Richard Florida: from celebrity academic to budget highlight

Richard Florida: from celebrity academic to budget highlight

Being Richard Florida comes with some nice perks. Your name really does turn up everywhere, including in government budget documents. Here are the two awkward paragraphs in which he is featured:

This Budget is announcing that Premier McGuinty has asked Richard Florida, Professor of Business and Creativity at the Rotman School of Management, and Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, to undertake a study of the changing composition of Ontario’s economy and workforce. Dr. Florida and Dr. Martin will examine historical changes and projected future trends affecting Ontario and provide recommendations to the Province on how to ensure Ontario’s economy and people remain globally competitive and prosperous.

The Province looks forward to Dr. Florida and Dr. Martin’s recommendations.

Kinda makes it sound like they’ll be co-chairing a provincial task force or something. To be more specific, the Martin Prosperity Institute (Richard Florida, Academic Director), in partnership with the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity (Roger Martin, Chair), will be conducting the study. Queen’s Park will pay for research, data collection and a final report. Neither Florida nor Martin will receive any private compensation from the arrangement.

Still, it’s a sweetheart opportunity for their institutes. “The Province” awaits the results with bated breath. Me, too. This project should give Florida something more substantial to say about local issues than idle admiration for Kensington Market. It will let him sink his academic teeth into this region, and when the report is released a year from now, “The Province” will find out how sharp they are.