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The Flight of the Creative Class: The New Global Competition for Talentby Richard Florida
"Florida knows when to unfurl an illustrative anecdote. (He begins with an account of the production of the epic Lord of the Rings films far from Hollywood, in New Zealand.) And he packages his barrage of complex statistics as irresistible rankings by city and country. Readers in Minneapolis will find plenty to crow about. Readers in Ireland will find even more. But the overall effort is somewhat uneven." Clayton Collins, the Christian Science Monitor (read the entire Christian Science Monitor review)
Synopses & Reviews
For the first time ever, the United States is truly in danger of losing its most crucial economic advantage — its status as the world's greatest talent magnet — argues best-selling author and economist Richard Florida. Where America was once the first destination for foreign students and the last stop for scientists, engineers, musicians, and entrepreneurs wishing to engage in the most robust and creative economy on the planet, it has now become only one place among many where cutting-edge innovation occurs.
Burgeoning global technology hotspots. The outsourcing of ingenuity. Rising intolerance. A faltering education system. Cities torn by inequality. Disconnected political leadership. According to Florida, they all point to the looming creativity crisis that is causing the decline of American economic might.
In the groundbreaking The Rise of the Creative Class, Florida introduced the United States to the rules of engagement in the creative age. Florida's 3 Ts of economic development — Technology, Talent, and Tolerance — took him around the world and back again, sparking an international debate over the causes and effects of long-term prosperity, development, and innovation.
The Flight of the Creative Class takes Florida's arguments to the next level, explaining how the same conditions that affect regional economic development, talent exchange, and the unleashing of human creativity play out on the world stage.
He sees cause for concern for the United States — a country long accustomed to its comfortable position at the helm of the global economy — and pockets of potential opening up from Sydney, Shanghai, and Amsterdam to Dublin, Bangalore, and Toronto.
But the United States still boasts one of the most diverse and creative citizenries in the world, and Florida points out that if it can discover solutions to address rising inequality, the global dissemination of talent, and the inherent tensions of the creative age, it will once again lead the pack. If only the rest of the world doesn't discover those solutions first...
"Following up on The Rise of the Creative Class (2002), Florida argues that if America continues to make it harder for some of the world's most talented students and workers to come here, they'll go to other countries eager to tap into their creative capabilities — as will American citizens fed up with what they view as an increasingly repressive environment. He argues that the loss of even a few geniuses can have tremendous impact, adding that the 'overblown' economic threat posed by large nations such as China and India obscures all the little blows inflicted upon the U.S. by Canada, Scandinavia, New Zealand and other countries with more open political climates. Florida lays his case out well and devotes a significant portion of this polemical analysis to defending his earlier book's argument regarding 'technology, talent, and tolerance' (i.e. that together, they generate economic clout, so the U.S. should be more progressive on gay rights and government spending). He does so because that book contains what he sees as the way out of the dilemma — a new American society that can 'tap the full creative capabilities of every human being.' Even when he drills down to less panoramic vistas, however, Florida remains an astute observer of what makes economic communities tick, and he's sure to generate just as much public debate on this new twist on brain drain." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Professor Florida makes an impassioned plea...for the U.S. to retain its stature as an open and welcoming home for talent....[H]e musters up an incredible quantity of quality statistics that would disable any contrarian...." Booklist
"Policy makers and independent professionals alike must quickly take Florida's argument aboard — and, just as quickly, act." Tom Peters
"Required reading for elected officials, policy makers, educators, business leaders and every citizen concerned about the future of this country." Alan M. Webber, Founding Editor, Fast Company magazine
Book News Annotation:
In his The Rise of the Creative Class, Florida (Brookings Institute) sparked an international debate over the causes and effects of long-term prosperity, economic development, and innovation. Here he takes his arguments to the next level, explaining how the same conditions that affect regional economic development and talent exchange play out on the world stage. He argues that the US must address problems such as rising inequality and disconnected political leadership to continue to attract foreign students, scientists, creatives, and entrepreneurs.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Research-driven and clearly written, this work by bestselling economist Richard Florida addresses the growing alarm over high-value jobs leaving the United States.
Research-driven and clearly written, bestselling economist Richard Florida addresses the growing alarm about the exodus of high-value jobs from the USA.
Today's most valued workers are what economist Richard Florida calls the Creative Class. In his bestselling The Rise of the Creative Class, Florida identified these variously skilled individuals as the source of economic revitalisation in US cities. In that book, he shows that investment in technology and a civic culture of tolerance (most often marked by the presence of a large gay community) are the key ingredients to attracting and maintaining a local creative class.
In The Flight of the Creative Class, Florida expands his research to cover the global competition to attract the Creative Class. The USA once led the world in terms of creative capital. Since 2002, factors like the Bush administration's emphasis on smokestack industries, heightened security concerns after 9/11 and the growing cultural divide between conservatives and liberals have put the US at a large disadvantage. With numerous small countries, such as Ireland, New Zealand and Finland, now tapping into the enormous economic value of this class - and doing all in their power to attract these workers and build a robust economy driven by creative capital - how much further behind will USA fall?
About the Author
Richard Florida is the author of the best-selling The Rise of the Creative Class, which was awarded the Political Book Award for 2002 by the Washington Monthly and named by the Globe and Mail as one of the ten most influential books of that year. Florida is the Heinz Professor of Economic Development at Carnegie Mellon, and he has been a visiting professor at MIT and Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He earned his bachelor's degree from Rutgers College and his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He lives in Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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