Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 149

  CREATIVE ARCTIC: TOWARDS MEASURING ARCTIC’S CREATIVE CAPITAL Andrey N. Petrov This paper presents the key findings of the Creative Arctic Project. It focuses on the geography of creative capital and assesses its ability to foster economic development in the Arctic as an alternative or complement to recourse-based development. The study describes a theoretical conceptualization of the creative capital in the Arctic and provides further insights into the role of the creative capital in the Arctic economy. The paper explains methodologies and analytical tools (systems of measures/indicators) for the analysis of the creative capital as a factor of economic transformation in non-central regions. The study explores and compares geographic patterns of creative capital in the Arctic using spatial analysis techniques and data from all Arctic countries, as well as from two in-depth case study areas: northern Canada and Alaska. It also identifies Arctic regions and communities with sufficient creative capital, where further policy and place-specific studies could be conducted. The findings suggest that some characteristics of the creative capital observed in Arctic communities are similar to those found in southern regions, whereas others are distinct. In the Arctic, the synergy between cultural economy, entrepreneurship and leadership appear to be more important in characterizing creative capacities that formal education. The geographic distribution of the creative capital is uneven and favors economically, geographically and politically privileged urban centers. However, some remote regions also demonstrate considerable levels of creative potential, in particular associated with Aboriginal cultural capital (artists, crafters, etc.). A number of Arctic regions – creative ‘hot spots’ – could become the test sites for implementing alternative strategies of regional development based on creative capital, knowledge-based and cultural economies. Background: Creative Capital and Alternative Strategies of Economic Development in the Arctic The literature has well documented that Arctic economies are marginal, vulnerable, structurally truncated and functionally dependent (Agranat 1992; Bone 2009; Bourne 2000; Rea 1968; Petrov 2012). The apparent inability of marginal regions to take advantage of new economic opportunities, especially those provided by the knowledge economy, received different explanations. Under the Andrey N. Petrov is an Associate Professor at the University of Northern Iowa, USA.