About Us

About Creative Chiang Mai

About Creative Chiang Mai

Promoting Innovation and Creativity for the development of Chiang Mai

Creative Chiang Mai (CCM) is an idea, vision and initiative to promote creativity and innovation in Chiang Mai. CCM’s mission is to  promote Chiang Mai as a Creative City, special economic zone and creative hub. The aims are to generate economic development and diversification, attract new investment, and create new jobs and opportunities.

The initiative is coordinated by the “Chiang Mai Creative City Development Committee”, which was established by the Governor of Chiang Mai in August 2010. The Committee is a think-tank, network and sharing platform. Its members include 50 representatives from the academic, private and government sectors. All members join on a voluntary basis. It is a local initiative - not a government funded entity.

Many other organizations and individuals join and support the goals and activities. The secretariat of Creative Chiang Mai is the Chiang Mai University Science & Technology Park (CMU STeP). Creative Chiang Mai is not a project, but a long-term vision and network of people and organizations that work together to achieve this vision. Creative Chiang Mai encourages everybody to take action and work together to continue improving Chiang Mai as a place to live and work.


The Creative Chiang Mai initiative promotes creativity and innovation in Chiang Mai. In line with the Thai government’s vision, CCM builds on Chiang Mai’s existing strengths to develop its creative and knowledge economy.


Creativity, collaboration and innovation impact on economic and social development and lead to a more attractive urban environment. 

Marketing Chiang Mai is also an important goal of CCM. By highlighting other strengths as well as the areas for which Chiang Mai is already well known, new investments, business activities, jobs and new opportunities are created.

Creative Chiang Mai is a local initiative with a focus on creativity, innovation and collaboration. CCM aims to promote an appropriate and sustainable development approach for Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai Creative City Development Committee

The Chiang Mai Creative City Development Committee was established by the Governor of Chiang Mai in 2010. It consists of representatives from the education, private and government sectors. Other organizations, associations, groups, and individuals are welcome to join the Creative Chiang Mai network and Committee meetings.

Chiang Mai University chairs the Development Committee (together with Payap University and North Chiang Mai University) and the Chiang Mai University Science & Technology Park (CMU STeP) serves as the secretariat and point of contact.

The objectives of the Development Committee are to jointly develop and update CCM’s  roadmap and strategy, coordinate and share information across stakeholders, coordinate and govern relevant projects, implement and operate activities/projects (via its members), establish working groups as required, raise funds (via its members) and to market Chiang Mai.

Creative Chiang Mai is a think tank, sharing and networking platform and a catalyst for development. The Development Committee may suggest policy, projects and activities (and, if required, will coordinate these), but it is for the members to implement them and to provide or obtain funding and resources. Creative Chiang Mai is not an entity and the initiative belongs to everybody who shares and supports the idea and vision.

The Meaning of the Logo

The Creative Chiang Mai logo represents Chiang Mai city’s walls (history, strength, unity, culture), whilst the colors reflect the creativity of the people of Chiang Mai. The movement in the center represents innovation and development.

What do we mean by Creativity

Our definition of creativity is broad and consistent used with definitions used by international organizations such as UNCTAD. Creativity can scientific, technical, cultural creativity, business and artistic. Innovation is as important as culture. Collaborations is critical for more impact. We prefer to think of the entire (creative) economy, rather than a narrower focus on specific industries only. 

Chiang Mai has several existing and growing creative industries such as crafts, services, design, and software/digital content. Creativity is also important for other sectors of the economy such as agriculture, food processing, wellness and tourism.  

The term creative city adds a spatial aspect to the creative eco-system and economy of a city and recognizes that proper urban development stimulates creative activity – and creative thinking can be used to better develop cities.

Strategy and Roadmap for Creative Chiang Mai 

In 2010, a roadmap and strategy was developed.  Subsequently, a range of activities, projects, policies and events were proposed over a 5-year time frame. The implementation of many of these activities relied heavily on government funding. In 2014, progress will be assessed and the strategy and roadmap updated.  Over the past 2-3 years, a number of key annual initiatives and events have been established. For 2014 and beyond, Creative Chiang Mai hopes to inspire and implement more projects.

Sectors and Areas of Focus

Creative Chiang Mai is about creativity and innovation in the economy as a whole. While focus is placed on certain creative industries, particularly digital content IT, software, and functional design - other industries such as crafts and tourism are also supported.  Indeed, creativity and innovation are important for all sectors of the economy. CCM also promotes entrepreneurship and creativity in education and urban development.

While the importance of art, heritage and culture are recognized, innovation is seen a significant driver of a creative and knowledge economy and society. For example, handmade-chiangmai is a project that bring digital technology and other forms of innovation to traditional industries such as crafts and tourism. Another example is the improvement of packaging. This requires good design but also material science knowledge and other technical and engineering skills.

This is why the CMU Science & Technology Park (CMU STeP) was chosen as the secretariat of the initiative. CMU STeP focuses on collaboration, creativity and technology innovation. CMU STeP works with other organizations and members of the network to ensure that all areas of CCM’s vision and approach are covered.

Read more about members..

Need more info? Call Us (+66) 81 969 6919