2021 marks the decade of action for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Notably, it is also the UN’s International Year of the Creative Economy for Sustainable Development. In fact, the SDGs are the first international development framework that explicitly refers to culture, as many countries have begun to view culture as an asset in eliminating poverty, responding to social inclusion and inequality, and fostering economic growth. Led by Indonesia, many of the 81 co-sponsors supporting the bill to focus attention on the creative economies were Asian countries – including China, India, Mongolia, Philippines and Thailand. At the same time, the Asia-Pacific region is not on track to achieve any of the 17 SDGs fully by 2030 according to the SDG Asia and Pacific report 2021. In fact, on its current trajectory, the region may achieve less than 10% of the SDG targets. Funding is needed. Both, for the SDGs and for the pandemic-ridden creative economies. This is where my colleagues and I at AVPN currently begin to see social investors in Asia entering the conversation. A key challenge for them is to find investable opportunities. In recognising that the creative economies are a key driver in the creation of decent jobs, social investments can help to ensure inclusive and sustainable growth of the sector.
Denderah Rickmers is currently a PhD Candidate in the CMCI department, King’s College London and Senior Knowledge Associate at AVPN.