The first stage of the Centre’s life (2005-10) focused on demonstrating the need to recognise the role the creative industries and their contributing disciplines make to a more dynamic and inclusive innovation system and society. In the second stage of our research agenda (2010-13), we focus on consolidating key theoretical underpinnings of our claims, securing the social, economic and cultural benefits of our applied research projects, and realising the ‘value-add’ that our multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional structure offers.
In its second stage, the Centre has reshaped an ambitious research agenda and organised around four overlapping themes:
1. Conceptual Modelling 2. Digital Innovations 3. Policy and Macro-Trends 4. Skills and Creative Capital
1. Conceptual Modelling The Centre has instigated a program of fundamental cross-disciplinary research which seeks to rethink the relations between culture and economy. This is based on a sustained dialogue between cultural and media studies and evolutionary economics , but also requires broad engagement with the ‘evolutionary turn’ in anthropology, linguistics, psychology and the natural sciences, as well as economic and cultural sociology. Such conceptual modelling has implications for policy domains such as innovation and cultural policy and for methodologies of cultural research such as mapping the exponentially-expanding blogosphere.
2. Policy and Macro-Trends
The Centre works across a number of policy domains where large-scale technological, economic and social change impacts upon Australia and internationally. These domains include innovation policy, intellectual property policy, cultural policy, and communications and media policy. The large-scale trends addressed by CCI research include the increasing importance of the creative economy in economic development calculations, and the need for law reform to unlock capability in innovation systems, and in societies in our region which are undergoing rapid economic and cultural transformation. Our policy focus also necessitates and provides opportunity for practical knowledge transfer such as advocacy and the building of software and systems to underpin specific government programs that support the creative economy.
3. Digital Innovations
Digital transformations in modes of social exchange, public communication, and economic and cultural opportunity constitute a major phenomenon of our times. The Centre focuses resolutely on mapping, analysing, assessing and, where appropriate, facilitating the uptake of digital affordances. It engages with major debates on the impact of digital communication in society and public life, builds and applies new methodologies for analysing such digital communication, participates in large-scale international mapping of Internet use and non-use, and has dedicated key resources to exploring these issues in major countries of our immediate south-east, south and east Asian region.
4. Skills and Creative Capital
Skills and Creative Capital is a theme that focuses on human capital development in the creative economy, particularly the development of creative capacities across the workforce and in society more broadly. This theme is approached from a variety of methodological, disciplinary and domain perspectives: educational psychology and education policy (attributes and dispositions that assist in crafting sustainable creative careers), action research and enterprise development (Youthworx 2.0), large-scale, internationally-benchmarked surveys (Risk and Representation), analytical work on statistical categories (Creative Employment Mapping) and engagement with major debates in the critical humanities (precarious labour in the new economy).