Sun | Sep 22, 2019

JBDC puts the Orange Economy in focus

Published:Friday | May 10, 2019 | 12:29 AMKimberley Small/Staff Reporter

The areas of music, dance, animation, artificial intelligence, acting, and publishing all have something in common: they fit neatly under the umbrella of the emerging Orange Economy.

Heeding an international call to seed the Orange Economy to bolster growth and reap potentially billions of dollars for the country, the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), supported by Sagicor Bank, will stage its 12th Annual Small Business Expo & Conference under the theme ‘Monetising the Orange Economy: The Future is Creative’.

But what is the Orange Economy? The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has popularised the term, dividing the idea into the cultural and creative industries. Activities such as architecture, audiovisual arts, digital services, fashion, graphic and industrial design, handicraft, music, and software development are all part of this economy.

The JBDC notes that this ­sector has not been weighed and measured with the same attention given to traditional industries. According to the IDB, were the Orange Economy a country, it would be the fourth-largest economy in the world, the ninth-largest exporter, and have the fourth-largest workforce, with 144 million workers. “It’s very vast, but we chose two categories which we felt were historically pertinent to Jamaica and two newer ones that we’d like to push,” said Suzette Campbell, corporate communications manager (JBDC), during the recent Gleaners Editors’ Forum. These four categories are the performing arts and the visual arts and artificial intelligence and publishing.

Among the featured presenters of the expo and conference is the Dean of the School of Dance at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA) Marlon Simms. “[He] will look at the idea of ­exporting dancers and dance moves. How do we protect them intellectually and ensure that we don’t see them in a music video being copied and our dancers are not in it?” Campbell said.

While Simms presents ‘Export Moves: Dance Ah Yaad Before You Dance Abroad’, cultural expert Hugh Douse will take a look at trends in reggae music – where it is and where it is going – in ‘A Toast: Trends in Jamaican Popular Music’.

Director of Marketing and Communications at the EMCVPA Coleen Douglas will focus on the visual arts in a presentation set to readjust the framing of art as a “poor man’s genius job” under the theme ‘Don’t Be a Slave to Your Passion’. ”We want to have our artists understand the immense value that comes with that level of genius – to show them how to monetise that,” Campbell added.

Performing and visual artistes will not be the only ones advised on how to turn their creativity into money. The expo and conference will include two workshops focused on artificial intelligence (AI) – one presented by the Caribbean Maritime Institute. Yello Media will add to that conversation with a presentation on marketing and how AI can be used to replace traditional means of data collection.

Additionally, there will be a presentation from an animation expert from the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (UWI) called ‘Get Animated: A new Career Path for Jamaican Youth’. “We have the chairman of the Book Industry of Jamaica, basically, laying out how any writer can self-publish in this digital age,” Campbell said.

The expo takes place on Wednesday, May 15, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.