3 Creative Class Values: what they are and why Sacramento needs to embrace them

by Ronnie Nurss on May 3, 2012

In The Rise of the Creative Class, author Richard Florida identifies three main values that embody the Creative Class. Some, Florida argues, represent a melding of traditional and new values. They also tend to be associated with education and creative people in general as well.


Those who represent the Creative Class have a very strong preference for individuality and self-statement. Individuality and unconventionality trumps conformity and societal norms. For the most part, this has always been true through the centuries from quirky artists to eccentric scientists. Albert Einstein is a classic example.

The book argues that an increase in non-conformity and an allergy to conventional traditions may represent a new mainstream value as the Creative Class grows in population and influence in this country.


This is a huge value held deeply by those in the Creative Class. They promote hard work, challenges and stimulation with a strong eye for goal-setting and achievement.

One example is that the Creative Class does not define itself or its success by the amount of money it earns. The Creative Class, therefore, is motivated to work not for financial gains or high status in society, but mainly for respect from peers and on purposeful and meaningful projects or goals.

Overall,  Florida also states that meritocracy ties into a host of other values and beliefs that can have a positive effect on society. Examples being faith that virtue will be rewarded, valuing self-determination and mistrust of rigid caste systems.

Diversity and Openness

Florida argues that diversity is a fundamental marker of Creative Class values. They strongly favor an environment or organization that allows anyone to fit in and get ahead in without superficial barriers.

They’re seeking an environment that is open to differences. Florida argues that many creatives grew up as outsiders…a little different from the rest of their schoolmates or peers.

Another key reason for the importance of this value is that people in the Creative Class tend to be mobile and move around to different parts of the country easily. They never quite feel “native” or “local” to any particular city or state.

In Conclusion…

If an organization or company, or a city or state, wants to attract talented and valuable members of the Creative Class, it is very important to be aware of these three fundamental values.

The Creative Class tends to be very mobile and motivated to live and work in environments that embody the values it places so much importance on. For a city like Sacramento, which is already ranked in the top 20 cities in America for Creatives, it will be ever so important to start creating a community that can embrace these three values even more.

This is crucial in order to not only attract more people of the Creative Class, but also to nurture and grow our own local Creative Class of the future.

Join us over the next month as we dive into major themes of this book in several blog posts. Then join us for a discussion during our monthly Book Club Pub Crawl on Thursday, May 31 at 7 p.m. here at ThinkHouse Collective.

Did you like this? Share it:
Donna May 3, 2012 at 10:16 am

Very interesting. I am going to read this book.

Janna Marlies Maron May 9, 2012 at 10:47 am

Awesome! Hope you can join us for the discussion on 5/31!

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