Academics who research the creative economy document and analyse the creative economy while participating in and promoting the creative economy itself. With this in mind, what role is there for academics as expert intermediaries in advocating for progressive alternatives? What kind of creative economy is being implicitly or explicitly promoted? This concluding article draws together threads of research towards a reflection about the role of academics as expert intermediaries. What matters less is that academics are expert intermediaries, and more that this position of privilege is acknowledged and productively negotiated. In the more intimate moments of narrative intermediation, researchers are active agents in making the creative economy ‘known’, drawing boundaries around the regional context, and translating discourses for and with policy-makers. This is a crucial point of intervention.