Creativity’s role in economic growth is well-documented by Richard Florida (2002) in his book The Rise of the Creative Class and How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life. He emphasizes the 3 T’s: Technology, Talent and Tolerance.

Florida’s basic thesis is that the economy is transforming, and creativity is to the 21st century what the ability to push a plow was to the 18th century. Creative occupations are growing and firms now orient themselves to attract the creative. Employers now prod their hires onto greater bursts of inspiration. The urban lesson of Florida’s book is that cities that want to succeed must aim at attracting the creative types who are, Florida argues, the wave of the future.

florida-the-riseThe national bestseller that defines a new economic class and shows how it is key to the future of our cities. The 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 TheOrganization 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 30 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.



  1. From Edward L. Glaeser’s Review
  2. Amazon

Related articles

To automate or not to automate

The Heckel diagram

This article is part of The Automated Designer, a research topic studied for the author’s MBA thesis paper at The Berlin School of Creative Leadership.