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The Handbook of Global Science, Technology, and Innovation by Andrea Filippetti, Daniele Archibugi

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Chapter 15The Rise of the Global Creative Class

Richard Florida and Charlotta Mellander

Introduction

The world economy is in the midst of an epochal transformation, from industrial capitalism to a new age of knowledge-based or creative capitalism. The canonical factors of production identified by the classical economists – land, labor, and capital – are no longer the principal drivers of economic growth. National and regional economies increasingly grow and thrive to the extent that they are able to harness science and technology, innovation, and human creativity as sources of economic and social progress.

Creativity differs in fundamental ways from more traditional, tangible factors of production. Unlike stocks of things that can be depleted or worn out, it is an infinitely renewable resource that is continually enlarging via education, job experience, and the spontaneous, often fortuitous combinations and recombinations of ideas that occur as people collaborate and compete.

Just as industrial capitalism gave rise to a new socioeconomic class of blue-collar workers, the creative economy has given rise to a new class of laborers who work with their minds and creativity. This creative class, which makes up between a third to nearly half of the workforce in the advanced economies, includes scientists and technologists; innovators and entrepreneurs; designers, musicians, entertainers, media workers, academics, and artistic and cultural creatives; and knowledge-based professionals ...

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