Martin Luther King had a dream. The reason his 1963 speech resonates around the world to this day, is his vision of a positive future.
King didn’t say: “Things are awful and broken and we must fix them now!” He invited his audience to imagine a better future and start walking towards it. If he’d issued a stern warning of doom and disaster, history would have ignored every word.
Martin Luther King was using “soft power” – co-opting rather than coercing, changing opinions, and attracting people to a brilliant, new idea by saying: “Look! How wonderful!”
All change flows from creativity. It is only through creative vision we can imagine doing things better and differently. And it is through the soft power of creative storytelling we share ideas, shift opinions and ultimately, make change.
Without creativity, there is no innovation. Innovation is the driving force behind efficiency and the ability to respond to mind-bendingly fast changes in the market. That’s why creativity, originality and initiative are listed among the top 10 skills of 2025 by the World Economic Forum.
In the UK, creativity has been clearly identified as an engine driving social change and economic growth.
The government has devoted £4.8 billion to Levelling Up, a policy designed to reduce the imbalance — mainly economic — between prosperous areas and social groups, and those having a tougher time recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union in 2020.
British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, says the project’s aim is to create jobs, drive growth and make sure people feel enormous pride in the places they call home. The government’s 300-page Levelling Up white paper, released in January 2022, contained a more than 100 references to the creative industries, arts and culture.
The Chief Executive Officer at Creative UK, Caroline Norbury OBE says: “The creative industries are key … to regenerating towns and city centres in every region. Flourishing culture and vibrant creativity will encourage people to re-engage with their local places. It will bring them back to the high street, to public transport and to restaurants and retail. Simply put, the creative industries are the catalyst for stimulating local economic recovery.”
Shaping the future
“It is the ability to find new and ingenious solutions that marks creative industries out as the industries of the future. By connecting, collaborating and attracting investment and support in every corner of the UK, the creative industries cannot just bounce back, but reshape a better future for all,” Norbury says.
Science is great at confirming facts, but perhaps not so great at communicating ideas.
You may remember the details of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Climate Change 2023: Synthesis Report, released in late March. The IPCC is the world’s most authoritative body on climate change.
The report, the IPCC’s sixth, was compiled by 300 scientists across 67 countries and delivered a terrifying warning for humanity. We need immediate and aggressive change at a global level to stop catastrophic warming, right now. It’s almost too late.
But the report was dense, science-y and scary. It should have been the most important news story of the year by far. But it was a nightmare, not a dream, so it disappeared from the public consciousness like a Brazilian rainforest.
The soft power of creativity to capture attention and shift opinion has never been so clear and important.
Creativity might just save the planet. In the meantime, it can also help you sell some stuff.
“If you want to build a ship, do not drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
– Antione de Saint-Exupery
French writer, poet and aviator
What can creativity do for you? Reach out here and start a conversation.