What better way to relaunch The Idea Feed than with a link to a post by Richard Florida? I’ve spent the better part of the past year studying, researching and learning about the creative economy of the United States. It’s not an easy beast to tame but I feel a little more confident in my understanding of it and how my approach to promoting it is slightly different than most creative economy promoters out there.
I’m hoping this latest iteration of The Idea Feed is a useful contribution to the debate. Although I’ve hardly used this forum to track the spread of the idea as I had promised I have been tracking it in other places on the web. Createquity, a blog I’ve written about in the past, is still one of the best blogs out there for understanding the North American creative industry scene.
I’ve also kept a Delicious bookmark list since I’ve last blogged here. I like to think it’s a pretty comprehensive list of the best articles relating to the union of commerce, culture and creativity. Although I personally find the list useful it doesn’t provide me the forum to add my two cents. The re-launch of The Idea Feed will be my forum once again.
Lastly, I took the year off to get out there, to talk with people and get to know the country. Although it cost me a huge amount of my savings my Cities x Design trip proved valuable to my understanding of what is happening in this country. As I slowly prepare that project for publishing to the Ipad, I plan on using this forum to test the ideas and concepts that I might include in the Cities x Design publication.
How does all of that link to Richard Florida’s latest article? It does in a couple of ways. First, I couldn’t help but notice how similar his map of where all the jobs will be in 2018 is to my map of my trip. You can read about why I chose those cities here. We set out to identify the early movers and shakers in those cities and understand how their work will effect the future of their cities. It’s heartening to read that Florida’s research points to future job growth in those same areas.
Second this articles highlights the dangers of promoting a narrow definition of a creative class. Although I do give credit to Florida for recognizing the dangers of a divisive class system and providing a possible solution. In his words, “The bad news is that creative class jobs will be geographically concentrated. That, combined with the decline of blue-collar jobs and the bifurcation of the workforce into high-pay, creative class jobs and much lower-pay service class jobs, will contribute to mounting economic, social, and geographic inequality. As a nation, we have to increase the number of creative class jobs, but we also need to do much, much more to improve service work as I noted in my previous post.“
I just don’t think he goes far enough. In the coming weeks and months I hope to use this space to detail where and how my ideas slightly diverge with those of Richard Florida and a few other commentators on the US scene. The theory of my equation for change is simple, it goes like this – Cities x Creative Industries x Policy x Commerce x Culture x Technology = Massive Change. I look forward to exploring and developing the theory here and sharing some of my findings with you. Stay tuned.
Richard Florida - Where the Creative Class Jobs Will Be – Business – The Atlantic.