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The Importance of the Symbiosis between Academia & Policy Making in Creative Industries

This is the second of four reflections on the CIRCE x UNESCO: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development event. Xanthia Mavraki contemplates the growing discourse on the importance of the interplay between Academia and Policymaking in Creative Industries.

Published onJun 07, 2023
The Importance of the Symbiosis between Academia & Policy Making in Creative Industries

Creative Industries in the Times of Crises 

The CIRCE X UNESCO event underscored the necessity of research-informed policies that strengthen the Creative Industries, foster financial well-being among workers, and actively promote intersectional diversity within the Creative Economy. Academics play a decisive role in capturing a snapshot of the current state of the Creative Economy, aiding in the formulation and implementation of timely policies. During the event, Jennifer Lim, an esteemed actor and Artistic Director, emphasised the critical need for data-informed academic research, shedding light on the commercial success of creative productions and the audience's appetite for them. 

In the realm of Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs), the interplay between academia and policy-making holds immense significance. The inherent resilience and responsiveness of the Creative Industries during times of crisis have been widely acknowledged. These industries have become accustomed to operating in a perpetual state of crisis, developing survival mechanisms that enable them to navigate precarious circumstances effectively. Notably, the era of poly-crisis marked by Austerity, Brexit, and the pandemic necessitated the formulation of numerous policies to support creative workers and sustain the creative economy within the broader context of an economy plagued by multifarious predicaments. Remarkably, the creative workforce and sector exhibited prompt recovery after Brexit and the pandemic, displaying significantly greater growth compared to other sectors of the UK economy. 

Changes to UK economy and the creative industries sector, January 2020–September 2022

House of Lords Library. (2021, March 25). Arts and Creative Industries: The Case for a Strategy. Lords Library. Retrieved June 8, 2023, from

The ability of the Creative Economy to adapt to crises can be attributed to their perpetual state of crisis management, rendering adaptation almost second nature to the sector. Furthermore, crises have often been seen as catalysts for innovation and the emergence of novelty. In this regard, the CIRCE project, funded through the Brexit Adjustment Reserve, exemplifies an opportunity born amidst crisis, whereby Brexit, an event that caused division, paradoxically intensified the relationship between the UK government and the Creative Industries. While the Creative Industries hold a leading position within the UK economy, governmental institutions have only recently begun to accord substantial attention to their pivotal role. The current prominence lies in the establishment of proactive policies that serve as safety nets for the 4.3 million individuals constituting the creative workforce in the UK, rather than mere reactionary measures in response to crises.

 At the international level, the inclusion of the Creative Economy (CE) as a distinctive and significant component of the global economy is exemplified by the appointment of Professor Andy Pratt, as the Chair of Global Creative Economy.

Collaboration among policymakers, academia, and artists/creative workers emerged as a resounding theme throughout the event. While such collaboration appears intuitive, there exists an urgent need for dialogue between policymakers and the individuals affected by the policies. In response to these imperatives, the CIRCE project endeavours to address various questions while raising new ones. It aims to gauge the temperature of the Creative Economy in the UK amidst the poly-crisis era, examining how organisations, policymakers, and creative workers have responded to these challenges. Moreover, the project seeks collaboration with Research Labs across Europe, fostering a comprehensive understanding of the Creative Economy transcending national borders and identifying internationally implementable best practices. By fostering collaboration between academia, policymakers, and creative workers, the CIRCE project serves as a bridge between research and policy implementation, ensuring evidence-based decision-making to support the creative sector. 


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