A sustainable development model of cultural and creative village: China’s practice and path
The work was supported by Wenzhou Federation of Social Sciences
Sun Feihan, PhD(sociology), Far Eastern Federal University; lecturer in Zhejiang College of Security Technology; http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1178-6470 (Build.F, School of Arts and Humanities, campus, Russky Island, Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok 690950, Russian Federation, e-mail: email@example.com)
Summary. China has long faced the problems of uneven development between urban and rural areas and the decline of rural areas. In the new era, the strategy of “village revitalization” faces the plight of rural social development, the cultivation and construction of cultural and creative village (CCV) will reshape a new and reasonable urban-rural relationship. Constructing a sustainable development model of CCV is of great significance to the theoretical research and practical exploration of cultural and creative villages. The sustainable development model of CCV mainly includes the cultivation of diversified innovation entities such as small-medium-micro cultural enterprise, creative class, maker space, and social service organization; to optimize it in terms of increasing the cultivation of entrepreneurial and innovative talent, attaching importance to supportive organization, governance capability, and finance. This paper will more clearly present the innovation laws of CCV, promote it to become a new platform for innovation and entrepreneurship faster and better, and make innovation research more vivid and practical.
Keywords: cultural and creative village; sustainable development model; creative class; maker space; entrepreneurship platform.
As China’s economic and social development enters a new era, the contradiction between the people’s growing need for a better life and unbalanced and insufficient development has become the main contradiction in the current society, the imbalance between countryside and city is one of the most prominent problems in the reality of unbalanced development (Liu, 2018), and the insufficient development of the countryside has become the source of many social conflicts and problems (Liu et al., 2018). The rapid construction of CCV has achieved obvious development results and reshaped a new urban-rural relationship. However, problems such as “creative” and not “innovation”, representation of rural cultural connotations, and homogeneous development have also emerged (Sun et al., 2019). The main reason is insufficient innovation ability. Improving it is an important issue in the cultivation and construction of CCV, and the key to taking shape a sustainable development model of CCV.
Under the guidance and support of multiple national policies, the development of rural society has made long-term progress, but there are also some shortcomings.
Insufficient innovation is the current shortcoming in the cultivation and construction of CCV, and also a bottleneck restricting the high-quality construction of CCV. Constructing a sustainable development model of CCV will help cultivate the endogenous power of sustainable development of CCV, and help it get out of the development dilemma of insufficient innovation. There are few academic studies on CCV. The cultivation of CCV urgently needs to build a sustainable development model with innovation as the core of R&D, innovation incubation, achievement transformation, public service, and experience application, and form a set of scientific cultivation mechanism to promote rural innovation.
What innovation subjects are included in the cultivation process of CCV, how to organically connect the innovative subjects, and how to construct and cultivate a sustainable development model of CCV have become urgent practical problems. Many places are still at the stage of “crossing the river by feeling the stones” to develop creative villages. What is a CCV, how to build it, and who is the subject of the construction is still not clear enough. Especially from the perspective of innovation, how to cultivate rural innovation subjects, how to establish organic connections between subjects, and how to provide institutional and policy support is particularly important and urgent.
CCV is a new platform for innovation and entrepreneurship, which requires the organic integration of various innovative elements such as enterprises, industries, capital, government management, and social organizations, and creates and maintains an innovative ecological balance. In the current theoretical research on the construction of CCV, there is still a lack of systematic research on the interactive mechanism between the main body of CCV innovation, innovation influencing factors, and innovative elements, which is not conducive to the overall improvement and high-level cultivation of CCV innovation capabilities. Constructing and cultivating a sustainable development model of CCV will further enrich and develop cultural and creative rural research theories and provide valuable references for rural innovation.
The sustainable development model of CCV
Innovation is an important feature that distinguishes humans from natural species. Compared with natural ecosystems, the sustainable development model of cultural and creative villages consists of technology, talents, funds, etc. The environment for innovation is infrastructure, policies, systems, culture, etc. The final result is that the cultural and creative villages will gain stronger development momentum and realize the sustainable development of the villages.
1 Innovation subject
1.1 Small-medium-micro cultural enterprise (SCE)
SCE is the main front of CCV to drive employment and gather popularity, and the most important innovation entity. Its sustainable development needs to do well in three aspects: First, product innovation. Do a good job in the development and utilization of traditional cultural resources, broaden the connotation of product, and actively integrate with modern production technology and lifestyle. The second is the innovation of product production and marketing methods. Most cultural enterprises in cultural and creative villages are family workshops, and it is difficult for them to make major breakthroughs in product technological innovation and marketing innovation. They should make full use of the Internet and new media to establish «live studios» and expand online sales platforms. The third is cross-industry integration and expansion of new business formats. At present, most of SCEs in CCV are agricultural product production enterprises, with traditional and single business formats. It is necessary for existing cultural enterprises to actively innovate industrial formats and integrate them with exhibitions, tourism, education, festival, event, etc., to meet the diverse needs of consumers.
1.2 Creative class
Local resident, inheritor of intangible cultural heritage, college student creator, artist, and new media practitioner (such as live anchor) are all creative class. The artist’s innovative ability and level of innovation are the highest, with forward-looking innovative idea, deep innovation skill, and rich innovation works. CCV can become a new platform for them to create, produce, display and sell works of art. At the moment, the political discourse of “mass entrepreneurship and innovation” has made more college students join the upsurge of innovation and entrepreneurship, and more and more college students choose to work in small towns or start their businesses back home. Many CCVs have a vivid production and living environment foundation, follow the original production and living conditions and then integrate into the development of cultural and creative villages, and consciously become inheritors of traditional culture. Most of China’s intangible cultural heritage are preserved and passed down in folk. Inheritors of that play a vital and irreplaceable role in traditional performances, traditional food production, and traditional handmade skills.
1.3 Maker space
As an important platform of creative economy, mass production and citizen science, makerspace is booming globally (Li & Li. 2017). It is a face-to-face communication platform, not only an important service platform for CCV, but also an effective innovation subject. For example, cafe, high-level (returnees) talent exchange center, creative village hall, incubator, etc., they play a prominent role in creating an innovative atmosphere and promoting innovation in the countryside.
1.4 Social service organization
Diversified social organizations are an important part of the cultural and creative rural organization system. With the participation of social organization, the cultivation process of CCV can be smoother and the vitality be fully stimulated. Cultural and creative villages involve various social organizations in the cultivation process, such as cultural real estate enterprise association, after-school tutoring agency, productivity promotion center, intellectual property trading center, chamber of commerce, intermediary organization, headhunting company, accounting firm, elderly day care organization, and technology evaluation center. They each play a different role and become an important part of the sustainable development model of CCV.
2 Innovation chain
From a horizontal perspective, the sustainable development model of CCV is composed of multiple innovation subjects which are interconnected and coordinated. From a vertical perspective, the innovation elements of CCV are interrelated (to exchange and share information, cooperate and restrict each other) and form a chain.
Within CCV, the innovation chain of an enterprise includes product R&D technology, production process management, promotion and sales, production efficiency, talent training, etc. These parts are connected with each other. A typical example of a creative village with a relatively complete enterprise innovation chain and significant development effect is Huaxi Village located in Wuxi city. The main body of the cultivation and construction of Huaxi Village is Huaxi Group. The group continues to innovate development concept, the content of product and service, and obtain lasting innovation and vitality. It gradually develops tourism under the names of new socialist countryside, villa village, industrial village, modern tourism, etc. Then transition to the leisure and vacation industry, forming a relatively sound enterprise innovation chain, effectively stimulating rural innovation capability, and achieving sustainable rural development.
Enterprises in CCV must fully extend the industrial chain, form as perfect an industrial chain as possible, and form corresponding innovation modules and innovation ecology, in order to better improve corporate efficiency and enhance the vitality of the village. CCV should scientifically and prudently choose pillar industry, and introduce and cultivate high-quality superior enterprises in this industry category, form a magnetic field that attracts relevant enterprises, outstanding innovative talents and labor, and extend the industrial chain. The formation of the industrial chain must first give full play to the catfish effect of superior enterprises, and the key is to form a collaborative innovation ecosystem. The main lines are cultural IP introduction, characteristic cultural product production, brand marketing, upstream product introduction, and downstream product extension.
Capital can provide necessary material security support for the village, and it is also an important condition for the sustainable development of it. CCV capital input entities include: financial institutions including bank and non-bank, guarantee company, security company, trust company, insurance company, etc.; Social funds mainly include private investment, crowdfunding, developer, etc.; government funds mainly include: local financial subsidy, small town bonus fund, industry guidance fund, financing support fund, guarantee, etc. The capital investment model advocates the PPP model, strengthens the in-depth cooperation between the government and society, and improves the efficiency of capital use. In addition to conventional construction such as infrastructure and public service construction, rural capital demand subjects also have cultural enterprises that emphasize creativity and light assets. This requires the formation of a relatively complete capital operation chain.
2.4 Public Service
The main role that the government plays in CCV is to provide high-quality public services. The target public service involves the creation of innovation atmosphere, innovation environment, business environment, public goods, infrastructure, and social security. In government services, we must focus on stimulating social participation and mobilize more social forces to innovate. The cultivation and construction of CCV involves industry, employment, settlement, culture and other aspects. The government’s public services need to form a coherent innovative ecological chain supplemented by development, otherwise the development will not be sustainable.
2.5 Operation management
Operation management includes rural planning, land use, investment, store management, corporate management, property management, tourist management, community management, environmental improvement, service marketing, etc. The contents are closely linked and closely linked. The operation system includes land planning, project development, commercial operation, shop operation, tourist management, scenic spot management, media management, etc. Through various scientific operation, a win-win situation for tourist, village, investor, business, and local resident will be realized.
3 Diffusion mechanism
The ways of innovation diffusion include: One is imitation. This is the simplest way of innovation diffusion. For example, when a porcelain factory adopted the method of opening production workshops and developing heritage tourism to promote enterprise innovation to achieve better results, affected by the profit-seeking characteristics of “economically rational”, other enterprises began to imitate this practice and cater to it. The second is improvement. We must use a keen eye to discover problems, make effective improvements, continue to implement improved innovation strategies, and promote the diffusion of innovation. Through improvement, companies can move the innovation curve down and reduce the cost of creating the same output.
Entrepreneurial and innovative talents are the soul of CCV, and can drive enterprise innovation, product innovation, service innovation, and management innovation. One is to attract high-level talents. For CCV, it is necessary to actively strengthen communication and cooperation with artists, arts and crafts masters, inheritors of intangible cultural heritage, etc., and carry out the theme positioning, connotation exploration and characteristic shaping of CCV. The artist’s creation is integrated with the overall rural style design and industrial format. The second is to support entrepreneurs. The cultural and creative village carries the mission and task of “mass entrepreneurship and innovation”. Give college students more entrepreneurial policies and attract them to start businesses in the countryside. The third is to encourage local resident to start business. Formulate some incentive policies such as rural allowances, and strive to cultivate more rural innovators’ creativity.
2 Supportive organization
Supportive organization plays an important linking role in the sustainable development model of CCV. Excavating and cultivating it is an important means to cultivate innovative CCV. One is to focus on fostering virtual organization. Virtual organization achieve continuous innovation capabilities through the interaction of knowledge resource acquisition, knowledge integration, learning ability, trust, etc. (Zhang, 2020). Second is to strengthen the entity organization. The entity organizations of CCV can be youth talent service center, entrepreneurial alliance, chamber of commerce, intangible cultural technical inheritance center, village committee, etc. Make full use of existing organizations such as school, financial institution, public cultural service station, handicraft workshop, cultural enterprise public platform, innovation and entrepreneurship center and other organization and space in the countryside to expand their service functions and deepen the influence of organizational services.
Local government can bring the development trend of cross-border integration into work. One is to integrate CCV with poverty alleviation work. In response to some thorny issues such as a large number of rural populations flowing into city, no pillar industry, and difficulty in implementing poverty alleviation project, the government must innovate work idea and unified plan to support construction of CCV. The second is to integrate CCV with global tourism. CCV itself is a valuable tourism resource, using traditional paper media, new media, WeChat, Douyin and other forms to promote tourism quality and destination sustainable management. The third is to integrate CCV with rural revitalization. To thoroughly understand the excellent rural culture, to innovate and develop rural characteristics, realize the industrial chain, and make it a characteristic industry of CCV through packaging design and brand building. These all need top-down strength as support.
Financial support is the bridge to realize the docking of capital and creative enterprise, and the driving force for the sustainable development of creative enterprise (Chen, 2017) and CCV. Poor financing, insufficient capital investment, and lack of a capital investment guarantee mechanism have become major constraints on the development of CCV. At present, the existing funding problems are as follows: First, the country currently does not have a complete guarantee system for capital investment in CCV; Second, CCV lacks attractiveness to social capital, and investors lack confidence in investment returns; third, the utilization rate of rural resources and assets needs to be improved, which does not match the overall requirements of CCV; fourth, commercial financial institutions are not very enthusiastic about investing funds in the construction of CCV; fifth, “agriculture, village, and farmer” lack correct and scientific method of capital use. All parties need to change their inherent concept and make CCV a hot spot for capital inflows.
Reviewing the main driving theories of world economic development, we have mainly experienced different theoretical development stages such as traditional theory, human capital theory, social capital theory, and creative class theory. Different theories correspond to different core production factors. In the later stages of industrialization, the dynamic theory of economic and social development has gradually become the theory of creative class, and innovation has become an important driving force for economic and social development today. The research focus on innovation has gradually changed from a static analysis of innovation elements to a dynamic study of the interaction between innovation subjects and behavior subjects (Ji, 2019). In-depth analysis of the element composition of the sustainable development model and research on the interaction mechanism between each element, and organically linking it with the carrier of CCV, will make the innovation village research more vivid and practical.
CCV is a new type of industrial cluster, creative cluster and ecological livable area. In the countryside, there will inevitably be more production factor, talent, and labor force gathering. These resource gatherings and the low-cost advantages brought by the unique organizational form of CCV make itself a new platform for innovation and entrepreneurship. Researching and constructing a sustainable development model for CCV is conducive to policy, institution, and facility for entrepreneurship, attracting elements to gather, and promoting CCV to become a new platform for innovation and entrepreneurship faster and better.
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