Creative Economy Coalition Summit
Washington, DC, 11-13 September 2014
The Creative Economy Coalition (CEC), a Standing Working Group of the National Creativity Network (NCN) held its first annual Creative Economy Coalition Summit in Washington, DC. The CEC seeks to understand, support, and advance creative industries and creative economies across North America. The CEC membership includes individuals and organizations across the United States and Canada who are actively measuring and seeking to support creative industries and their particular creative economies. The NCN and its CEC produced the first major research report on America’s Creative Economy in 2013 which analyzed a set of 27 reports released in regions, states, and cities across America between 2002-2012. Drawing upon the research of Christine Harris, the report by Harris, Margaret Collins, and Dennis Cheek found considerable enthusiasm for the support of creative industries across the USA and documented that the creative economy is an important component of economies at local, state, regional, and national levels. However, it also noted considerable differences in how the various reports thought about and measured their creative economy with no readily discernable common operational definition across reports. It was this report that led to a call for a first ever national meeting in the nation’s capital on this important topic. Accordingly, the CEC and its parent organization, The National Creativity Network, organized a multi-day summit to explore issues, share approaches, discuss challenges, and chart a path towards the future.
The CEC and NCN were delighted to welcome at the Summit speakers and representatives from a number of global organizations including the European Creative Industries Alliance, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the Organization of American States (OAS) – all of whom have been quite active in identifying, measuring, supporting, and growing creative industries and creative economies in their respective regions. Two notable reports especially highlighted at the Summit were The Orange Economy: An Infinite Opportunity produced by the IDB (2013), and The Economic Impact of the Creative Industries in the Americas co-produced by the IDB, OAS, and the British Council and released in 2014.
Dennis Cheek, Executive Director of the National Creativity Network and Co-Chair of Global Creativity United, noted that: “Throughout North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean there is a wealth of activity, insights, and growing support for creative industries and creative economies. Wise leaders at national and regional levels are increasingly factoring into their policy deliberations the importance of creative industries to a strong, diverse, and ever growing economy. It seems clear that entirely new jobs and new industries will arise across the Americas in coming decades. The seeds that we plant now in a variety of educational, economic, policy, financial, and regulatory arenas will bear good fruit in the richly diverse intellectual and social soils of the Americas.”
Dialogue on the creative economy and creative industries is now widespread across the Western Hemisphere. This fact opens the door to greater consideration of how organizations across the Americas can further collaborate to accelerate progress in measuring, supporting, and advancing cultural industries and increasing the size of creative economies. The IDB offered its fine facilities and the insights of several key staffers to this inaugural summit because of this very potential. The OAS was also pleased to be involved in this initial effort as its cultural ministers and ministers of economic development wrestle with significant issues about how to further stimulate and grow economies across the Americas. All participating leaders recognize that creative economies are here to stay and need skillful nurturing and regular exchange of ideas across the hemisphere for them to achieve their full potential.
Office of the Executive Director
Dennis W. Cheek, Ph.D.
Executive Director, National Creativity Network
Co-Chair, Global Creativity United
12865 Oxford Crossing Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224-1669