June 27, 2002

Richard Florida

The author of "The Rise of the Creative Class and How It’s Transforming Work" talks with Marcia Franklin about what he sees are key ingredients for vibrant, economically successful cities. Richard Florida is professor of regional economic development at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Crunching numbers, combing focus groups, interviewing recruiters and those being recruited, Florida sees a high correlation between tolerance and diversity and the attraction of creative people. The creative class — visionaries, creative professionals, technicians — now total about 30 percent of the entire U.S. workforce, up from less than 20 percent in 1980. The rules of recruitment are changing, Florida says, with the increased need for people who can originate new forms, creatively problem-solve, and develop unique ways to do a job.