Ebook Shaping Local Business Communities coverThe Warsaw partners in the Cross Innovation project released an e-book titled ‘Shaping Local Business Communities – The International  Conference “Entrepreneurial Cities” Proceedings’, focusing on the local dimension of entrepreneurship and portraying the results of the Entrepreneurial Cities conference that was held in Warsaw in July 2014. Below you can read part of the text, written by Cross Innovation partner Miroslaw Grochowski. Download the full e-book for more texts on this subject by different authors.

Creativity, innovations and the new economy

Knowledge and creativity are essential for the generation of innovations, which are the driving force of modern economies. The creative milieu provides an environment for interactions among different actors, which contribute to the generation of innovations. The terms creativity and innovation are frequently used interchangeably. Sometimes the creative sector is perceived as the one in which (or in whose surroundings) innovations come to life or become development impulses for this sector, leading to the creation of new products and services. The definition of innovation introduced by the European Commission states that innovation is the implementation of new developments into economic practice: new or significantly improved solutions in respect of a product (goods or services), a process, marketing or an organization.

An innovative solution may be the result of the research and development activities of the entrepreneur, and collaboration with other  entrepreneurs and institutions, or it may be the result of purchasing knowledge in material or non-material form (European Commission 2010). Patented solutions should also be recognized as innovative. This definition clearly suggests that the distinction between creativity and innovation is necessary, and that creativity is a softer category.

However, creativity and innovations must go together to make the processes of restructuring economies effective. Culture-based creativity is
a condition that must be met to generate and introduce innovations in the sphere of the economy. Culture is a medium that has an impact on economic performance through generating internal and external demand. In development management culture serves as a tool for transmitting values and reaching a balance between tradition and innovation. Culture is also a tool enabling intercultural and inter-generation dialogue. Thus, culture has a direct impact on social cohesion and the creation of social capital, as it helps to integrate various social groups, mobilize them to act for the general good, and incorporate them into public life. From the perspective of mobilizing endogenous resources, culture is also very important. It strengthens territorial identity and the sense of membership in a community. Access to cultural facilities influences the shaping of civic conscience and the competencies necessary to participate in public life.

Thus, culture-based creativity is the cornerstone of the new economy. A contemporarily successful business depends on the ability to generate, ac-cess and utilize knowledge, innovations and technologies (Kourtit et al. 2011, Kourtit, Nijkamp 2012). A proactive and creative attitude of firms to the changing business environment make them more economically viable, because they are prepared to serve the increasingly individualistic lifestyles (Scott 2006). Firms must meet new challenges and generate potential to unlock and serve new markets with high levels of macroeconomic uncertainty and a dynamic social and economic environment. This emerging “new economy”, which is related directly to the development of the creative sector, is characterized not only by new types of industry, but also by the fact that these emerging industries can make a significantly higher contribution to growth and innovation within a broader knowledge-based society (Kourtit et al. 2011).

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Below the full e-book is available:

Shaping Local Business Communities (pdf)