The creative economy dilemma
Creation is the act of producing something that has not existed before. As a result, the creative economy may mean the act of doing something that has never existed in the world in terms of finances, such as a product, service or system. This definition made me realize why the phrase offends me so much. I don’t have a memory of doing something so original that no one has ever done it before. As a newspaper reporter I live by the motto, “There is no new article under the sun.” So how would you dare to create anything related to the economy? It is simply frustrating to be pushed to do something that we can’t.
Samsung Electronics would be completely offended if they were criticized for not making a creative product like the iPhone. I am repulsed by the phrase “creative economy,” and Samsung Electronics remains a “fast follower” because we as Koreans are not accustomed to the act of creating. We may not have the DNA and the environment to make things through education or experiences.
My father and grandfather’s generations worked so hard and took on bold challenges to turn the poorest country in the world into one of the world’s largest economies.
But they don’t know how to think and act creatively. They never learned to be creative. How about me in my 40s? How about our children in their teens and 20s? They are not educated much differently from how I was 30 years ago. They still use the same math and English textbooks. That means the way they study hasn’t changed much.
But while we are not good at it, a creative economy is our destiny. It may be our only form of survival. It is understandable that President Park Geun-hye chats about the creative economy whenever she can. On Jan. 27, Park went to Gwangju to tour the Center for Creative Economy and Innovation set up by Hyundai Motor to boost the spirit of the creative economy. This pep talk may have been necessary. The ceremony could have been grander. But the president needs to let businesses deal with what they should and address more fundamental issues.
Three more years are left in Park’s presidency, so she needs to make the first three-year creative economy plan. She also needs to make the second and third plans for the next administration to continue her road map. She can take a cue from President Park Chung Hee’s five five-year economic development plan.
The core of the first three-year creative economy plan should be creative education. The “creative DNA” should be embedded in the education system and its content. That would not guarantee a creative economy, but it would at least increase its possibility. It will not be easy, but it is not impossible considering the efforts and money invested in a creative economy.
Now that retro is in, I have another suggestion. Ethics and morality education, such as environmental preservation, conservation and respect for the elderly should be reinforced. Children today don’t learn about values much. Thinking about ethics and morals, I must have become an old man.
*The author is a business news writer of the JoongAng Ilbo. JoongAng Ilbo, Jan. 28, Page 30
by KIM JUN-HYUN