Tag Archives: Sustainability

The essence of smart specialization: local economies as computational platforms (review essay)

The physical matter we are dealing with today is exactly the same that was available to our hominid Palaeolithic ancestors. What makes the difference between now and then is the way in which matter is arranged, and thus its information content. Starting from this simple but far from obvious remark, César Hidalgo’s Why Information Grows offers a fresh approach to the understanding of the functioning of economic systems which is at the same time pragmatic, conceptually elegant and innovative. Continue reading The essence of smart specialization: local economies as computational platforms (review essay)

A concept timeline of culture evolution: from Culture to Culture 3.0

Culture 1.0: classical patronage
• Technological conditions for cheap reproducibility and circulation not existing yet: no structured cultural markets;
• Limited audience, coinciding with the patron’s acquaintances;
• Patronage choices determined by the patron’s tastes and interests, mainly for spiritual cultivation and social promotion;
• Culture does not generate value added, but only absorbs value produced elsewhere in the economy.

Culture 1.1: strategic patronage
• The target expands strategically beyond the patron’s acquaintances to pursue more ambitious consensus policies (civil or religious audiences);
• Patronage choices determined by ideological objectives, in a potentially conflicting dialectics with artists;
• Culture is economically non‐productive, but can generate a huge political and social payoff, and even economic insofar as it increases the patron’s image and bargaining power in economic trade or banking relationships.

Culture 1.2: public patronage
• Culture becomes a more and more universal human right as a basic component of human development;
• The State chooses what deserves to be patronized and what not, thereby fixing the dyadic categories of high‐(brow) vs. low‐(brow) culture;
• Audience significantly expands, with outside the market context;
• Culture absorbs relatively huge resources, and implies a redistribution from the citizens who don’t attend to those who attend;
• Access to high‐brow culture becomes a sign of bourgeois distinction.

The 1.0‐2.0 transition
• Modern cultural markets are created by the concurrent emergence of a wave of technological innovation at the edge between XIX and XX century: modern printing, radio, music recording, photography, cinema;
• The fact that for more than one century through the industrial revolution culture is not industrialized, however, creates a permanent frame of mind in Europe according to which culture is un‐economical and needs to be subsidized anyway;
• The high‐brow stigma of patronage makes commercialization of culture problematic to many cultural players and to part of the audiences.

culture3-0-evolution-scheme-by-pier-luigi-sacco
Culture 3.0 evolution scheme by Pier Luigi Sacco

Culture 2.0: CCIs
• Builds and reaches very large audiences;
• Is based on the virtually unlimited reproducibility of creative contents once the matrix has been produced;
• Generates significant turnover and profits;
• Is a distinct sector of the economy, and a part of the entertainment meta‐sector;
• Generates leisure experiences and occupies (part of) free time of people;
• Needs intellectual protection (copyright);
• May also increasingly extend the creative element to functional domains (CIs)

The 2.0‐3.0 transition
• We are now witnessing a new regime transition that is driven by two concurrent streams of innovation: digital content production + digital connectivity;
• Standard digital suites provide people with semiprofessional packages that are cheap and easy to learn; with a modest investment they can be upgraded at the professional level;
• The same packages less than 2 decades ago would have been expensive, would have required bulky hardware and would have been difficult to use;
• Contents can be distributed almost without mediators to highly segmented and profiled audiences by means of increasingly specialized social media.

Culture 3.0: Communities of practice and open platforms
• Blurred distinction between producers and users of content: cultural access and production of new contents are two phases of the same process;
• Culture can be massively produced and distributed also outside market channels;
• Economic and social value is produced not only through priced content, but also through generic participation;
Culture becomes increasingly a precondition of all kinds of economic value generation processes (‘culturalization’ of the economy);
• Culture is no longer an aspect of free time use but is entrenched in the fabric of daily life.

The Culture 3.0 paradigm
• Culture 1.0 (Patronage): Highbrow vs. lowbrow, culture as spiritual cultivation, no industrial organization;
• Culture 2.0 (CCIs): copyright, culture as entertainment, market organization;
• Culture 3.0 (open communities of practice): blurred distinction producers/users, culture as collective sense-making, networks organization.

Culture 3.0 is itself a transitional model. Like in all transitions, we tend to focus mainly on what is more familiar, i.e., on the 2.x remnants of the 3.0 scenario. But the momentum goes elsewhere:
•Imitating the business leaders of today in creative industry is very myopic. We have a major revolution ahead, and things will change radically;
•The real disruptive innovation lies in community participation and in the social organization models that unleash the potential of collective co-creation;
•If you want to build a long-term culture-led development model, go for them and prioritize participation. This is the crucial asset that makes the difference, not technology in itself.

Challenges ahead: Culture 3.1
•The persisting logic of Culture 2.x makes people think that an economy of collective content making can still be organized into XIX-XX century profit maximizing companies;
•It will become quickly clear that a socially unfair economic model generating growing inequality is simply not sustainable, as the Silicon Valley Dilemma is beginning to demonstrate;
•This could make the currently dominating Big 4 business models quickly obsolete
•Collective content making requires true inclusive participation and massive capability building;
•Therefore if we want to understand the cultural industries of the future we have to focus upon processes of culture-led development and public cultural participation.

Main Photo Credits (Creative Commons): click here.

Performing Heritage and Culture 3.0 in practice: the Siena 2019 experience

Culture 3.0 and Performing Heritage are the main concepts of Siena candidacy project as 2019 European Capital of Culture. Here’s an overview on this new landscape (and the chances to going deep, of course!). Continue reading Performing Heritage and Culture 3.0 in practice: the Siena 2019 experience

Location matters for pro-environmental behavior: a spatial Markov Chains approach to proximity effects in differentiated waste collection

We analyze data on differentiated waste collection (as a proxy of proenvironmental behaviors) in Italian provinces in the years 1999–2012.
Continue reading Location matters for pro-environmental behavior: a spatial Markov Chains approach to proximity effects in differentiated waste collection

Multidimensional Similarities at a Global Scale: An Approach to Mapping Open Society Orientations

This paper analyzes the global geography of open society orientations in the sense of Karl Popper’s notion of open society, by means of a database consisting of five common, public and widely used indicators such as UNDP’s Human Development Index, the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, the Heritage Foundation’s Economic Freedom Index, Reporters Sans Frontieres’ Press Freedom Index, and Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index. Continue reading Multidimensional Similarities at a Global Scale: An Approach to Mapping Open Society Orientations

Self-protection, Psychological Externalities, and the Social Dynamics of Fear

We examine the social dynamics of crime by means of evolutionary game theory, and we model the choice of boundedly rational potential victims to privately self-protect against prospective offenders. Negative externalities from self-protection, as the socially transmitted fear of victimization, can influence the strategic choices of victims even with constant or declining crime rates, and this circumstance may lead to Pareto inefficient equilibria with excessive expenses for private protection. Providing higher levels of public security (or of appropriate social care) financed through discriminatory taxation of private defensive behaviors can prevent crime andreduce superfluous selfprotection, thus driving the social dynamics toward a more efficient equilibrium. Continue reading Self-protection, Psychological Externalities, and the Social Dynamics of Fear

Italian Foodies: Endogenous Growth Patterns towards ‘Foodtainment’ and Gourmandise

The industry of taste is increasingly being recognized as a ‘new’ sector in the creative industries, and a complex one which combines significant economic relevance with the elements of intangibility that are typical of cultural assets. It is a growing sector and a particularly interesting one in that it allows a most stimulating interplay of identity, traditions, territories, histories, and landscapes, combined with creativity, research, and technological innovation, and with an outstanding level of participation and active involvement of the general public. Continue reading Italian Foodies: Endogenous Growth Patterns towards ‘Foodtainment’ and Gourmandise

Analyzing the semantics of point spaces through the topological weighted centroid and other mathematical quantities: the hidden geometry of the global economic order

For many spatial processes, there is a natural need to find out the point of origin on the basis of the available scatter of observations; think, for instance, of finding out the home base of a criminal given the actual distribution of crime scenes, or the outbreak source of an epidemics. In this article, we build on the topological weighted centroid (TWC) methodology that has been applied in previous research to the reconstruction of space syntax problems, for example, of problems where all relevant entities are of spatial nature so that the relationships between them are inherently spatial and need to be properly reconstructed. Continue reading Analyzing the semantics of point spaces through the topological weighted centroid and other mathematical quantities: the hidden geometry of the global economic order

Cultural Participation, Relational Goods and Individual Subjective Well-Being: Some Empirical Evidence

This paper focuses on the role of cultural participation as a source of individual subjective well-being in terms of the sociability orientation of different cultural activities. Continue reading Cultural Participation, Relational Goods and Individual Subjective Well-Being: Some Empirical Evidence

Culture as an Engine of Local Development Processes: System-Wide Cultural Districts II: Prototype Cases

Building upon the companion paper in this issue, this essay analyses five case studies that can be taken as prototypes of the system-wide cultural district culture-led developmental model. The research targets five cities in Europe and the U.S.: Valencia, Austin, Newcastle/Gateshead, Linz, and Denver. Continue reading Culture as an Engine of Local Development Processes: System-Wide Cultural Districts II: Prototype Cases