Profile of the Commissioner, Department of Economic Development, Taipei City Government
Jumpstarting a New Era
Global cities are competing ever more fiercely in the contemporary era and in that context city government needs to take on more responsibility for the city’s identity and positioning, for the health of its local industries and for overall competitiveness. The municipal government alone can fully meet the talent needs of the city, and directly respond to these through appropriate resources and support. In the traditional division of public duties of the past, economic development was regarded as part of national policy. The role of the municipal government was simplified to be the mere messenger and executioner of national policies. It was always difficult to position the city properly and to develop urban resources to meet its talent demand. Given the international talent movement and development of new economic models, the traditional division of public duties can no longer sufficiently answer to the needs of the new era.
Conversations and interactions with Taipei’s creative talents of all ages from different areas over the last few years have made us aware that Taipei’s new energy is based on creating lifestyle industries focusing on quality of life which emphasize peoples’ unique personal traits. Micro-startups increasingly act as a realization of personal life values, and social enterprises striving for public welfare have also become a vital sector in Taipei. Simply put, a new era of the cooperative, co-creative, and sharing economy has arrived, which is unlike any traditional economic model.
In Taipei, many organizations have noticed the global trend that highlights the importance of the creative economy, which includes the new media industries, digital culture, the design and arts sectors, and have taken on their unique networking and international connections driven approach. Taipei should take advantage of this new global trend and utilize its potential talents by establishing a swift, agile and open platform to provide assistance and support with minimum intervention. At the same time, we should make flexible use of Taiwan’s ICT prowess to give rise to a mobile revolution by employing the collective wisdom of the new era and supporting the provision of a co-working environment we can encourage the formation of a sharing economy. We need to create a collaborative network that is intertwined and, at the same time, omnipresent, in order to form an innovative creative culture. We should also foster and facilitate the development of social enterprises, and consider the application of open data. Simultaneously, we should get the skills within the creative economy to infiltrate local industries and commerce, planting seeds that will jumpstart the transformation of our industrial environment and injecting the energy to revitalize itself.
The creative economy is poised to take off in Taipei, and we need an incremental jumpstart to honestly face the insufficiencies in existing laws and mechanisms. By respecting the necessity for openness and inclusiveness, and understanding the freedom and independence needed by creative talents of whatever age group we can break new ground with courage and thus support innovation with agility. We need to change the traditional concept of growth that emphasizes only efficiency and quantity and endorse brave attempts that challenge existing values. We should encourage new generations to pursue the basic value of self-realization and help build a creative atmosphere that can be experienced and participated in, and provide all kinds of networking opportunities. This way the creative economy of the next generation will naturally be nurtured in Taipei!
Now, we shall take a ride with this global trend, and build this new economy with warmth and foster an urban experience that can be felt! Or more simply put a happier economy! This way, we hope the younger generation can fulfill their dreams and lead a happier life!