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Creativity is a powerful catch phrase. In Western societies it epitomises success, the modern, trends for novelty and excitement. Whether linked to individuals, enterprises, cities or regions creativity establishes immediate empathy, and conveys an image of dynamism. Creativity is a positive word in a society constantly aspiring to innovation and “progress”.

Culture is the general expression of humanity, the expression of its creativity. Culture is linked to meaning, knowledge, talents, industries, civilisation and values. The objective of the study is to have a better understanding of the influence of culture on creativity, a motor of economic and social innovation. Does music, visual art, cinema and poetry for instance contribute to creativity as a way to stimulate job creation, economic prosperity, learning and social cohesion? What is the impact of artistic creation on innovation? Why do companies want to be associated with culture and art? What is the social function of artistic and cultural creativity?

The report develops the concept of culture-based creativity, stemming from art and cultural productions or activities which nurture innovation, and going beyond artistic achievements or “creative content” feeding broadband networks, computers and consumer electronic equipments.

This culture-based creativity is linked to the ability of people, notably artists, to think imaginatively or metaphorically, to challenge the conventional, and to call on the symbolic and affective to communicate. Culture-based creativity has the capacity to break conventions, the usual way of thinking, to allow the development of a new vision, an idea or a product. The nature of culture-based creativity is closely linked to the nature of artistic contribution as expressed in art or cultural productions. The spontaneous, intuitive, singular and human nature of cultural creation enriches society.

To emerge culture-based creativity requires:

- personal abilities (ability to think laterally or in a non-linear way, to be imaginative),

- technical skills (often artistic skills or craftsmanship),

- a social environment (a social context through notably education and learning that encourages, and appreciates creativity as well as an economy that invest in culture and culture-based creativity).

The study reveals the contribution of “culture-based creativity” to innovation.

It illustrates the impact of culture in the development of new products, services and processes, driving technological innovation, stimulating research, optimising human resources, branding and communicating values, inspiring people to learn and building communities. The report calls for policies on innovation to recognise the cross-sectoral and multi-disciplinary aspect of creativity which mixes element of “culture-based creativity”, “economic” as well as “technological innovation”.


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