.au/wp-content/themes/creative/2017-assets/files/Ci2017-PROGRAM-v2.pdf 

Exploring the ‘Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor’


The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission has recently published the Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor, an excellent tool accessible to everyone interested in the impact of culture and creative economy and urban and regional development.The Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor (CCCM) is a new tool to monitor and assess the performance of ‘Cultural and Creative’ cities in comparison, both in quantitative and qualitative terms, with others across European countries (this first edition covers 168 cities in the EU-28 plus Norway and Switzerland).

The CCCM evaluates cities/countries using 29 indicators relevant to nine dimensions reflecting three major facets of cities’ cultural, social and economic vitality:

Cultural Vibrancy measures the cultural ‘pulse’ of a city in terms of cultural infrastructure and participation in culture

Creative Economy captures how the cultural and creative sectors contribute to a city’s employment, job creation and innovative capacity

Enabling Environment identifies the tangible and intangible assets that help cities attract creative talent and stimulate cultural engagement.

The Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor offers an interactive online tool that allow users to browse the 168 selected cities and the quantitative and qualitative information about their performance. It also includes key facts about the cultural life of the city (I have just discovered a ‘Europe for Festivals’ on Traditional and Avant-Garde Music in Lublin, Poland!). It has also the option to create a new city entry, by adding new data, and to compare it to selected cities in the Monitor (however not fully available yet).

Culture and Creative Economy has become central to urban and regional development, particularly since the adoption of the first ‘European Agenda for Culture in a Globalising World’ (2007). However, mapping cultural and creative assets and measuring their value and impact in a systematic way across Europe has remained a challenge, particularly at city level. The CCM has the aim to meet this challenge, providing common evidences and insight on culture and creativity at city level to:

Support policy makers, identifying strengths, learn from peers and assess policy impact

Advocate and disseminate the importance of culture and creativity for improving socio-economic perspectives and resilience

Inspire new research questions and approaches to studying the role of culture and creativity in cities

So, let’s explore the CCCM for a couple of cities, Seville (Spain) and Lublin (Poland) and see what key insight we can obtain.

Seville is the largest city of the autonomous region of Andalusia in southern Spain. In 2006 Seville was appointed the first UNESCO Creative City of Music (Seville organizes important festivals including the ‘Festival de Música Antigua’ and the Biennial of Flamenco) The overal Seville Cultural and Creative Index is 20.1. The weaker facet of Seville is the ‘Creative Economy’ with only 7.2 on the index for Jobs in Media & Communication and only 2.2 on ICT patent applications. On the Cultural Vibrancy Seville shows strong index, 44.7 on Concerts & Shows indicator.

Lublin is the capital of the Lublin region and the biggest town in eastern Poland. It is known as a student city due to the presence of five universities. The overall Cultural and Creative City Index of Lublin is 14.2. Lublin shows strong performance on ‘Satisfaction with cultural facilities’, 35.7 (Cultural vibrancy) and on ‘People trust’, 63.6, (Enabling Environment).

Find out how does your city perform on the Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor and how it compares to peer cities on your country or across Europe!

On my side, I look forward to the availability of the ‘create your own entry’ option. In the meantime I will continue exploring and disseminating this great and inspiring tool for evaluating the Cultural & Creative Economy contribution to urban, economic and social sustainable and inclusive development.

Get in touch for policy evaluation and impact assessment studies on cultural and creative economy: contact@economiacreativa.eu

References:

Montalto V; Jorge Tacao Moura C; Langedijk S; Saisana M. The Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor. 2017 Edition doi:10.2760/031627

Online Tool: https://composite-indicators.jrc.ec.europa.eu/cultural-creative-cities-monitor/