05 February 2009

Creativity and innovation literacy

Roger Martin and Richard Florida of the Martin Prosperity Institute today launched their report on Ontario's economy. Commissioned by Premier McGuinty, the Ontario in the Creative Age project outlines their call for the promotion of creativity - brains over brawn - as the main driver of the economy. The launch today was hosted by the Economic Club of Toronto and was sponsored by Porter Airlines. Martin and Florida's thesis is that we need to move from the knowledge based economy into the idea based economy - where knowledge is applied and ideation encouraged in all aspects of every work place. Their ambitious goal is to have 70% of the workforce with a post secondary education would result in 50% of the population in creativity jobs by 2020. Kudos to them for focusing on the role of education - university, college, secondary, and especially early childhood - as the route to social and economic prosperity. Their focus on creativity aligns well with the concept of innovation literacy, or what Florida today referred to as "social intelligence skills": the ability to apply analytic skills to job functions, to motivate teams, and to build organizational capacity. The rise in creativity is commensurate with the need to fine tune our economy and to look to the future needs of the world economy for context.

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