Navigation path

Trends in Art, Creativity and Leisure

Creativity and art practice will become increasingly fashionable – common activities in which everyone engages. The practice and profession of art will itself change and it will also enter new fields and professions such as healthcare. Creative arts are increasingly recognized as critical to economic growth. (60% of corporate leaders consider creativity as the most important skill in the next 5 years, overtaking the importance of innovation. IBM poll: 1500 CEO’s-60 countries-33 sectors).


Our thinking about art and creativity will change, as will our thinking about authenticity and copyright.  There are four major potential development paths:


  • Blur between the professional artist and the amateur artist
  • Creativity will become a ‘circular entertainment’ (artist – > artwork – > audience – > artwork – > artist)
  • Art and creativity will enter new markets and fields such as medical technology and synthetic biology
  • Creativity will amplify the economy, initially mainly in urban/metropolitan areas



  1. Non-traditional new genres of art emerge through peer-to-peer education

By 2030 the majority of the total population in Western Europe (ref. 2010) will practice one or another form of art. This sociocultural evolution will not be seen so much in individual and traditional forms of art practice as it will in software-facilitated popular art. This non-traditional art will be less influenced by the high-culture context, and more dominated by software.  Traditional art practice will still be dominated by traditional art education and organizations such as art schools.  But this segment is not evolving as quickly as the non-traditional paths to art and art practice are evolving.  Non-traditional art will not only practice during leisure time and will be educated in peer-to-peer formats.


Snabel (2000) summarized a socio-cultural trend at the start of the new century. Individualisation (diminished importance of traditional dependencies, in formalisation (looser ties and interacties) but mainly through peer groups, intensification (growing importance of the experiential component), internationalisation (growth across national borders) and informatisation (the increased importance of being informed). Under the influence of individualisation the growing importance of cross-media formats will prompt more people to engage in less intensive forms of arts but more in leisure time activities driven by the desire for intense experience. The individualisation process with the declining importance of traditions and the growing importance of formats will mean that the more traditional disciplines will loose importance. Genres that are based partly on software are gaining in popularity. Especially among people with a non –Western background.


The new genres are based more on peer education and less on formal arts education.  Formal courses will focus more on rapid results. Participants buy a service and course providers are expected to adopt a customer-centric attitude to course content. People interested in new or fashionable courses will seek more informal and temporary contact than to join a club. Also club or association memberships hold little appeal for people with a non-Western cultural background. This will lead to the fall in percentage of art school or club members.  Formalisation also does little to promote associated life. The need for knowledge transfer and communication within a club setting is declining as the internet increasingly meets that need. Internet communities are occupying an ever-more important place in the amateur arts.


  1. Collaborative Circular entertainment

By 2012, 25% of entertainment will be created and consumed within peer communities; see Nokia, “ A Glimpse of the Next Episode”.


 “One quarter of the entertainment being consumed in the next five years will be what we call 'Circular'. The trends we are seeing show us that people will have a genuine desire not only to create and share their own content, but also to remix it, mash it up and pass it on within their peer groups - a form of collaborative social media," said Mark Selby, Vice President, Multimedia, Nokia.

"Consumers are increasingly demanding their entertainment be truly immersive, engaging and collaborative. Whereas once the act of watching, reading and hearing entertainment was passive, consumers now and in the future will be active and unrestrained by the ubiquitous nature of circular entertainment. Key to this evolution is consumers' basic human desire to compare and contrast, create and communicate.”

As part of the research Nokia conducted there are four key driving trends: Immersive Living; Geek Culture; G Tech; and Localism. These are currently fringe trends, but as they become more mainstream, they will have a collaborative, creative effect on the way people consume entertainment and “Circular Entertainment” will dominate the media and the entertainment arts.


Immersive Living - Immersive Living is the rise of lifestyles, which blur the reality of being on and offline. Entertainment will no longer be segmented; people can access and create it wherever they are.

Geek Culture - This triumph marks a shift as consumers become hungry for more sophisticated entertainment. Geek Culture rises, consumers will want to be recognized and rewarded - the boundaries between being commercial and creative will blur.
G Tech - G Tech is an existing social force in Asia that will change the way entertainment will look. Forget pink and sparkly, it is about the feminization of technology that is currently underway. Entertainment will be more collaborative, democratic, emotional and customized - all of which are 'female' traits.
Localism - The report uncovered a locally minded sprit emerging in entertainment consumption and Localism will become a key theme of future entertainment. Consumers will take pride in seeking out the local and homegrown.


There will be a shift from functional leisure activities such as walking/hunting to experience/pleasure-focused activities. Nokia identified the coming of 'Circular Entertainment' (content created, edited and shared within a peer community rather than via traditional media sources) as a main emerging trend. The changes will affect the younger generation most. Future trends Nokia has labelled “immersive living,” “geek culture,” “G-tech,” and “localism” are not, however, universally homogeneous, and they will touch us all in different ways and to different extents.


  1. Influence of individualisation

The growing importance of cross-media formats will prompt more people to engage in less intensive forms of the high arts.  Intensification of daily life may exert a negative effect on public art involvement due to increasing pressures of time and a growing array of available leisure activities.  But it may also exert a positive effect on public art involvement as people are increasingly driven by the desire for intense experiences.  The overall net effect is assumed to be neutral. The opposing effects of internationalisation and informatisation are also likely to cancel each other out. In concrete terms, these effects derive from the growing percentage of people with a non-Western background and the growing percentage of people with a good education level, which respectively inhibit and boost the percentage of people involved in the traditional Western amateur arts. Finally, the growing influence of short-lived, popular cross-media formats on an increasing share of the population is likely to result in a greater but more ephemeral reach, which may have little effect on the volume of amateur arts.

A net zero change in the proportion of amateur artists would mean that in 2030 roughly only half the population will be engaged in an artistic discipline.


  1. Economy of art and creativity

Creativity is more and more often a buzzword for economic performance and success, and is driving art also into currently unexplored commercial applications, as evolving brain-to-computer and neurological interfaces allow direct tapping of emotions and the unconscious.  On the practical side, this may lead to applications of art in medical technology and creativity therapies, among other innovations.


The creative industries have been recognised as a major and growing driver of the economy; an UNCTAD report estimated the UK creative share at a Gross Added Value of 5,8%. 


  1. Cities: territorial creative hot spots.

Town centres are likely to continue to lose shops as we do ever more shopping online. Developing street art and community arts provides new ways to fill those spaces and create activity, connection and experience. The resulting transformation of spaces can in turn spark economic revival.


Western European countries do recognize the importance of the creative industry; Investments in innovation have remained constant or increased.  There is, however, little hard data globally regarding the return on investment from stimulating creativity and art.  Art and creativity are often seen as non-essential but are in fact critical for growth in activities such as innovation, urban renewal, and the vitality of the human being (health).


By 2030, 60 % of the world will live in cities (WHO Urban Population Growth).  The competition among cities will be intense – a strong city brand is a potent weapon to maximise the visibility of a city's qualities and allow it to differentiate itself from competitors.  As an illustration of this, see the ‘Cit/ID’ Project ( for examples of strong visual brand logo designs for cities around the world.  Being branded a capital of culture and leisure provides visibility, propelling a city into competition for residents, business relocation, tourism and international events.


Cities will sponsor networks of creators organising 24-hour non-stop marathons of innovative projects; such events could include live-streamed brainstorming sessions, free access to an inspiration-database, and multimedia presentations. 


Successful and competitive cities will be incubators of 3D innovation spaces and creativity labs, all centred in or near a metropolitan region that supports transverse, multidisciplinary flows of ideas, aesthetic output, and design and innovation connectivity.


  1. Future ‘currencies’

In the future, the valued ‘currency’ will be less about hard cash and more about other intrinsic rewards embedded in goods and services, such as trust and authenticity.  The future creative economy might be more about making content available and crowd-financing creativity through direct relationships with audiences and the creative community.


  1. Change in values:

New values and legislation focussed on source trustworthiness and authenticity will be established.



Potential implications:

1) Growth spurt for creativity and crowdsourcing

Through a growing variety of new media for art production and distribution, we can create an extraordinary degree of new connections from which creative ideas could emerge.  But to what extent can crowds can create unique value and not just media overload?


2) Co-creation

More and more customers will be extensively involved in co-creating innovations and in product development.  This will also be true of art.  There will still be a role for individual genius, and we need to explore further the domains in which individuals can excel and where their ideas may need protection in order for them to excel. How will IP laws in future balance the rights of the originating thinker / designer / creator with the ability of audience participants to create new value by transforming an existing work of art?


3) Value creation

For companies the value creation may be less money oriented and more focussed on trust, branding, added value, and consumer relevance.  New currencies may denominate in trust of the source, and in authenticity of the artifact.


4) Unexplored areas

Since art and creativity offer new forms of economic development and industry they will increasingly offer alternatives for growth and development at a social level, and at the individual level may offer bulwarks against loneliness, new forms of psychological therapy, or psychological prophylactics against diseases.



  • Boosting people’s creativity depends both on their own capacity and also on the resources available in their environment.  Companies will need a paradigm shift in management (fewer mechanistic measures and control) to generate and sustain a creativity boost – a shift to a more open company culture, which is a challenge for many of today’s “traditional companies.”
  • A new monetary system might emerge. Creativity, or the extent of social contacts or networks have variously been proposed as foundations of a new economy, but is it not clear how far those could go in replacing the current  money economy.
  • Contrary to one popular idea that consumers on the Web should not be obligated to pay individual human content-creators for their work, it is critical that arts, music, and human-generated knowledge should be valued. Creativity that goes unpaid leads to a novelty- and diversity-impoverished intellectual world dominated by material that takes minimal effort to produce—creative artists get cut out, and all that remains are corporate content distributors,
  • If brain-to-computer interfaces may evolve to the point where they transmit not just data but emotions, overcoming issues of trust and security will be essential in building the emotive web.
  • Any policies that rely on arts and culture to bind people together would require greater evidence of effectiveness.
  • Apps and media in this me-centric society will push personalised products.  In the resulting media flood, it may be difficult to distinguish authentic and new art products from ‘circular art.’
  • Some concern exists that in the evolving, highly distracting immersive media environment, children will not be trained in creativity and that creativity itself may decline in the next generation. (In a 2010 study of about 300,000 creativity tests going back to the 1970s, Kyung Hee Kim, a creativity researcher at the College of William and Mary, found creativity has decreased among American children in recent years. Since 1990, children have become less able to produce unique and unusual ideas. They are also less humorous, less imaginative and less able to elaborate on ideas, Kim said.)
  • A new age of creative-collaborative capitalism will accelerate the development of human capabilities.
  • New industries will emerge from the creative sector, leveraging novel innovations like (personal) digital fabrication in fab labs that enable fast builds of new art or commercial output.  While fab labs have yet to compete with mass production and its associated economies of scale in fabricating widely distributed products, they have already shown the potential to empower individuals to create smart devices for themselves. These devices can be tailored to local or personal needs in ways that are not practical or economical using mass production.
  • Other new applications of art may be in health as alternatives to placebo drugs or as pain reduction or pain management techniques. In the near future we may see doctors prescribing music therapy to aid healing.
  • Events and arts will be communicated through visual means instead of through text and consumers will participate as producers of vivid original content.
• If 50% of the population engages in circular entertainment (adding to already existing material, ie, ‘prosumer art’), where will support for artistic genius go and how will true novelty arise?
• With an increase in ‘prosumer art’ overload, will there be less authentic new art, especially if everything and every person will be branded, something the traditional ‘high art’ artist may not care about (today)?
• Will we need a European art wisdom network that nurtures authentic art?
• Could it be possible to download basic knowledge of art to help seek truth in art, or true art (question based on the Futurium entry Apprendre en 2050)?
• How much solid data do we have regarding the role of social cohesion and art, or the effect of art practice on healing and therapy outcomes?
• How will new art forms and new patterns of art practice fit into emerging “new money systems”, eg new currencies, new patterns of funding like crowd-sourcing – is the age of the wealthy art patron gone forever?


Underpinning policy ideas