1.1. Culture and creative industries: new opportunities for job creation and inclusiveness

< Back to topics

The cultural sector contributes to the socio-economic development of the economy and to wealth creation. Indeed, the contribution of cultural and creative industries to employment has become an important element of development, generating 30 million jobs worldwide according to UNESCO.

Sustainable development calls for the mobilisation of culture and creative industries within the objectives of the 2030 Agenda. In this framework, developing countries have to use the opportunities offered by the cultural and creative industries and translate them into assets to improve their economic and social situation. In parallel, there is a need to ensure that the new jobs associated with the creative and cultural industries have a concrete impact on higher economic and social integration of groups in special need or at risk 

To reach these objectives, the EU needs to build upon the experiences of the last decades at different levels (local, regional, national and international) and define future lines of action.

Seizing the opportunities of the cultural sector in the 21st century requires a new generation of simple but effective cultural public policies that provide the appropriate institutional framework to enable the private sector to operate at the best and create more job opportunities.

To this end, it is necessary to combine government policies that can create a broad regulatory framework that facilitates the generation of businesses and creative industries with policies at local level capable of creating a climate favourable to the retention of creative talent. The synergies of these policies should make it possible to use  creativity as a  lever for sustainable development  in partner countries.

Different experiences have shown good results in job creation in the cultural sector and the creative industries. It is important to focus policies on inclusive employment with a special focus on young people and women who can adapt to the specificities of the sector.

Education, vocational training, capacity building and entrepreneurship, should be a key element on the setting up of cultural policies. Cultural and creative jobs requires resolute action in the generation of creative and cultural skills. Extensive training, from the basic education system to specialised vocational training, should address the need to provide human resources for cultural projects. Encouraging businesses and relevant services to fully participate in cultural and creative sector initiatives can trigger the emergence of a cultural environment able to retain creativity and initiative as the exercise of sustainable development from culture. The creation of centres of creativity, technology parks, incubators, can foster synergies and complementary dynamics that allow these initiatives to be consolidated.

Culture has a major impact on fostering social cohesion and experiencing identities in communities' inter-actions.  Awareness and willingness to share cultural identities are essential to improve the wellbeing of the population, in full respect of fundamental rights and in a context that promotes intercultural dialogue.

Culture has also an impact on the symbolic representation of life in common, the constitution of citizenship and the democratic governance systems that respect cultural diversity as indicated in the "New European Consensus for Development 2017, point 66". The contribution of culture and cultural policies to social cohesion, mutual respect, dialogue, conflict prevention, peace building and reconciliation should have the necessary important consideration in the new and specific contexts of operation, local and global. Actually, we should take into account that most of the existing risks and conflicts have a cultural dimension and can therefore be influenced from a cultural angle. Culture and creativity are essential for sustainable and inclusive development in the global context. Taking into account the cultural roots of a society is actually a prerequisite for development actions and policies in areas such as health, education, urban planning or environment and climate change, to achieve their full potential.

Culture in public spaces. Finally, within the current process of urbanisation worldwide, the strengthening of social cohesion calls for culture to be particularly proactive in addressing urbanisation, as the role of cities as creative and aggregating space (creative cities) is essential for the development of social innovative clusters. Culture becomes the crucial elements to maintain the role of the public spaces in the process of social cohesion. The fast growing of urban highway, residential high class compound detached by the rest of the city and digital services are seriously affecting the traditional role of inter-class and inter-cultural encounter in urban public spaces.

It is in this overall context of culture and creativity being a fundamental driver for growth, inclusiveness and multicultural dialogue, special attention should be given to the role of youth, as they constitute the major transformative force for the future. Gender issues and role of women is another aspects of first importance in the overall process towards and inclusive development.

1.2. The challenge of financing.

< Back to topics

Advancing culture to meet the objectives of the 2030 Agenda requires the contribution of the whole society and a new mindset at the local, national and global institutional level. The approaches considering that only states and governments are responsible for financing culture have to be overcome. We have to work on this within the framework of SDG 17:  “Boosting and promoting effective alliances in the public, public-private and civil society spheres, building on experience and resource-obtaining strategies”.

In order to make the culture and creative industries sector work for the purposes of the 2030 Agenda and the New European Consensus on Development, it is imperative to expand the systems of financing to adapt to new economics and market dynamics. 

A better understanding on how to finance culture and creativity in the contemporary development context and of future resource needs is important. Governments’ contributions are limited and, requiring new forms of funding to be sought.

In this context, it is essential to expand the role of the private sector and civil society in the financing of culture in contemporary cultural policies. To do so, cultural actors need to become familiar with the new financing schemes to fully use their potential

National laws and regulations facilitating the contribution of the private sector supporting culture based on fiscal incentives or business opportunities have to be reviewed. Particular attention should be given to encouraging small entrepreneurs or investors who have a direct impact on the development and on local ownership of cultural and creative initiatives.

The cultural sector and the creative industries need new financing and credit mechanisms tailored to their specificities. In this respect, specific national schemes to promote investment funds can be set up sourced from private, mixed or international capital. At international level, the creation of venture capital funds could be promoted for cultural and creative initiatives in developing countries, as has already been done in some cultural areas. Corporate social responsibility can be used to invest in cultural and creative projects valuing cultural diversity in least developed countries or in countries in fragile situations.

Impact funding is growing fast and the culture and creative sector could represent a very attractive destination for this impact-oriented investment for considerable private savings

1.3. Access to markets and mobility

< Back to topics

The challenge to identify new forms of funding culture requires us paying attention to the key issue of access to cultural markets. The promotion of cultural creation and production has to be accompanied by new distribution and consumption strategies at local, regional and global level through different and innovative mechanisms. The discussion about access to markets in the cultural sector requires a multi-layered approach that takes into account the trade of cultural goods as such but embraces also the free circulation of creativity in a broader sense.

In view of this complexity, there is a need for mapping the extensive European and international regulation and practice in the area: from the WTO agreement aiming at protecting some cultural markets, to the free movement of artists, to intellectual rights issues or the sheer definition of trade on cultural goods and services.

International Cooperation should play a key role to ensure that globalisation of the cultural markets does not lead to a reduction of cultural diversity bur rather becomes a key factor to enriching cultural creativity, diversity and communication worldwide.

The question about how to guarantee and expand the diversity of cultures and creativity and of the overall cultural offer at global and local levels becomes particularly relevant. The institutional and regulatory cultural setting should provide a framework fostering diversity and cultural and creativity exchange to avoid uniformity and the prevalence of a limited number of cultural expressions.

Another key aspect in the direction above is the promotion of mobility of artists, not only in terms of cross-fertilisation of the creative process, but also important element to unable access and diversification of the markets. 

The expansion of cultural markets and their openness is a fundamental factor to ensure the survival of endangered cultural forms that in turn provide a richer global identity and become a key driver for sustainable development worldwide. International Development Cooperation should play a key role in providing a level playing field in ensuring the sustainability of all forms of cultural and creativity without restriction.


1.4. Impact and opportunities of digital revolution

< Back to topics

The changes in the information age, and the related technological developments have led to a real revolution in culture. The creation, production, dissemination and consumption of cultural goods and services have undergone a major transformation. The cultural sector is now characterised by its ability to mix in ancestral and traditional forms with the incorporation of new forms of expression and tools that alter significantly the way culture is produced and consumed.

As a result, profound changes are happening about the place of culture in the world and ciri=tizens perceive their “cultural’ life. This evolution can threaten cultural forms that have difficulties in adapting to the new scenarios but we observe at the same time unimagined new opportunities brought about by the digital revolution. Specific cultures, which had little chances to going beyond their relatively narrow environment, have now a new opportunity to contribute to cultural diversity and human heritage at global level.

In order to incorporate those substantial changes into a sustainable development perspective, it is necessary to analyse in depth the systemic changes that are taking place and establish the appropriate strategies for the future.

To address these changes, it is necessary to undertake a diagnosis and mapping of the impact of the digital revolution at global level and particularly on the effects on the least developed countries in the cultural field; regulatory and legal changes needed to protect and promote cultures and their industries in these countries shall be fine-tuned.

The cultural sector is currently responding little or reacting late to the challenges of the digital revolution. There is a need for a more proactive way to protect and promote the creative industries in this very dynamic environment based on an assessment of the negative and positive impacts of digitalisation on different societies.

In remote areas the question of the adjustment of local industries to the new technological opportunities becomes a key challenge for them to continue serving their local and regional markets as a base for accessing eventually global markets. The digital revolution and its potential for culture and creativity in less central areas calls therefore for supporting and incentivising the technological adequacy processes of local cultural industries. This would also help avoiding the migration of technological talent that hampers the capacity of developing countries to fully use the new technologies potential.

This digital revolution has nowadays a major impact on cultural behaviour and identity building. Attention should be given in this framework to its potential for fully integrating the young generations in society. Indeed the development and use of the new digital tools will depend mainly on the youth who will be, at the same time, the first to receive their impact in terms of cultural perception and identity building.

Scroll to Top