Hi Rana, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
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.
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.
Rana Florida is a CEO, Entrepreneur and best-selling business Author. 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. Rana has over two decades of experience in corporate strategy, communications and marketing, having executed marketing initiatives for the likes of Disney Live and Starbucks. She is well known as a writer on business and leadership, having written for Fast Company, Inc.com, and the Huffington Post. Rana Florida has also served as a guest business analyst on The Today Show and been featured in The New York Times, Vogue Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and more. Her one-on-one high profile interviews have covered notables – from President Bill Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama to Andre Agassi, and many more. Rana Florida has also been h
The Miami metro — which spans Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties — aspires to become a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation, and it is making dramatic progress. According to research conducted by the Miami Urban Future Initiative, a joint effort of Florida International University’s College of Communication, Architecture and the Arts and the Creative Class Group, both venture capital investment and venture capital deals have increased more than threefold in the region since 2005.