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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Richard Florida Talks To Tom Peters

Richard Florida, author of the book, The Rise Of The Creative Class in conversation with Tom Peters elaborates on his ideas. Excerpts with edits:

- The rise of the Creative Class is really the growth force in the US economy, similar to the way the industrial working class was the growth force a couple of hundred years ago. The economy can be defined in terms of three major sectors—the manufacturing sector, the service sector and the creative sector. Those who work in the creative sector are scientists, engineers, technology folks, and innovators, those who work in research and development, and then artists, writers, musicians. RF calls the designers, architects, and culturally creative people the "super-creative core." With the inclusion of - healthcare, finance, the legal field and educators that rounds up to about 30 percent of the U.S. work force, about 40 million workers. This group is responsible for about half the work and, earns about half of all wages and salaries paid in the United States. The society needs to do is not think of the creative class as just 30 percent of the work force. It has to be realized that the key to improving productivity,innovation, and living standards lay in realizing that every single human being is creative. That's a very important point. While 30 percent are core members now, we have to remember that every single human being is creative.
- The education system was set up for an industrial economy and no longer serves either people or the creative economy well. The current education system is pretty much devoted to squelching creative energy. As the system is so awful, the US had to import all the talent from outside. A lot of the US artistic and cultural innovation comes from either importing sounds and styles, or importing the people directly.
- It's interesting that with increased global mobility and creative people being the key factor of production, the United States is missing a lot of opportunities in what is probably the greatest economic transformation in 500 years. The U.S. is so preoccupied with homeland security that it's completely distracted as a country. Other countries have a great opportunity to either retain their own really smart and creative people, or to do what the United States has done in the past and attract them from other places.
- The richest people in England are Paul McCartney, Elton John, and Mick Jagger – all capitalizing on the popular music creativity.

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