The B. E. P. C. I. Programme: A Black Eyed Pea’s (Support for) Creativity and Innovation
Creative Hubs are the next big thing emerging in our economy. These Hubs are the hotbed for the synergy between creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship; and given the innate creativity of the Filipinos, could be the framework for maintaining effective socio-economic impact for our future. Creative Hubs are organisations that provide space and support for product and professional development, for networking, for business sustainability and community engagement within the creative and cultural sectors. Examples are design studios, co-working spaces, fablabs, art collectives, and makerspaces. Globally, the creative economy already makes up 3% of the world’s GDP, and employs 29.5 million people (CISAC 2015).
In the Philippines, $12.5 billion or 7.34% of the Philippines’ GDP is derived from copyright-based industries such as design and visual arts, literature, music, theatre, film, the media, photography, software development, and advertising sectors—and employs some 6 million Filipinos. The fastest growing sector in our economy, it’s criminal that we are not doing more to nurture these Hubs, and encourage and aid the entrepreneurs who venture into these industries.
Recognizing the potential, and forecasting how it could play a major role in our future economy, the DTI through the Design Centre of the Philippines, the Philippine Trade and Training Center, and the British Council, have partnered with Apl.de.Ap Foundation and Thames International to come up with a Creative Innovators Programme. What the Programme aims to do is help build the next generation of creative community leaders via a one-year Fellowship for creative hub managers. This includes mentorships, management trainings, grants, and networking opportunities in the Philippines, ASEAN, and the UK. The selected Fellows, through their hubs, will support and help build their respective creative industries and communities.
At the Creative Innovators Programme Media event
Joel Santos of Thames International, Apl.de.Ap, and Rhea Matute of Design Centre of the Philippines
Nicholas Thomas of the British Council, Rhea Matute of Design Center and Malaya del Rosario of the British Council
Apl.de.Ap was present during the British Council’s Press event, and recounted how he was himself a member of this community of creatives, “The Filipinos are naturally creative and super innovative... We have many Filipinos succeeding globally like Monique Lhullier in fashion, IIIMind in music, producing Hamilton, and 3-Time Tony awardee theatre producer Jhett Tolentino... and we have many more Filipinos in music, tech game development, and design. Now is the time to make it all happen.”
In fact, it was mentioned that BPO’s and call centres may already have crested, what with AI fast developing, so now truly is the moment that we should seize the innate creativity we possess and nurture ways to professionalise and further devil these talents.
For those Creative Hubs that already exist here in the Philippines, more information regarding the Programme and Fellowships can be gleaned by visiting http://britishcouncil.ph