The Viney Agency


Roisin McAuley

John Howkins is a leading figure in the global understanding of work and creativity.


He is the author of the seminal The Creative Economy which has been translated into fourteen languages.


He is a former chair of CREATEC, Tornado (Britain’s first streaming company) and BOPĀ  (the UK’s leading advisory service on culture and creativity).


John Howkins was chair of the London Film School and chief adviser to HBO and Time Warner for fifteen years.


In 2006 the Shanghai government set up the John Howkins Research Centre on the Creative Economy. He lives in London.


His Invisible - The Inside Story of the Future of Work is based on his experiences at the forefront of invisible work in London, Los Angeles, Shanghai and elsewhere and will be published by September Publishing in 2019.


Praise for The Creative Economy

‘A valuable introduction to its brave new world’

Sunday Times

‘John Howkins picks his way through the many facets of creativity, unearthing surprising facts’



‘The first really practical guide for people working in the creative industries’

Director Magazine

LATEST BOOK: INVISIBLE: The Inside Story of the Future of Work

Roisin McAuley
Bringing the secret of good work out in the open, Invisible defines and explains the ‘significant moment’ that distinguishes creative and persuasive work.

As our work depends more on how we handle ideas and insights so it becomes more personal and subjective. The decisive moments, the factors that decide success or failure, become invisible.

Walk into a typical office and it’s hard to tell who is working and who isn’t. Invisible work is at the heart of creativity and innovation and indeed of all work that changes people’s perceptions.  It is perhaps the most important kind of work and business today. In the right hands, it can be as potent and influential as more familiar knowledge and skills. Unrecognised or done badly and it can sabotage our best efforts.

describes the global mega-forces that are redefining jobs and causing the rise of invisible work. Spotify founder Daniel Ek says nothing interesting happens there without invisible work. It shows how people manage invisible work when it is private and unobservable and how they control when, where and how to bring it into the open. It challenges and updates ideas about leadership and management

.It describes a five-factor model of invisible work and how to maximise the four ‘W’s: What, Why, When and Where. It provides a new framework for integrating AI algorithms and robotics and human work.

It shows how invisible learning is an integral part of invisible work and defines a new ‘Capacity to Learn’. It describes the rise of the ‘Incorporated Self’ and how people can use company law to empower their work. It concludes with a coda that we cannot understand the future of work, and therefore the future of society, until we know how to manage invisible work.

Invisible goes beyond current ideas on creativity and innovation to shed new light on the future of work.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Creative Ecologies: Where Thinking is a Proper Job (Transaction, 2010); The Creative Economy: How People Make Money from Ideas (Penguin, 2002); Communications in China (Prentice Hall, 1982); New Technologies, New Policies (BFI Publishing, 1982); Understanding Television (Sundial Books, 1976).