Part of our activities for a creative momentum project includes better understanding creative industries in our partner regions across Europe’s northern edge. Late last year, we published insights on the role of ‘creative capital’ in peripheral regional development in the Arctic Yearbook 2017.
What is creative capital?
We understand creative capital as a resource underpinned by human creativity which drives individual skills and capabilities. It is impacted by other capital forms, such as social capital, or networks and trust between people. It can be harnessed towards different end goals, from pure artistic creation to commercial content development.
What does it bring to Nordic regions?
Based on analysis of interviews with creative professionals in Mid-Sweden and Northern Finland we identified a number of benefits creative capital brings to Nordic regions.
Creative capital is a resource supporting regional development in peripheral Nordic regions that leads to job creation. People who want to live and work in these regions can capitalise on it to build a business.
Re-imagining the periphery
The characteristics of Nordic regions can become a resource for professionals with creative capital. Local landscape, built environment, nature, heritage and tradition are harnessed in a variety of ways. They can be a source of inspiration. Place attributes can also more specifically inspire new products and creative content. For example in Lapland snow has a strong influence.
More balanced development
Creative capital can support more balanced development and have wider positive socio-economic impacts in Nordic regions. We found evidence of creative professionals collaborating with non-profit organisations and working with social development projects. They also spend time working to improve the wider entrepreneurial environment in their region, such as being part of local interest groups and staying connected to influencers, such as local authorities. Creatives producing physical products also displayed a strong emphasis towards sustainability working to use ecological and natural materials.
We still need to develop better understanding of how creative capital contributes to regional development. But our work finds encouraging, positive impacts.