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Orange is the new green (and blue)

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

Since the pandemic, the creative sector is being celebrated and elevated as never before.

By way of example, a few days ago the UK launched a bold strategy to increase jobs in the sector by one million by 2030. via skills training and entrepreneur supports for rural and under-served populations such as women and racialized people.


Our sector's capacity for innovation and creativity is being tapped to solve big problems and dream up more sustainable, equitable, inclusive and prosperous futures. In honour of this new prominence: a colourful new name! The Creative Economy we've been talking about in recent blog posts is now called the Orange Economy.


The Orange Economy is a short-hand way of talking about the potential of the creative and cultural industries, and offers a framework for how governments and communities can leverage bountiful local creative assets in support of micro and macro economic and tourism objectives.


Along with this new name come better economic data (long overdue!). The value artists, artisans and creators bring is being measured and valued like never before.

"If the Orange Economy were a country it would be the world's fourth largest economy. It would rank ninth in exports of goods and services and it would represent the world's fourth largest workforce." - from The Orange Economy, And Infinite Opportunity.

The Orange Economy complements two other colourful economies: green and blue. The Green and Blue Economies have at their heart the concept of the sustainable use of natural resource, one land-based and the other water-based (oceans, rivers and lakes).


Here are some examples of synergies with the Orange Economy.

  • Green and circular economy: The Orange Economy offers great opportunities for youth entrepreneurs, relying on human capital and digital technologies to create eco-friendly jobs based on creativity. The creative industries, such as fashion and media companies, also influence positive consumption choices as they are often operated by young people who tend to drive and support sustainability.

  • Blue economy: The development of tourism, especially coastal and eco-tourism, can incorporate several domains of the creative economy, varying from cultural services (museums, theatres, and gastronomy) to the production of tourism goods (handicrafts). Globally this orange/blue marriage is creating employment for young people, women and people from Indigenous communities.

Why the colour orange? Some suggest it is iconic in arts and culture, conveying energy, enthusiasm, and balance. Others reference the fruit and offer the metaphor the creative economy offers infinite opportunities because it can be squeezed as many times as needed using the power of our imaginations!


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