Robert Paterson has a good conversation going on about creative talent moving to the rural areas. I’m not sure how large of a movement this is, but it makes for an interesting hypothesis. Rob backs it up with some examples:
My point? In the real world of where the producer is on the line and not buried in a bureaucracy, what counts is can you really do it. Most universities and technical schools are credential machines that produce people that have few skills. Think of a BA in Business – which I teach by the way. What do you know as a graduate that you can apply in a small business? The true answer is all but zero.
Credentials are still very important in bureaucracies but they have no standing on their own in the creative world and in the world of reputation
Does this mean that the creative people will be able to live in rural bliss while the rest live live in urban sprawl with McJobs? Will the successor to the digital divide be the Creative Divide? Of course there will be implications for organisational design; when your creative team is separate (physically & mentally) from the developers/manufacturers. It sounds good on the rural/creative side, but I’m worried about the effects on everyone else.
In the meantime, it would be a nice change to get some solid economic activity in places like Atlantic Canada. For instance, in New Brunswick we’ve had two mill closures this month, with about 800 jobs lost. I’m not sure how many creative entrepreneurs have started up this month, but certainly less than 800. There may be turbulent times ahead.
Update: Dane Carlson on the Business Opportunities blog, is observing a similar phenomenon in the US – "I think that technology is quickly removing any economic benefits from operating your business in a major metropolitan area."