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How non-creative countries can attract creative people Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by AARON NII LAMTE LAWSON, Ghana May 16, 2008
Freedom of Expression , Technology   Opinions
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It is an established fact that every state or country needs some amount of development to create change in the lives of its ordinary citizens. This development spans from economic to social, and the change does not occur in a vacuum or out of mysteries. It involves certain measures. If these measures are identified and properly put in place, they create a platform for positive change and development. These measures can also attract creative groups and develop creative centers.

The fundamental question now is, how can a non-creative country or center become a creative center or country? The following points, in my opinion, describe some of the mechanisms that can create a creative center. The ideas are inspired by the book, The Rise of the Creative Class, by Richard Florida.

Political will and leadership
Every state or country is governed by political leaders and these leaders include policy makers and opinion leaders. The decisions and policies made by this leadership have direct or indirect implications for the citizens, although the citizens have a say in the governance process. If the political leadership has not got the vision and political will to implement policies that seem to create a conducive environment and develop talents, then there will be problems in the long term. On the other hand, if the political leadership has a vision to build talents through an appropriate educational system that seems to allow creativity and individual development then in the long term a sustainable creative center can be created.

As Richard Florida rightly explains in his book, The Rise of the Creative Class under the heading Institutional Sclerosis, “ It is not that struggling cities like Pittsburgh do not want to grow or encourage high-tech industries. In most cases, their leaders are doing everything they think they can to spur innovation and high-tech growth. But most of the time, they are either unwilling or unable to do the things required to create an environment or habitat attractive to the creative class. They pay lip service to the need to attract talent, but continue to pour resources into recruiting call centers, underwriting big-box retailers, subsidizing downtown malls, and squandering precious taxpayer dollars on extravagant stadium complexes. Or they try to create facsimiles of neighborhoods or retail districts, replacing the old and authentic with the new and generic- and in doing so drive the creative class away”.

One key thing political leadership can institute to turn a non-creative center into a creative center is the establishment of bi-lateral relations with countries or cities that have made significant developments in terms of building and maintaining creative classes and have been able to utilize these human resources for economic development. This relationship or partnership will create a platform for the transfer of knowledge and skills and the sharing of experiences and technology. If this relationship is sustained, it will generate or attract a new creative class and enhance innovation, which will lead to development.

Adapting to changes
It is an established fact that a society that does not adjust to new changes becomes stagnant in terms of social and economic development. It is also important for us to recognize that we are living in a creative age, where it has become evidently clear that countries that have accepted changes and adapted to cultural diversity have made significant improvements in their economy. This view is clearly articulated in both Richard Florida's, The Rise of the Creative Class, and Alan Deutschman’s The Three Keys to Change.

Florida makes reference to the late economist Mancur Olson’s view that some cities are unable to attract the creative class because they find it difficult to accept new changes.
I share the same thought with Olson, who argued, “Some cities find it difficult and oftentimes impossible to adopt new organizational and cultural patterns, regardless of how beneficial they might be. Consequently, innovation and growth shift to new places, which can adapt to and harness these shifts for their benefit”.

In the The Three Keys to Change, Alan Deutschman also explains how relationships and repetition can bring about change in a community. In this case, a country or city can turn a non-creative center into a creative center if the people learn to relate well. Deutschman says, “You form a new, emotional relationship with a person or community that inspires and sustains hope. If you face a situation that a reasonable person would consider hopeless, you need the influence of seemingly unreasonable people to restore your hope- to make you believe that you can change and expect that you will change”.

Let me quickly say that, the above process to change needs some level of orientation for the citizens, and that initiative should start with the political leaders of a country. This is because to accept and adapt to new changes, especially behavioral changes, is quite difficult. Therefore, when citizens see a good example set by their leaders, they can support and orient themselves towards the change.

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adham tobail
Adham Tobail | Jul 2nd, 2008
I believe that creative thinking is in a stable country where attention to education and learning The opposite is when Allbuld unstable spread the ideas of aggression and underdevelopment Matter relating to the question The first is the extent to which the political leadership of his political awareness and there are many political leaders to promote political subservience and citizen satisfaction with reality and rejects any change Second on the public, and he has the political awareness opportunity for them to be changed and the creation of creative thinking and social development and intellectual Thanks to the writer Adham

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