Saturday, 12 March 2016

It really is creative people - artists, innovators, entrepreneurs - that drive growth

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We've become a little obsessed by a thing called STEM - science, technology, engineering and maths. And I think this is great is what you're planning is a technocracy - don't get me wrong scientists, engineers and tech folk are great, indeed if you want your child to get on in life never - under any circumstances - let them cop out from studying these subjects, never. But, just as you shouldn't let your child give up maths and science, you shouldn't let them drop arts subjects either.

And this is why arts matter - from some top French academic economists:

Historical accounts often assert that notable individuals matter for the growth of particular cities. This column uses a new database of 1.2 million people from 2,000 cities since 800CE to show that some types of ‘notable’ individuals have made a difference. Specifically, the presence of many entrepreneurs and artists is associated with faster long-term growth, but the association does not hold for notable military, political or religious figures

And - this is a moment of View from Cullingworth prediction - arts and creative subject will be more important to future jobs than they are at present. Robots will take over and routinise jobs we pay expensively trained technicians to do today and in doing so raise productivy giving us more time and money to spend on good stuff. And the good stuff is arts, culture and creativity - that's where the future jobs are. For sure, our technical world means those creative people will need a pretty sound understand of STEM but it's the people with this understanding as well as skills or knowledge in art, language, history, architecture and music who will be the future elite. Maybe.

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1 comment:

Jon Dennis said...

There are a couple of myths in this area that need to be challenged: firstly that all those that study the arts and humanities are creative types; secondly that those studying STEM subjects are non-creative types.

Those who study the arts and humanities do so for many and various reasons; relatively few, I suggest, because they are driven to do so by creative urges. Those who study the STEM subjects, I believe, do so for a smaller range of reasons, mostly to do with some sort of innate preference for order.

The difference between artistic creatives and STEM creatives is that the creativity of the latter tends to be informed by knowledge and structure and the creativity of the former tends to be unstructured.