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February 28, 2007

Richard Florida

The 3rd T

There's been an ongoing debate over openness and tolerance in Baton Rouge led by local business leader and former Chamber of Commerce Chair Joe Traigle.  This story provides a candid report on a community struggling with a critical issue (hat tip: Rod Frantz). I know  Joe and other concerned folks in Louisiana are searching for levers and solutions.  Care to join in the dialog and suggest some ways Baton Rogue and other communities can begin to make headway here.

Theoffice According to this story in Business Week:

"Over the past few years, co-working facilities—both grassroots, co-op-like versions and for-profit models—have started popping up across the country and the world, from Seattle to Copenhagen. A co-working wiki hosts pages for dozens of other cities with co-working initiatives in progress. And while the concept of shared office space is nothing new to entrepreneurs, an increasing number of them are signing on and finding that the community-building and networking benefits outweigh even the virtues of a shared fax machine."

Be sure to check out the slide show. For a long time, I have said that we need new kinds of "third places" geared to the realities of flexible virtual work.  Part coffee shop, part hotel lobby?  The right space is hard to describe.  Love to hear what you think.

Wash I'm not a big fan of the term "new economy" - it's a bit of an "empty" term.  Still a new Kauffman Foundation report provides some interesting data on America's states. Ranking first on Kauffman's State New Economy Index is Massachusetts, followed by New Jersey, Maryland, Washington and California.Virgina ranked 8th.  Our own State Creativity Index has Massachusetts first followed by New York, California, Connecticut and Washington. 

The Kauffman report is here. A Business Week story here.

Update:  This is a nicely done study. But the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that the state is simply the wrong unit of analysis.  The natural economic unit ala Lucas or Jacobs is the region - the metro and the mega.

Anyone else out there been thinking about this?

Richard Florida

The Bohemian Factor

Yesterday, I linked to this Business Week story which identified some leading cities for artists and talked about the effects of artists on housing values and economic development.  So I worked with Charlotta Mellander to look at the data and get a better sense of  what's going on. Highlights after the jump.

Our  findings are preliminary. There's lots to control for and lots more to do. But they certainly suggest that Business Week is on the money.  Arts and culture - the so-called bohemian factor - matter a great deal to housing values and regional income.  As much or more than some other key economic clusters - and a whole lot more than sports.  Still high-tech and bioscience are what regions seem to want. And  sports teams and stadiums continue  to command special treatment and big subsidies.  But the more we look into it, the more it becomes evident that arts and culture may well be the smarter bet.

Continue reading "The Bohemian Factor" »

February 27, 2007

In a fascinating discussion of the Indian IT industry, John Hagel writes:

"Rather than continuing to focus on attracting and retaining talent within their own companies, these firms could create enormous value by developing the management techniques required to mobilize and leverage specialized talent wherever it resides. ... This would require mastering open innovation management techniques to attract and mobilize talent, focus the innovation initiatives across multiple participants and accelerate commercialization and learning from these initiatives."

Amen! The whole thing is here.

Richard Florida

Chinese Creative Class

Last night in  my seminar on creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, we were discussing Jane Jacobs and Robert Park who invented the field of urban sociology a century or so ago at the University of Chicago.  One of my students who happens to be Chinese mentioned Park's construct of the city as a place for the gifted and the "marginal."  That led us to a discussion of China's Creative Class and its major creative urban centers.  So I was pleased to come across this post by Alain Truong:

"Working over the last several years from the ‘‘Alternative Archive,’’ a townhouse in their native Guangzhou, Ou Ning emerged as the éminence grise of China’s burgeoning graphic-design and alternative-media scene and Cao Fei became a globe-trotting young artist (she is 28) on the biennial circuit. ... Together they have documented China’s rapidly regenerating cities in strangely lyrical urban research projects about Sanyuanli (a migrant neighborhood in Guangzhou) and Dazhalan (a poor enclave in Beijing’s old city). Last summer, this one true power couple of the Chinese art world made a surprise move from Guangzhou to Beijing, trading local prominence for a perch in the capital."

Santa_fe That's the title of a new Business Week story which writes:

"Want to know where a great place to invest in real estate will be five or 10 years from now? Look at where artists are living now."

The story is here along with rankings of  the top 10 locations for artists. Now where I have heard that before (wink, wink).

Richard Florida

Google Goes New York

So why would Google the quintessential Stanford spin-off and Silicon Valley company, make the Big Apple its second home?  It's not cheap real estate and low taxes, that's for sure. Access to talent, lead-users and customers - says this report from Information Week (hat tip: Kevin Stolarick).

"Proximity to Madison Avenue and the media companies -- the four major TV networks, Time Warner, Viacom, News Corp., Hearst, New York Times Co., Bloomberg -- is only part of the answer. The New York metro area is emerging -- or re-emerging -- as one of the hottest technology centers in the world. Silicon Valley and Redmond, Wash., may spring to mind as the software havens of the United States, and new hubs like Bangalore, India, are flourishing overseas, but the New York area employs more technology people than any place in North America. "

February 26, 2007

Brian Holmes who describes himself as interested in "geopolitics and geopoetics"  has an interesting essay on the Research Triangle and its  general model of high-tech development.

"We’ve heard a lot in recent years from urbanists and economic planners about the ‘creative city’, the ‘creative class’ and the ‘creative industries’. To compare facts with fictions, I decided to take a little tour of one of the urban areas that have been specially designed to put the creativity into industry."

The concepts and writing are at times dense. And while there are things I might want to debate, there's no doubt that he's providing a different and useful window into the cutting-edge of global capitalism. The full essay is here.

Mark Kuznicki writes:

I dream of a future where every individual has the power and ability to discover his or her creative passions, and to resolve their multi-dimensional identities into a coherent whole through their interaction in open community with others. The holy grail is the unification of one’s practical needs with one’s hopes, dreams and aspirations. It is a universal desire, and it is the most powerful force in human civilization.

The entire essay is a MUST READ.