Magazine article International Trade Forum

The Digital Revolution: The World at the Click of a Button

Magazine article International Trade Forum

The Digital Revolution: The World at the Click of a Button

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

From fashion design to film. music, architecture, art and the advertising industry, the impact of digital technology has been one of the most profound on the creative industries in recent years. New technologies, particularly in information and telecommunications, have dramatically changed the way creative products are produced, distributed and consumed globally.

Through technology a new world exists, where inspiration, collaboration, research and marketing to new and existing customers are literally at the touch of a button. The Creative Economy Report 2008 (see page 7) has also clearly demonstrated the economic potential of creative industries in developing countries) The report points out that creativity is at the heart and soul of a culture and the expression of this creativity can allow emerging economies to leapfrog "into emerging high-growth areas of the world economy".

From e-commerce solutions like PayPal and Google Checkout, to crowd-sourcing, user-generated content and education distribution platforms like YouTube, technological innovation has made it easy to find new markets and sell to them. Additionally, low-cost digital recording, editing and storing facilities have made it simple and affordable to create, produce and distribute creativity around the world.

A look at how the Internet has created new opportunities for creativity in emerging economies makes the story even more interesting. The grande dame of fashion, Coco Chanel, once said, "Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live and what is happening."

The world of the greatest fashion designers in Europe and the United States was to all intents and purposes unlimited because they had the resources to travel and explore the globe for inspiration. But designers in poorer countries did not have the same access to a world of new ideas. The Internet has allowed designers in emerging markets to see images from the catwalks of fashion weeks, giving them insight and access to popular trends in export markets.

The designer's real-life experience is reinforced by global research. According to the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, just ten years ago the question was who had Internet access and who did not. More recently, the question is how fast is the connection? A recent study that focused on measuring the impact of broadband availability against the growth in employment, establishments and industry composition in local economies found that broadband contributed significantly to increasing the growth rates of all three. However, whether the higher growth rates represent a one-time or permanent improvement is unclear. (2)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Brazilian fashion designer Giuliana Romano suggests the results are permanent. "Mobile technologies and the Internet have made creative work much easier and have allowed me to collaborate with people in different places," she says. "Broadband access in Brazil has allowed us to exchange large files so I can have teams all over the world. I can have a print pattern developed in New York and print it on fabric in Born Retiro in Sao Paulo."

Ms Romano also points out that the Internet allows her to be in touch with everything that is happening across the globe without having to travel: "The amount of reference material is endless."

Marcela F.S. Reis, a Brazilian interior designer who has been living in New York for the past three years, agrees with Ms Romano. "Not only does the Internet allow us to exchange files and collaborate from a distance, but it also allows for business to be discussed, plans to be made, meetings to happen at little or no cost." The designer has an atelier in Sao Paulo, where she coordinates the production of home decoration accessories, which are outsourced to seamstresses in the city and other locations. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.