In the 21st century, the UK’s economic competitiveness and social wellbeing will increasingly depend on our ability to innovate. A significant part of the innovation process revolves around ‘creativity’ – the ability to generate new ideas, or to restructure and redeploy old ones.
The UK has long been a leader in many of the more obvious ‘creative industries’: music, design, fine art, architecture and so on. Indeed, such activities can be argued to be at the heart of what the United Kingdom is about.
Champions of the arts and of economic development have recently developed an alliance: they have linked this type of creativity to the type required for global competitiveness. The question is: is this link true?
NESTA has over the past year been exploring this question in a series of research reports. This time, we have been privileged to work with an outstanding team centred on the Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in surveying and interviewing a host of fine arts graduates of the University of Arts London from the past several decades.
This report gives intriguing insights into how fine arts graduates contribute to innovation in the creative industries and beyond, and what policymakers can do to support their contribution. We plan to put these insights to good use in some of NESTA’s practical experiments over the next few years.