Three apparently unconnected recent ‘doings’ fused together when preparing a short provocation for a discussion on the ‘Our Borderlands – Our Future’ consultation (http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/scottish-affairs-committee/inquiries/parliament-2010/our-borderlands-our-future/). First came a meeting of planners and architects bemoaning the intractable supremacy of spatial planning over people’s needs and aspirations. Next came an overheard eulogy to ‘the dole’ as a kind of talent petrie dish for the 1980’s music business. And finally a Swedish colleague’s comments on the effectiveness of Youth Guarantee initiatives in Scandinavia – person rather than agency focused.
Creative businesses know that giving people the space and resources to create often works. Investing directly in people allows them to develop the practice and networks that produce critical mass and markets. Many succeed, but failure can be part of the process. Interventions and investment in economic development need to inspire as well as nurture and an enterprise culture that is risk averse at the outset is not going to achieve either. Are we stuck in a self-cancelling loop where our managerialist addiction to measurable impacts kills our entrepreneurship narrative stone dead?
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