Richard Florida

Professor, Economic Development, Carnegie Mellon University

The Rise of the Creative Class
42 minutes, 19.3mb, recorded 2004-10-21
Richard Florida
We're in the midst of a fundamental economic revolution, bigger than the change from an agricultural to an industrial society. It's based on creativity including technological, economic and aesthetic creativity.

Richard Florida suggests that technology alone in this creative age is not going to make us safe. We need to bring in the kind of creative entrepreneurs who can make great ideas into sustainable business models. We also need aesthetic creativity and we need to pull in political and cultural creativity. Only then, Florida says, will we get real economic growth.

He warns us however that unless we're willing to harness the creativity of people, we're going to lose the edge. As a society, we have to not only attract creative people but tap into those who don't think they're creative. He reminds us of the trends over the past couple of decades of creative people migrating to places' that foster that creativity, e.g., San Francisco, NYC, Chicago.

Richard Florida is the author of the groundbreaking book, The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure Community and Everyday Life, published by Basic Books in June 2002. The book has been widely acclaimed in the New York Times and other major media for showing how the most profound changes in our workplace, culture and everyday lives come from the rise of creativity as an economic force. Currently in its eighth printing, the book has stimulated a national debate about the causes and consequences of economic growth and development.

He is the H. John Heinz III Professor of Economic Development at Carnegie Mellon University, where he is founder and co-director of the Software Industry Center. He has been a visiting professor at MIT and Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Richard is co-author of five other books, including Industrializing Knowledge published by MIT Press; Beyond Mass Production published by Oxford University Press and The Breakthrough Illusion published by Basic Books, and more than 100 articles in academic journals.

He is a founder and principal of Catalytix, a strategy-consulting firm that works with regions, governments and corporations around the world.

He earned his Bachelor's degree from Rutgers College and his PhD from Columbia University.

Facilitation graphics by Peter Durand of Alphachimp Studio
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This presentation is one of many from the IT Conversations archives of Pop!Tech 2004 held in Camden, Maine, October 21-23, 2004.

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