Sweden opens up its methodical treasure chest: presentation of the handbook “Development of Cultural and Creative Industries in Practice
It’s not a secret that Sweden is among the frontrunners when it comes to supporting creative industries. In order to share their experience and knowledge, Alexanderson Institute and Generator Sverige launched the book „To Do – Development of Cultural and Creative Industries in Practice“ on February 6, 2013 in Brussels.
From the national to the local level
Creative industries support poses a challenge to all policy levels. This was reflected in the presentations in the Skåne office in Brussels where the publication was presented: Johanna Skantze from Generator Sverige gave an overview over the national perspective on the creative sector in Sweden and presented the latest numbers about the sector: 146.000 employees work in CCI; 117.000 companies generate an overall annual turnover of 34 billion EUR and thus contribute 3,3% to the Swedish gross domestic product (GDP). Not at least a growth rate of 5,5% is something other business sectors can only dream of. This development might have been an important motivation for regions and municipalities to establish Generator Sverige in 2010 as a network for the creative sector. In the future, the organization wants to work even more intensively with European partners to improve internationalization efforts of CCI companies and facilitate collaborations with other business sectors as well as the tourism and public sector.
The history of creative industries support in Sweden now dates back more than ten years. Daniel Borgman from the Halland regional development council presented the regional perspective and highlighted the need to use cultural capital for the establishment of relations with new growth markets. In his perspective the growing economic impact of the CCI indicates a substantial change in the global economy. Consequentially, the implication for the regional level is: “We need to acknowledge culture and creativity not as an isolated sector but as the backbone of a new information, knowledge and content based economy.”
Cultural and Creative Industries Support in Practice
The book „To Do – Development of Cultural and Creative Industries in Practice“ itself presents various methods for supporting creative industries in a very hands-on manner. It is structured into the main themes
- Management and strategy
- Building a network
- Physical environment
- Knowledge development
- Brand building
- Professional development
- Business development
- Methods of measurement
and provides the reader with real hand-on practices. In short: a useful tool for those who want to become supporters of creative industries, who already are and who want to improve their activities.
As a handbook is still a handbook, it obviously cannot cover all aspects of creative industries support. The authors are thinking about expanding the handbook’s scope to a European dimension. One of the pending issues that will have to be addressed in the future is definitely the internationalization aspect that especially small CCI companies struggle with.
Information about the Skåne office in Brussels
On Strategies for Creative Industries at city-regional level see e.g. Jo Foord (2008): Strategies for creative industries: an international review, Creative Industries Journal 1(2), pp. 91-113.
On international opportunities for the creative industries in the Dutch case see the final report “International opportunities for the creative industries” by Rob Aalbers, José Mulder, and Joost Poort for the Agency for International Business and Cooperation (EVD) of the Duth Ministry of Economic Affairs. (PDF)