Shifting to a Creative Economy

Over the last twenty-five years, there have been a number of overlapping descriptors of the economic systems in which businesses live. Regional and global economies have moved through the Industrial, Informational and Knowledge Economies to the Network, and now into the Creative Economy. All of these shifts have been rapid and each has incorporated and built upon – but certainly not eliminated – the previous ones.

So begins a Shift Paper that Tomorrow Makers published earlier this year in preparation for our workshops at Davos and which has drawn considerable interest and engagement since. Though we published it as a pdf, we realize it becomes much more useful as a living document, with which to engage our collective thinking...

This shift paper is written not as a wrong way/right way to think about and do business, but rather as a way to have a dialog about our assumptions and ways of working in order to increase our fitness for the kinds of situations, decisions and responsibilities that a Creative Economy imposes on us.

In this spirit, we thought it would be fun to list the "emerging patterns" of organization we identified in the shift paper, using them as a source from which to link to ideas, conversations, illustrations and other examples of these patterns in the world around us. Some of these may be familar to you, but hopefully we've uncovered a few new discoveries, as well.

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