2. The Beginning
In 1997 the UK Government convened creative thinkers, business people and policy makers to discuss debate and define a new area of the economy that they loosely described as the “creative industries”. These discussions were an effort to make links where none previously existed. They sought to redefine existing attitudes, perceptions about the roles of art, creativity, jobs and identity within society. Long before authors were defining new classes and eras, and years before international agencies were declaring the norms and rules of a new global economy the United Kingdom began a grand experiment. In 1998 the UK published the first ever national Creative Industries Mapping Document that detailed this new economy in ways only previously imagined.
Bursting from the restraining definition of culture and cultural policy the 1998 Task Force recognised a much broader phenomenon underway. It was based in the natural ability of the individual – creativity. It spread into technology and legal institutions-intellectual property. It was about entrepreneurs and business – export, workspace. And it was dynamic – requiring constant skills and training development. The first ever creative industries mapping document identified workspace, intellectual property protection, education, financing and the ability to access foreign markets as key variables of a national economic and social, open source, policy experiment.