The Rise of the Creative Workforce

I'm always thinking about new angles that make the case for corporate support of the visual arts, and in recent conversations, the rise of the creative workforce has emerged as a compelling argument in favor of art in the workplace. It makes sense: if a company wants to build up its pipeline of creative thinkers, supporting creativity in the community is to its advantage. 

This can take the form of outright financial support for programs at nonprofit organizations that train students to think creatively (like Artists for Humanity or MassArt's Artward Bound); it might mean more corporate engagement with art and design schools; it might even mean engaging on a government/policy level to drive initiatives that foster a creative pipeline. 

Ultimately, Corporate Social Responsibility is not just about giving back; companies often have something to gain by investing in certain causes (e.g. tech and pharma's investment in STEM).  To that end, I spent some time with the World Economic Forum's 2016 report on The Future of Jobs. 


The report is an in-depth analysis of the skills needed to succeed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (which we're experiencing right now). Creativity is one of the key cognitive abilities highlighted. As a point of comparison, the report also lists the changes in skills needed from 2015 to 2020. 


This statement is particularly eye-opening:

"By one popular estimate 65% of children entering primary schools today will ultimately work in new job types and functions that currently don’t yet exist... Businesses should work closely with governments, education providers and others to imagine what a true 21st century curriculum might look like." And based on the data in this report, creativity is a skill that will continue to gain importance. 

It's in a business's interest to challenge the status quo and support the rise of the creative workforce. If you do decide to dig into the report, I would definitely take a look at the Recommendations for Action (p. 29) and the Industry Profiles (starting on p. 72).