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New Report Explores the Future of the Creative and Cultural Economy

Fruit of a collaboration between the IDB and The Institute for the Future

Digital cooperatives, social networks income distribution, micro-assistance for artists, biotechnology design products, regional cultural markets and creative answers to natural disasters are just some of the innovations that could emerge within the next decade, according to a new report by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and The Institute for the Future (IFTF).

The report, Future Landscapes of the Orange Economy: Creative Pathways for Improving Lives in Latin America and the Caribbean, draws from the premise of five engines for global change and forecasts their impact on 10 zones of innovation in the creative and cultural industries, or the orange economy, as the IDB calls it.

Creative and cultural industries, which include subjects such as visual arts, music, fashion, graphic design and digital games, in 2015 generated $124 billion in revenues and provided employment to more than 1.9 million people in the region.

“What if we could tap the full potential and creative talent of our people?” asked Trinidad Zaldivar, head of the IDB’s Cultural, Solidarity and Creativity Affairs Division. “This report is an invitation to explore the future, not to make exact predictions, but to stimulate a dialogue around innovative ideas and opportunities.”

The report stresses that, by adopting fast technological advances on social networks, artificial intelligence, crowdfunding and other business models, creative and cultural leaders can go beyond the incentive to create employment and wealth in order to “build societies where it is really worth living — vibrant, expressive and happy societies,” the IFTF’s Executive Director Marina Gorbis said.

To view the full report, go to

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.

About the IFTF

The Institute for the Future (IFTF)is an independent, nonprofit educational and strategic research group (501[c][3]) with almost 50 years of forecasting experience. The core of its work is identifying emerging trends and discontinuities that will transform global society and the international marketplace. Its research generates the foresight needed to create insights that lead to action. It spans a broad territory of deeply transformative trends, from health and health care to technology, the workplace, learning, and human identity. The Institute for the Future is located in Palo Alto, California ( ).