Last night, Richard Florida (American economist and urban studies theorist) spoke at Wright
State University. His book Rise of the Creative Class was one of the things that inspired me to get more involved with urban advocacy. Yes, I am included in that creative class group – I’m in my 30’s, I am an entrepreneur, I work with technology, I live downtown, I enjoy coffee shops, I go to the theater. But that isn’t what Florida’s "Creative Class" is all about, despite what many people believe. No matter what your profession, if you frequently express yourself either through art, music, writing (even bloggers), acting, etc., then you are in fact creative and thus in this group. If you work at a job where you use your mind to create – whether that is at a software company or a manufacturing plant where your input leads to process improvement – you are in the creative group. The point is, many people think of this "creative class" idea and think that it only applies to high tech people or artists. Those "yuppie types" as I’ve heard some people say. But as Florida spoke last night, he emphasized the fact that this class of people is not very exclusive; most of us are indeed creative and thus are part of this group.