Richard Florida | Economist, Theorist and Author of "The Rise of the Creative Class"

Richard Florida

Economist, Theorist and Author of "The Rise of the Creative Class"

Fee Range
Please contact us for pricing

Richard Florida

Richard Florida is an economist and Urban Studies theorist. Florida's focus is on social and economic theory. He is currently the Hirst Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University. Florida received a PhD from Columbia University in 1986. Prior to joining George Mason, he taught at Carnegie Mellon University from 1987 to 2005.

Florida is best known for his work in developing his concept of the creative class, and its ramifications in urban regeneration. This research was expressed in Florida's bestselling book The Rise of the Creative Class, Cities and the Creative Class, and The Flight of the Creative Class. While a new book, focusing on the issues surrounding Urban Renewal and talent migration, titled Who's Your City?, is currently in development.

Florida's theory asserts that metropolitan regions with high concentrations of high-tech workers, artists, musicians, gay men, and a group he describes as "high bohemians", correlate with a higher level of economic development. Florida posits the theory that the Creative Class fosters an open, dynamic, personal and professional environment. This environment, in turn, attracts more creative people, as well as businesses and capital. He suggests that attracting and retaining high-quality talent, versus a singular focus on infrastructure projects such as sports stadiums, iconic buildings, and shopping centers, would be a better primary use of a city's regeneration resources for long-term prosperity. Florida has devised his own ranking systems that rate cities by a "Bohemian Index," a "Gay Index," a "Diversity Index" and similar criteria.

Florida's theories are the source of both praise and controversy. He has been attacked by all sides of the political spectrum, and by both academics and journalists. His theories have been criticized as being elitist, and his data has been questioned. His ideas have also proved to be influential on those heading regeneration in cities in the USA and Europe. Proponents of Florida's theory point to the rise of the creative class in booming urban centers and a visibility in "creative class" industry.

Florida's first book, The Rise of the Creative Class (which was followed by a 'prequel', that provided more in-depth data to support his findings, Cities and the Creative Class), came at the tail of the dot-com boom. Some critics have said that the conditions it describes may no longer exist. However, with the rise of Google, the juggernauts of Web 2.0, and the constant call from business leaders (often seen in publications such as Business 2.0) for a more creative, as well as skilled, workforce, his supporters state that one can easily perceive the contemporary relevance of Florida's research.

In his sequel book, The Flight of the Creative Class, Florida argues that the health and growth of the U.S. "creative class" is threatened because potential immigrants to the United States cannot easily obtain entry-permits post 9/11.

Richard Florida
Featured Videos

Current: Inequality in American Cities

Time 19:55

More Videos From Richard Florida

Inequality in American Cities
Time 19:55
Creative City
Time 59:23
When Unicorns Grow Up: What Is The Future of Urban Technology?
Time 29:42
The New Urban Crisis
Time 00:15

Richard Florida
Featured Keynote Programs

Talent Wars
Talent Attraction and Retention of the ‘Best and 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”. The Talent Management Speech was developed and led by Florida who has been dubbed the “world’s leading cartographer of talent” by Fast Company. In this speech, 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.

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?

Understanding the Global Economic Crisis and Capturing the Opportunities

Florida’s new book (Harper Collins and Random House 2010), 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 Communities – City, Regional, and 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.

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.

Innovation, the Culture of Creativity and Managing for It

In The Creative Management 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. This speech ignites new thinking and strategic initiatives on how to manage, motivate and inspire creative people.

How Do You Choose the BEST Speaker for Your Event?

We’ve had 29 years and 35,000 events to perfect the process—and we’ll do it for free.

Booking the very best Keynote Speakers, Business Speakers, Inspirational Speakers and Motivational Speakers has never been easier.

Get more details and availability

Richard Florida

Give us some basic details about you and your upcoming event, and one of our experts will be in touch with you quickly regarding pricing and availability.
Event Details
Your Details
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.