Education and the Creative Economy

November 12, 2009
By

The biggest issues in today’s press review touch on what type of education will best prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s creative economy?

Dr Carol Ma Hok Ka, Assistant Director, Lingnan University in Hong Kong, one of Asia’s fastest growing active learning institutions, believes education should stress, “the importance of adaptability, creativity and life-long education” because, she says, “the world today is characterized by digitization, globalization and capitalism in this new creative economy”. Her university provides an education grounded in ethics and skills provision that are adapted to a globalized world.

Digitization, globalization and capitalism also seems to be driving a similar strategy at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles which has just received a big financial boost from toy giant Mattel. In yesterday’s post I covered their recent study that found that the region saw an increase of 1 million jobs related to the creative industries. Based on the findings of the that study Mattel, the makers of Barbie, decided to donate $1.8 million to the college to enable it to develop its art and design curriculum further.

In thanking Mattel for their donation to Otis, the college president Samuel Hoy sums up the drive for a larger role for creativity in today’s curricula. “To be competitive in the world and in this age of ideas and innovation, we must embrace creativity in our schools as well as our workplaces,” he stated.

On a related topic Sir John Rose, CEO of Rolls Royce, and Britain’s leading industrialist warns to be careful of narrow definitions of creativity when speaking of the creative economy. He says “the wrong language is still being used: for instance, drawing a false distinction between the creative industries and manufacturing. Designing a website is cool and creative while designing a jet engine is not.”

Adapting our education curricula to prepare our students for the creative economy is an important topic and should well be debated but as Sir John Rose points out there remains much work to be done on the definition of the creative economy and what disciplines feed into it. At the Idea Feed we are wondering if it is time to start talking more precisely about a “design economy?”

Articles and Links Follow

***

Q&A: It’s Time Students Learned Beyond the Classroom (ISPNews, Hong Kong)
“Yes, I do. Education nowadays is training students not only for their professional jobs; it is also about training our future leaders’ hearts and minds. As our former [University] president Edward Chen K. Y. said, the world today is characterised by digitisation, globalisation and capitalism in this new/creative economy. As such we need to readdress the importance of adaptability, creativity and life-long education, and re-emphasise the importance of ethics, civility and social responsibility among today’s youth.” Read More

***

Toy maker helps fund art and design education (Design Training.com, Los Angeles)
“To be competitive in the world and in this age of ideas and innovation, we must embrace creativity in our schools as well as our workplaces,” said college president Samuel Hoi at a press conference announcing the study. “Mattel clearly understands this important issue by responding with this generous gift.” Read More

***

Sir John Rose proves a cool engineer (Business Times Online, UK)
“Sir John also attacked attitudes towards manufacturing. “Frustratingly, the wrong language is still being used: for instance, drawing a false distinction between the creative industries and manufacturing.” Designing a website is cool and creative while designing a jet engine is not.” Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Email Newsletter

Enter your email address:

Cities and the Creative Industries

A Creative Industry Primer

The creative economy movement started in the UK in 1994. Follow the links to understand how national cultural policy became creative industry policy and how it's now changing the world.