Saturday, November 26, 2005


“The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers” by Prof. Paul Kennedy, Yale, is a highly original analysis on geopolitical issues since 1519. Similarly, economist Richard Florida gives as a new and somehow provocative wave to think about creativity.

In his book “The Rise of the Creative Class” he studies a growing social class, made up of people whose job is to be creative. He suggests that “The three T’s” of Technology, Talent and Tolerance determine which countries and regions will prosper in the future, for creativity is the most highly prized commodity in our economy.

Having set his own “Creativity Index”, Florida presents the world rankings in creativity: Sweden, Japan and Finland are the most creative countries in the world, followed by the USA, Switzerland, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway and Germany.

And not only that : Australia and Israel have allegedly a stronger creative community than Great Britain or France. Greece gets better marks for creativity than Italy or Spain. Italy has fallen in the rankings behind Russia and Estonia. And all Scandinavian countries attract more talented people than Germany does at the moment !

How come ? Well, Florida certainly knows that a solid business climate is of crucial importance, but he focuses even more on what he calls an “effective people climate with low barriers to entry”. His main criteria are not attractive tax models, but rather "openness to immigration", "lifestyle amenities", "specific cultural attributes" and the “acceptance of diversity and of gays in particular”.

By this yardstick, Florida has also presented his insightful U.S.-Creativity-Index. And the winner is, surprise, surprize…San Francisco ! Followed by Austin, Boston, San Diego, Seattle, Raleigh-Durham, Houston, Washington-Baltimore and New York.

Reading the creative class in the USA, Florida focuses on “free agents”, that is high potentials looking for the best creative eco-system to develope their ideas. Unfortunately he does not comment on “unwilling free agents”, that is people forced into casual or underpaid part-time jobs. But that’s quite another story…

( Sources :, Richard Florida “The Rise of the Creative Class” in Washington Monthly, May 2002, “Die kreative Klasse” in MAX-Magazine, German Edition, November 2005 )


At 5:13 AM, Blogger /df said...

This is really fascinating stuff. The migration of peoples to different places for different reasons doesn't get enough airplay in business discussion.
I once heard about a study that used heat mapping to create movement maps on the floor of a building. And used that to understand how communication works in teams, and who really controls the flow of information.
As I have also addressed on my blog, context adds so much to the way things happen. It's not the tax structure, but the social order that is drawing in your creative people.

At 8:19 AM, Blogger JANNIS said...

Thank You for hose remarks, indeed I think that we usually underestimate the effect of context on our decisions and behaviour. So far I have not heard of the study you mention, seems an interesting psychological experiment, perhaps I should open my Zimbardo/Gerrig for details...
Are you still updating your blog ?


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