Betsy Donald is an Associate Professor at Queen’s University and is well known for her work on the Creative/Food Economy. One of the challenges or problems with the label Creative Economy is it is often misunderstood or worse seen as either controversial or negative.
While I personally like and embrace the label and believe that I have a fairly good understanding of the Creative Economy, I am not keen on controversial labels that require stakeholder and public support.
In the past two meetings I have been in with Betsy she has introduced the idea of The Opportunity Economy. If I understand correctly she is suggesting that another label for the way the Creative Economy is being defined is as The Opportunity Economy. What’s not to like about that? Certainly a fantastic way to open economic development dialogue and introduce the notion of the Creative Economy.
In another meeting I had with Kevin Stolarick, the official statistician of the Creative Class, he indicated that he and Richard Florida both of the Martin Prosperity Institute distill the notion of the Creative Economy to one word – prosperity.
I am working with Kevin and a group of Provincial economic development stakeholders on defining the Creative Economy for Economic Development purposes with the main objective of getting local community stakeholders, political and senior administration buy in and support for Economic Developers and Provincial Ministry decision makers to support Creative Economy activity.
We have started with a sound bite which is “The Creative Economy is about opportunity, innovation and prosperity.” There is more to come but this is the one liner conversation starter and I think it is off to a good start.
No matter what you call it opportunity is knocking with new, innovative, creative thinking and collaboration in economic development.