In the last 14 months, the world has witnessed the greatest economic transformation in all of human history, urban thinker Richard Florida told a rapt audience in Burlington last night.
He said creativity, knowledge and innovation have replaced the sweat of factories and farms. In 1980, 10 percent of North Americans worked in what he calls creative jobs: technology, research, medicine, business, the arts.
That’s now 35 percent.
"It has changed so rapidly and dramatically that the stock market collapsed and the bubble burst. It just couldn’t keep up."
Florida says it hasn’t been a recession or depression. He calls it a "reset." In fact, he’s called his next book The Great Reset and says it explores "new ways of living and working that will really power long-run prosperity."
Florida, a noted urban theorist and author of the bestselling Who’s Your City? and The Rise of the Creative Class, is now director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.
Florida was the keynote speaker at a celebration of the Halton Industry Education Council’s 20th anniversary.
The HIEC dates back to Nov. 17, 1989, when Halton’s chambers of commerce, public and Catholic school boards, Sheridan College and local industry and municipal representatives came together to officially form an industry education council.
The mandate is to enhance career education and create the best opportunities for youth as they transition from school to the workforce.
Florida, recently named one of the Best and Brightest by Esquire Magazine, stressed the need for communities to be welcoming and inclusive, sustainable and to embrace education and nurture creativity.
The HIEC handed out awards last night to Glenn Attridge of Attridge Transportation, Cesare DiDonato, curriculum consultant at the Halton Catholic District School Board and Michael Carberry, chair of the HIEC board.