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Creating a creative economy

With reference to our recent discussions on national creativity, Richard Florida, what cultural factors impact innovation etc, I thought to share one section of this in depth interview with Florida, on his latest book "The Flight of the Creative Class: The New Global Competition for Talent" -

So what does it mean to create a genuinely inclusive creative economy?

What I have to say is that we have to think about this as moving from a creative, or technology- or knowledge-based economy to a creative or technology- or knowledge-based society. The reorienting axis of that is this fundamental idea that each and every human being is creative and has to be valued as such.

We're, at best, harnessing the creative capacities of 30 to 40 percent of our workforce, and I think no more than maybe 20 to 30 percent of those people's creative faculties -- because most of us are bored. The real nexus of competition in the future will be those communities that engage much more of that creative energy.

That's where the book kind of shifts gears. It says that it's not enough to compete for high-end talent, to keep your doors open to the best of the brightest kids from China, India, Europe, or North America. The real economic power, if you will, in our time is going to come to those cities, regions, countries that can dig down very deeply and include many, many, many of their own people and other people from around the world in this creative economy.

To achieve this, we've got to do three or four things, We have to massively increase our investments and creativity, massively invest in science, technology, engineering, culture. But we need to do so in a way that's not only oriented at the best and the brightest, but harnesses the energy of everyone. We need a creativity GI Bill. And the way we get kids involved in these sports programs, like soccer and tennis camps, we have to do that for their creativity.

The third thing we need to do is we have to remain an open society. We cannot externally and internally be viewed as a closed society -- it will be disastrous to us and disastrous to the world.

The fourth thing we need to do is a challenge that virtually no one in America is talking about. We have to understand that there are two unsung and neglected areas of economic competition, of economic growth. One I mentioned was tolerance and diversity; the second is cities and urban policy. We need an urban policy that not only improves our cities, not only makes them stronger, but makes them denser -- an urban policy that really focuses on building dense, thriving, vibrant cities. Not because it's a good or ethical thing to do, but because we know that urbanization economies and density are fundamental drivers of economic growth.

Tying the the points that Florida makes about focusing on a creative society, not economy, is this interesting research paper titled The Human Face of Global Mobility - International Highly Skilled Migration in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific. I'd like to hear what others have to say on this, especially those of us discussing the impact of national culture and education on creativity.

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» Richard Florida on technology, talent and tolerance - [AlterNet] from Putting people first
When Richard Florida published his upbeat Rise of the Creative Class in 2002, he became the instant darling of progressives everywhere. What's not to like about a man who says diversity, tolerance, and a vibrant cultural life are required ingredients ... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 12, 2005 12:14:06 AM


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CPH127 is a sense-making initiative. We aim to create a open dialogue around the profound understanding of the leadership, organization and strategy of creative business functions with the aim to create new value (for customers, employers and stakeholders.

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