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.

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