National Conference on the Creative Economy: Day One Review
Fairfax County, Virginia USA, October 24, 2007 – Day One of the National Conference on the Creative Economy was one of high-energy presentations, insightful, thoughtful panel discussions and long lines at the floor microphones as enthusiastic participants queued for questions. The Hilton McLean Tysons Corner offered an elegant and hospitable backdrop for the nearly 400 attendees who gathered in the Grand Ballroom and took advantage of networking opportunities and a seemingly never-ending parade of sweet and salty snacks in the atrium.
The theme of the day might easily be described as “a passion for people.” The keynote presentations by Richard Florida and Thomas Friedman, the two featured speakers, David DeLong and Joe Watson, the contributing panelists and the panel moderators all articulated a genuine belief in the importance of individuals and a confidence in people’s ability to tap their own imaginations to influence their surrounding and even the world. Trust, truthfulness, risk-taking and turning creative thinking into action also stood out as common themes for the day.
Highlights of the first day were Richard Florida’s morning presentation on the key principles of an emerging creative economy, David DeLong’s much-praised presentation on an aging workforce and Thomas Friedman’s luncheon keynote presentation, during which he shared his three most important “flatteners” in the world economy, taken from his recently re-released book “The World is Flat.”
Click on the links below for summaries of the day’s three panels and four speakers, including the two keynote presentations, as well as photos:
- Richard Florida keynote address
- Panel: Building a Culture of Creativity
- David DeLong—Lost Knowledge: Harnessing the Creativity of an Aging Workforce
- Thomas Friedman keynote address
- Panel: Creativity in Homeland Security
- Joe Watson—How Diversity Contributes to the Creative Economy
- Panel: Life in a Connected World
The conference continues tomorrow with a keynote address from Alvin Toffler. Additionally, FORTUNE columnist Anne Fisher and CNN’s Frank Sesno will lead panel discussions.
Conference sponsors are the Fairfax County government, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, FORTUNE, The Push Group LLC, Siddall, ICMA, Americans for the Arts, SkillSource Group, Potomac Tech Wire, the Washington Business Journal and Tech Journal South.
Fairfax County is host of the conference and is an example of the creative economy: 57 percent of county residents work in “creative occupations” in information technology, professional services, education and other fields. Time magazine this year called Fairfax County “one of the great economic success stories of our time.” Visit www.FairfaxCountyEDA.org.