Time to rebrand the initiative: “Social Capital” to replace “Creative Class”

While I was in one of the breakout sessions at the Wright State Regional Summit today, it finally struck me as to why I really don’t like Richard Florida’s “Creative Class” buzz-phrase: it’s elitest. I hear the word class- and it’s one step to caste, you know the things they use in India where some people rate lower than cows.

Replace the term “Creative Class” with the concept of building “social capital” and it’s not longer exclusive but inclusive. Everyone can be part of our communities social capital- only certain people can be “creative class.” And like it or not- it takes all of us together to make this thing work.

You can’t be a captain of industry if you don’t have workers, nor can you expect everyone to be creative. Someone still has to cut the grass, take out the trash and ask “do you want fries with that.”

Off the top of my head- the keys to a vibrant growing economy:

  • A community of learners
  • Tolerance
  • Leadership
  • Responsive government
  • A bias toward action
  • Equal opportunity
  • Open and honest communications
  • Shared vision
  • Access to capital (both social and monetary)

There are others- but, the words “Creative Class” doesn’t say any of the above. It says “have’s and have not’s” to me. I want us all to share in the rewards of working together. Sounds socialistic- but, the reality is starting to become clear- when the gap between the rich and poor gets too big- we all suffer.

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4 Responses

  1. tg August 28, 2008 / 9:44 am
    I really took your comment to heart yesterday and we discussed it at our initiative meeting last night. I want to toss it around more with the other initiatives as well. Our group so far is leaning more toward “Creative Capital”. I guess in the long run what we call ourselves isn’t as important as what we’re able to accomplish. Thanks for coming to the session and for your participation.

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  2. David Esrati August 28, 2008 / 9:54 am

    I could live with “Creative Capital” much easier than “class”- of course, I’ve always been accused of living without class…

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  3. Theresa Gasper August 28, 2008 / 3:15 pm
    of course, I’ve always been accused of living without class…

    As a client of mine used to mumble to himself when someone left an opening like that “leave it alone, Jones, just leave it alone!”

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  4. GladGirl August 28, 2008 / 5:48 pm
    My husband and I have a little funny phrase we use to make each other laugh during financially stressful times: “Gee, middle class was FUN!”

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