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Joining the dots—understanding the value generation of creative networks for sustainability in local creative ecosystems

Komorowski, Marlen, Lupu, Ruxandra, Pepper, Sara and Lewis, Justin 2021. Joining the dots—understanding the value generation of creative networks for sustainability in local creative ecosystems. Sustainability 13 (22) , 12352. 10.3390/su132212352

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In recent years, the ecological shift from an economically driven model of arts and culture to that of an ecosystem in the creative industries determined the emergence of a range of new bottom-up, place-based networks herewith referred to as “creative networks”. This article explores how these networks can generate sustainability for local creative ecosystems through a value network approach. Building on the quadruple helix model to identify the actors in these networks, this study explores the relationships and value flows between the actors of 22 identified creative networks across the UK. It then maps these relationships using data gathered through a mixed methodology that includes survey data and focus group research. Our findings show that creative networks operate as central nodes of the local creative ecosystem, functioning as a ‘glue’ inside the otherwise very heterogenous creative industries. From this position, creative networks can act as catalysts for sustainability. However, the economic, cultural, and social value created by creative networks is often overshadowed by other challenges including a lack of funding and a lack of understanding from policy makers or the public.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Additional Information: This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2071-1050
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 November 2021
Date of Acceptance: 3 November 2021
Last Modified: 31 May 2022 06:25

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