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Creative Business Forum Participants Consider Russia’s Future as Creative Industries Leader

5 June 2021
Участники Форума Креативного Бизнеса оценили способность России стать лидером креативных индустрий

The Creative Business Forum took place for the first time at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, and the event’s success was up for consideration at the World Café Creative Industries  Breakthrough Vector’ event.

In a relaxed atmosphere conducive to discussion, representatives of the business community, government, and the creative sector gathered to discuss whether Russia was capable of occupying a leading place in the creative industries globally, and what would have to take place for such a thing to happen.

The consensus around the first question was more or less unanimous. According to the results of the electronic voting, 72% of those present believed Russia capable of claiming the status of the world creative leader either outright or with a high degree of probability. Advances in cinema, animation, and IT (including artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and cloud solutions), as well as in industrial design and classical art, especially in music and ballet, were all cited as necessary prerequisites. As strengths, Russians are endowed with the ability to think out of the box and a good education.

Chief of the Presidential Directorate for Social Projects Sergei Novikov spoke about the role of state institutions in the development of the creative industries. It is his belief that support should be carried out via special development institutions, and commercial projects that receive funding must possess clear KPIs.

Present at the meeting was Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation Valery Falkov, who said: “Higher education is changing to meet the demands of the creative industries, which are becoming an important part of the economy. Even if a person undertakes a technical specialty, serious humanitarian studies must take place, and this is possible in good universities. Because creative initiative is a sign of independence. If a university does not provide the appropriate competencies, it cannot be called a full-fledged higher education”.

For his part, Minister of Education of the Russian Federation Sergei Kravtsov stressed the necessity of fostering creativity in childhood, in school, because at that time people are especially open to new experiences.

Head of the Moscow Centre for Urban Studies Sergei Kapkov, who was initiator of the expert session among other things, drew attention to the fact that the concept of being ‘created in’ was becoming more economically important for the economy than the previously dominant concept of ‘made in’: “The market will produce where it is more profitable, but for now it is important where the product was invented”.

This statement stirred debate with the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Gulnaz Kadyrova, who oversees the state-wide development of the creative industry branch of folk arts and crafts. She believed it important that the surplus value obtained in the production of a creative product remain in the country and work for the development of specific territories where craftsmen live and work. 

The role of humans in the creative economy has become a separate topic of discussion. “We have been supporting young people who create art for many years, and recently we have also started developing creative clusters. And for me, the creative industries are people capable of creating new ideas”, Founder of the Winzavod Centre for Contemporary Art Sofia Trotsenko said.

Founder and Managing Partner of the EVERYCO Consulting Company Vladimir Soloviev moderated a brainstorming session during which session participants identified the conditions necessary for a creative breakthrough:

·       the creation of a system of state support headed by a single agency overseeing the work of other organizations;

·       the ability to quickly communicate one’s achievements (elevator pitch) and scale ideas;

·       the encouragement of creativity from birth and at all levels of a child’s education;

·       an increase in the number of women in power, since they are much more empathic;

·       the creation of a safe environment;

·       the integration of science and business;

·       the cross-functionality of teams from different industries;

·       stimulation of the export of creative products.

The following areas were named as holding promise for a breakthrough:

·       the creation of new materials with a wide range of applications - from the fashion industry to the defence industry and medicine;

·       VR technologies and artificial intelligence;

·       Gaming;

·       tourism and hospitality;

·       gastronomy stemming from the large number of multinational cuisines existing in Russia.

“Our task is to organize a dialogue by bringing together representatives of business, government, and the creative community; to create the energy from which existing creative industries grow as well those that may not exist yet”, Director of the Creative Business Forum Elena Marinina said.

As a result of the Forum, a memorandum will be developed uniting the main trends and prospects for the development of the creative industries in Russia.