The most valued workers today are what the economist Richard Florida calls the Creative Class, skilled individuals ranging from money managers to make-up artists, software programmers to steady-cam operators who are in constant demand around the world. Florida's bestselling The Rise of the Creative Class identified these workers as the source of economic revitalization in American 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 United States was, up until 2002, the unparalleled leader in creative capital. But several key events--the Bush administrations 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 substantial dis-advantage.
Author of the bestselling The Rise of the Creative Class and Who's Your City? Richard Florida is a regular columnist for The Atlantic. He has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and other publications. His multiple awards and accolades include the Harvard Business Review's Breakthrough Idea of the Year. He was named one of Esquire magazine's Best and Brightest (2005) and one of BusinessWeek's Voices of Innovation (2006). He lives in Toronto, Canada.