Richard Florida

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World's Leading Urbanist, Renowned Economist, and Best-Selling Author

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Richard Florida Speaker Biography

World’s Leading Urbanist, Renowned Economist, and Best-Selling Author of Rise of the Creative Class

Richard Florida is the Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. A Global Research Professor at New York University and the founder of the Creative Class Group, he works closely with governments and companies worldwide.


Leading keynote speaker Richard Florida is perhaps the world’s leading urbanist, “as close to a household name as it is possible for an urban theorist to be in America,” according to The EconomistEsquire has included him on its annual list of “The Best and the Brightest,” and Fast Company dubbed him an “intellectual rock star.”  MIT Technology Review recently named him “one of the world’s most influential thinkers.”


Dr. Florida is the author of several global best sellers, including the award-winning The Rise of the Creative Class and is a senior editor for The Atlantic, where he co-founded and serves as Editor-at-Large for Atlantic Cities, the world’s leading media site devoted to cities and urban affairs.


Florida appears regularly on CNN and other news broadcasts and is a regular contributor to the op-ed pages of major newspapers and magazines. TIME magazine recognized his Twitter feed as one of the “140 most influential in the world.” In 2013 he was named a Global Thought Leader by the Gottleib Duttweiler Institute, alongside Al Gore, George Soros, Jeffrey Sachs, Elon Musk and Deepak Chopra.


Keynote Speaker Richard Florida previously taught at Carnegie Mellon and George Mason University, and has been a visiting professor at Harvard and MIT. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers College and his Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Richard Florida Speaking Topics

Real-estate, the Importance of Location in a Spiky World and Maximizing your ROI in Place

Whether you are a real estate developer, property manager, or corporation, you likely understand the importance of location. The increasing concentration of the Creative Class has intensified their variations in locational advantage or disadvantage. Beyond location, the work style and lifestyle of the Creative Class is forcing real estate professionals to reassess how real estate is designed and used. In his research and writing, Florida has uncovered the underlying drivers of real estate success and a series of leading indicators – from the bohemian index, the gay index and more – to identifying high value real estate locations. The Real Estate Development speech distills the key factors that underpin real estate success. Florida’s research also identifies the location factor as a key element of business strategy. Location is not an after-thought. It is a key component of overall business strategy, enabling firms to better attract and retain talent, harness creative workforce and market products. The Location Factor speech uses research from Rise of the Creative Class and Who’s Your City? to show the key locations relevant to your business and industry. It provides a series of data driven case studies which enable your organization to identify its best locations and get the most out of its existing ones.

Understanding the Global Economic Crisis and Capturing the Opportunities

Florida’s book, The Great Reset provides a better map for understanding and navigating through and beyond today's economic crisis. Florida draws in years of research, case studies and data to show that we are not just facing a shift in our banking and business structures, but a long-term fundamental reset of our entire way of life. Positioning business, regions and the overall economy to grow stronger in the coming decades will require a solid understanding of the Reset. This timely and important speech helps organizations, policy and decision makers to construct a new, more productive way of life for a new era built on a more authentic and sustainable prosperity.

Creative Class Communities – City, Regional, and Global Economic Growth

This speech focuses on city, regional and global economic growth. It gives community leaders the tools they need to generate greater economic prosperity in their region. No longer are cities competing with neighboring cities, rather mega regions are competing globally. This thought-provoking speech with your city’s crucial leadership will give you the necessary framework to make your community more competitive and vibrant. Richard Florida will share with your audience the most current regional economic and demographic data and knowledge of cutting-edge community-building practices.

Talent Wars: Talent Attraction and Retention of the ‘Best and Brightest’

The requirements of the Creative Economy, changing expectations of workers, and demographic shifts have caused a serious shortage in workers resulting in the “Talent Wars”. The Talent Management Speech was developed and led by Florida who has been dubbed the “world’s leading cartographer of talent” by Fast Company. In this speech, Florida distills his framework for how to attract and retain talent and explains his analysis of which locations offer the best talent pools for an innovative and creative workforce. This speech is aimed at corporate leaders, human resources directors, and those responsible for attracting and retaining the ‘best and the brightest’ to their organization. The World is Spiky, not flat, as Creative Talent increasingly clusters in certain places leaving other locations depleted. Moreover, today’s talent cannot be won over through basic methods such as increased compensation. Based on years of surveying and interviewing members of the Creative Class and exhaustive quantitative and locational analysis, this speech will help you answer the question: Where is the talent and how can my organization attract and retain the creative and highly valuable workforce required for success?

Innovation, the Culture of Creativity and Managing for It

In The Creative Management Speech, Florida leads teams of executives and managers on how to manage creativity culled through more than two decades of research on leading edge companies and his breakthrough Harvard Business Review article with SAS CEO and founder, Jim Goodnight. This speech ignites new thinking and strategic initiatives on how to manage, motivate and inspire creative people.

Managing Diversity

Most corporate diversity efforts are compliance driven, adding little to the bottom line. Drawing up his research and analysis in his best-selling book, Rise of the Creative Class and other sources, Florida’s Managing Diversity speech provides a framework for making diversity efforts value adding.

Richard Florida Books

The Flight of the Creative Class: The New Global Competition for Talent
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The Rise of the Creative Class
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The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity
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Richard Florida Videos

Richard Florida Speaker Testimonials

Florida is an authoritative and entertaining observer. He pulls together many of the things we see into an illuminating narrative of demography and urban and economic development.

- The Financial Times |

Your substantive insights on ‘Creative Cities and Urban Development Reform’ contributed greatly to the deliberations at the Conference.

- United Nations Development Program |

It was fantastic to listen to Richard…the performance not only fulfilled our expectations but opened a new stage of inspirations for our Ministry to work on the development of regions.

- Poland Ministry of Regional Development |

An urban-development expert…His ideas about revitalizing cities by attracting artists and high-tech workers have influenced a generation of urban planners.

- TIME |

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Recent Books

The Flight of the Creative Class: The New Global Competition for Talent
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The Rise of the Creative Class
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