As I heard the account, one of Albert Einstein's colleagues at Princeton once pointed out to him that he asked the same questions on his final examination each year. "Yes, that is true. Each year, the answers are different." I thought about that incident as I began to read this book because most (not all) of the major issues that Richard Florida addresses in the Original Edition (2003) are among those he revisits in this 10th Anniversary Edition.
As he explains in the Preface to the new edition, "the dawning of the Creative Age has ushered in a newfound respect for livability and sustainability. This, too, is part and parcel of the deeper shift. The quest for clean and green is powered by the same underlying ethos that drives the Creative Economy. Where the green agenda is driven by the need to conserve natural assets, the Creative Economy is driven by the logic that seeks to fully harness - and no longer waste - human resources and talent." Most of the same trends, patterns, shifts, etc. that Florida identified a decade ago continue, their expansion driven by diversity and inclusion that are both moral imperatives and economic necessities. Each contains an abundance of opportunities and perils.
However, that said, "all is far from well: the great promise of the Creative Age is not being met." Florida adds, "We are in a strange interregnum when the old order has collapsed and the new order is not yet born." Lacking the cohesion and solidarity of the Working Class, the Creative Class remains at the forefront of what Ronald Inglehart characterizes as "the transition to a post-materialistic politics - a shift from values that accord priority to meeting immediate material needs to ones that stress belonging, self-expression, opportunity, environmental quality, diversity, community, and quality of life."
Revising and updating the Original Edition was a major project for Florida and his associates. All of the original chapters were revised; five new ones were added; and two pair of original chapters (2 and 3, 7 and 8) have been combined into one chapter (Chapter 2 and "No Collar"). Florida devotes two of the new chapters to "the persistent and deepening economic, social, and geographic divides that continue to vex our society."
These and other major writing and editing initiatives correctly suggest how much importance Florida gives to helping to "unleash the great reservoir of overlooked and underutilized human potential," resources without which the human race cannot finally achieve and then sustain "a better, more meaningful, and more fulfilling way of life."
I agree with Richard Florida that "every single human being is creative" or at least can be creative if (HUGE "if") economic opportunity and human development are not only in alignment but, in fact, interchangeable.