The report says the creative sector’s future will rely on governments “embracing different unique cultures and empowering individual stakeholders”. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Global governments seeking to revive creative industries post-COVID must embrace unique cultures and empower individual stakeholders to maximise growth. This is revealed in a new report released by the UAE’s World Government Summit Organisation (WGS).

The five-stage roadmap, produced in partnership with leading consultancy KPMG, recommends several ways for officials to support the revitalisation of the sector. Many of its activities were “disproportionately affected by lockdowns” despite their positive impact on society.

The ‘Future of Societies: Reviving the post-pandemic creative and cultural industries’ report indicated that “the return of the cultural sector to growth is not related to cryptocurrencies, key infrastructure, or investment plans. It includes listening to, reflecting upon and addressing common issues”.

Communication is the key

The paper said: “With cultural venues still closed in many countries, the increase of the number of people who are able to attend cultural events, the creation of related job opportunities and the enhancement of the welfare of stakeholders in the sector will require innovative ways based on stakeholder needs.

“Although these methods may not necessarily align with government spending priorities, maintaining open communication between government investment entities and cultural sector components will have a greater impact in the long term”. This highlights the pressing need for government entities to communicate with key sector leaders.

Mohamed Yousef Al Sharhan, Deputy Director of the WGS, said creative and cultural industries carry great opportunities for governments around the world. This could leverage it into becoming a vital sector for the future through enhancing public participation.

He added that over the past few years, the WGS succeeded in promoting its global status as a whole-of-government knowledge center. The WGS, offers its data and reports to governments around the world to enable them to develop its current work model, and enhance its readiness towards future challenges.

For his part, Mazen Houalla, Head of Portfolio, Program and Project Management, KPMG Lower Gulf, said: “The future of creative industries lies in governments embracing their differences and unique cultures and empowering their individual stakeholders. As the global economy experiences a widespread sense of uncertainty, sectors such as the cultural industries will continue to need governments’ support and innovative approaches.”

He added; “Working closely with the WGS, we have concluded from this report that the cultural sector’s return to growth is not about cryptocurrency, flagship infrastructure or investment schemes. It is about listening to, reflecting upon and tackling shared issues across the industry. If governments want to push through significant change that will accelerate the growth of the sector, they should do it soon.”

Cultural policy

The report said that the sector’s future will rely on governments “embracing different unique cultures and empowering individual stakeholders”. International platforms such as WGS can make a vital contribution in helping policymakers to discuss decisions and policy agendas. It called for judging success by levels of engagement and opportunities instead of traditional outcomes such as economic indicators.

The report also points out that “finding ways to engage the sector at the individual level is a path to long-term economic and societal security”. It stresses that “basic individual needs such as financial security must be recognized due to the limited safety net that accompanies self-employment”.

The paper also encouraged governments to “engage components and stakeholders in strategy development, decision making, and creating more opportunities for self-employed individuals, while stressing the importance of clarity and creating offerings that no one else has.”

It highlighted several solutions that governments can provide to support the entertainment sector and culture-related industries, such as direct financing, building infrastructure, providing financing and non-financing incentives, removing legal obstacles, and building networks and relationships with the private sector.

The WGS, in partnership with major global institutions, will release studies in areas including economic diversification, knowledge economy, health, education, technology, leadership and sustainable development and environment and climate change challenges.