seal  Purdue News

September 5, 2003

Creativity as an economic force to be discussed

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A professor of economic development at Carnegie Mellon University whose work focuses on creativity as an economic force will discuss the relevance of his research to the local community during several events sponsored by Purdue University, the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, Tippecanoe Arts Federation and Vision 2020.

Richard Florida

Richard Florida will participate in a Vision 2020 diversity roundtable discussion at noon Monday, Sept. 29, at the Purdue Employees Federal Credit Union on Sagamore Parkway in West Lafayette. He will discuss the importance of diversity in a community. Tickets for the lunch are $10. To make reservations, contact Vision 2020 at (765) 742-2241.

A meeting with the Vision 2020 implementation committee will follow the lunch at the Celery Bog Nature Center. Vision 2020 seeks to bring community leaders together for collaboration on strengthening the local economy, increasing diversity and improving access to health care, to name a few of the goals identified by the community.

Florida also will discuss Purdue's role in the community and the state during a lunch with school deans and provost office staff from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30, in the Lafayette Room of the Purdue Memorial Union.

Florida is the author of "The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure Community and Everyday Life," published by Basic Books in 2002. The book chronicles how profound changes in the workplace, culture and everyday life can result from the rise of creativity as an economic force. Currently in its eighth printing, the book has stimulated a national debate about the causes and consequences of economic growth and development.

Florida also is founder and co-director of the Software Industry Center and founder of Catalytix, a strategy-consulting firm that works with governments and corporations worldwide. He has served as a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Don K. Gentry, vice provost for engagement, said Florida should spark lively discussions.

"He has a national reputation as a person who motivates people to think outside the box," Gentry said. "We look forward to gaining insight on how Purdue, the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette, and the arts community can collaborate to stimulate economic development."

Florida also will speak at the Bravo Breakfast for the Arts, sponsored by the Tippecanoe Arts Federation, on Tuesday, Sept. 30. The breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Select, City Centre. Florida's speech is entitled "The Role of Arts in the Community." Tickets, which are $10 per person or $70 for a table of eight, can be purchased by calling the federation at (765) 423-ARTS.

Florida also will present the keynote address at the Chamber of Commerce annual dinner on Tuesday, Sept. 30. The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Cumberland Place Exhibition Center in West Lafayette. His speech is entitled "The Rise of the Creative Class and Reflections on My Visit to the Lafayette-West Lafayette Community." Tickets, which are $50 per person, can be purchased by calling the Chamber of Commerce at (765) 742-4041.

CONTACT: Don Gentry, (765) 494-9095,; Mike Piggott, community relations director, (765) 494-4636,; Shelley Lowenberg-DeBoer, Tippecanoe Arts Federation executive director, (765) 423-2787,; Kathy Dale, Vision 2020, (765) 742-2241,; Michael Gibson, Chamber of Commerce chairperson, (765) 742-4041.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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