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Roberta Comunian

The chapter starts by reviewing current trends in the research on creative industries across social sciences and humanities. It considers the importance of social sciences in stretching our understanding from individual creativity and labour to the knowledge of production system and supply chains in creative industries. It also reviews how humanities are contributing to a new understanding of the importance of memory, histories and digital self for a better understanding of where content and knowledge is developed for creative industries. However, the chapter also highlights the disconnect of academic knowledge and research and the limited understanding on interdisciplinary work and knowledge. It proposes that a complexity perspective can contribute towards a better understanding of current and future knowledge developed around creative industries. It considers how complexity might help integrate knowledge at different scales, which currently remains siloed. Specifically, connecting interactions between creative practitioners in designing products and processes (micro), interactions between creative industries within local clusters or the role of cultural infrastructure within regions (meso), and the interaction between creativity, place image and its global reach and connections (macro). These allow for bridging issues and understanding across scales but also disciplinary boundaries and space from the local to the global connections. Furthermore, it considers the value of long-term research in this field and reviews the lack of longitudinal studies, proposing the importance of more large and longitudinal research funding to be developed to enable such important work to take place.

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Roberta Comunian and Lauren England

Our understanding of clusters and their evolution and resilience has expanded in the last decades. However, little research has considered the importance of resilience and evolution with specific reference to creative clusters. The chapter aims to connect the emergent literature on resilience and evolutionary perspectives in economic geography with our current knowledge and understanding of creative clusters. Focusing on the craft sector in the UK, the concept of resilience is explored as a conceptual framework to explain and explore the shift from industrial to post-industrial economies. The focus of the chapter is on the resilience of knowledge – and the role of networks in supporting this resilience in the shift between industrial production and creative making.

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Roberta Comunian and Alessandra Faggian

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Roberta Comunian and Lauren England

The chapter explores the evolution of definitions and research developed in the last two decades on ‘creative regions’ in the UK and considers the shift from practices of regeneration and creative-placemaking to the development of creative production hubs. Following this development from a complexity perspective it argues for the importance of considering creative ecosystems, including consumption but also knowledge of human capital and creative learning opportunities in specific locations. The chapter highlights the limitations of previous research that adopts a single perspective to define this concept and outlines the value of using a creative ecology perspective and complexity thinking to take forward the research agenda on creative regions in the future.

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Roberta Comunian, Alessandra Faggian and Sarah Jewell

Over the last few decades there has been considerable research on knowledge economies. Within this broad field, research on the value of digital technologies and creative industries have attracted academics and policy makers because of the complexity of their development, supply chains and models of production. In particular, many have recognized the difficulty in capturing the role that digital technologies and innovation play within the creative industries. Digital technologies are embedded in the production and market structures of creative industries and are also partially distinct and discernible from them. They also seem to play a key role in innovation relating to access and delivery of creative content. The chapter explores the role played by digital technologies, focusing on a key aspect of their development and implementation: human capital. Using student micro data collected by the Higher Education Statistical Agency (HESA) in the United Kingdom, the authors investigate the location determinants and other characteristics of graduates who enter the creative industries, specifically comparing graduates in the creative arts and graduates from digital technology subjects. They highlight patterns of geographical specialization, but also how some contexts seem better able to integrate creativity and innovation into the workforce. The chapter deals specifically with understanding whether these skills are equally embedded across the creative industries or are concentrated in specific sub-sectors. Furthermore, it explores the role that creative graduates play in each sub-sector, their financial rewards and the geographical determinants of employment outcomes.

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Roberta Comunian, Sarah Jewell and Alessandra Faggian

Current research in regional science and economic geography has been placing increasing emphasis on the role played by the attraction and retention of graduates in shaping patterns of local economic development in Europe and internationally. Within this growing field of study, the patterns of migration of graduates has been explored in detail and its connection with personal benefits for the individual (higher salaries) and regional cumulative outcomes have been examined. Another trend, which has received some, although marginal, attention, is the increase in female participation and achievement in higher education. The scope of this chapter is to consider the interconnection between these two fields in graduate studies: gender and migration patterns. Using data from the 2006/07 cohort longitudinal DLHE survey, migration patterns of graduates are explored, with particular focus on gender dynamics. Graduates are classified according to their sequential migration behaviour first from their pre-university domicile to university, then from university to first job post-graduation, and finally their job 3.5 years after graduation. The chapter further focuses on the potential salary benefits of migration decisions and their difference across the two gender groups. It also explores how these migration patterns and the potential salary benefits of migration vary across different subject groups.