Ireland ranks 12th out of 82 countries in a new Global Creativity Index which puts Sweden at the top, followed by the United States, Finland, Denmark and Australia.
The rest ahead of Ireland are New Zealand, Canada, Norway, Singapore, The Netherlands and Belgium. Following us are the UK, Switzerland, France, Germany, Spain, Taiwan, Italy and Hong Kong. Israel, Russia, Brazil, India and China are middle ranked at positions 24, 30, 46, 50 and 58 respectively.
The Index was created at the University of Toronto as a more modern measurement of competitiveness and prosperity.
It is designed in the turbulence of the global economic recession as a broader way of measuring a country than the long-standing Gross National Product, which many social and financial experts believe has outlived its usefulness.
The Index measures in essence what the authors call the ’Three Ts’—Technology, Talent and Tolerance. It applies broader measures of economic prosperity, sustainability, happiness and subjective well-being than are done for GNP or GDP.
The technological aspects included are R&D investment, researchers, and patents per capita. On talent the key element is educational attainment and the creative class. Tolerance is ascertained from surveys of the treatment of immigrants, racial and ethnic minorities, and gays and lesbians.
Without going into the nitty gritty of the Index, it must show that there's hope for us yet. If we win the Rugby World Cup, it should be worth a couple more rungs closer to the top.