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Fairfax County to Host First National Conference on the Creative Economy

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Fairfax County will host the 2007 National Conference on the Creative Economy, set for October 24-25, 2007, at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner Hotel. Sponsored in part by FORTUNE magazine, the conference will examine the role that a strong, creative workforce plays in the growth and success of businesses and communities in an information-based economy.

The conference ( will feature four compelling keynote speakers: George Mason University Professor Richard Florida, author of “The Rise of the Creative Class” and “The Flight of the Creative Class;” Pulitzer Prize winner, New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman, author of “The World is Flat;” Alvin Toffler, author of “Future Shock,” “The Third Wave” and “Revolutionary Wealth;” and Admiral Thad Allen, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard and head of post-Hurricane Katrina relief efforts on the Gulf Coast.

In addition, FORTUNE columnist Anne Fisher will speak as well as moderate a “Best Places to Work” panel.

The 2007 National Conference on the Creative Economy will address topics such as:

* Attracting and retaining the creative class
* Creating a culture of creativity in the workplace to improve the bottom line
* Using diversity to promote creativity
* Harnessing the power of an aging workforce
* Boosting creativity in defense and homeland security industries
* Improving communities and the economy through creative companies

“Businesses need the fuel of creative talent to thrive and are looking for every way possible to attract and retain that talent. At the same time, communities want to attract high-performing companies that build local economies,” said Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA). “The conference will enable communities and businesses to understand more fully the benefits of fostering creativity and the means of implementing it.”

“People are the leading economic driver of prosperity,” Florida said. “Companies will go where they can tap into and support a quality workforce. To build that workforce, regions need to think about how they will support the creativity and innovation of the people who live there."

To date, sponsors of the 2007 National Conference on the Creative Economy are the Fairfax County government, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, FORTUNE magazine, The Push Group LLC and Siddall. Sponsorship information is available at

Fairfax County, host of the conference, is an example of the creative economy: 57 percent of county residents work in “creative occupations” in information technology, professional services, education and other fields. Time magazine this year called Fairfax County “one of the great economic success stories of our time,” and a U.S. Labor Department report called Fairfax County the private-sector jobs leader in the Washington area.

Business growth helps Fairfax County, minutes from Washington, D.C., fund public services such as a top-ranked public school system and library, public safety, social services and park systems that improve the quality of life. Fairfax County offers diverse real estate opportunities, access to domestic and international markets through Washington Dulles International Airport, a business community based on technology and professional services, and a well-educated workforce.
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