Richard Florida
Richard Florida

Economist, sociologist, founder of the Creative Class Group and one of the world's leading urbanists


American urban studies theorist focusing on social and economic theory. He is a professor at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and a Distinguished Fellow at NYU's School of Professional Studies.

Florida taught at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College in Pittsburgh from 1987 to 2005, before moving to George Mason University's School of Public Policy, where he taught for two years. He was named a Senior Editor at The Atlantic in March 2011 after serving as a correspondent for for a year.

Florida's early work focused on innovation by manufacturers, including the continuous-improvement systems implemented by such automakers as Toyota.

Florida is best known for his concept of the creative class and its implications for urban regeneration. This idea was expressed in Florida's best-selling books The Rise of the Creative Class (2002), Cities and the Creative Class, and The Flight of the Creative Class, and later published a book focusing on the issues surrounding urban renewal and talent migration, titled Who's Your City?

Florida's theory asserts that metropolitan regions with high concentrations of technology workers, artists, musicians, lesbians and gay men, and a group he describes as "high bohemians", exhibit a higher level of economic development.

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Combining in-depth analysis, cutting-edge trends, compelling personal stories and a touch of humor, keynote speaker Richard Florida presents his insights into how creativity and the Creative Class are revolutionizing the global economy. His various presentations examine how this new economy can reverse the growing inequality plaguing 21st century America and what communities can do to ensure their city is a vibrant flourishing entity that attracts top talent.

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