Perks Beyond the Espresso Bar
Richard Florida is author of the global best-seller "The Rise of the Creative Class." His latest books are the "The Great Reset," and "The Rise of the Creative Class Revisited," a revised and expanded tenth anniversary edition of his classic work.
He is also the author of "The Flight of the Creative Class" and "Cities and the Creative Class." His previous books, especially "The Breakthrough Illusion" and "Beyond Mass Production," paved the way for his provocative looks at how creativity is revolutionizing the global economy.
Florida is a regular correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly and a regular columnist for The Globe and Mail. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Economist, and The Harvard Business Review. He has been featured as an expert on MSNBC, CNN, BBC, NPR and CBS, to name just a few.
Question: How would you use crowdsourcing to develop the creative class?
Richard Florida: So, back to first principles. Marx told us, in his most brilliant insight when he was talking about how classes form in the working class, all labor is inter-subjective. Now, a big fancy term for saying, we all depend on one another, you can’t make anything without – and he talked about science, and scientists. What do you do? It’s dead labor and living labor, any scientist will tell you we stand on the shoulder of giants. We stand on the shoulders of all those who came before us, and not only our team, and all of those around us. Whether it’s factory production, whether it’s services, whether it’s agriculture, it’s inter-subjective, it’s team based.
This whole idea that invention, finally we’re getting over this, that there’s a great genius, around the great genius was always a fabulous – Thomas Edison, the first person to really build a team in a lab of technicians and chemists, and machinists, that support his ideas, now we know that many people have these ideas. So the wisdom of the crowd, crowd sourcing is key. We have to tap – this is what Toyota told me. I went to visit Toyota when I was studying manufacturing in about 1985. And I went to their factory complex in Toyota City in Japan, and the guy told me, “Professor Florida, we’re going to beat the Big Three.” This was 1985, 1986. Why? Do you think the key to success in your management in the west is the big shot CEO, Lee Iacocca, right? With all the great ideas, ramming it though the bureaucracy, turn around man flanked by two MBA’s and a great research strategist. He said, “We’re going to win because we have tens of thousands of people on the factory floor and back through our supply chain, the crowd, that’s going to harness this kind of energy. We’re going to use their energy, their talent, these millions and millions of individuals. So, the technology, I mean is this incredible tool now that we have.”
And it’s funny that the questions are coming in from Twitter. I mean, Twitter – I’ve always been fascinated by the internet, and I taught at Carnegie Mellon, I was an early adopter. Nothing has fascinated me more than Twitter for the ability to harness other people’s information, but to get direct access to people I thought I could never talk to. And so I think the technology provides another enabling infrastructure and I think the other thing, it not only enables us to tap into the wisdom of the crowd, it also enables individuals to mobilize resources. So, you have almost the crowd at your disposal as an individual and as ideas become good they can mobilize people. Both consumers and workers. So, I think the technology is part – it’s almost like the railroad – the canal system was the technology of one era, the railroad was the technology and infrastructure of another era, the highway system, this thing, and it’s not just the internet. This ability to use social media and mobilize intelligence. I’ve never seen anything like it. And just from a work point of view, my ability to collaborate and work with people, I don’t even remember, and I’m sure most of us, I don’t even remember how I could have worked before. The efficiency gains, and the innovation gains are just so dramatic.
Question: What problems can the creative class best solve within a company?
Richard Florida: Well, it’s funny, getting across those borders. Not just staying in your lab, but going into the factory floor. When I was thinking about the companies that have applied creative energy to products, to appliances, those kinds of things; taking it into services, agriculture, the development of new and better food products, the revolution of food chains, this whole Michael Pollen thing. That’s what I think the real interesting problems are in society. And then ultimately, I think the local.
So, I think for companies to really realize how important their city, or their community is, and one of the things that I think creative people are very attuned to is how important their local environment – In Who’s Your City? I wrote this. There are three big things that make us have a happy life. One is the work we do, the challenging and exciting work, not money. Money’s important, don’t get me wrong, but it’s the challenging work we do and the way we get purpose from that. Of course, it’s our social relationships, our families, but the love that’s in our life and personal relationships. But the third piece that we always forget is the place we live is an important part of that. So, I think for companies thinking a lot more, not only about the products they make, but the places where they’re based, and actively because the people – when I interviewed creative people, they said, I really love my work, but I’d actually like to spend more time not only at home, I’d like to spend more time making my place better. I’d like to volunteer and be involved in boards, and all of this sort of thing.
I think that’s another area. And also in development of technology in development of products. IBM and lots of companies are getting into smart cities. Other companies are getting into green technology. I think a big opportunity, creative opportunity, are actually how do you remake locations and make them not only more creative, but more sustainable. So, that’s a couple of places at least to focus.
Question: What can a company provide to attract the creative class and motivate them to engage their talents on its behalf?
Richard Florida: Well, I think the mistake that cities or companies make, and I think sometimes in my name, so, “Oh my god, we put in a new arts district with the cool loft spaces is going to attract the creative class.” The company says, “We outfitted, we created open space an open layout. We got a great architect in here and we have new modern furniture and we have pinball machines and Jolt cola and an Espresso Bar and that’s going to do it.” That’s cool, that’s cute. But I think the real thing that people want is the ability to be themselves and self-express. That’s really the key thing. How does a company or a city figure out how to allow its people to be themselves, to self-express, to engage in projects that they find exciting, and channel that energy.
So, it seems to me, that’s the core driver. Everything else has to be tuned to that. And for the members of the creative class, for those of us who have a lot of choice in what we do and where we do it. I think what we’re really trying to find. I’ve been looking at this with a fabulous young psychologist named Jason Renfrow. Jason is at Cambridge and he was the first person like – one thing Jason figured out is that you didn’t have to do a personality assessment. You could just look at somebody’s iPod play list and you could completely read their personality.
What Jason and I have been looking at is the location of personality types. And you know, there are five basic personality types, right? There’s agreeable people, their conscience people, there’s extroverts, there’s emotionally stable, or neurotic people, then there’s these people called “open to experience.” If you look at entrepreneurs, whether it’s Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs, if you look at great artists or musicians, chances are they’re very, very high on this dimension called “open to experience.” Open to experience get their charge in life by consuming new experiences, by understanding new experiences, and what we’re finding is that those people are highly mobile. And it’s not like I say to myself. I’m open to experience, I want to find an open to experience neighborhood, these people find some way, by hook or by crook, they leave their hometown and they find the places, whether that’s the San Francisco Bay area, or the Silicon Valley, or a part of ****, or Soho in New York, or wherever it is at the moment because these places shift, right. They’re exciting for a moment and then they go down. These open to experience people, what we find is they’re highly clustered in cities, highly clustered near the core of cities, and highly clustered in particular cities. And so I think what they’re searching for is not just a great place with a great scene and great Espresso Bars, and great loft flats, what they’re searching for is a place where they can be themselves, be surrounded by other experiential people and other things and that becomes the stimulus to their endeavors.
Recorded on December 14, 2009
Companies need to provide something more than a cool work environment to attract the new creative class.
These thought leaders, founders, and entrepreneurs are propelling the kind of future we want to be a part of.
- The tech industry may be dominated by men in terms of numbers, but there are lots of brilliant women in leadership positions that are changing the landscape.
- The women on this list are founders of companies dedicated to teaching girls to code, innovators in the fields of AI, VR, and machine learning, leading tech writers and podcasters, and CEOs of companies like YouTube and Project Include.
- This list is by no means all-encompassing. There are many more influential women in tech that you should seek out and follow.
The results of this study showed depressive symptoms being highest in adolescence, declining in early adulthood and then climbing back up again into one's early 30s.
- A 2020 Michigan State University study examined the link between teen social networks and the levels of depression later in life.
- This study used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, specifically targeting social network data. The results showed depressive symptoms being highest in adolescence and declining in early adulthood, then climbing back up again into one's early 30s.
- There are several ways you can attempt to stay active and socially connected while battling depression, according to experts.
The study suggested that teenagers who have a smaller social circle showed higher rated of depression later on in life.
Credit: asiandelight/Shutterstock<p><a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-09/msu-tsn093020.php" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">A 2020 Michigan State University study</a> examined the link between teen social networks and the levels of depression later in life. The results of this study suggested teens who have a larger number of friends in adolescent years may be less likely to suffer from depression later in life. These findings were especially prominent in women.</p><p>This study used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, specifically targeting social network data. This data asks students to select up to 5 male and 5 female friends and indicate how often they felt depressive symptoms. </p><p>MSU Sociology Assistant Professor Molly Copeland and lead author Christina Kamis (Sociology doctoral candidate at Duke University) published the study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior in September. </p><p><strong>Female teenagers may struggle more with depression during their teen years but show fewer depressive symptoms later in life.</strong> </p><p>For female adolescents, popularity can lead to increased depression during their teen years. However, this ultimately may lead to lasting benefits of fewer depressive symptoms later in life. "Adolescence (is) a sensitive period of early life when structural facets of social relationships can have lasting mental health consequences," Copeland wrote, adding that "compared to boys, girls face additional risks from how others view their social position in adolescence."</p><p>Throughout this study, men showed no association between popularity and depressive symptoms, however, they did show benefits from naming more friends. As for why this is, Copeland has a theory: perhaps the expectations on young girls (compared to young boys) as well as the roles that lead to popularity can create a kind of stress and strain felt more prominently by girls than boys. </p><p>While this does create more difficult teen years for young girls, the stress and strain may lead to giving these girls a psychological skillset that benefits them later in life, allowing them to deal with stressful situations more easily.</p><p>The study also suggested that teenagers who have a smaller social circle showed higher rates of depression later on in life. </p><p><strong>Results from both men and women followed a U-shaped trajectory of depressive symptoms.</strong></p><p>The results showed depressive symptoms being highest in adolescence and declining in early adulthood, then climbing back up again into one's early 30s. This was particularly more noticeable in women, who showed a steeper decline in symptoms between the ages of 18-26, followed by a more rapid increase in symptoms in their early 30s. </p>
How to stay social while battling depression<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ1MjA3MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNDMyNDY1N30.e1ULIJ5QYXh4H1SGUPUTJqYBCnX2XWp6InjPRr-2Bdw/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C22%2C0%2C22&height=700" id="832fd" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b360bb24fb8d6025680bfffb52fd5982" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="depression support group illustration" />
Attending support groups, planning activities with family or even just a weekly phone call to a friend can help alleviate depression.
Credit: Mascha Tace/Shutterstock<p>Although maintaining relationships can help you cope, it can also be one of the most difficult things to do when you're experiencing depression.</p><p>As Dr. Jennifer L. Payne (an assistant professor/co-director of the Women's Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore) <a href="https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/major-depression/staying-socially-active-with-depression/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">tells Everyday Health</a>: "One of the common symptoms of depression is social isolation." </p><p>Payne goes on to explain that you can "soak up some energy" by simply being around other people, moving around, and staying active.</p><p><strong>Creating a daily schedule and planning activities ensures action. </strong></p><p>While it may be easy to turn down last-minute plans, it's more difficult to cancel plans you've already committed to with friends and family. While it's important not to overwhelm yourself with a packed schedule, creating a minimal daily schedule that involves seeing friends and family or doing activities that you've previously enjoyed can ensure you stay active and often makes you feel more accomplished at the end of each day. </p><p><strong>Support groups and social networking with people who understand. </strong></p><p>While depression can very easily make you feel isolated and alone, surrounding yourself with others who may be struggling with depression as well can help in multiple ways. You will have peer support from people who relate to how you're feeling plus the added benefit of being around people, which can raise your spirits. </p><p><strong>Keeping a journal (and setting goals) can help you feel accomplished. </strong></p><p>Keep a thought journal and detail certain daily or weekly goals (such as a plan to call a friend on Monday or to visit your local coffee shop for a change of scenery on Thursday). These small, achievable goals not only get you out of the house and/or interacting with others, but they also provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction once they are complete. </p><p><strong>Random acts of kindness, such as volunteering, will make you feel good. </strong></p><p><a href="https://bigthink.com/mind-brain/kindness-benefits-james-doty?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1596517476" target="_self">Being kind is good for your health</a> in many different ways. Doing something nice for others can boost your serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for feelings of satisfaction and well-being. Similar to exercise, kindness, and altruism can also release endorphins, creating a <a href="https://www.quietrev.com/6-science-backed-ways-being-kind-is-good-for-your-health/#:~:text=Kindness%20releases%20feel%2Dgood%20hormones&text=Doing%20nice%20things%20for%20others,as%20a%20%E2%80%9Chelper's%20high.%E2%80%9D" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">temporary sense of euphoria</a> that can help combat depressive symptoms. </p>
Researchers have just discovered the remains of a hybrid human.
90,000 years ago, a young girl lived in a cave in the Altai mountains in southern Siberia. Her life was short; she died in her early teens, but she stands at a unique point in human evolution. She is the first known hybrid of two different kinds of ancient humans: the Neanderthals and the Denisovans.
Physicists create quantum entanglement, making two distant objects behave as one.