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Richard Florida and the Impact of the Creative Class on Politics
IT Conversations has yet another great talk; this time it's the author Richard Florida talking at the Pop!Tech conference back in October. I met Richard back in 2003 when he was on a panel at SXSW along with Will Wynn and a economic development official from New Orleans. Florida wrote the book The Rise of the Creative Class, which talks about the attributes of cities and regions that have solid economic growth, finding that cities with active cultural scenes and tolerant attitudes tend to attract the people that drive innovation.

This talk covers Richard's reaction to how people have received his book. Most interesting was his answers to some questions posed at the end of the talk; a lot of the areas which he identifies as economic drivers are also areas of great economic disparity. Austin's on that short list. He identifies a lot of the polarization of the electorate as being a symptom of this inequality. He also has some thoughts about the problems of our educational system; the "creative class" areas don't tend to do well with K-12 education because there's a lack of connection between the local institutions and the people that have moved to the area who are producing the concentration of culture.