The existing creativity indexes aim to establish the comparability of their findings at a global level, therefore they mostly contain quantitative indicators of creativity, which means that they measure creativity by way of statistical indicators such as, for example, the proportion of educated individuals within the population. Unfortunately, such data fail to fully capture important aspects of creativity. Besides, analysing creativity on the basis of statistical data is also biased as this data is mostly available only for certain countries. This kind of practice is discriminatory since the research does not include the countries which are usually less developed and excluded from certain international unions. As a result, research findings on the creativity of larger areas (e.g. Europe) are also often biased since studies do not examine those countries which are usually less developed and excluded from certain international unions and it is precisely the findings on the less-developed countries that might significantly contribute to the development of the creative sector, creative activities and, last but not least, economic development of the countries at issue. When designing a tool for measuring creativity, it is therefore crucial to select such indicators of creativity where the differences between rich and economically weaker countries will not be that prominent and at the same time, these indicators shall measure creativity and not other related concepts such as innovation. Majority of the existing creativity indexes namely also measure innovation which represents the economic effects of creativity, but not creativity itself; and it is creativity itself that can have other, non-economic effects.
The development of a new methodology and the use of more accessible data on creativity indicators render possible the introduction of the Creative Barometer. It represents a new tool for assessing the creativity of countries, and this tool also enables a comparison between different countries. The Creative Barometer views creativity as a mental ability of an individual to create something new and original which is recognised by the community as precious and valuable, regardless of its economic potential. It deals with the limitations of the existing indexes by introducing a qualitative creativity indicator: international awards in the fields of architecture, interior design, product design and fashion. In comparison with other indexes, such a measure is much more tangible because it represents a direct measure of creativity and at the same time it also includes a social context since awards represent a statement of the evaluation of an individual’s creativity in a professional community. It also contains additional quantitative indicators of creativity (e.g. the number of people working as creative and performing artists, authors, journalists and linguists, and the number of enterprises in the cultural sector), which, due to limited data availability in certain countries, do not affect the final calculation of the creativity in a certain area, but serve as an aid in the interpretation of the results.
The Creative Barometer 2020 measures the achievements of the countries of Southeast Europe in the fields of architecture, interior design, product design and fashion. The Creative Barometer 2020 represents creativity measurements in the following countries: Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Montenegro, Greece, Croatia, Italy, Kosovo, Hungary, Moldavia, Romania, North Macedonia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, and Turkey. The countries involved represent only the area of operation covered by Big See, whereas the Creative Barometer methodology is also suitable for measuring creativity in other areas.
By means of the Creative Barometer we wanted to develop a tool for measuring creativity. Such tool shall address the problems of the existing indexes and at the same time it shall be applicable to different geographical areas. Despite the fact that this is the initial phase of the Creative Barometer development, the barometer offers wide possibilities for further development and upgrading.