Heard a great talk from Richard Florida earlier this week at the Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum in Columbus, GA. Richard Florida is the best-selling author of The Rise of the Creative Class, an incredible book outlining the way creatives are currently shaping our culture. His latest book, Who's Your City, is the one I am really intrigued by, focused on why certain people are living in certain places and how that is changing the landscape of business and economics.
Richard is considered to be one of the world's leading urban theorists. He mentioned in his talk a couple of points that I wanted to highlight:
1. the rise of "megaregions"- there are 40 megaregions in the world. These areas are dominating the global economy and the direction of our culture. For example- Charlanta- the area from Atlanta, GA to Charlotte, NC.- 22 million people, and 750 Billion in economic output. Wow. 8th largest megaregion in the world. These megaregions are a new phenomenon in urban and city development.
2. We are currently living in a great "re-set," not necessarily a recession. Our current climate is one of the most dramatic shifts we've ever experienced in our history. Radical change and radical transformation- similar to what happened in the late 1800's and early 1900's in our country.
3. This reset is forcing us to go back to our greatest source of capital- our human capital. The real capital we have especially here in the US is our people. We have to tap the creative energy of every human being in this country. We have to harness the ideas of every person. Everyone is creative, and that's our greatest asset.
4. 40 million Americans who are considered to be the "creative class." 35% of the workforce, but around 60% of salaries. They congregate in the "megaregions." No longer do the influentials and creative class move to where the jobs are. Now companies have to move to where the influentials are. This is a radical shift. Cited several examples of this that were pretty mind-blowing.
I highly recommend picking up one of Richard's books, and staying up to date with his work through his company, The Creative Class Group.