Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What Are the Economics of the Creative Economy?

(68 minutes)

Why Creativity is the New Economy – Richard Florida (29 minutes)

Dr Richard Florida, one of the world’s leading experts on economic competitiveness, demographic trends and cultural and technological innovation shows how developing the full human and creative capabilities of each individual, combined with institutional supports such as commercial innovation and new industry, will put us back on the path to economic and social prosperity.

Step 2 (Assigned Nov 12) – What are the economics of the region you are studying. What is the current economic reality? For whom (top 1%, 50% percentile, bottom 25%?). Pull some descriptive statistics from to describe the current situation (average/median income, # of inhabitants, surface area, etc). Speculate on how the city/region/zip code you are studying will be in 2054 (e.g., population up/down?, income up/down?, etc).


11 thoughts on “Wednesday, November 12, 2014

  1. Richard Florida’s Why Creativity is the New Economy expands on the ideals of holding a high tech foundation of managing start ups and racking up the food pyramid. New York is striking city that is the second or third largest aggregate of venture capital in the country. Florida hones in on the 66 percent problem which is striking and ubiquitous. First, the labor market is influxed with jobs of different stature such as art jobs, creative jobs, tech jobs, info tech jobs; they pay on average $75,000. As good as the sun shines on one side, the rain pours on the other. In the manufacturing middle. The mid sill jobs are being annihilated. The low-wage, routine jobs are being left behind disconnected from the community. It is known that if your consumers aren’t buying anything, then the producers can make anything. If the producers and the consumers fail to co-exist, the economy begins to fail. This is a terrifying cycle that we need to break and it needs to happen now, even if you’re eating on a gold platter plate. As a community, our USA needs to create better strategies for jobs to make our disadvantaged neighborhoods better and in turn create a better world.


  2. The two things that jumped out at me most:
    1. Richard Florida is loud.
    2. As someone who was really excited to see a Marxist on the panel: yikes, he was not on the same level. Nostalgia for CBGB and steel manufacturing sounds kind of embarrassing next to modern city planning. And again, I hate to say this! I wanted to be all in favor of him. Particularly co-ops. Sounds great. But it sounds like he’s kind of saying “prices are going up, because The Man” and everyone else is saying “no, it’s because we have a pretty good city.”

    I guess I’m turning around on gentrification in a lot of ways. Yeah, people getting pushed out of their homes is bad. A diverse city is good. But you can’t just resist change for its own sake. And some kind of rent control, along with copious social services, can help maintain diversity while the city gets richer. As humans, we resist change naturally, and I wonder if that’s what most anti-gentrification talk is.

    They do have a point about the prison system, of course. Ugh.


  3. The most interesting part of the panel titled What Are the Economics of the Creative Economy? was their discussion of the drivers behind lowering the poverty rate in the city. While one might believe that a lower poverty rate suggests that policy has succeeded in some manner this might actually be wrong. If a large portion of the population is incarcerated and a higher income group of people replaces them in the community, a lower poverty rate would only mean that the city had moved one group of people and put another in its place. Another interesting example was their discussion of subway stops. When a subway stop is added in a location, the poverty rate goes up. This is due to the fact that lower income people move there since it provides more access to the city, they do not have the fund to purchase a vehicle. The other drawback of the rise of this creative economy is that the spoils of successful ventures now go into the hands of even fewer people, leading to increased wealth inequality. I am looking forward to learning more about this creative economy and forecasting futures for it.


  4. Richard Florida’s talk about Why Creativity is the New Economy isn’t all that surprising to me. However, I think that you can argue that creativity has always been a apart of the economy. In each economy he discusses, creativity has been involved in a way to make that economy successful. Part of the reason a labor economy, for instance, was successful was because on an element of creativity to make it work. I think the main different now is that we realize that creativity is valued and that we are focused less on how we achieve something, but more on how creative it is.


  5. The thing I was thinking about during Richard Florida’s talk was what really constitutes as creativity. At first I thought about creative disciplines like art; design – because that seems to be what most people refer to when they talk about “creativity.” I almost feel like what he is referring to sounds more like innovation, but they’re pretty similar. I’m a little unclear about what he’s suggesting we do to “harness the creativity” of every individual, and I don’t know if I agree with his belief that every human being is “creative.” I also don’t think creativity can be a sole measure of success. I think this goes back to the topic of education they discussed in the first video – that there really needs to be solutions aimed at improving education conditions. I think rather than trying to harness some intangible concept of “creativity” that everybody supposedly possesses, it’s better to educate and give people skills to help them think in different ways, so they can better adapt to the changing future.


  6. I was not quite convinced by Dr. Richard Florida’s argument (in his talk “Why Creativity is the New Economy”) that “cities and communities are the social and economic organizing unit of the creative age”. It felt like he was repeating the same point again and again, without giving compelling reasons as to why this is the case. Haven’t there always been large cities across history, and hasn’t location always been critical for many reasons besides creativity (for example, Ian Morris’s talk on power and geography that we watched for another class)?


  7. Shoutout to Richard Florida for being a pleasure to listen to. I just really appreciated what a good orator he was. However, his talk (while inspiring) did not seem to have that much content. His introduction was a little strange. He spent a large amount of time romanticizing how blue-collar jobs and good hard work are the foundation of America. This paints a really beautiful picture, but I feel that it’s a little naive to put so much emphasis on a time that a) does not exist now and will never again exist, and b) was not necessarily as great as nostalgia makes it feel. I do however agree that creativity is one of our greatest resources. I wouldn’t say that creativity is any less prevalent now than it might have been in the past; yes, less people do hands-on work, but hands-on work did not necessarily mean creative work. Florida speaks a lot about how creativity affects the overall culture and economy. However, I feel like if there’s anything we can do to foster creativity is to start fostering it from childhood in school. I could insert the whole rant here about how many arts programs are even left in public schools and whether they’re next in line to get cut, but we all know that argument. I just couldn’t really tell if he was giving a fluffy inspirational talk, or something that required more elaboration. He didn’t really seem to give an argument beyond creativity being important (something I feel that most can agree with.)


  8. The rent seeking discussion was very interesting. It seemed to be pro-Google vs anti-Google. I also thought the discussion comparing Google to Chase bank was interesting. Personally, I see them as two separate entities. The purpose of a bank is to seek more money. The purpose of Google, at least as it’s mission, is to do the least amount of evil while providing a search service. If Google happens to make money while not doing evil, their stockholders are happy.

    For lowering poverty, I thought the discussion about making a city less appealing was interesting. How do you make a city less appealing? Would that really work for lowering population density and the other problems associated with poverty?


  9. I really enjoyed Richard Florida’s talk about creativity. As a designer it is important for me to reflect on what creativity really is and what the drive behind it is. For Florida, creativity is innovation. This means creativity channels production, new ideas and thoughts. Creativity is a desire to be different and provoke change. I feel that it is more present in society today as people share creative pursuits through social media. There is a database of portfolios to look at for inspiration and the desire to be part of the creative society. Creativity is the powerhouse of a nation. If creativity is defined as what unique ideas we can contribute and not limited to the artistic definition It can be also defined as thought generation. The people who can foster new thoughts are in the broader definition creative individuals and can still inspire creativity.


  10. I greatly enjoyed Mr. Florida’s talk about the creative city. I feel like he uses the word “creative” very liberally, but what I understand it to mean is anyone that isn’t working in the blue collar sector. I also loved that he quoted Jane Jacobs, one of the most influential people of all time when it comes to urban planning and understanding physical spaces. I agree with the notion that when we combine our talent there is a great flourishing of ideas that can be implemented. As a society we need to continue promoting the growth of ideas and of people living together in cities as this is truly the future.


  11. I really liked how Richard Florida started off by talking about these bouts of depression that the global economy has faced over the years, and the silver lining that follows through. He says that the result of these depressions is two fold one of which is high technological innovation. It’s interesting to see how he defines the real economic wealth as human creativity and further expands to say that creativity is not only about individual creativity but also group creativity and the synergy that arises form it that drives progress


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