Back in 2005 when Richard Florida was shopping his book, “The Rise of the Creative Class,” he breezed through Minneapolis and pronounced it a prime spot for attracting creative people due to its thriving cultural scene and its tolerance of diversity. Creative people are those who “think” for a living, said he. As such he would include engineers, doctors and even accountants. He defined this group as being driven individualists who don’t conform to the cubicle world of corporate America. But the problem with such a definition was that it seemed to include everyone. No longer would there be artistic types, technology types and bean counting types. They are all just creative types, even if they disagree. Even then, folks were taking issue with Florida painting the creative landscape with such a broad brush, so to speak. But the idea of a Creative Class persisted with some people striving to be included in such a definition.
Lately, Haydn Shaughnessy who would like to assist companies in developing strong “thought leadership,” takes a big swipe at the idea of a massive creative class fueling the economy. He sees a bit of a divide between technical expertise and the artistic eye. He also says that the Creative Class is long on “entrepreneurial opportunism” but short on economic returns. Furthermore, ideas such as crowdsourcing that are associated with the creative economy are very wasteful. Large quantities of creative effort are invested into projects with very small returns. Others argue that the Creative Class never existed, and that even as this was supposed to be the engine driving the U.S. economy, the engine is now sputtering. All of which left us wondering how those deeply creative geniuses among us would like to define themselves, and whether they are fans of Richard Florida or Haydn Shaughnessy.
- New Media
- How To