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Hidden Innovation

Policy, Industry and the Creative Sector

Stuart Cunningham

The term ‘two cultures’ was coined more than 50 years ago by scientist and novelist C.P. Snow to describe the divergence in the world views and methods of scientists and the creative sector. This divergence has meant that innovation systems and policies have focused for decades on science, engineering, technology and medicine and the industries that depend on them. The humanities, arts and social sciences have been bit players at best; their contributions hidden from research agendas, policy and program initiatives, and the public mind.

But structural changes to advanced economies and societies have brought services industries and the creative sector to greater prominence as key contributors to innovation.
Hidden Innovation peels back the veil, tracing the way innovation occurs through new forms of screen production enabled by social media platforms as well as in public broadcasting. It shows that creative workers are contributing fresh ideas across the economy and how creative cities debates need reframing. It traces how policies globally are beginning to catch up with the changing social and economic realities.

In his new book, Cunningham argues that the innovation framework offers the best opportunity in decades to reassess and refresh the case for the public role of the humanities, particularly the media, cultural and communication studies disciplines.
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Lexington Books
Pages: 264Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7391-8806-4 • Hardback • November 2013 • $90.00 • (£60.00)
978-1-4985-5720-7 • Paperback • March 2017 • $46.99 • (£31.95)
Stuart Cunningham is distinguished professor of media and communications, Queensland University of Technology, and Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation.
Introduction: Disciplinary Dispositions
Chapter 1: The Policy Journey
Chapter 2: Creative Enterprise
Chapter 3: Public Service Media
Chapter 4: Creative Labor
Chapter 5: Creative Cities
Chapter 6: Policy and Research Praxis
In Hidden Innovation, Cunningham undertakes an impressive survey of the work that has been produced around the idea of innovation in the creative industries. The nub of the argument is that while innovation has been of great interest to economics (particularly the heterodox fields of evolutionary and innovation economics) and to economic policy makers, it is most often thought of in terms of scientific, technological or business process innovation. . . .Hidden Innovation is an important book for the scope it covers and the breadth and depth of its survey of the thinking to date around creative industries and innovation. It also comprises a synthesis and revision of Cunningham’s earlier work in this field.
Cultural Studies Review

In Hidden Innovation: Policy, Industry and the Creative Sector, Stuart Cunningham, Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI), offers a new take on innovation from an entirely different perspective centered on the important role of the creative industries. He deconstructs a mythology that sees creative workers as typically self-indulgent members of the latte set living off government grants, who now vote for the Greens instead of Labor, and whose contributions to society are marginal at best! Cunningham makes a convincing set of arguments that the creative industries have neither been well understood, nor widely recognized, as major contributors to the economies of developed countries. His basic thesis is that the ideas, processes, and products within this sector of innovation have been crucial to driving productivity in Australia. . . .[W]e should all read the book. Highly recommended.
Australian Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy

Hidden Innovation is an important book. As Cunningham observes, innovation policy is heavily weighted towards science and technology. . . .Cunningham provides a thoughtful and detailed exposition to support the case for the creative industries in Australia.
Inside Story

Cunningham’s approach manifests a willingness to move beyond the contested creative industries arguments of the past fifteen years, to point a way to a new maturity in how the creative industries are framed and aligned to other sectors and to political and policy debate. The combination of historic analysis, informed opinion and different approaches makes a valuable contribution to debate and makes a strong case for re-positioning creative industries within the broader economy.