Aisling Murtagh & Patrick Collins
Debates exist around the role of a specific type of human capital – creative capital – in regional economic development. Creative capital dynamics are most often analysed using statistics on workers in creative occupations, but beyond this creative capital is poorly understood, particularly in the peripheral context. In this article we explore the nature of creative capital among individuals in creative occupations based in two Nordic regions. In doing this we also aim to assess the contribution of creative capital and creative industries to regional development and innovation. Our aims also require a different methodological approach. Others that have analysed creative capital have used a series of statistical indicators as their primary metrics. Here we take a predominantly qualitative approach, assessing the experience of creative professionals across two Nordic regions. The primary research is based on semi-structured, qualitative research interviews in two regions -Lapland in Finland and Västernorrland in Sweden. For the purposes of understanding broader trends in the study regions, this data is also combined with statistics on creative occupations. We find that social capital is also vital in the generation of creative capital. Based on the nature of creative capital emerging here, it appears an important ingredient supporting regional development in Nordic regions. We also conclude by questioning if higher levels of creative capital can also contribute to the increased well-being of northern societies.