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Excerpted with permission from The Rise of the Creative Class Revisited: 10th Anniversary Edition, by Richard Florida. Available from Basic Books, a member of The Perseus Books Group. Copyright (C) 2012.
The tectonic upheavals our economy is enduring are the result not just of ﬁnancial shenanigans by the global One Percent, but of a deeper and more fundamental shift — the passing of the old industrial order as it gives way to the emerging Creative Economy. If we wish to build lasting prosperity we cannot rely on market forces and the Invisible Hand alone to guide us. The grand challenge of our time is to invent new institutional structures that will guide the emergence of a new economic order, while channeling its energies in ways that benefit society as a whole.
To do this, we need to institute and ratify a new social compact, entailing everything from investment in our human capital, the only real capital we have, to a new approach to education and learning. We need to recommit our economy to innovation and our society to openness and diversity, and we need to knit a new safety net for the truly disadvantaged.
We have been through this before. The Industrial Revolution generated new technologies, new industries, and new productive potential alongside gross economic inequalities — which Marx wrongly believed would be capitalism’s undoing. Before the nascent industrial age could reach its full potential, the development of a much more broadly based urban-industrial society, in which great masses of people could participate, was required.
Our new Creative Compact must be built across six key principles.
Read More: Richard Florida: The Creative Compact.
Tony Wagner has written a thought-provoking book on the state of education – something that concerns any parent and employer. How do we shift from an industrial model to one that produces the creativity and innovation our current economy requires? This is a major shift that is required by all academic institutions in order to compete in today’s global marketplace. The primary focus is on ‘one student at a time accountability’ as opposed to ‘test-score accountability’. Maximizing the potential of each and every student. Wagner emphasizes that learning and citizenship in the twenty-first century demands that each student knows how to think – to reason, analyze, weigh evidence and problem solve and to communicate effectively. “These are no longer skills that only the elites in a society must master; they are essential survival skills for all of us.”
A direct attack on ‘teaching to the tests’, Wagner pushes for a new attitude in education. A welcome breath of fresh air in academe. If you care about teaching or how your children are taught, this book is required reading.
The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don’t Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need–and What We Can Do About It
The Blue School is a spearheading educational change to focus on teaching creative thinking skills to the next generation.
Blue School is on The Next List because it’s an institution championing creativity and curiosity by bringing together the best minds to encourage educational reform. In the process it’s celebrating the famous adage “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Blue School’s founders, Matt Goldman, Chris Wink, and Phil Stanton are best known for originating the world-renowned, Blue Man Group. They say the motivation to open Blue School came from the dissatisfaction with their own educational environment.[cnn-video url=”http://cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/living/2012/03/19/the-next-list-blue-school-part-2.cnn.html”]
“It’s gonna take a level of creative thinking that education maybe hasn’t done the best job at in the past,” says co-founder Phil Stanton.
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Indeed, group flow is important for all of us, because so many of our personal and professional activities are spent in groups, and we all want these groups to be more effective and more fun—whether they’re a sports team, a business meeting, a non-profit board, a PTA, or a boy scout troop. Decades of scientific research have revealed that great creativity almost always springs from collaboration, conversation, and social networks—challenging our mythical image of the isolated genius. And research shows that when a group is in flow, it’s more likely to resolve problems with surprising and creative solutions.