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Rana Florida
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 Johnson & Johnson— to name just a few. She brings to this leadership role more than two decades of experience in corporate strategy, communications, and marketing, having directed global strategic communications for HMSHost, the world’s largest airport developer, as well as having executed marketing initiatives for such premier brands as Disney and Starbucks and events experience working with The Atlantic, The Aspen Institute, and The Knight Foundation.

Well known as a writer on business and leadership—for Fast Company,, and the Huffington Post—Rana has also served as a guest business analyst on The Today Show and MSNBC’s The Cycle, has been a Fox News contributor for several years, and has been featured in the Business section of The New York Times and in interviews for the Wall Street Journal, Market Watch, CNN, The Globe and Mail, and other major media outlets.

Her one-on-one high profile interviews have covered notables—from President Bill Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama to tennis great Andre Agassi and NBA owner (and TV star) Mark Cuban, from chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mario Batali to singer Nelly Furtado and fashion designer Tory Burch, from the United Nations Director of Girl Up to world renowned architects Peter Marino and Zaha Hadid—and many more.

The thought-provoking chronicler of Creative Spaces for HGTV and the Huffington Post, highlighting public and private spaces that epitomize creativity, innovation, and design, Rana is particularly interested in the public-private intersection, and today serves as Juror on Design for Marketing Magazine Awards and Director of the FIU-Miami Creative City Initiative, a collaboration demonstrating how creativity, culture, and design can drive a regional economy.

She is also heavily involved in philanthropic work. She is currently an appointed member of the United Nations Global Network on Digital Technologies and Sustainable Urbanization for UN Habitat and serves on the board of directors for the Olympics Committee, Canadian Freestyle Ski Association. She also continues to work with the Design-Exchange and Girls E Mentorship. She previously lent her expertise to the boards of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Airports Council International in Washington, D.C., the Council for International Visitors, the The Founders Junior Council of the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Isabella Blow Foundation.

Rana’s corporate board work includes board member for the online retailer, juror for the Marketing Magazine Awards in Design and Chair of the Travel & Leisure Rebel Awards, Le Miami.
Rana holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and a MBA in marketing and management.

Her book, Upgrade—Taking Your Work and Life From Ordinary to Extraordinary (McGraw Hill, 2013) was a ‘Business Best Seller,’ by Tattered Cover, the largest independent bookstore retailer in the U.S. and The Globe and Mail, Editor’s Pick.

Entries by Rana Florida

Presidential Candidates on Supporting Women in the Workforce

(10) Comments | Posted November 11, 2015 | 12:36 PM

2015-11-18-1447882695-9831486-FullSizeRender.jpeg Attempting to work from my home office with a 3 week old.

Sheryl Sandberg notwithstanding, more and more U.S. women are leaning back and out. America's ranking for female workforce participation has declined from seventh among the advanced nations to twentieth. Ironically, this...

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Every Problem Has a Creative Solution (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted September 28, 2015 | 12:08 PM


"Luxury is a horrible word," said award-winning interior designer Glenn Pushelberg. "It should be about quality of experience." From North America to Asia and the Middle East, the hotels, restaurants, retail stores and residences Glenn Pushelberg and George Yabu...

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Ten Ways to Go From Good to Great

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2015 | 10:23 AM

2015-09-22-1442965940-5674255-Rana2300x300.jpg Photo credit: Gabor Jurina

In a recent interview with the Legacy Project, an initiative which profiles creative minds, I was asked how do I differentiate good from great. Jim Collins asked that question about companies, and after...

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Five Industries Ripe for Disruption

(15) Comments | Posted August 3, 2015 | 10:38 AM

Air travel is just one of several industries in need of a serious disruption. Too many hours are wasted in loss productivity in the current system.

By now we are all familiar with market disruptors, innovative products or services that use new...

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Watch CREATE: Detroit's Inaugural Ideas Fest on City Building

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2015 | 10:51 AM

Last week over 300 people turned out at the College for Creative Studies to participate in CREATE: Detroit, the inaugural ideas fest on place making and cities, led by world-renowned urbanist and professor Richard Florida and sponsored by Rock Ventures.

A city can be...

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Lessons From Other Cities at Detroit's Global City Forum

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2015 | 9:07 AM

It's a fact of life: cities rise and cities decline. While the largest can hold their dominance for a very long time, second- and third-tier cities come and go. Foreign competition or the rise of altogether new industries and modes of production can erase their advantages; so can shifts in...

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A World-Class Global City-Building Forum: The First-Ever in Detroit

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2015 | 8:51 AM

Great cities shape their own narratives and they create new lessons for the world. Though Detroit has been the poster-child for urban distress, it is also charting a new path back.

I grew up in Detroit and spent my early years...

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Want World Peace? Focus on Two Simple Things

(0) Comments | Posted February 4, 2015 | 12:16 PM

The state of the world got more gruesome yesterday with the barbaric killing of Lieutenant Muath al-Kasabeh. In a video released by the terrorist group ISIS, the 26-year-old Jordanian pilot can be seen dressed in an orange jump suit and locked in a cage, where he was burned...

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Holiday Out-of-Office Message

(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2014 | 12:31 PM


That's it! As of today, I'm done with conference calls and meetings. I'm breaking up with Twitter, dumping Google Plus and LinkedIn, and quitting email cold turkey.

According to McKinsey, the average knowledge worker spends 28 percent of their workweek...

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Tech Giants' Freeze-Your-Eggs Policy Is Not Enough

(0) Comments | Posted December 1, 2014 | 10:18 AM


Photo Credit: Lindsey Jeanne Photo

Work now, live later. That is the mantra behind the egg-freezing initiatives recently announced by Silicon Valley tech giants Apple and Facebook. Apple's statement read in part:

"We continue to...
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Lessons from Kidpreneurs on Launching a Global Business

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 8:51 AM


"Never give up," says Christian Vaughn CEO of the newly formed company Nooloos. "Just keep pushing forward." Their simple yet valuable lessons are useful for any entrepreneur to apply to their own business. "It's all about making your customers happy," advised...

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Great Ideas Are Worthless Without Strong Execution

(1) Comments | Posted November 7, 2014 | 11:45 AM

2014-11-07-461180850_441754d5e9_z.jpg Photo Credit: Flikr user Helen Flamme

Most people think a Great Idea -- a breakthrough discovery, a killer app -- will make them wealthy beyond their dreams. But successful entrepreneurs know that Great Ideas are a dime a dozen. True success lies in...

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Creative Entertaining: Spooktacularly Sophisticated

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2014 | 10:42 AM


Most of us think of trick-or-treating with kids when it comes to Halloween, or thumping night club parties filled with raunchily-costumed revelers. But there's no reason why you can't host a Halloween dinner for sophisticated grownups. Lose the kitschy marshmallow ghosts and goblins,...

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The Politics of Fashion | The Fashion of Politics (VIDEO)

(2) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 1:31 PM


Fashion and politics may be strange bedfellows, but they definitely go together. "Design," observes Shauna Levy, the president of the Design Exchange, "is a view-finder, if you will. It's a way in which to look at political events, it's...

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Creative Entertaining: Cozy Autumn Dinners

(0) Comments | Posted September 25, 2014 | 9:27 AM

As summer slipped away this week, the air is crisp and the leaves are falling, it's the perfect time of year to entertain at home with friends over some hearty and delicious comfort foods.

Entertaining doesn't have to be timely, expensive or fancy. Here are 10 tips to keep...

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How to Run Your Business Like a Rock Star

(0) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 10:45 AM

Richard and Rana Florida with musician Jack White at Third Man Records, Nashville.

Bands and startups have a lot in common. Sleepless nights, fueled on caffeine and adrenaline, they both have a lot at stake and...

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How to Scale Your Business, Make a Profit and Do Good (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 9:38 AM

Starting with $120,000 - their entire life savings, Warby Parker has emerged as a fashion giant, selling over a million pairs of designer eyeglasses. More than that, it's made the world a better place, donating an equal number of eyeglasses to needy people in the developing world while...

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The Drum Beat of Success (VIDEO with Sheila E.)

(0) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 10:48 AM

Musical legend Sheila E. was literally born into the business, yet she paid more than her share of dues at the beginning of her career, playing to empty rooms and living from gig to gig. For all that, she always followed the beat of her own drum, turning down a...

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10 Steps to Getting a Raise

(3) Comments | Posted September 1, 2014 | 12:07 PM

If you are afraid to ask for a raise, you are not alone. Most people, no matter how self-confident they are, feel quite anxious about this issue. But good work should be rewarded and most companies know that great talent is hard to come by and turn over costs are...

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The Creative Class With Legendary Music Producer Bob Ezrin (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 10:25 AM

The Creative Class video series celebrates innovative creators across disciplines. This week features Bob Ezrin, one of the most commercially successful producers of all time. He's worked with many of the world's most important contemporary artists, including Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, U2, Peter Gabriel, Deep Purple,...

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