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Australia has not yet awoken to the fact that our creativity will be the driver of our future growth and competitiveness.
We need to value creativity and understand its centrality to our economy and our culture – as a central pillar in innovation, education and future jobs.
International predictive data on work in 2030 released by NESTA a couple of months ago tells us that creative jobs are likely to see a growth rate of 87% by 2030, contrasted with a sharp decline across more traditional industries.
We need good ideas, and more of them, and a workforce with the problem solving, collaborative and creative skills to make them a reality.
Powerful storytelling is ever more important. Screen storytelling today requires creativity to meet commerce in new and exciting ways: where evolutions in the ways consumers interface with technologies, content and each other occur at unprecedented rates. New creative approaches, skills, applications and business models, are continually borne of this hotbed of ideas, talent and innovation.
The Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) sits at the nexus of much of this creative skills development, developing core competencies in our graduates that equip them for work in the changing screen and broadcast industries, but also for work in content creation for a whole new economy of creative work, in which video has become the primary channel of communication.
This speech will outline the need for the creative economy to be valued and represented at senior levels of Government and across a range of portfolios – from infrastructure to education to innovation and business.
Mr Howcroft has extensive experience in the screen industry. He was the Executive General Manager of Network Ten and has served on a number of boards and foundations which focus on arts and film, including the Australian Film Institute and the Screen Forever Advisory Board.
In 2016, Mr Howcroft was the founding Chair of Think TV, a collaborative initiative between Australian free-to-air and subscription television broadcasters to promote television’s scale and effectiveness for advertisers across all screens.
Mr Howcroft is currently the inaugural Chief Creative Officer at PwC Australia. He has also served as the Chairman of the Advertising Federation of Australia and Chief Executive Officer of leading advertising agency George Patterson Y&R and been a regular panellist on The Gruen Transfer.
As a leader in the creative industries, he has a strong understanding of working in the media and creative entrepreneurship in both the private and public sectors.