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The Creative Zone of Curacao

I have spoken often about the Knowledge Zone of Curaçao. If knowledge is combined with creativity, great development potential appears. However, in order to get to this state of development, a coordinating body with a vision and strategy is required. The Knowledge Zone is an initiative that seeks to combine existent knowledge of companies, organisations and educational institutions to reach common goals. The Knowledge Zone (K-Zone) is initiated for enhancing and stimulating the generation of a creative economy on Curaçao. The Knowledge Zone promotes cooperation between organisations, entrepreneurs and companies. A major part of this entails the sharing of information, learning from each other and generating knowledge. The Knowledge Zone is aimed at attracting and connecting the creative class of Curaçao, that is primarily working in the creative and service industries. The K-Zone consists of one specific zone on the island, which may help to create synergy through external economies of scale. The clustering of companies and organizations that are part of knowledge-intensive and creative sectors, can exchange information quickly and benefit from external economies of scale. For Curaçao, this implies that cooperation between firms can create synergy. Curaçao being a small island, it is important to look at geographical and transsectoral networks and innovations. Knowledge exchange is key in transsectoral innovation, which makes cooperation important. The idea behind the Knowledge Zone is that knowledge exchange will be easier if businesses are clustered within one zone(knowledge-zone.com, 2012; Goede et al, 2012). So far, 45 companies, institutions and organisations (both private and public) have joined the Knowlege Zone.

More information on this zone ia available at www.knowledge-zone.com.

I believe that facilitating this K-Zone is the only project that will have an direct impact on the Curaçao economy.  Although I like the Green Town concept.  But this will take years to impact the economy and we need results on the short term.  Green Town is: "is a new eco-friendly initiative with a mission. We want to replace the heavily polluting oil refinery on Curaçao with a lively green waterfront city, powered solely by sustainable energy. In the future, this new city will provide 10,000 people with the opportunity to find jobs and housing there. "

More information is available at: www.greentowncuracao.com.

But the zone I do not often talk about because it is my treasure is the Creative Zone of Curacao.  The area Scharloo and Pietermaai in Curaçao has all the ingredients to become a creative zone, especially in the context of further enhancing Curaçao's tourist product. This is the case for traditional tourists, but is also true for a large group of foreign students who serve their apprenticeship on the island. But also for the many knowledge wordkers, like laywers, bankers and accountants, who work in the middle of artists. However, necessary efforts must be made - especially by the creative industries in the zone - to establish a forum, leadership and a network to develop the creative zone. The participation of the government has to be acknowledged, taking into consideration the role that government plays in creating the right conditions, for example by improving the infrastructure. Finally, there must be a mutual effort to assess and sustain the creative process on the part of all stakeholders. An important finding is that a part of the zone could be denominated by creative industry, because so many tour operators organize visits to the Scharloo area as a showcase for cultural heritage. The visitors can experience, taste and feel this creativity.

Now I am going to have a seat2meet meeting in the Creative Zone.  What is a S2M? We facilitate a dynamic environment where our guests can work, meet and gather. The exchange of knowledge is paramount. We do this not only in physical environments but try the virtual and the real to each other. We thus create a so-called Third Space. It is an environment where people share their knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm can use to add value to the network. Inspire and be inspired!

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