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Pirating the Creative Economy

Coming from someone who's been advocating intellectual property rights, encouraging governments to push for the creative economy and pushing investors to invest in talent, the title of this article will definitely come as a surprise!!

Yet, it is not.

Absorbed by the decentralized aspects of blockchain, driven by the importance of constant collaboration and the value of cooperatives (at heart being pretty much a socialist 😅), to my surprise, I was seduced by the PIRATES' way of life, specifically those during the Golden Age of piracy (1690-1725).

It turns out they were the pioneers of all this thinking.

For all those years, myself along with a large group of creatives, we've been trying to jump start the creative economy in the Arab world highlighting its importance for economic growth, with the hopes that investors would jump on board. Yet, all we saw was the institutionalization of investments being geared mostly towards tech, while creative production was left for grants, government support and a pat on the back.

Time for mutiny!

Well, same as the Pirates of the Golden age did, I believe it's time to create some "good trouble" according to Sam Conniff Allende in his book "Be More Pirate" puts it. And thanks to blockchain and Web3, the possibilities of this good trouble are endless (in a way investments in tech eventually are serving this rebellion... I guess).

Pirates revolted against the existing system at the time for its unfairness. In the process they laid the foundation of a cooperative system that guaranteed proper democracy, fair treatment, equal pay and social welfare (if you don't believe me, read the book). Basically, a community driven structure. I'm sure you will question their source of funding, but that's not the point here 🤓, at least the money or gold they raided was fairly distributed and managed.

So what hinders the creatives of the day to become the modern day pirates (minus the stealing of course 😅)? Agents of change? Is it hard for them to come together as a community, self fund and invest in the projects they believe in?


Thanks to blockchain, creatives-wanna-be-pirates are able to navigate the world of crypto enabling them to rethink and rewrite the rules they want to break, the rules that are hindering them from setting up a creative economy as they want it to be; borderless, community-driven, impactful, scalable, fair, transparent and not dictated by investors or corporates or institutions.

Blockchain and community are two trendy words these days, and everyone wants to ride the wave (knowingly or with ignorance). Yet for creatives, it's not about riding the wave, but rather navigating the oceans and on their own terms.

Throughout 2022, you will see me focusing on this theme and inducing different types of content that will shape this line of thought while committing to some practical steps that will make it happen. Cheers!

Resources Be More Pirate by Sam Conniff Photo Credits in order of appearance: Laura C, Tumisu, Engin Akyurt #OnTransformation

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