Richard Florida

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Author, Thought Leader, and Urbanism Researcher

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Richard Florida: Biography at a Glance

  • Richard Florida is a researcher and professor, serving as University Professor at the University of Toronto’s School of Cities and Rotman School of Management. 
  • He is an entrepreneur and founder of the Creative Class Group which works closely with companies and governments worldwide.
  • Florida is the bestselling author of The Rise of the Creative Class and The New Urban Crisis.
  • He is also co-founder of CityLab, the leading publication devoted to cities and urbanism.
  • He was named the world’s most influential thought leader by MIT and his Twitter feed was named one of the 140 most influential in the world by Time magazine.



Richard Florida is a senior advisor to business, civic, and political leaders around the world and co-founder of CityLab, the leading publication devoted to cities and urbanism. He serves as University Professor at the University of Toronto’s School of Cities and Rotman School of Management. 

Author of the groundbreaking book The Rise of the Creative Class, Florida tells how self-motivated, creative people are challenging the traditional structures of society and details how the emergence of this new social class is profoundly transforming work, leisure, community, and everyday life. Success in the future, says Florida, is not just about technology, government, management, or even power, but about people and their dynamic and emergent patterns of relationships.

Florida helps audiences understand how the locations of certain talent pools influence daily life in those areas and how the success of these areas is often dependent on the talent available – whether it chooses to remain or is drawn elsewhere. Florida, an economist and sociologist, has been a featured commentator in PBS documentaries about the U.S. economy, global competitiveness, and the future of jobs. Florida’s second book, The Flight of the Creative Class, examines the global competition for talent and his latest book, The Great Reset, looks at how economic downturns should be viewed as opportunities to grow and prosper.

An MIT study named Florida the world’s most influential thought leader and TIME magazine recognized his Twitter feed as one of the 140 most influential in the world.


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

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 afterthought. It is a key component of overall business strategy, enabling firms to better attract and retain talent, harness a 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 Opportunitiesarrow-down

Florida’s book, The Great Reset provides a better map for understanding and navigating through and beyond today's economic crisis. Florida draws on 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 more authentic and sustainable prosperity.

Creative Class Communities – City, Regional, and Global Economic Growtharrow-down

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’arrow-down

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 Itarrow-down

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 Diversityarrow-down

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.

Creative Class Consumption: Marketing to the Creative Classarrow-down

From BMW and Apple to Equity Office Properties – firms across industries have identified the Creative Class as a core market for their products and services. Who is the Creative Class and why do they matter? The Creative Class, is 40 million strong, making up 30 percent of the U.S. workforce, with 50% of wages earned and controlling nearly 70% of discretionary spending in the US. That is over $500 billion in purchasing power annually! This consumer group, consisting of scientists, engineers, managers, innovators, and people in research and development, as well as artists, writers, and musicians are the most educated and demanding consumers in the marketplace. Florida has years of data on who they are, where they are, what they read, what they purchase, and the ethos that drives their decisions.

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