Before the pandemic, the creative economy was growing rapidly and generating new jobs in every region of the world, predicted to account up to 10 per cent of global GDP by 2030. The crisis has brought this exceptional growth to a standstill, exposing the fragility of a sector dominated by micro-businesses, informal work practices and few tangible assets. Lockdowns have also highlighted the importance of cultural and creative activity in maintaining individual well-being and community resilience. Our contention is not that the creative economy needs public subsidies to resume its previous growth. It does however require governments and multilateral organisations to recognise and address constraints and regulatory structures that have failed to keep pace with the rapid evolution of the sector. Another priority is to rebalance the glaring asymmetry between the growing power of transnational digital platforms and those who have created much of the content on which their prosperity rests.
The resolution of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly establishing 2021 as the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development confirmed the rising role of creative economy on the global stage.1 Yet creative economic sectors, at the crossroads of the arts, culture, business and technology, have been hit disproportionally hard by the COVID-19 crisis (OECD, 2020), in particular workers in the informal economy in cities.
Read the full proposal of how the G20 can support creative economy for recovery here.