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November 28, 2007

Richard and members of our team just spent a great week in Noosa (see more here) and we are now preparing for our team to return there in April to work with community members. There has been a lot of email traffic already about the shire's path toward authentic, sustainable economic growth in the Creative Economy and we are looking forward to more great dialogue on the opportunities and challenges ahead. The last week only confirmed that the people of Noosa are thoughtful and intelligent and we look forward to working with (and hearing from) more citizens and leaders in Noosa during our CCLP in April.

September 04, 2007

Congratulations to our KCCI catalysts in Tallahassee on today's launching of their Park-N-Ride Community pilot program. The goal of the program, led by the Greenovation team and its partner StarMetro, and supported by some great sponsors,  is to "offer Tallahassee drivers a convenient, environmentally conscious option for commuting." Catalyst Bill Berlow is participating in the pilot program and writes about his motivations, expectations, and the program in today's Tallahassee Democrat. To sign up as a participant click here. Snippet from Bill's piece below.

posted by David

Continue reading "Tallahassee Park and Ride Initiaitve Begins" »

June 19, 2007

From the USC Game Innovation Lab & Annenberg Center ...
The Redistricting Game is designed to educate, engage, and empower citizens around the issue of political redistricting. Currently, the political system in most states allows the state legislators themselves to draw the lines. This system is subject to a wide range of abuses and manipulations that encourage incumbents to draw districts which protect their seats rather than risk an open contest.

By exploring how the system works, as well as how open it is to abuse, The Redistricting Game allows players to experience the realities of one of the most important (yet least understood) aspects of our political system. The game provides a basic introduction to the redistricting system, allows players to explore the ways in which abuses can undermine the system, and provides info about reform initiatives - including a playable version of the Tanner Reform bill to demonstrate the ways that the system might be made more consistent with tenets of good governance. Beyond playing the game, the web site for The Redistricting Game provides a wealth of information about redistricting in every state as well as providing hands-on opportunities for civic engagement and political action.
To change something requires that you first understand it.
posted by Kevin Stolarick

June 08, 2007

Richard Florida

Loving Tacoma, WA

Tacoma, WA, one our first pilot Creative Class Communities, is easy to lov540biz0608_voelpel_p2highlightprod_e - it's in the heart of the northwest, right on the port, and its authenticity and beauty just envelope you. That said, members of the community have faced challenges meeting others, finding the cool things to do and making connections with others of similar mind and hearts. This is a real problem for creative communities; connections are key - they're the source of idea sparks and innovation. Enter Love Tacoma, one of our Creative Tacoma Catalyst teams building up the  creative ecosystem in the region.   

Love Tacoma is connecting people with each other and creative events and opportunities around town. In their own words:

Love Tacoma offers what you want to know about the hottest spots in our urban playground. From chill happy hours to next week's most anticipated show, you'll find what you need to be out on the town alongside people like you in Tacoma's urban crowd.

Continue reading "Loving Tacoma, WA" »

June 05, 2007

Richard Florida

Room with a View

The  Creative Class is seeking authentic experiences wherever they go, and communities are seeking their energy and dollars. One result:  the art hotel.  According to the Washington Post, they're big in Europe and growing fast in the States.  While not an entirely new concept, it does offer some great inspiration to CVB's, art councils, downtown associations and hoteliers looking for ways to support their local artists and promote authentic opportunities for cultural tourism.

Excerpts from the full story after the jump...

The Post also lists five of their favorite art hotels (which are pretty affordable), check 'em out if you're looking for a summer getaway. Let us know what you think!

Posted by Amanda.

Continue reading "Room with a View" »

May 23, 2007

Richard is headed to the Northland today to speak at the Duluth,MN-Superior, WI Area Community Foundation's annual meeting. The area is one of amazing beauty, interesting history and familiar challenges:

News story today in the Duluth News Tribune:

Fur trading put what became the Duluth area on the map in the late 17th century.

In the late 1800s, iron ore and timber made Duluth a boomtown.

But in this century, creativity, or the ability of workers to synthesize new ideas and efficiencies, will be the defining resource the Zenith City must mine if it is to flourish.

Read the full article here.

Op-Ed by Community Foundation President, Holly Sampson: 

Let’s make economic development about everyone’s prosperity

...But the Duluth area also needs to address the challenges the community faces: How to embrace territorial assets in a sustainable way. How to tap into resources such as the human capital of those who graduate from Northland schools and then move away. How to build more ties, bridges and relationships across groups that don’t normally associate with one another. And, most important, how to embrace and welcome new people and perspectives.

Read the full op-ed here.

Posted by Amanda.

May 21, 2007

Duluth_at_dusk Creative community development in practice is not easy. It takes a perfect balance of changing with the new while staying in touch with the authentic. Linda Krug, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota Duluth and Creative Class Communities Catalyst, has a great op-ed today in the Duluth News-Tribune on her area's effort to strike that balance:

If you listen to all of the well-honed “truths” that whirl around us, you might draw the conclusion that Duluth is a dying city.

On a daily basis, it seems, I read about how we are old and aging, about how our tax base is eroding and the city’s share of retiree health costs is ballooning.

I hear about our shrinking school-age population, and I watch our young people move to the Twin Cities immediately after college graduation. Potential business interests seem to suggest that local costs of doing business are too high, and it’s a well-known fact that area manufacturing jobs are evaporating. Then there are our mayor and city councilors.

And yet, I just can’t accept that all is lost. I know for a fact....

Read the whole article here.

Learn more about our Creative Class Communities projects here.

Posted by Amanda

May 20, 2007

A2street Ann Arbor Law Firms, including ArborLaw.com, are providing free services to downsized Pfizerites that start new tech firms in the Ann Arbor area. The folks at ArborLaw's blog see this as crucial to keeping talent in Michigan.   

posted by David

May 06, 2007

Our Creative Class Communities program is gaining steam. Here’s a quick update:

Cc_comtie_rwWe’re working to foster more creative communities with teams of citizens across the country. Using regional data on the 4T’s of economic development – Talent, Tolerance, Technology and Territorial Assets – we help these groups understand their community’s assets and challenges, and based on that, build strategic initiatives to build future prosperity. Their commitment and diverse experience with our hard numbers and national network make a powerful one-two punch.

Partnering with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation we worked closely this spring with Tallahassee, FL, Charlotte, NC and Duluth, MN-Superior, WI. After digging through data, engaging new leaders, hosting seminars and planning creative projects, there are now 18 new initiatives coming along. And our pilot teams in Tacoma, WA and El Paso, TX are hitting their halfway marks too - they started their initiatives last October. Never doubt what a small group of citizens can do!

Check out the teams and their initiatives:
Creative Tacoma :: Tacoma, WA – www.CreativeTacoma.com

New Texico :: El Paso, TX – www.NewTexico.org

Creative Capitol Connection :: Tallahassee, FL- KCCITallahassee.wordpress.com

Coming soon: Charlotte, NC and Twin Ports (Duluth, MN-Superior, WI)

posted by Amanda

January 28, 2007

Richard Florida

New Texico Rises

El_paso I've spent much of the past week embroiled in intellectual debates with my colleagues in urban sociology and related fields.  So this story in today's El Paso Times couldn't have come at a better time. It reminds me that what's really important is what's happening on the ground  in real communities.  A much smarter thinker that me once said (and I paraphrase):  The point is not to interpret the world, the point is to change it. I want to send a personal note of gratitude to Joyce Wilson, Angela Mora (pictured here), and our energetic team of change-agents in El Paso,  and especially to my own incredible RFCG team:  Rod Frantz, Amanda Styron, David Miller and Lou Musante, who are the force behind our contribution to this effort.   As we expand these efforts at community transformation, Veronica Escobar, one of  the young visionary leaders we met in El Paso, will  be helping us in future initiatives around the country as well as continuing to make change happen in New Texico.

"Economic development isn't just about attracting companies; it's also about attracting and keeping talented people, and that takes a creative city.... A group of 31 El Pasoans has taken Florida's theories to heart, and with the help of the Richard Florida Creativity Group, based in Washington D.C., are trying to find ways to tap into this area's creativity to improve the quality of life here and to stimulate economic growth. The El Paso group is part of the New Texico Creative Cities Leadership Project... El Paso and Tacoma, Wash., are the first cities to be part of Florida's Creative Cities Leadership Project. Last week, Florida's company announced the start of similar projects in Tallahassee, Fla., Charlotte, N.C., and Duluth-Superior, Minn.

For more information on the New Texico project, click here.

Continue reading "New Texico Rises" »