Growing Creatives - Then and Now
update: the inevitable response is out from Rich, also on the Daily Beast: Did I Abandon My Creative Class Theory? Not So Fast, Joel Kotkin
What I have become more thoughtful of lately is how and why the genesis of Rich's Creative Class thesis came while he was still in town here. You can feel his 'eureka' moment in what started out as a far more mundane project where he asked some local focus groups of young professionals and students asking them why they were, or were not, considering staying in Pittsburgh. Could or would have the Creative Class thesis have emerged anywhere else? There is something deeper than the current haranguing in the answer.
How long has Pittsburgh been conflicted over the role of human capital (i.e. people) in economic development? Here is a prognostication from a half century ago and the Economic Study of the Pittsburgh Region, Volume 3: Region with a Future (page 284). Not the same quote I have repeated here in the past, but from the same source. What will determine Pittsburgh's competitive advantage in the future?
...new kinds of advantage that will be decisive in the latter twentieth century are within the Region's capability to generate on its own initiative. People rather than geography will play the largest role in shaping our future. (emphasis added)Again that was published in 1963! I have written already that the message went flat on delivery, and figuring out why has become a certain obsession of mine of late. No matter what 'side' you are on, the epitome of creative (class) irony remains this 'promo' video: