The complete theme for the Side Event of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development was Inclusive and Resilient Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, held online on 8 July, 2021. It was a great honour to act as the discussant of this session. Due to the limited duration, there was no time to really go deep into each speaker’s points, nor to have an extensive discussion afterward, but written here are some points worth noting during the session that was hosted by Mr. Royhan Wahab, Deputy-Director for Trade in Services and Trade Facilitation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia.
H.E. Mr. Dr. Sandiaga S. Uno, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia, in his keynote speech mentioned that we should reconfigure Creative Economy to be a recovery tool. There are two keys of approaches: (1) At Home, (2) Hygiene. At home, we are reconfiguring the way we consume (food, goods), where people prefer more and more personalised experience and convenience. The growing sector, e-commerce and digital technology that provide platforms for contents, should be explored for wider opportunities for the creative economy. Hygiene, related to health issues, would lead us to live safely amidst the virus around us. Business models around this approach should still be developed.
H.E. Ms. Angelica Mayolo, Minister of Culture, Republic of Colombia, in her keynote speech mentioned culture as an economy pillar, of which ecosystem should be strengthened. The dominating demography of youth is a potential resource for creative industry and along the issues of heritage; it is necessary to have a bill to develop measures in the creative sector. Referring to the Orange Economy, we should work on modernising the cultural sector; create, innovate, inspire.
H.E. Mr. Dr. Agung Firman Sampurna, Chairman of the Audit Board of the Republic of Indonesia, made a special remark concerning sustainability and resilience. We should see the current pandemic era as “The Great Reset” that gives us a chance to rebuild and rework our policy for recovery, inducing in tourism and creative economy sectors as among the priorities. He also mentioned the importance of audit and transparency in answering the Sustainable Development Goals challenges.
H.E. Ms. Amalia A. Widyasanti, Ph.D., Deputy for Economic Affairs, Ministry of the Indonesian National Development Planning Agency, during the panel session brought up the subject of economy transformation. The previous ministry-level institution for creative economy (BEKRAF) set three main objectives of the sector: increase of GDP, job creation, and export value. Consequently, the following support should be provided: (1) Focusing policy-making to human resource. Considering the “demographic bonus” and the widening gap of access due to the pandemic, we have to find a swift strategy to open more opportunities for youth and creative economy-related occupations; (2) Bills on the Creative Economy sector that should include the scopes of research, space/hub, incentives, and IP rights. The BBI (Bangga Buatan Indonesia) campaign should be able to become a pull factor; (3) Availability of broadband network and inclusive access to this facility; (4) Access to finance and market. She also mentioned about the leadership of Indonesia in the Creative Economy sector through the first World Conference of Creative Economy (WCCE) in 2018 and the establishment of Friends of Creative Economy (FCE). FCE and BEKRAF proposed the International Year of Creative Economy, that became the UN General Assembly resolution, aiming to mainstream creative economy as a strategy to answer the challenges of SDGs. Again, consequently, these efforts should be supported by international collaboration particularly on digital economy and legal framework.
H.E. Mr. Jagdish D. Koonjul GCSK., GOSK., Ambassador of the Republic of Mauritius to the UN, discussed how creative economy sector can be a vehicle to eradicate poverty. The keywords of this discussion include economy transformation, innovation, and thriving performing art, supported by technology. There is also a notion to conduct the tourism business with insights around sustainability and Public-Private Partnership, along with the promotion of creative industries.
H.E. Ms. Mgs. Maria Cristina Solis Gallo, Undersecretary of Territorial Competitiveness, MPCEIP of the Republic of Ecuador, mentioned that the Creative Economy is a rapidly growing sector in Ecuador, until the pandemic hit. Responding to this condition, they have been conducting: (1) Recovery Strategy, and (2) National Competitiveness Strategy; all within the context of Creative Industry that involves the main stakeholders: academia, government (ministries), and so on.
Ms. Natalia Stapran, Director of the Department for Multilateral Economic Cooperation and Special Projects, Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, discussed about inclusive creative economy in Russia, by integrating creative economy in planning and territorial development.
Mr. Ernesto O. Ramirez, Assistant Director-General for Culture UNESCO, considered the impacted cultural workers and expressed the importance to integrate culture into development schemes. This is one bold step to strengthen the dignity of cultural professionals, while also recognising the digital transformation of creative industries. He also mentioned about Indonesia leadership in promoting creative economy that lead to the declaration of 2021 as the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development. He also mentioned the MONDIACULT event in Mexico, 2022, as part of the Creative Mexico Forum in October. This 2022 congress will take place 40 years after the original MONDIACULT, a major milestone in shaping the debate on global cultural policies.
Responding to the speakers, and considering the theme of this session, “Inclusive and Resilient Creative Economy”, it is worth paying attention to the recent publication by Global Solutions Network, titled INTERSECTING. This publication collected ideas and best practices related to the efforts of recovery from the pandemic, from many corners of the world, and in many levels. Among them is seen in this page, the Solidarity Act (Aksi Bersama Bantu Sesama) from Indonesia Creative Cities Network (ICCN), a hub organisation that has connected community initiatives in more than 210 cities in Indonesia. This part shows the substantial role of community initiatives in coping with the emergency situations at the beginning of the pandemic, when the government had yet to gather adequate data in order to be able to distribute aids proportionally.
Within the context of creative economy, all ICCN programs are practiced with a framework that has become the consensus and commitment of all its members. This framework includes the 10 Principles of Creative City and Catha Ekadasa, or the 11 Ways to implement the 10 Principles; involving the Hexa Helix Stakeholders of a creative city that follow the 3 path of Connect-Collaborate-Create/Celebrate; and comply with the Creative Economy Ecosystem that comprises four main elements: human resource/creators, products (goods, services, systems), market/users, and R&D.
Most of the speakers have also mentioned important milestones regarding the Creative Economy Sector at the global level, particularly regarding the leadership of Indonesia within this subject. The timeline shows that the efforts to mainstream creative economy have been built since the first World Conference on Creative Economy (WCCE), followed by the establishment of Friends of Creative Economy (FCE) that drafted the resolution for the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development (IYCEforSD). 2021 as the IYCEforSD was declared in 2019; however, the pandemic that started in 2020 has forced changes of plans. In the mean time, ICCN became the knowledge partner of U20 in publishing a policy recommendation, titled “Inclusive Creative Economy and The Future of Work” in 2020, then joined T20 in 2021 to formulate another one in the line of “Creative Economy as an Accelerator of Sustainable Recovery”. All these are an effort to promote Creative Economy as among the sectors to be discussed during the G20 Summit in Indonesia, 2022. The pandemic has given the opportunity for creative economy to prove that it is among the most relevant sectors for recovery and to create inclusive resilience. Therefore, it is also worth noting that the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) will hold a conference in Tokyo in November 2021, with the theme “Imagining and Delivering a Robust, Inclusive, and Sustainable Recovery”; that will present cases and practices from around the world regarding similar subject of this event. We are all creating scenarios and keep experimenting on how we could move forward together; what have we learned, what would we bring with us, and what we should leave behind for a sustainable future.
Lastly, keywords such as culture and heritage have also been widely discussed at the global level. The G20 Culture Webinar, for instance, has brought up the theme of creativity for social change, and changing perspectives for cultural heritage. The human-centred development model that became a part of the U20 white paper (2020) put out an argument about how creative economy would provide inclusive occupations in the future, by the means of access to technology, the involvement of all stakeholders, and the iteration of people working in the sectors whose main characteristics fit the required skills and mindset.