UNESCO’s convention on cultural diversity (2005) has reached a stage where the importance of creativity and innovation for the development of society, and especially for economic development, has begun to be emphasised internationally in new ways. There has been talk about creative sectors and the creative economy.
In 2006, Finland published its national creativity strategy. Creativity was seen not only as a motor for economic development, but also as a force which could have an impact on society’s spiritual base, its civilisation and social development. In the spirit of the convention on cultural diversity, it was considered that cultural and societal diversity was a precondition for creativity. Cultural diversity and inclusivity increases the opportunities to utilise human resources in many different ways in the development of society. The creativity strategy did not just address issues related to cultural policy, but more broadly across different areas of government. By putting creativity as the main defining factor of social development, it also reinforced the importance of cultural strategy in social policy.
In 2009 Ministry of Education and Culture launched the Strategy for Cultural Policy 2020, and actually it was the first strategy ever for cultural policy made in the Ministry. In the strategy the following "key functions" for cultural policy were listed:
- safeguarding equal access to education and culture;
- promoting intellectual growth and learning;
- enhancing opportunities for sharing and participation;
- providing resources for improving the cultural and economic competitive capacity of the Finnish society;
- opening up new channels in order to diversify the Finnish impact in the international community; and
- improving effectiveness in the cultural sector.
It was stated in the Strategy that primary desired outcome of cultural policy in 2020 will be a strong cultural base in society and favourable conditions for creative workers and producers of cultural services, actively participating citizens, the promotion of wellbeing, and the enhancement of the economic impact of culture.
The Strategy for Cultural Policy will be updated in 2016, and the aim will be now in the year 2025.
Some new notions about the development of society and cultural policy have been proposed: uncertainty in the development, especially in economy, but also in political climate and in values; polarisation in social life, which will be reflected in cultural policy, too; diversity as “a new normal”, and increasing immigration; the role of the new ICT in economic and social development, especially concerning media, cultural production, dissemination and distribution. Culture will stay in the focus of interests, but by more complicated way than the Finns have used to have it.
In its new strategy, the Ministry of Education and Culture will establish the following strategic targets for cultural policy for 2025:
- The conditions for artistic and other creative work will be improved and the modes of production and distribution will be diversified.
- Participation in culture will increase and the differences in participation between different sectors of the population will be narrowed.
- The foundations for culture will be strong and viable.