Skip to main content

DKK 2.6 million to explore the origins of creativity

Professor Karol Jan Borowiecki receives financial support from The Danish Council for Independent Research for his research project on how human interaction works as a catalyst for creative expression.

Creativity is a quality in high demand in the labour market and in society. According to the OECD and the United Nations, creativity is one of the main drivers of the economy and helps to foster growth, job creation and innovation.

But what are the central mechanisms for creative expression seen in a historical perspective? How has creativity evolved over time? And how does creativity develop between individuals?

These are the questions which Karol Jan Borowiecki, professor with special responsibilities at the Department of Business and Economics, has received DKK 2.6 million from The Danish Council for Independent Research | Social Sciences to explore in more detail. The research funds are awarded to one or more researchers who want to explore important scientific issues developed from the researchers' own ideas.

Karol Jan Borowiecki

(Photo: Michael Yde Katballe) 

Creative individuals and their interactions are collected in a database
His study will shed light on how creativity is transferred from one individual to another.

- For example, it will be interesting to find out whether and how a music teacher influences a student studying composition. And the same applies to the exchange between equal parties, for example two composers, and to what degree they inspire each other, says Karol Jan Borowiecki.

The project aims to develop – and apply – a comprehensive database of creative people and their interactions.

- Creativity is extremely important in society, for instance in areas such as entrepreneurship, innovation and the arts. The European Commission has allocated funds to develop a creative society and support small and medium-sized enterprises in the cultural and creative sectors. This makes this study relevant to a range of stakeholders and may also qualify decision-makers to make better decisions about economic and cultural matters, says  Karol Jan Borowiecki.

The results are also essential for a number of other research areas, such as labour market economics, economic history, urban history and sociology.

The title of the project is "The origins of creativity: How human relations matter ".

Five grants from the Council
In May 2017, The Danish Council for Independent Research | Social Sciences funded five other projects led by researchers from the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences.

Read the news article Researchers receive millions from The Danish Council for Independent Research.

Meet the researcher

Karol Jan Borowiecki is a professor at the Department of Business and Economics, where he conducts research into economic history and cultural economy. He is a Board Member of the Association of Cultural Economics International and is the founder and co-editor of