Innovation in the Creative Economy

Recently, I had the opportunity and pleasure to present at Pixel Show Brazil 2019 the lecture “Innovation in the Creative Economy”, where I showed that the knowledge and imagination make the creativity possible, and that creativity, with the right environment, the process and the management of available resources could drive innovation. I presented Creative Economy as a transformer of creativity and art in an innovative business that stood out in the market and that transform economy and society. So, from that, I found it relevant to write this article on the topic.

According to Lala Deheinzelin, in her book “New Economies Enabling Desirable Futures”, in creative economics, the Art is a highlight, as it will always be at the root of any creative activity. Involving art, we have the Creative Industries, as a sectorial vision, which includes arts added to everything that produces content (audiovisual, publications, media) and creative services (fashion, architecture, design, tourism). In a layer above, we have a more comprehensive perspective, Creative Territories (cities or districts), which work their differentials of cultural experiences from a geographical context. Involving all of this comes a Creative Economy layer, which includes not only industries and creative territories, but everything that generates value from intangible attributes — qualifying, differentiating and valuing businesses, products and institutions. And finally, all of this is immersed in Culture, as the matrix and DNA of a society, who will be the north for choosing an artistic language, creative sector, territory or intangible for added value.

We can then ask: Why invest in Creativity?

Now, in the first place, because the creative economy covers many areas, such as: audiovisual products, new media, design, performing arts, editorial publications, visual arts, and others; and each has its importance in the economy, mainly in the generation of income, creation of jobs and exports. In addition, it improves the culture that is an essential component of sustainable development and represents a source of identity, innovation and creativity for the individual and the community. At the same time, creativity and culture have significant non-monetary value that contributes to inclusive social development, dialogue and understanding between people.

Another important reason to invest in creativity is because the global market for creative goods has made a lot of money. Creativity and innovation, both at the individual and group levels, use the country’s true wealth in the 21st century. As cultural and creative industries should be part of any country’s economic growth strategies, according to the UNESCO report on culture and sustainable development. We are living in a new moment, where the world is invited to embrace the idea that innovation is essential to take advantage of the economic potential of nations.

We must invest in creativity, also because in the future, according to a 2010 study by IBM with 1,500 CEOs, creativity will be a more important skill for leaders, mainly because it will be the human differential considered an era of automation that will come artificial intelligence.

In short, creativity, the facilitator of innovation, added to the entrepreneurship action can generate a new impetus for economic growth and job creation, expand opportunities for all, including women and young people. And it can provide solutions to some of the most pressing problems — the well-known Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — such as the eradication of poverty and the elimination of hunger.

From Creativity to Innovation

Unlocking creativity involves internal factors: Imagination, Knowledge, Attitude; and external factors: Resources, Culture, Environment.

Knowledge is a toolbox for imagination, which is the catalyst for the transformation of knowledge into new ideas. And an attitude is necessary to the necessary unity to advance in difficult problems.

Environments have a huge impact on this process, and creatives are deeply affected by space, rules, rewards, resources and culture.

Thus, the individual and the environment are interestingly interdependent, not obvious and essential for creative problem solving.

The idea is only one element in the process of developing something potentially innovative, because, in the end, it will be the customer / user who directs the product, or the service, or creates an innovative point of consideration.

Design Thinking can be used at the beginning of this process, as this method aims at something desirable by the customer, economically viable and technically feasible. It seeks a balance between the rational and the emotional, with the collaboration of those involved, exploring ideas and experimenting with prototypes and tests. For this it includes, in a loop (with several iterations) interacting with the user, steps such as: Empathy (or problem discovery, real desires and / or customer needs), Definition (or discovery interpretation), Ideation (with brainstorming and ideas selection), and experimentation with Prototype and Test development.

But innovation, mainly of products by companies, goes beyond that, as it also involves: Strategy and Business Model, Innovation Management, Production, Marketing, Distribution, Launch, Sales and Positive Customer Return.

It is Technology that Empowers Creativity

The creative-digital ecosystem emergence — where information, media and creative content converge in the digital space — allowed ideas and information to be globalized quickly, unlocking the growth potential for the creative economy. The more connected we become, the greater the demand for quality content, creative goods and services. Examples:

Woodcut and Photoshop: Award-winning designer Fernando Vilela creates in woodcut and finishes with digital software (Photoshop / Procreate).

3D modeled sculptures: Sculptor Richard Orlinski uses industrial materials and computer systems to model his art.

Another example: Jack Storms Collections

Artificial intelligence helps to accelerate the creation process

PaintSchainer: Thanks to artificial intelligence, software automatically colors drawings and is being used for 2D animation. Portuguese artist Jonny do Lake believes that the technology use is welcome to save production time.

A future vision with mixed reality

New technological resources, such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, open up new possibilities for human creativity, adding relevant information to the context and transporting us beyond time and space.

See this Creativity and Innovation accelerated video example with the use of these emerging technology: Envisioning the Future with Windows Mixed Reality.

Technology is learning to create to add possibilities

Machine learning has become a valuable tool in the creative process

Magenta: Magenta is an open source project from Google, which explores the machine role learning as a tool in the creative process.

Artificial intelligence can create combinations based on everything it analyzes that already exists.

Machines are already creating from what they recognize

Games by Angelina: Angelina (created by the British Michael Cook) is an artificial intelligence that generates thousands of video games and combines the best results to form a new game.

Screenwriter Benjamin: Benjamin is an AI that starts from a science fiction database scripts to produce new texts (film synopsis).

Plant Jammer: The revenue generating app has an AI that helps people cook recipes with what they have in the fridge.

Hey, relax! AI will not replace (so soon) the human creation power

Senior researcher at Google PAIR (People + AI Research), Fernanda Viégas clarifies that despite the advances, artificial intelligence is far from reaching the human brain sophistication. “We managed to run, jump, sing. AI still doesn’t do these things competently”.

Technology will help us create the future we want

Maria Pestana, one of the curators of the exhibition “The Future Starts Here” that takes place in 2018 at the Victoria & Albert museum in London, says that history shows that the insecurity of new technologies is not justified, but that it is necessary to be careful with trend towards uniformity of tastes.

Final considerations

Creativity is everything in the Creative Economy, and technology can be more than a tool to support Human Creatives in their art, it is a key element for Innovation, economic transformation and sustainable development.”

To see the art images on the slides click here.

Version in brazilian portuguese Inovação na Economia Criativa.

If you liked it, please share it. Regards, Ɲεi Ԍяαn∂σ (@neigrando)

Master of science (FEA-USP) with an MBA from FGV, is the organizer and author of a Brazilian Startup book, startup mentor, consultant, teacher and speaker.

Master of science (FEA-USP) with an MBA from FGV, is the organizer and author of a Brazilian Startup book, startup mentor, consultant, teacher and speaker.