Creative Economy - Breaking Patterns through Diversity, Innovation, and being Young at Heart

Diversity, inclusion, and youth are the key pillars essential to advancing the creative economy and ensuring its continued success.
“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.”
- Edward De Bono
Knowledge and creativity are currencies that could never be exhausted. The more you use them, the more you have them. One begets the other: knowledge leads to creativity through novelty in ideas, creativity forms the bedrock of new knowledge; and together they lead to a phenomenon that breaks the norms, challenges the conventional, and sets foundation for what has come to be known as creative economy.
One of the fastest growing sectors globally, encompassing almost every sector and discipline – from arts to aeronautics; the cultural and creative industries (CCI) significantly contribute to the world economy, accounting for 3.1 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020, as per UNCTAD estimates.
Thriving on creativity and innovation, the industry is generating nearly 50 million jobs worldwide and employing more young people (15–29-year-olds) than any other sector. But what does diversity and inclusion have to do with the creative economy, and how do they relate to youth?

A critical component of any successful industry, diversity is particularly important in the creative economy. Creativity is enhanced when people from diverse backgrounds come together. The assimilation of diverse ideologies and mindsets produce remarkable results every time they collaborate to find unique solutions to problems and challenges, bringing with them a wealth of different perspectives, ideas, and experiences to the table. This leads to the creation of more innovative and engaging products and services.

This is particularly true in the creative economy, where products and services are often designed to appeal to diverse audiences. If the people creating those products and services don’t reflect the diversity of the audiences, they may struggle to connect with them.
However, for diversity to prevail and work effectively to your benefit, it is equally important to ensure that everyone feels included and valued. Inclusion means creating a bias-free, high-performance environment where everyone feels welcome, regardless of their background. It means ensuring that everyone has equal opportunities to contribute and succeed. Inclusion is essential for creating a culture of collaboration and creativity, and it’s particularly important for attracting and retaining diverse talent.
Unfortunately, organizations and businesses historically have been less inclusive than they could be. Especially, women and people of colour are underrepresented in many sectors, and there are often barriers to entry for people from less privileged backgrounds.
This is changing, however, with many organizations making concerted efforts to improve diversity and inclusion in their industries. The CCI is taking the lead in overcoming discriminations, by creating more inclusive workplaces, a key element essential for the sector to thrive.
Youth are the drivers of the creative economy, representing its present and future. With their wealth of energy, creativity, and innovation, and digital savviness, young talents are often at the forefront of new trends and technologies, and they have a unique ability to see things from a fresh perspective. They’re also more likely to be comfortable with change and uncertainty, which is essential in an industry that’s constantly evolving.
But youth also face their own set of challenges. They may lack the experience and connections of seasoned professionals, and might struggle to get their foot in the door. To address these challenges, it’s important to provide young people with opportunities to learn, grow, and network. We need to create pathways for young people to enter the creative economy, whether that’s through internships, mentorships, or training programs.
By creating more diverse and inclusive workplaces and providing opportunities for young people to thrive, we can help ensure that the creative economy continues to innovate and grow. It’s up to all of us to work together to create a more diverse, inclusive, and creative future.