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Richard Florida

Renowned Economist & Author, The Rise of the Creative Class

The Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Global Research Professor at New York University, and the founder of the Creative Class Group, which works closely with governments and companies worldwide, Richard Florida is perhaps the world’s leading urbanist

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Who’s Your City? How the Creative Economy is Making the Place Where You Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life
Place is becoming more relevant to the global economy and our individual lives. The choice of where to live, therefore, is not an arbitrary one. It is arguably the most important decision we make, as important as choosing a spouse or a career.

On Business Strategy: The Creative Corporation
Ever wonder why some companies die while others thrive? As Florida tells it, we have entered a whole new era of business competition. Having led large-scale studies of industries and companies from Toyota and other leading manufacturers to the software industry and high-end design, Florida shows how the key to success lies in three areas: harnessing cutting-edge design and innovation inside and outside the enterprise; attracting and retaining top high-performing talent; and picking the right set of locations. With real-world insight culled from more than two decades of research and his work with leading CEOs, Florida shows the keys to sustaining your creative edge and performance.

On the ‘Brain Drain’: Competing for Talent
Florida shows you the keys for attracting, retaining and managing the best and the brightest. Money is important but it won’t seal the deal, Florida argues. The best and the brightest are intrinsically motivated and seek out challenge, flexibility and the ability to work with other top talent in their working lives.

On Marketing: Capturing the Creative Class Consumer
There is no more powerful construct in marketing today than Florida’s idea of the “creative class.” While others talk about fragmenting markets and long tails, Florida shows you why the creative class of 40 million Americans with 50% of the wages and 70% of disposable income is a group your company can’t afford to miss.

On Real Estate: Real Estate for the Creative Economy
Location, location, location. It’s an old real estate adage, but it matters today more than ever before. Florida’s work on demographics and migration of the creative class has made him one of the most sought after speakers and consultants to the real estate industry.


Time Magazine | 140 Best Twitter Feeds

Foreign Policy | Top 100 Tweeters
Design Futures Council | Senior Fellow
Fast Company | Leadership Hall of Fame

Business Week | Voices of Innovation

Esquire Magazine | Best and Brightest
Creative Problem-Solving Institute| Parnes Creativity Award

Harvard Business Review | Breakthrough Idea of the Year

Washington Monthly | Book of the Year

  • Richard's presentation at our Annual General Meeting was both powerful and inspirational. Community and business leaders left the meeting with renewed passion for building a strong knowledge-based economy in our city.

    - CEO, Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute
  • Your speech at Columbia College Chicago was insightful, thought provoking and wonderful! We have received rave reviews and a tremendous amount of positive feedback from our students and guests.

    - Director of Event Operations, Columbia College Chicago
  • It was a spellbinding session and really rounded off the day provoking thought and exciting people about the possibility of change.

    - Deputy Director, Communications Centre for London

Summary Profile

Combining in-depth analysis, cutting-edge trends, compelling personal stories and a touch of humor, it is no wonder Richard Florida is one of the world’s most sought after speakers, alongside luminaries such as Bill Clinton, Bill Gates and Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor.

As a leading public intellectual, Esquire Magazine named him one of their Best and Brightest. Richard has also been appointed to the Business Innovation Factory’s Research Advisory Council and recently named European Ambassador for Creativity and Innovation.

Florida is the author of several global best sellers, including the award-winning The Rise of the Creative Class (“one of the best business books of all time”—800-CEO-READ), and is a senior editor for The Atlantic, where he co-founded and serves as Editor-at-Large for Atlantic Cities, the world’s leading media site devoted to cities and urban affairs. Florida appears regularly on CNN and other news broadcasts and is a regular contributor to the op ed pages of major newspapers and magazines.

TIME magazine recognized his Twitter feed as one of the 140 most influential in the world. Florida previously taught at Carnegie Mellon and George Mason University, and has been a visiting professor at Harvard and MIT. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers College and his Ph.D. from Columbia University.