‘Creative Philippines” was the battle cry used at a highly interactive roundtable organized by Arangkada Philippines last week to discuss “policy changes, initiatives and recommendations” to get “Creative Industries” into the position they deserve. And we were not talking about the position in this country only, we had clear ideas what role Creative Philippines should play in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and beyond.
The excited and exciting participants came from all major creative sectors, with main focus on:
Advertising, digital marketing and graphic design;
Animation and film;
Architecture and interior and product design;
Fashion and lifestyle;
Software and game development; and
Visual and performing arts.
It was well understood that the Creative Economy of the world today goes beyond the subsectors mentioned above; it recognizes the role of creativity throughout the economy. It includes policies that nurture Creative Clusters and encourages cities and communities to embrace creativity to attract creative people to live and work together.
It became obvious that the creative Filipino makes the difference, from performing on Broadway to creating animations for studios in Hollywood and Central Europe; from designers in many parts of the world to more than 1 million creative Filipinos working as freelancers from Batanes to Tawi Tawi.
It is unfortunate that the contribution of creative industries to the Philippine economy remains unmeasured. But the participants decided not to look back but move forward and create a public-private dialogue / partnership in making use of the battle cry Creative Philippines and look at incentives for the sector and create the financial, educational and technology infrastructure and support to develop the creative industries as an obligation by government and the private sector. It was clearly understood that investors in this sector have to be targeted and invited from around the world, while the locally created intellectual property needs to be exported (after the intellectual-property rights have been secured).
The participants from government and the private sector also discussed the “7Ps for a successful Creative Economy,” developed by Tom Fleming, Creative Consultancy/British Council:
PERCEPTION—elevate Creativity as a National Priority. Build, for example, Creative Philippines as a brand to market the Philippine creativity internationally.
PEOPLE—recognize, value and protect Filipino Creative Workers domestically and internationally. Providing grassroots creative education and training is a must.
PESOS—build business and government confidence behind investing in Philippine creative industries and creative enablers, for instance creative hubs, etc. Demonstrate how creative industries can have higher long-term growth potential than other industries.
PLACE—the Philippines has to build creative places that attract a wide cross-section of creative people; such creative cities, clusters, communities or hubs are necessary to ignite a virtuous circle of continuous innovation and creativity.
PIPES—strengthen fundamental “hardware” and “software” needed for creativity to thrive; access to high-speed Internet in all key cities—and beyond—are needed; investments in creative cultural incubation spaces are needed too.
PROPERTY—develop a robust roadmap to grow and protect the “Intellectual Properties Treasury” of the country in innovation (patents) and content (copyrights and trademarks).
PICTURE—develop a consistent data framework and feed to measure and analyze the country’s creative economy progress.
There is no doubt in my mind, that the roundtable set the stage to make Creative Philippines happen.
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