Summary of The Rise of the Creative Class

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The good news is, Richard Florida’s book recognizes the growing economic and sociological impact of creativity. The bad news is that in just two years, it has lost some of its gloss. The collapse of the bull market, the popping of the bubble, the 9/11 trauma, each took some shine off of the creative economy, with its casual dress days, flexible schedules and free rides. But even though this appraisal occasionally sounds quaint, believes that the book’s faith in the transforming economic and social power of creativity, its broad view, and its excellent references and quotations make it worth recommending.

About the Author

Richard Florida is the H. John Heinz III Professor of Regional Economic Development at Carnegie Mellon University. A columnist for Information Week, he lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.



Who Is the Creative Class?

The Creative Class includes anyone whose work in any profession requires creativity: engineers, architects, designers, writers, artists, musicians, even businesspeople, educators, health care providers, lawyers and members of other professions may be part of the Creative Class. The Creative Class has 38 million members, approximately 30% of the U.S. workforce. This group dominates society because creativity is the dominant factor in economic growth. The Creative Class possesses and sells creativity.

The Creative Class is responsible for how U.S. society has changed since the 1950’s. People don’t tell many ethnic jokes anymore. They wear casual clothes at work. Young people have pierced faces and tattoos. Women are sometimes managers. Even nonwhites are sometimes managers. People don’t smoke and drink at business lunches the way they once did. People from different races date each other. "Gay" couples even walk publicly in the streets. Grown men wear spandex and ride bicycles. These changes are logical, rational and sensible, but they are not random. Human creativity caused them.

Creativity comes in many different forms; technological...

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