Creative Industries,
between creativity and commerce

Cultural and Creative Industries

The term cultural industries refers to industries which combine the creation, production and commercialization of creative contents which are intangible and cultural in nature. The contents are typically protected by copyright and they can take the form of a good or a service. Cultural industries generally include printing, publishing and multimedia, audiovisual, phonographic and cinematographic productions as well as crafts and design.

The term creative industries encompasses a broader range of activities which include the cultural industries plus all cultural or artistic production, whether live or produced as an individual unit. The creative industries are those in which the product or service contains a substantial element of artistic or creative endeavour and include activities such as architecture and advertising.


UNESCO and Creative Industries

UNESCO | Creative Industries: read more

UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN)

UNESCO | Creative Cities Network:

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The 180 cities which currently make up this network work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.

The UCCN is one of UNESCO’s key partners in implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.



UNESCO designates 66 new Creative Cities

This 30 October 2019, 66 cities have been designated as UNESCO Creative Cities by the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay. As laboratories of ideas and innovative practices, the UNESCO Creative Cities bring a tangible contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through innovative thinking and action. Through their commitment, cities are championing sustainable development actions that directly benefit communities at urban level.

FOCUS ON SDG 11 — Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

  • Develop hubs of creativity and innovation and broaden opportunities for creators and professionals in the cultural sector
  • Strengthen international cooperation between cities that have recognized creativity as a strategic factor of their sustainable development
  • Improve access to and participation in cultural life, notably for marginalized or vulnerable groups and individuals
  • Stimulate and enhance initiatives led by member cities to make creativity an essential component of urban development
  • Fully integrate culture and creativity into local development strategies and plans
  • Strengthen the creation, production, distribution and dissemination of cultural activities, goods and services


Cultural Times – The First Global Map of Cultural and Creative Industries

Dec 2015 – Published by CISAC, the Cultural and Creative Industries study for the first time quantifies the global economic and social contribution of this sector.

The world has a shared history and a rich, diverse cultural heritage. This heritage is cherished globally as an asset that belongs to us all, yet gives our societies their identity and binds them together, nurturing a rich cultural and creative present and future. That is why stakeholders of the creative and cultural world must do everything in their power to preserve this heritage and the diversity of actual cultural content, amid a political and economic climate that is subject to major upheavals.
The idea behind this report is that the economic weight of cultural and creative industries (CCI) in mature and emerging economies is partially described, misunderstood and undervalued. This is why the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC — the body representing authors’ societies worldwide) — decided to commission a global study of the economic and social impact of CCI, focusing especially upon revenues and employment.

Download PDF:
Cultural Times – The First Global Map of Cultural and Creative Industries

Cultural Times – the First Global Map of Cultural and Creative Industries


ECIA experts set agenda for future of creative industries

27 Nov 2014 – Experts from 12 European countries have joined forces to strengthen the future of the creative industries. Today they present a 10 step action plan to enable cross-sectoral collaboration and access to finance. The European Creative Industries Alliance (ECIA) is the platform on which these experts in the field of creative industries collaborate to set an agenda for innovation and growth. According to the experts, the creative industries also need to measure and raise awareness of their value as key driver of innovation and growth.



Enabling Crossovers – Good Practices in the Creative Industries

This compilation of 36 good practices in the creative industries across Asia and Europe showcase examples of policy and practice that may serve as inspiration for networking, collaboration and policy making. The mapping covers the four areas being addressed at the 6th Culture Ministers’ Meeting of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), namely creative skills, creative entrepreneurs, creative cities: sustainability, and creative cities: quality of life.

ASEF Publication Enabling Crossovers


UN Creative Economy Report

Read the first ever comprehensive study about the creative economy contributed by UNCTAD, UNDP, UNESCO, WIPO and the International Trade Centre (ITC), in a joint endeavour to enhance policy coherence and international action in this area.

Third UNESCO World Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries 2014
© UNESCO / Emiliano Cribari