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Richard  Florida

Richard Florida

Best-Selling Author, Renowned Economist & Urbanist

Biography

Richard Florida provides unique insight into the values and lifestyles that will drive the 21st Century economy. Florida is one of the world’s leading public intellectuals on economic competitiveness, demographic trends, and cultural and technological innovation. Serving as Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, a Global Research Professor at New York University and the founder of the Creative Class Group, he works closely with governments and companies worldwide. Read More >

Florida is author of the global best-seller The Rise of the Creative Class (2002) and Who’s Your City? (2008), which was also an Amazon book of the month. His book, The Great Reset (2010), explains how new ways of living and working will drive post-crash prosperity. His latest book is entitled The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class and What We Can Do About It (2017).

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, Florida shares how self-motivated, creative people are challenging the traditional structures of society and details how the emergence of this new social class is profoundly transforming work, leisure, community and everyday life. Esquire included him on its annual list of “The Best and the Brightest,” and Fast Company dubbed him an “intellectual rock star.”  MIT Technology Review recently named him “one of the world’s most influential thinkers” and TIME magazine recognized his Twitter feed as one of the “140 most influential in the world.” In 2013, he was named a Global Thought Leader by the Gottleib Duttweiler Institute, alongside Al Gore, George Soros, Jeffrey Sachs, Elon Musk and Deepak Chopra.

Florida is 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. He is also a regular columnist for The Globe and Mail. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Economist and The Harvard Business Review. He has also been featured as an expert on MSNBC, CNN, BBC, NPR and CBS, to name just a few. His ideas on the “creative class,” commercial innovation and regional development have been featured in major ad campaigns from BMW and Apple, and are being used globally to change the way regions and nations do business and transform their economies.

Success in the future, says Florida, is not just about technology, government, management or even power, but about people and their dynamic and emergent patterns of relationships. Florida helps audiences understand how the locations of certain talent pools influence daily life in those areas and how the success of these areas is often dependent on the talent available.

Richard 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 Ph.D. from Columbia University. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

Real-Estate, the Importance of Location in a Spiky World & 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. Read More >

Florida’s 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 Who’s 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. Read Less ^

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, Florida’s Managing Diversity speech provides a framework for making diversity efforts value adding.

Innovation, the Culture of Creativity & Managing for It

In this 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. He ignites new thinking and strategic initiatives on how to manage, motivate and inspire creative people.

Talent Wars: Talent Attraction & Retention of the "Best & 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." This speech is developed and led by Florida who has been dubbed the “world’s leading cartographer of talent” by Fast Company. 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. Read More >

The World is Spiky, not flat, as Creative Talent increasingly clusters in certain places leaving other locations depleted. Moreover, today’s 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? Read Less ^

Creative Class Communities: City, Regional & 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. Read More >

This thought-provoking speech with your city’s 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. Read Less ^

Understanding the Global Economic Crisis & Capturing the Opportunities

Florida’s book 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 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.