Goodbye knowledge economy? Welcome creativity economy

6 January 2010

The Knowledge Economy as we know it is being eclipsed by something new – call it the Creativity Economy. Even as policymakers and pundits wring their hands over the outsourcing of engineering, software writing, accounting, and myriad other high-tech, high-end service jobs – not to mention the move of manufacturing to Asia – U.S. companies are evolving to the next level of economic activity.

In its 1 August Special Report the international newsmagazine BusinessWeek joins the debates about the rise of the creative economy. BW argues that innovation has become crucial. (Now, where did I hear that argument before?) At closer reading it appears that BW is mostly thinking in terms of design and imagination:

micro-innovation – teaching companies how to connect with their customers’ emotions, linking research and development labs to consumer needs, recalibrating employee incentives to emphasize creativity, constructing maps showing opportunities for innovation.

In other words, BW’s Creativity Economy is an economy in which the production of symbols, stories behind the actual goods and services, and emotions are increasingly important to gain and maintain a competitive advantage. Nothing new there. It is just the story of the rise of the creative industries.

By the way, BusinessWeek online has launched a special section for creativity and innovation on its website. A lot of interesting articles and columns can be found dealing with design, architecture, brand equity and gaming.

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This text has a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) and has been copied from the Kennisland website. For a full version with images, streamers and notes go to