11.09.04 NOTES: Tuesday@REI Forging our future with the metal of creative industries

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 11/10/2004 - 23:39.

For the past several years, one of the hottest topics in NEO economic development circles has been the value and future potential of our "creative class" - Cleveland State recently estimated Playhouse Square's contribution to the economy at $43 million per year, and CPAC finds just arts and culture creates $1.3 billion a year in econopmic activity in Cuyahoga County alone - but creative class guru Richard Florida only ranks our creative class at 30th out of the 49 largest regions in America, and all local economic development thinkers think we have lots more value to capture. REI Director Ed Morrison projects that "Creative" industries are in fact our next "Steel", and he and other creative leaders here are doing lots about forging more value in this sector of the new economy, including hosting a session at REI November 9 about harnessing more of its horsepower. Here are my notes from the session:

Interesting group of entrepreneurs and economic development folks, woven
together by common interests in IT, arts and REI/Case/UC. For the art world, attendees include NEO arts educator of the year Mary Beth Matthews, artist Steven Tater, CIA President David Deming, several CIA students who are collaborating with REI - balanced by attendees representing Case, REI, industry, and entrepreneurship.

Ed reviewed with us a great presentation he prepared for the Akron Arts Alliance, which you can view on-line here, and you can review related resources here. He therethrough points out the fastest growth economic sector in Europe <><>is Small and Mid-sized Enterprises (SME) in creative industries - those business activities are based on
individual creativity, knowledge, skills and talent - in alliance with
managers and technologists making marketable products, leveraging unique related IP 

From Economic Development perspective, non-profit vs. for profit is not what matters, but rather consider how all aspects of creative industries and people contribute to all sectors of our economy - not just the arts
but creative people's contributions to value in the community.

For perspective, Ed reviews how "perfect storm" led NEO to a downward movement on the S-curve - steel and core
manufacturing wealth opportunities have diminished for over a decade, and
populations have followed... diminished.

We don't have time to wait this out, as we're never getting back to the old
industrial ways. Regions world-wide and increasingly in USA have realized they need to work as a collaborative force.
Europeans are 4-5 years ahead of us - have well crafted regional collaborative
strategies, even spanning national borders.

Our region is 4.5 million in 22 counties - we are a big market and production force - we must move from world of
plan and control to collaborate and compete - leverage network capitalism - think,
plan, execute, evaluate, think... round and round and open sharing networks. Ed points out REALNEO is designed to enable that process.

Economic Development now happens in the civic space - no command and control system works here

Building networks and collaborations will work in the civic space – no one
can own that environment - need thick, robust, innovative networks

To move ahead we need "Brainpower", "quality connected places", "innovation
networks", and "dialogue and inclusion" - w/ effective "branding" - again, hence REALNEO

Ed showed many excellent examples of creative class networks around the world. Successful missions range from promoting creative industry to promote creative career pathways!

Branding around creative development - how this has spread around the world - again, it is worth reviewing Ed's presentation linked above ... in capsul:

What happened around creative industries - UK 1999 Blair gov mapped their
creative industry and that spread. Then New England began pushing strategy
there - Providence took a lead with RISD. Then Australia. Then New Zealand.

Then Richard Florida published the rise of the creative class - said you
need a creative place to attract a creative class - Ed challenges some aspects in that Florida marginalized roles of
creative industry - also implies there is an un-creative class, which is an
unnecessary distinction.

Our strategy should organize creative industries around effective networks -
pull together all the area universities - need sense of urgency.

He has pulled together all the major universities - they are hubs in the
creative network in NEO.

Need to not pick and choose winners in back rooms but create them in the
open - give everyone the opportunity to work together.

Arts organizations have failed to make the case for their own funding -
underscore the value of their contributions to the economy - marginalize themselve - need better package... the $ multi-billion package.

Next steps - need to look outside the box - get a group together that
recognizes the opportunity and wants to pursue common creative industry development
- brand, build online communities, get them connected and keep them connected


We talked about innovation - Parker Hannifin - Innovation Vanguard - how can
we tap into the innovative thinking and leadership at innovative enterprises in
the region - yet attending artist points out innovation is internal - perhaps
learned or born - the creative people are individual.

Ed asks how can REI help nurture and help other universities, creative

Cognitive shift to creative class culture - reframe the challenge - create
good vehicles for conversation between groups of innovators - map creative
assets -

David Deming - CIA is formally embarking on a design/technology transfer center at CIA - for
incubating advanced students in the school to take ideas to market - environment
for taking inventions to market while still students - and then take graduates
in with business school and help them become important in the economy ... 2nd
opportunity is to nurture fine artists for what they bring to our quality of
life - as artists, for their art, and as collaborators with other jobs and
co-workers in their "day jobs" which create culture changes there.

Discussion with a musician here from the Orchestra - talk of great creative
culture and achievement - what can the symphony teach all of us?

Weatherhead needs to differentiate - CIA is developing a unique creative
incubator - they need to team up.

An attendee mentions we've had films made here but never grasped opportunity
to develop that as an industry... need champions

Last year had session at PBL from around the world on what management can
learn from the design community - let's do it again featuring local creators... Next steps... further the discussions and tema building. Next opportunities:

Nov. 15, 2004 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM, Making Change: Strategic Frameworks for our Global Economy

November 17, 04,
5:30PM - 8:00PM, "Community
of Minds,"
Regional Business
& Technology Networking Event, Wednesday, George Dively Building, Case.
Be alert! Listen and exchange insights with speaker Len Steinbach, CIO
, The
Cleveland Museum of Art

November 19, 04, 11:00AM - 2:00PM, "BizArt
and REI co-host, "Creative Careers & Emerging
. A Panel
Discussion with Q&A focusing on how individuals successfully combine
artistic/creative ideas into business opportunities.

Email Ed Morrison if you have any suggestions ed [dot] morrison [at] case [dot] edu. 



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