An ecosystem is an interconnected system, that’s the world and its challenges we are living in. The impact sector seeks to address some of these challenges and need to have a more cross-disciplinary approach to innovations, developing tools and leveraging impact.
Why an ecosystem approach?
Some of our projects here have demonstrated that ecosystem approach is a powerful tool to optimise resources and scale impact.
Our section of Indian creative economy elaborates the huge potential in the cultural sector and creative industry that has immense potential to foster sustainable businesses, skills and livelihoods.
The cultural sector in India is vast, complex and diverse, layered on top with mainstream culture & arts visible to public but underneath lies indigenous, inaccessible and “invisible” cultural sector with diverse arts existing across local communities and regions within India. This section of the Indian cultural sector is threatened to vanish or suffer with the technology wave if digitisation of the sector does not happen systemically. We need to introduce digital skills and bring capacity support to such disadvantaged cultural organisations or institutions that don’t have the urban or global access, exposure and marketing skills. We have found during our research that many cultural professionals and organisations in Indian metro cities and smaller cities have unanimously highlighted the lack of training, access or exposure to digital skills, marketing, business and audience development. The shortage of such skills lead to cultural sector being perceived as less professional which becomes challenging for organisations to fund raise, marketing to newer audiences, attract young talent or professionals to work in the sector. Lack of quality digital and marketing skills among cultural professionals also lead to an impediment for the sector to increase and broaden the audience to participate or engage, to involve the larger public to appreciate and support arts.
With technology impacting the society and the economy globally, the 21st century challenges and opportunities for cultural sectors across countries will go through dramatic changes too and the Indian cultural ecosystem is not aware and consequently unprepared. Digital skills and marketing of culture and arts in a mobile, internet and digital economy is not a luxury but a necessity for professionals, organisations and institutions for cultural sustainability.
Digital marketing training is not offered in design or arts institutions across India and cultural or creative professionals don’t have access or opportunities to be equipped with such skills formally. Also the existing digital marketing courses commercially offered are not contextualised to the cultural sector or creative industry which makes it harder for the cultural sector to upgrade skills with technology.
The creative industry in India is largely unrecognized yet it has grown steadily along with other global creative industries. The areas of entrepreneurship, skills training and marketing tools for this sector can accelerate impact and will require a system based approach.
Young creative professionals in India that have formally studied design or creative industry subjects, or have informally joined the sector still lack digital, marketing and entrepreneurship skills. There are few formal training opportunities or capacity support for creative entrepreneurs to develop businesses and grow at scale unlike the IT or technology sector. The government and education institutions focus on equipping students with technical and creative skills but do not support them with market/ business development, digital and marketing skills which are critical skills for 21st century creative industry opportunities in India and a competitive global market.
There are few or no training programs in digital, entrepreneurship and marketing that are contextualized or customized for specific creative industry. This also leads to lack of exposure, awareness and widening of skills gap within the industry.
The creative industry needs to currently shorten the skills gap by providing digital training courses/ workshops and creative entrepreneurship programs.