Creativity thrives tolerance. Tolerance booms GDP growth.

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It has become common knowledge that creativity is the major requirement in the 21st century for nations, enterprises and individuals.

Maximizing creativity is critical to an individual’s happiness and to economic growth. As economic growth is driven by creativity, if we want to increase it, we have to tap into the creativity of everyone. And for the first time in human history, the basic logic of our economy dictates that to further economic development is to further the development and use of human creative capabilities.

But what thrives creativity? A creative environment embraces the 3Ts: Talent, Technology, and Tolerance. If all three criteria are fulfilled, individuals, organizations, cities, regions and countries will be able to compete and prosper. The first T Talent represents the fact that the force behind any effective economic strategy is talented people. We live in a more mobile age than ever before. People, especially top creative talent, move around a lot. A community’s ability to attract and retain top talent is the defining issue of the creative age. Technology means that technology and innovation are critical components of a community or organization’s ability to drive economic growth. To be successful, communities and organizations must have the avenues for transferring research, ideas, and innovation into marketable and sustainable products. Universities are paramount to this, and provide a key hub institution of the creative age. Tolerance represents the fact that economic prosperity relies on cultural, entrepreneurial, civic, scientific, and artistic creativity. Creative workers with these talents need communities, organizations, and peers that are open to new ideas and different people. Places receptive to immigration, alternative lifestyles, and new views on social status and power structures benefit significantly, now and in the future.

Therefore it is the responsibility of governments, of organizations, of every one of us to set a better climate for tolerance. Creative talent defies classification based on race, ethnicity, gender, appearance, or sexual preference. If a community is viewed as a place less open to gays and lesbians, immigrants, or young people, it will fall considerably behind other creative global giants. Governments can do this with its policies as well as the tone it sets in its messages. Places like the U.S.A. are falling more and more behind. Remember, America’s willingness to welcome those who the rest of the world rejected during the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s is what made the country so great. During that time, the U.S. embraced some of the best and brightest artists and scientists – from Marlene Dietrich to Albert Einstein. But the U.S. is no longer communicating that same message to the rest of the world. And also places like Germany or Switzerland cannot victim to the same trap, if they want to competitively compete in the global creative age.

Annotation: Locations with larger artistic and gay populations signal underlying mechanisms that increase the productivity of entrepreneurial activity. Various scientific studies (Florida, Inglehart, Mabile, Sternberg, Fredrickson) noted the correlation between self-expression values and GDP growth at the national level. Openness towards migrants, gay and lesbian population is the best indicator of overall tolerance. Prof. Richard Florida even created a “Tolerance Index” which indicates that self-expression is associated with higher levels of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial behavior. Tolerance is a core element of a new value systems associated with higher levels of GDP and economic growth.

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