The creative class – innovative knowledge workers in all sectors of the economy - will rule the 21st century.
'Talent, technology and tolerance'
A leading thinker on creativity believes attracting talented people is the driving force behind successful cities. In an interview with EurActiv, Richard Florida, author of 'The Rise of the Creative Class', said European countries are battling to attract and retain innovative people. Richard Florida is author of 'Who's Your City?' and director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
You have suggested that attracting large numbers of 'creative types' to a city can help generate a more innovative and creative culture. Have many cities have put this theory into practice and how can European governments practically apply this idea?
For a place to prosper in the Creative Age, communities have to approach the global economy utilising a comprehensive framework for community and economic development. In The Rise of the Creative Class, I presented a 3T approach to economic development that provides communities with a strategy for positioning their community for growth in the global economy.
Talent: The driving force behind any effective economic strategy is talented people. We live a more mobile age than ever before. People, especially top creative talent, move around a lot. A community's ability to attract and retain top talent is the defining issue of the creative age. As the global economy becomes more competitive, European countries, like other peer nations across the globe, will be challenged to attract and retain the brightest talent, as well as provide the necessary skill training and education opportunities to stay competitive.
Technology: Technology and innovation are critical components of a community or organisation's ability to drive economic growth. To be successful, communities and organisations must have the avenues for transferring research, ideas and innovation into marketable and sustainable products. European universities are paramount to this and provide the innovation infrastructure necessary for the creativity and technology transfer.
Tolerance: Economic prosperity relies on cultural, entrepreneurial, civic, scientific, and artistic creativity.
Creative workers with these talents need communities, organisations and peers that are open to new ideas and different people. Europe has to continue to be a place that is receptive to immigration, alternative lifestyles and new views on social status and power structure.
Cities and the Creative Class