When I look back on five years of connecting urban & rural Business, Art & Technology in a monthly column called The Boston & Maine Connection, I clearly see both the power of tight communities and the vibrancy of large cities. As my connections have expanded globally so too has my sense of how to utilize technology for the good of community. Rapid technological changes have impacted both our sense of what makes up a community as well as how we approach communication and commerce. Today, certain aspects of small town living apply across the web. People in small towns have always known that your personal history follows you forever. The locals never forget who you were and what you did and now – neither does Facebook nor Google.
The opportunity for global cooperation and competition has never been greater. As the Gregorian calendar turned the page to 2018, I took note that Gujarat India had already celebrated Diwali and it’s new year and Brisbane Australia & Dublin Ireland leapt into 2018 fifteen and five hours respectively ahead of the USA. Whether you think of the world as competitive or your opportunity as collaborative, know that Australia is ranked as #1 for what I see as the most pivotal of all groups – the Creatives. The rising Creative Class is an area for intense but oftentimes overlooked opportunities.
The Creative Class includes the digital native who is comfortable around technology as a skillset as well as others who have learned to merge art and creative skills into the technology marketplace. Quite frankly, not many tech people can grasp the intangibles and boundary-free thinking that true Creatives have and in today’s fast paced world, Creatives are more important than ever.
Richard Florida wrote a book in 2002 positing the rise of this socio-economic class in a post-urbanized age. The battle for world class cities vs. the rest of the population will continue to play out on the ground as well as in the cloud. You may have heard of the “gig economy.” Well, it will be the Creatives who become the glue binding together our humanity and the machine world.
Here’s a quote from Steven Jobs in his introduction of the iPad2 in 2011:
“Technology alone is not enough—
it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.”
Business cries out for new markets and new customers and laments the difficulty of being heard in a digital world full of noise. With our “swipe left or swipe right” attention spans – it will be the visual and the creative that catches and holds our attention.
As brands seek to dominate and capture new clients and as technology moves people into a sales funnel and as artificial intelligence tends to predict your choices, the opportunity to succeed may very well come down to the human element of – that which catches your attention, – wins!
Australian writer and brand strategist Jess Thoms defined Creative Tech as the combination of Technology with Art and Design to create better experiences, products and brands. She goes on to say “Working in creative tech doesn’t mean you need to learn how to code, or suddenly become a robotics engineer. It’s about the application of your creative skills and ideas to a technical platform so it performs better. Technology is made for humans, after all. So who better than storytellers, artists, poets, and psychologists to make this technology more personable?”
Perhaps the name Mark Cuban is more familiar? Jess quotes him as saying liberal arts degrees are the future. And indeed, I agree. I have long been an advocate of liberal arts education in a science driven world. Our humanity depends on it!
If you are a Creative, you need to find your way onto tech teams – those AI and robotics people need you to insure the inevitable future will function better. Humanities shape language, psychology colors empathy, and trust comes from repetition, consistently, of the best experiences. Starving artists are a thing of the past. The future belongs to those who can bring understanding to the rest of us and you will be paid handsomely for doing so. #BAT2018