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Welcome to the Creator Renaissance

The historical period we affectionately call the Renaissance (roughly the 15th to 17th centuries in Europe) was marked with an explosion of creation: new forms of art, architecture, politics, science, and literary exploration. Completely new creations, happening in tandem with massive social change, brought what seemed to be a whole new world (cue Aladdin and Jasmine singing). 

Looking at what many historians cite as the launchpad of the Renaissance, it’s easy to see parallels with the 21st century: 

  • After over a century, deep issues with prevailing economic systems came to the surface. 
  • Pandemics and crises ravaged the world and pushed many people to the edge. 
  • New technologies allowed incredible new forms of scalable expression that were nearly impossible until that point. 

In the 15th century, we’re talking about the cracks of feudalism, the aftermath of the Black Plague, and the invention of the printing press. 

As the Renaissance took off, we began to see critical changes: 

  • Individuals – particularly those at the lowest ends of the social ladder – got (some) more rights and (relatively) better treatment. 
  • Key thinkers of the day used a more humanistic theory of life – that we are not animals to be tamed but are capable of creation and creativity. 
  • New technology expanded the economy and opened a few new slivers of mobility.

In the 21st century, we’re talking about the cracks of unfettered capitalism, Swine Flu, Ebola, and now Covid, and the explosion of creator-driven and no-code technologies. We’re also recovering from decades of sameness, with remakes, sequels, prequels, and revivals dominating our would-be creative energy.

Will we see the same next steps now as we did 600 years ago? It seems that we’re both on that path already (with large scale social movements, particularly those originating out of the US), and leaders around the world calling for a more humanistic, holistic approach to public health, business, and welfare (seemingly except for the US). Further, history is pretty clear that large scale wars, pandemics, or otherwise have a way of accelerating massive social change. 

Where the 21st century differs

As the world largely continues to sit remotely, our changes are happening in a virtual world running in parallel to the physical world we occupy. This alone creates a significant difference in comparison to any changes in the past. 

When plagues and wars raged, the whole physical world was chopped up – that meant the next step was to rebuild. During COVID, we see a world emptied but not necessarily destroyed. The result is not to rebuild but escape, and so a new digital world got built.

This Creator Renaissance – building a virtual world while advocating for change in the physical world – is already being characterized with some key differences compared to the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. 

Instead of individuals getting more rights in the current system, there’s an opportunity to build new systems

Instead of only looking upward, more opportunities exist to operate and grow laterally

Instead of promoting employment, the Creator Renaissance is promoting creativity and entrepreneurship

Instead of seeking only to influence, we are prizing those who are capable of creation

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The power players of the Creator Renaissance

As the world seeks to create new things once more, the Creator Renaissance power players typically come from one of four categories: 

  1. Creators and influencers.
  2. Tools and platforms.
  3. Funders.
  4. Community infrastructure builders.

Who are these people, you may ask? Well, keep scrolling for their names.

Creators and influencers

It seems that this category fits into one of three buckets:

  1. Thinkers: The people behind platforms. 
  2. Doers: Stars in the community. 
  3. Evangelists: The community and growth managers that connect with new people.

A few names for your perusal:

Thinkers

Doers

Evangelists

Tools and platforms

On a platform level, there tend to be three types:

  1. Media
  2. Ecommerce and sales.
  3. App and web builders.

So what are the platforms powering creators these days?

Media

Ecommerce and sales

App and web builders

Funders 

Ah yes, the money people. They’re so glamorous, aren’t they? Keeping a trend of three, here are the subcategories:

  1. People who fund the Builders
  2. People who fund the Infrastructure
  3. People who fund those ignored or pushed out of other mechanisms

People who fund the Builders

People who fund the Infrastructure

People who fund those ignored or pushed out of other mechanisms

Community infrastructure

When it comes to community, we’ve got:

  1. Hosting communities
  2. Growing communities

In this context, I mean empowering creators to host and grow their own communities, not necessarily large platforms that are / have communities unto themselves. 

Hosting communities

Growing communities

This post was originally published on Remotely Inclined.

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