How Big? That Big!

December 8th, 2018 | Posted by admin in creative industries | cultural policy | Europe | news - (Comments Off on How Big? That Big!)

A few surprises and some good sense in a new report on growing the cultural and creative industries. The picture it paints is recognisable:
“The majority of enterprises in the creative industries are micro businesses (95%) – businesses that employ fewer than 10 people.”
“With an average number of 3.3 employees, many creative enterprises consist of a core team with freelancers contracted to provide specific skills, services, and products where needed.”
“Creative enterprises were most likely to attribute their turnover growth to:
* Focusing on brand and profile (44%)
* Building a larger client/customer base (44%)”.

The report directly addresses Brexit, recommending a review of how European Structural Funds have benefited the sector so that its domestic replacement is properly scoped. The recommendation for continued involvement in EU sectoral programmes (Creative Europe, Erasmus+, H2020) will also need a significant financial commitment for UK organisations to ‘pay their way’. Hopefully the delivery will be through the devolved Parliaments who have the policy frameworks and delivery mechanisms, but the money comes from the money returned to UK Government by the EU.

Tackling the UK’s infamous centralist politics and institutions will also be important. EU funding played a key role in tackling sectoral London-centrism and the hoarding of investment in the South East of England, so many of us will be hoping to see some commitment to maintaining this decentralising approach.

The report’s recommendations about creative subjects in education is welcome given the dire impact of their elimination in the curriculum, particularly acute in England. This will also address the increasing concern over middle class domination of parts fo the sector. I would also have liked to see some reference to libraries, access to knowledge exchange and non-formal education, both as part of the sector, and as contributing to growth and opportunity.

What surprised me were the survey results concerning growth:
“-81% of creative enterprises aim to grow, according to their own measures of growth, over the next three years. -19% of creative enterprises do not intend to grow further.
Previous Drew Wylie research in this terrain has found quite a prevalent ambivalence about growth in many creative micro-businesses and SMEs. The operators were nervous about taking on business responsibilities when their raison d’être was creative production. This difference in finding is partially because ‘the Fed’ have usefully come up with a more sophisticated take on what constitutes growth. But may also reflect increasing ambition. The report can be found here: https://www.creativeindustriesfederation.com/…/Creative%20I…

internasjonal magazyn centro

July 26th, 2016 | Posted by admin in creative industries - (Comments Off on internasjonal magazyn centro)
IMG_7392The PPA, via PPA Scotland, has commissioned Drew Wylie to conduct a feasibility study into the demand for an International Magazine Centre in Edinburgh. The Centre is intended to be a unique creative hub that will connect Scotland’s magazine publishers with the rest of the world, attract international publishers to Scotland, showcase the industry and support innovation and collaboration.
The purpose of this survey is to gauge demand from magazine publishers and creative organisations with affiliations to publishing. This includes, but is not limited to, the magazine publishing, photography, advertising, illustration, journalism, design, marketing, events and literature industries DO THE SURVEY

apples, pears, arms & legs

June 10th, 2016 | Posted by admin in creative industries | cultural policy | evaluation - (Comments Off on apples, pears, arms & legs)

IMG_8231Anyone doing research will tell you that, sometimes, reports ‘grow arms and legs’.  This unforeseen scoping up can be difficult to deal with, but can also be very worthwhile.  This was the case with the new Drew Wylie report on film exhibition in Scotland, published today.  The degree of cooperation and support from all of Scotland’s film organisations meant that it was possible to combine the knowledge of each constituent part and assemble a combined database of exhibitors.  This provided a platform for a major survey of all types of exhibitor, from a rural film society, to a mobile operator, to independents, to multi-screens.  The data that came back was extremely rich, but also complex as each sub-sector has a very different approach to how they record their activity.  This resulted in an extensive round of work with our commissioner, Creative Scotland, as we disassembled the various ‘apples and pears’ of data.  We think that the results present a holistic picture of a complicated sector that will support joined up investment and development for some time to come.

The Press release  – http://www.creativescotland.com/what-we-do/latest-news/archive/2016/06/report-published-on-public-film-screening-facilities-across-scotland

Direct link to report – http://www.creativescotland.com/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/35191/Film-Exhibition-in-Scotland-June-2016.pdf


May 23rd, 2015 | Posted by admin in arts & science | creative industries - (Comments Off on imagivation)

IMG_3981My cinematic hero is WALL-E and his devotion to EVA is an inspiration.  They combine to emancipate us from lives mediated through screen banality, and motivate us to tackle an abandoned and destroyed environment.  They could be avatars for Prof. Helga Nowotny’s two types of innovation, the prevalent one of recombination and re-use, and the rarer type, of origination and invention.  The former, like the apple watch, is more easily exploited than the latter, like the work of the quantum device lab.  Nowotny suggests that innovation can be seen as clusters of invention, and while business are continually ‘trading off’ the two forms  of innovation, combinational innovation without origination quickly runs out of steam.  You can’t re-combine candlelight to create electric light.

Her call is for a theory of innovation to temper the positivist rhetoric that tells us that innovation is always good and always progressive, despite lifetimes of evidence to the contrary.  She tells the story of another robot, programmed to ask ethical questions, who on asking a young pupil “what words of comfort do you have for people in the future” received the reply “‘we didn’t have any idea what we were doing and what the consequences would be”.  This resonates strongly with our current concerns over biological innovation.

An innovation theory must reintroduce us to the importance of social and economic innovation to frame technological innovation. It must also address the point that while innovation takes place in the present it is ‘strongly entangled with our imagination of the future’.  Art is both rooted in, and plays with our imaginations, and has philosophical and ethical aspects that can help us with the unexpected dimensions of innovation. But our definitions of design as innovation and art as invention are far too simplistic and won’t help us to pursue the artist / instrumentalist opportunity emerging in project calls across Europe. Artists can also help us understand innovation consequences in our imaginings of the future.

Listen to Prof. Nowotny’s Gifford lecture at http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/humanities-soc-sci/news-events/lectures/gifford-lectures/helga-nowotny

Burns unit

October 23rd, 2014 | Posted by admin in creative industries | cultural policy | news - (Comments Off on Burns unit)

IMG_2371Drew Wylie is working with Nordicity on a review of the Scottish Literature Sector for Creative Scotland to provide an overview of contemporary literature and publishing in Scotland, identify areas of strength and gaps in provision, & make recommendations for Creative Scotland’s strategic approach to literature, languages and publishing. The scope of the project includes qualitative and quantitative research involving individual writers and practitioners across multiple forms, literary professionals, literature organisations (including Scotland’s book festivals, which currently number more than forty), development workers, agents, booksellers, and publishers. Areas of enquiry also include young people & literature, the market for Scottish books, the impact of digital change on literature and publishing in Scotland, and Scottish writing internationally.

If you are involved with, or interested in literature in Scotland please take the time to complete the attached survey: