Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Creative Class Reading Recommendation

Here is a reading recommendation that, if applied correctly, would put ideas of grassroots funding on its head! Placed on my Local Economic Development class syllabus, "The Rise of the Creative Class" by Richard Florida is quite a spectacular way to think of the “New Economy”.

Florida is a professor at George Mason and pulls data to form the emerging creative professionals. This includes "people in science and engineering, architecture and design, education, arts, music and entertainment whose economic function is to create new ideas, new technology and/or new creative content. " Then he says they share a class, like the working class of the 1950s or the service class of the 1990s. He argues that both geography and non-traditional forms of social capital are important elements for this group to grow.

Basically he describes a new way to dissect today’s economy and provides evidence of how its effects social and cultural modalities. Of prominent importance is the venture capital, which stimulates this class to create new ideas. This is where grassroots funding is crucial.

Just thinking of new ways in which to modernize a society/provide economic development is by funding new creative ideas. I’m sure you can find this book on Amazon.com or at Barnes and Nobles. The book caught me off guard as a way to think about local economic development.

1 comment:

christian said...

Florida's book appeals to the Narcissist in all of us. Couple notes of criticism and caution. First, Florida's economic history discussion - all of economic history is a means to harness creativity - is unwieldy and an unnecessary whitewash. This discussion slows the trajectory of his argument and it could be argued that this condensed historical discussion cuts against his general argument that this is a period of singular economic and social change. Also, Florida shifts the focus from city to region a bit too freely. Florida is clear that a vital urban core is a necessary component to a region's attractiveness to the creative class; however, the book falls short of a serious discussion about the critical relationship between core and suburbs. Reading this book with an eye to rejuvenate the urban core, I felt a greater recognition of the struggle for resources between the core and the suburbs was necessary - especially in resource-poor regions. Too often, Florida assumes a natural symbiosis between the two.

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