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The Orange Economy: how to define it

It is a phenomenon based on talent, culture, intellectual property and connectivity. 

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Published by ConnectAmericas

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The creative economy includes all the sectors whose goods and services are based on intellectual property

Defining the Orange Economy is a complex matter. Creating a universal definition is both absurd and unnecessary, sustain Felipe Buitrago Restrepo and Iván Duque, authors of “The Orange Economy, an infinite opportunity.”  They explain that orange, a pigment used in ancient Egypt to adorn the tombs of the pharaohs, is the dominant color for culture, creativity and identity.  

Several terms are used to allude to this phenomenon such as cultural industries, creative industries (in Spanish),  leisure industries, content industries, copyright protected industries, cultural economy and creative economy. 

The creative economy includes all the sectors whose goods and services are based on intellectual property: architecture, visual and performing arts, crafts, film, design, publishing, research and development, games and toys, fashion, music, advertising, software, TV and radio, and videogames. This is how it was defined by John Hawkins, a pioneer in the subject, at the beginning of the new millennium. 

Below we share some definitions from institutions and organizations that have focused their attention on these industries.

  • United Nations Education Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO): The cultural and creative industries are those that combine the creation, production and commercialization of creative contents that are intangible and of a cultural nature. These contents are usually protected by Copyright and can take the form of a good or a service. Besides all artistic and cultural production, they include architecture and advertising. 
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):  The creative industries are at the core of the creative economy, and are defined as cycles of production of goods and services that use creativity and intellectual capital as their main input. They are classified by their role as heritage, art, media and functional creations.
  • World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO): The Copyright-based industries are those that are dedicated, interdependent, or that are directly or indirectly related with the creation, production, representation, exhibition, communication, distribution or retail of Copyright protected material.
  • Department of Culture, Media and Sports of the United Kingdom (DCMS):  The creative industries are those activities based on creativity, individual talent and skill, and that have the potential to create jobs and wealth through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property.
  • Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC): The content industries are: publishing, film, TV, radio, phonographic, mobile contents, independent audiovisual production, web contents, electronic games, and content produced for digital convergence (cross-media).

It is still possible to redeem certain consensus surrounding the concepts of creativity, arts and culture as commodities and the presence of a creative value chain. The same in regard to intellectual property rights, in particular with respect to copyright. 

In this regard, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) affirms that cultural industries include the goods and services that are traditionally associated with cultural policies, creative services and sports.  It classifies them into three categories: 

  • Conventional (e.g., publishing, books, film, etc.), 
  • Others  (e.g., opera, crafts, design, etc.) and 
  • New (e.g., software, videogames, etc.).
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