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Richard Florida        

Renowned Economist and Author, The Rise of the Creative Class

The director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Global Research professor at New York University, and the founder of the Creative Class Group, which works closely with governments and companies worldwide, Richard Florida is perhaps the world’s leading urbanist, “as close to a household name as it is possible for an urban theorist to be in America,” according to The Economist. Esquire has included him on its annual list of “The Best and the Brightest,” and Fast Company dubbed him an “intellectual rock star.” MIT Technology Review named him one of the world’s most influential thinkers. GDI also named him one of the world’s global thought leaders of 2013 and the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) named him 100 of the most followed scientists. He is a member of the Global Agenda Council on the Creative Economy, World Economic Forum. He is also an appointed member of the United Nations Global Network for Digital Technologies and Sustainable Urbanization for UN Habitat and councils the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Florida is the author of several global best sellers, including the award-winning The Rise of the Creative Class (“one of the best business books of all time”—800-CEO-READ), and is a senior editor for The Atlantic, where he co-founded and serves as editor-at-large for Atlantic Cities, the world’s leading media site devoted to cities and urban affairs. Florida appears regularly on CNN and other news broadcasts and is a regular contributor to the op-ed pages of major newspapers and magazines. TIME magazine recognized his Twitter feed as one of the 140 most influential in the world.

Florida previously taught at Carnegie Mellon and George Mason University, and has been a visiting professor at Harvard and MIT. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers College and his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Columbia University.

Speech Topics


Understanding the Global Economic Crisis and Capturing the Opportunities

Floridas new book (Harper Collins and Random House 2010), The Great Reset will provide a better map for understanding and navigating through and beyond today's economic crisis. Florida draws in years of research, case studies and data to show that we are not just facing a shift in our banking and business structures, but a long-term fundamental reset of our entire way of life. Positioning business, regions and the overall economy to grow stronger in the coming decades will require a solid understanding of the Reset. This timely and important speech helps organizations, policy and decision makers to construct a new, more productive way of life for a new era built on a more authentic and sustainable prosperity.

Creative Class Communities City, Regional, and Global Economic Growth

This speech focuses on city, regional and global economic growth. It gives community leaders the tools they need to generate greater economic prosperity in their region. No longer are cities competing with neighboring cities, rather mega regions are competing globally.

This thought-provoking speech with your citys crucial leadership will give you the necessary framework to make your community more competitive and vibrant. Richard Florida will share with your audience the most current regional economic and demographic data and knowledge of cutting-edge community-building practices.

Talent Wars: Talent Attraction and Retention of the Best and Brightest

The requirements of the Creative Economy, changing expectations of workers, and demographic shifts have caused a serious shortage in workers resulting in the Talent Wars. The Talent Management Speech was developed and led by Florida who has been dubbed the worlds leading cartographer of talent by Fast Company. In this speech, Florida distills his framework for how to attract and retain talent and explains his analysis of which locations offer the best talent pools for an innovative and creative workforce. This speech is aimed at corporate leaders, human resources directors, and those responsible for attracting and retaining the best and the brightest to their organization.

The World is Spiky, not flat, as Creative Talent increasingly clusters in certain places leaving other locations depleted. Moreover, todays talent cannot be won over through basic methods such as increased compensation. Based on years of surveying and interviewing members of the Creative Class and exhaustive quantitative and locational analysis, this speech will help you answer the question: Where is the talent and how can my organization attract and retain the creative and highly valuable workforce required for success?

Innovation, the Culture of Creativity and Managing for It

In The Creative Management Speech, Florida leads teams of executives and managers on how to manage creativity culled through more than two decades of research on leading edge companies and his breakthrough Harvard Business Review article with SAS CEO and founder, Jim Goodnight. This speech ignites new thinking and strategic initiatives on how to manage, motivate and inspire creative people.

Managing Diversity

Most corporate diversity efforts are compliance driven, adding little to the bottom line. Drawing up his research and analysis in his best-selling book, Rise of the Creative Class and other sources, Floridas Managing Diversity speech provides a framework for making diversity efforts value adding.

Creative Class Consumption: Marketing to the Creative Class

From BMW and Apple to Equity Office Properties firms across industries have identified the Creative Class as a core market for their products and services. Who is the Creative Class and why do they matter? The Creative Class, is 40 million strong, making up 30 percent of the U.S. workforce, with 50% of wages earned and controlling nearly 70% of discretionary spending in the US. That is over $500 billion in purchasing power annually! This consumer group, consisting of scientists, engineers, managers, innovators and people in research and development, as well as artists, writers and musicians are the most educated and demanding consumers in the marketplace. Florida has years of data on who they are, where they are, what they read, what they purchase and the ethos that drives their decisions.

Real-estate, the Importance of Location in a Spiky World and Maximizing your ROI in Place

Whether you are a real estate developer, property manager, or corporation, you likely understand the importance of location. The increasing concentration of the Creative Class has intensified their variations in locational advantage or disadvantage. Beyond location, the work style and lifestyle of the Creative Class is forcing real estate professionals to reassess how real estate is designed and used. In his research and writing, Florida has uncovered the underlying drivers of real estate success and a series of leading indicators from the bohemian index, the gay index and more to identifying high value real estate locations. The Real Estate Development speech distills the key factors that underpin real estate success.

Floridas research also identifies the location factor as a key element of business strategy. Location is not an after-thought. It is a key component of overall business strategy, enabling firms to better attract and retain talent, harness creative workforce and market products. The Location Factor speech uses research from Rise of the Creative Class and Whos Your City? to show the key locations relevant to your business and industry. It provides a series of data driven case studies which enable your organization to identify its best locations and get the most out of its existing ones.

The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity

In his new talk, Richard Florida provides an engaging and sweeping examination of previous economic "resets," distilling the deep forces that shaped their physical and social landscapes, reshaping economies and societies. Looking toward the future, Florida identifies the patterns that will drive the next Great Reset and simultaneously reshape virtually every aspect of our lives, from how and where we live, to how we work, to how we invest in individuals and infrastructure, and how we shape our cities and regions. In a refreshingly optimistic tone, Florida shows how these core elements, when taken together, will spur a fresh era of growth and prosperity, define a new geography of progress, and stimulate surprising opportunities for each of us.

The Rise of the Creative Class

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