cities | September 29, 2013

New Keynote: Speaker Richard Florida On The Dawn Of The Creative Economy

"Between 1980 and today," cities speaker Richard Florida tells his audience at the Stanley Theater in Utica, NY, "even with one of the greatest crises in world history, the United States added 20 million new jobs in the creative sector of the economy." This shift toward a "creative economy" has been the focus of Florida's research, and, of his keynote speeches. This transition has not only transformed our economy, but, it has tranformed our communities. And, it continues to do so even today.

"Over the last three or four decades, our economy began to change," he says. Florida then explains how our economy was first one based on agriculture and physical labor, then shifted toward the automotive and manufacturing sector, and now, is moving toward a creative-based structure. "Today, more than a third of our workers are members of the creative class," he notes. This is a massive shift considering only 10 percent of the population were paid to use their creativity in the first half of this century. "We are living through something really disruptive," he says. But despite how big of a shift we are seeing in the economy, he explains that it makes sense because "the thing that makes us human, the thing that we all share, is our creativity."

Above: Richard Florida delivers a keynote speech in Utica, New York.

On stage, Florida is both entertaining and informative. He has a firm grasp over his subject matter, a natural but authoratative delivery, and is comfortable and natural speaking in front of the large audience. He ends his talk with on a positive note, advocating that the rise of the creative economy also comes with the rise of more diverse, open-minded, and tolerant communities. He also shares this key takeaway: "Where the community [is] good for all, [it is] good for each."

In his talk, Florida explains who the Creative Class is, how they came to be, and why they matter. The Creative Class is 40 million strong and makes up 30 percent of the U.S. workforce, with 50% of wages earned. They control nearly 70% of discretionary spending in the US. That is over $500 billion in purchasing power annually. With this kind of influence, Flordia explains how to harness that potential, and, why you can't afford not to. To book Richard Florida as a keynote speaker, contact The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau.

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innovation | September 26, 2013