Creativity rests on people’s passionThe government announced yesterday detailed action plans for a “creative economy” President Park Geun-hye had earnestly pledged to achieve in her campaign. According to the script, the government plans to inject new vigor into inventive-minded people’s ideas through science and communication technology. It also plans to invest a whopping 40 trillion won ($35.8 billion) in the scheme for the next five years.
We don’t want to criticize Park’s vision for a creative economy. No one would find fault with the paradigm in which new ideas and technology are highly appreciated and anyone, even those without degrees from prestigious universities, can succeed in life. No one would raise an objection to the idea of encouraging creative-minded citizens to set up high-tech enterprises and helping small- and mid-sized companies and start-ups play a pivotal part in the symbiotic business environment.
Yet many people still raise strong suspicion on the creative economy President Park has so vigorously championed. What attracts our keen attention is that the new economy is primarily based on people’s ingenuity. In other words, it depends on whether the government can draw such passion and participation from citizens. But the road map of the creative economy is devoid of detailed information on how to draw people’s participation.
Above all, the action plan was just run of the mill. For instance, the government’s initiative to properly assess the value of creative ideas and new technology were a replica of what previous administrations have pursued. Nothing new can be found. The government pledged to address selfish sensibilities among departments and ministries, implement massive deregulation and establish a creativity-friendly atmosphere within the government. Though past administrations vowed to do the same, the government still has the upper hand to the extent that it critically damages the autonomy of the civilian sector.
The government must take a different approach toward the creative economy. Instead of borrowing ideas from past governments, it should have thoroughly analyzed reasons why earlier efforts failed to find solutions. But the government has only come up with a plan to pour a huge sum of money into the agenda - just like past governments did. That’s why most citizens still harbor suspicion about the creative economy. Flowery rhetoric alone cannot elicit citizens’ passion and participation. It needs deep soul-searching. The president and government must first change, and that’s the only key to a creative economy.