This global pandemic is not to blame for a trend that was already in place — it has only accelerated it. While government stimulus and small business loans, financing and subsidies may provide some small businesses with a measure of relief, many won’t have the cash flow, the savings, or the time to wait. Rents, suppliers, and staffs have to be paid.So how can not just retailers, but restaurants, bars, galleries, book stores, hair and nail salons, florists, and fitness centers move quickly to mitigate their losses and stay afloat over the next difficult months?
Canada prides itself on its reputation as an open, tolerant and caring place. Especially at our border, where the image of Justin Trudeau greeting refugees turned away from the United States was seen around the world. But, over the dozen years that we have lived in Toronto, we have regularly encountered problems when coming back home to Canada at Pearson Airport.
Back in 2002, my husband, Professor Richard Florida, published the international best-seller The Rise of the Creative Class, an analysis of the forces that are reshaping our economy, our geography, the work we do, and our whole way of life. In it, he argued that just as our economy shifted from an agricultural basis to an industrial one in the late eighteenth century, we were entering a new epoch in which the most significant driver of economic growth is human creativity.
We know that the type of traveller targeted by the LE collective is a unique breed: creative, rebellious and unpredictable. That’s why we’ve collaborated with the Creative Class® Group, a global think tank comprised of leading researchers, academics and strategists, to bring you exclusive research and insight that will enable you to understand their very modern mindset.
Human expression has fostered joy, community and understanding in societies across time and place, helping individuals to connect in meaningful ways. Arts and culture tap into this universal drive toward expression and enrich our lives immeasurably, whether by promoting a sense of wellbeing, sharing ideas, cultivating beauty or prompting self-reflection and imagination. Our cities and communities would be sterile without the arts and the creativity and emotion they impart. We feel that dance is an important part of ar ts and culture and a power ful form of human expression, one that enhances our quality of life and contributes to our individual and social growth.
As a CEO, mother of two and frequent globetrotter, Rana Florida lives in the intersection of business, art, architecture, creativity and culture. But what of fashion, and where does it feature in her life? We needed to know, and so we met with the Creative Class Group CEO in the home she shares with her husband Richard, the international bestselling author, professor and urbanist. Their home is a perfect example of their design-led lifestyle, their vision executed by the ultra-creative firm Studio Pyramid and the interior designer Sasha Josipovicz.
Take ten million trees, 3.9 million people, 180 languages and dialects, the 7th largest stock exchange, the longest street in the world, and a renowned film festival. Throw in universal healthcare, the 8th largest LGBTQ2 pride parade, and the most rollicking Caribbean street festival anywhere, and you have Toronto. North America’s fourth largest city might also be its least understood and, with a broad mix of cultures, the hardest to classify. At times, the scene here can seem disparate, caught between affected grunge and unsettling flash, complete with a campy cadre of overdressed socialites. But then again, part of this metropolis’s beauty lies in its ability to make most anyone feel at home.
As Chief Executive Officer of the Creative Class Group, Rana Florida manages new business development, marketing, consulting, research and global operations serving such diverse clients as BMW, Converse, IBM, Cirque du Soleil, Audi, Zappos, and Starwood Hotels – to name just a few.
What is your morning routine?
I usually get woken up with a karate chop blow to the face; sometimes coming at me from both directions by 1 and 2-year-old feet. I will then untangle my hair from a puppy or cat wrapped around my head for warmth before tiptoeing like a ninja out of bed at 6 am. I will then check and respond to a crazy amount of work emails, both from clients and my team. I’m OCD, so will make sure every bed is made in perfect military fashion, the house in order, and dog, cats, babies all fed and dressed. I’m trying to take 15 minutes each morning to learn to meditate and clear my head before starting the workday.
Q: Rana, tell us more about your background. What were you doing before The Creative Class Group?
A: My parents – first generation immigrants from Jordan – drilled the importance of education into me and my siblings. They wanted us all to become doctors or lawyers. I was not drawn to either profession, so I went to business school without a clue as to what I would end up doing. I just knew that I wanted to land a high-level corporate job and I did just that, in Washington, DC. I was super excited by my six-figure salary and bonuses but was not happy. I was stuck commuting in traffic all day, I had crazy bosses and I had no control over my time and schedule.