About John Howkins
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Author, John Howkins

John Howkins

About John Howkins

An Interview with John Howkins

More About John Howkins

John Howkins has been writing about the creative economy for many years. He is Chairman of Tornado Productions Ltd, a London-based web casting company and director of Equator Group plc, Television Investments Ltd, EveryIdea Ltd and World Learning Network Ltd.

He is also the author of several books, including Understanding Television (1974); Communications in China (1982); New Technologies, New Policies, (1983); Four Global Scenarios on Information (1997), translated into French (1997) and Spanish (1998); and The Creative Economy (2001).

John Howkins has worked in many areas of media and business throughout his career. Here’s a round up of his involvements:

He was associated with Home Box Office (HBO) and Time Warner from 1981-1996, setting up companies to make and distribute TV programming. Through ITR he has advised numerous organisations and corporations including Accenture, BBC, Coopers & Lybrand, European Commission, IBM, KPMG, Sky TV, etc. He has worked for the Governments of Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, Singapore, UK, USA and 15 other countries. He has also worked widely in Eastern Europe.

He is Deputy Chairman of the British Screen Advisory Council, the UK's leading industry forum for the moving image. He is a former Chairman of the London Film School (and remains a Governor), Chairman of the Advisory Board to CREATEC and Vice Chairman of the Association of Independent Producers. He is a former Executive Director of the International Institute of Communications, with members in over 100 countries. He was the Conference Coordinator of the 1998 European Audiovisual Conference, co-hosted by the European Commission and UK Government.

He is a former Editor of InterMedia, Editor of the National Electronics Review, Editor of Vision, TV Editor of Time Out, and a regular contributor to The Sunday Times, The Economist, Harpers & Queen and other publications, and is a member of BAFTA.

He is the UK representative of the Transatlantic Dialogue on Broadcasting and the Information Society (TADOBATIS) and has advised Poland and other countries of Central and Eastern Europe on media legislation.

John Howkin’s creative economy action priorities

Priorities include:
1. Knowing What It Is. Psychologists, researchers and others are exploring links between the brain (as measured by brainwave activity), mind, consciousness and creativity.

2. Using It. Individuals need to know how to recognise, manage and develop their own creative skills. Having good creative skills in the 21st century - and knowing the law and economics - is as important as having good typing or computer skills was in the 20th century.

3. Turning Creativity into Money. The relationship between creativity and creative business products. What is the difference? At what point does a new idea become a product?

4.Economics. Economists are defining a 'new economics' based on information and ideas. They are exploring concepts of ' creative capital'.

5. Business Management. Managers need to know how to manage creativity within an organisation, both commercial and non-profit. How to encourage and reward people's creativity.

6. Law. Intellectual property laws cover patents, copyrights, trademarks and designs. (1) Public Policy. Patenting is in crisis as people claim patents for genetic matter, computer programs and 'business methods'. Copyright can't cope with digital copying. The laws need updating, urgently. (2) Individuals. People need to know how to protect their own ideas.

7. The Internet and Digital Media. Digital media are changing how creativity can be expressed, and how creative products are copied, priced and sold.

8. Public Policy and Governance. Complex issues require creative solutions. Governments and public bodies need to harness creativity to generate new approaches to public policy issues such as the environment, energy, transport healthcare and education.

9. Education and Training. Schools, colleges and educators need to teach creativity both generically and in terms of specific skills (management, law). They must bring creativity into the heart of the learning process, not only into the arts and media.

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