The Rise of the Creative Class
The Washington Monthly 2002 Annual Political Book Award WinnerThe Rise of the Creative Class gives us a provocative new way to think about why we live as we do today-and where we might be headed. Weaving storytelling with masses of...
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The Washington Monthly 2002 Annual Political Book Award WinnerThe Rise of the Creative Class gives us a provocative new way to think about why we live as we do today-and where we might be headed. Weaving storytelling with masses of new and updated research, Richard Florida traces the fundamental theme that runs through a host of seemingly unrelated changes in American society: the growing role of creativity in our economy.Just as William Whyte's 1956 classic The Organization Man showed how the organizational ethos of that age permeated every aspect of life, Florida describes a society in which the creative ethos is increasingly dominant. Millions of us are beginning to work and live much as creative types like artists and scientists always have-with the result that our values and tastes, our personal relationships, our choices of where to live, and even our sense and use of time are changing. Leading the shift are the nearly 38 million Americans in many diverse fields who create for a living-the Creative Class.The Rise of the Creative Class chronicles the ongoing sea of change in people's choices and attitudes, and shows not only what's happening but also how it stems from a fundamental economic change. The Creative Class now comprises more than thirty percent of the entire workforce. Their choices have already had a huge economic impact. In the future they will determine how the workplace is organized, what companies will prosper or go bankrupt, and even which cities will thrive or wither.
Ten years ago, Richard Florida published a path-breaking book about the forces that were reshaping our economy, our geography, our work, and our whole way of life. Weaving story-telling with reams of original research, he traced a fundamental theme through a host of seemingly unrelated changes in American society: the growing role of creativity. In the decade since, we have endured a series of world shattering events-from the collapse of the tech bubble to 9/11 to the economic meltdown of 2008-any one of which might have been sufficient to derail the forces he described Instead, the drive towards creativity as only intensified, both in the US and across the globe. In late 2011, the social media site LinkedIn reported that the word most used by its members to describe themselves was "Creative."
In this newly revised and expanded edition of his now classic book, Florida has brought all of its statistics up to date (and provided a host of new ones); further refined his occupational, demographic, psychological, and economic profile of the Creative Class; incorporated a decade's worth of his own and his colleagues' quantitative and qualitative research; and addressed his major critics. Five completely new chapters cover the global effects of the Creative Class and explore the integral features and factors that shape "quality of place" in our rapidly changing cities and suburbs. Florida delves into the roles played by technology, race, and poverty in perpetuating and exacerbating income inequality and the pervasive influence of class throughout every aspect of society. Throwing down the gauntlet, he proposes a dramatic new social compact for our time-one that can turn our emerging Creative Economy into an enduringly Creative Society.
We currently inhabit a strange period of interregnum in which the old order has collapsed and the new order is not yet born, Florida writes. The old order has failed; attempts to bail it out, to breathe new life into it or to somehow prop it back up are doomed to history's dustbin. The key is not to limit or reverse the gains that the Creative Class has made but to extend them across the board, to build a more open, more diverse, more inclusive Creative Society that can more fully harness its members'-allof its members'-capacities.
Richard L. Florida is director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and professor of business and creativity at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. C