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Data> Big Data Updated: 15 Nov 2016

The Orange Economy: creativity is a great business

If the economy surrounding creativity were a product, it would have the fifth greatest volume of business in the world. We will explore the potential of the goods and services related to creativity – the so-called Orange Economy.

The economic world is constantly changing as a result of the advances and trends in society. This means that things that were a good investment yesterday, today, are outdated and obsolete. And the opposite is also true: there are new trends and possibilities to exploit. This is the case of the so-called Orange Economy, unknown to many and overlooked by others.

The color orange has been historically tied to youth and happiness

The Orange economy, or the creative economy, was given this name in 2011. The term was coined by British writer John Howkins. It refers to everything that is developed through people’s creativity and inspiration that becomes a good or service.  It covers everything from a toy to a play, including the most scientific aspects of R+D.

Why orange?

The color orange has been historically tied to youth and happiness. Many consider it to be the color that is the most fun, often associated with culture and creativity. Furthermore, the name orange comes from the fruit and a good way to eat an orange is to squeeze its juice. Something similar occurs with the creative economy – an orange we can squeeze as many times as needed using intellect.

What does it mean now?

According to the book “La economía naranja. Oportunidad infinita” (The Orange Economy: Infinite Opportunities), written by economic expert in this field, Felipe Buitrago, if the creative economy were a product: it would have the fifth greatest volume of business in the world.  If it were a country, it would be the fourth economic power with a GDP of $4.3 billion, 2.5 times the planet’s military expenditure, and a total of 144 million workers.

There’s also its dramatic growth. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) exports of creative goods and services rose 134% from 2002 and 2011.

Infinite possibilities

Technological advances and development have brought the orange economy to a boiling point.

ICTs have made great strides in changing the way we communicate, work and even relate to each other, as we can now be connected 24 hours a day. On the other hand, the Internet is a window to the unknown world. Clicking or pressing a tactile screen on our smartphone or tablet lets us see, learn or explore any issue that interests us.

Technological advances are generating new spaces for artists or creative people to develop and innovate: mobile internet, the Internet of Things, cloud technology, energy storage, 3D printing and new materials.

That’s why Felipe Buitrago talks about the “third Industrial Revolution or digital revolution”, and therefore, the “orange revolution” in his book.

The MGI (McKinsey Global Institute) estimates that this exponential growth will have an economic impact of $8.8 trillion to $24.9 trillion over the next 12 years for the technologies listed above.

With data and figures like these, it’s easy to see that the Orange Economy is now a fruit that can produce a lot of juice.