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When the world's leading corporations need direction or winning market strategies, they turn to Rana Florida, the CEO of the Creative Class Group. The influential author and business woman has an impressive roster of clients including BMW, Johnson and Johnson, Zappos, and several government bodies. Her expertise and creativity were also key to the foundation and development of massive e-commerce site, Shop.ca, which she continues to advise.

Rana brings 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 Disney and Starbucks in addition to her events experience working with The Atlantic, The Aspen Institute, and The Knight Foundation. Her business expertise is frequently sought out by The Today Show, Fox news, and MSNBC's The Cycle. Her book, Upgrade — Taking Your Work and Life From Ordinary to Extraordinary was a “Business Best Seller” and is based on her numerous years of guiding clients and interviewing top-notch entrepreneurial minds such as Mark Cuban and Andre Agassi.

Aside from being a dynamic business woman and widely read columnist, Rana is an avid philanthropist and actively involved in the arts and cultural scenes of Miami and Toronto, both of which she currently calls home.

Full Profile

CEO, Author, Editor, Cultural Curator

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 Starwood Hotels – 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, Inc.com, the Huffington Post, and recruiter.com – Rana has also served as a guest business analyst on The Today Show and MSNBC’s The Cycle. She 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 Jeans-George 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 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 retailerShop.ca, juror for the Marketing Magazine Awards in Design and Chair of theTravel & 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.


Rana Florida Speaker Videos Back to top

Rana Florida, Business and Marketing Speaker: Create Detroit, Opening Remarks


Detroit native, Rana Florida makes the case that the city can shed its longtime “poster child for distress” image, taking the audience on a tour of the cultural gems hidden in the streets that she knows so well. As a teenager she and her sisters explored the different clubs throughout Detroit; as an adult she was hired by two consecutive mayors to aid in the development of a number of recreational facilities, including the local zoo, the Bell Isle Nature Center, and the city's aquarium.

“As we well know Detroit is on the rise,” she states pointing out its many strengths from its acclaimed universities to its unique musical heritage. “Armed with determination, legendary grit, diversity, and innovative capacity, it has the knowledge assets to forge a better future.”

Rana Florida, Business and Marketing Speaker: Interview



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


From meeting strategies to compiling the optimum team, Rana Florida shows audiences how to get the most out of work so that they'll have more time and flexibility to get the most out of life. The veteran business and marketing developer shares the same expertise and leadership she's used in counseling some of the world's most respected brands, as well as tips she's gained from interviewing some of the world's most high-profile thinkers including Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama. Moreover, Rana brings her unique sense of style and creativity to revitalize and reinvent participants' approaches to their career so that they can lead the life they've dreamed of.

Upgrade Your Business, Upgrade Yourself
Rana Florida shares her formula, giving you the tools to achieve unimagined success in work and life. Upgrade gathers the best practices not just from CEO’s and business executives but from entrepreneurs, innovative thinkers, and creative leaders and presents their philosophies in simple and actionable terms that anyone can put to good effect in their professional or personal lives from day one. Her research yields seven key principles to achieving your business and life goals.

Additionally, Rana speaks on the following topics:

  • How To Market Your Business, Brand And Yourself
  • Business Tips In Launching A Startup
  • Design And Creativity
  • Creative Entertaining
  • Creative Spaces




  • * Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    Upgrade: Taking Your Work and Life from Ordinary to Extraordinary

    The 7 Key Principles to achieving YOUR business and life goals
    What could a graffiti artist, eminent neurologist, star athlete, celebrity chef, fashion designer, rocket scientist, and Grammy Award–winning musician possibly have in common?

    In this groundbreaking new book, Rana Florida shares their formula, giving you the tools to achieve unimaginable success in work and life.  Upgrade gathers the best practices, not just from CEOs and business executives but from entrepreneurs, innovative thinkers, and creative leaders.

    Upgrade includes interviews with Sir Ken Robinson, Dan Pink, Mark Cuban, Andre Agassi, Kenny Scharf, Zaha Hadid, Governor Martin O’Malley, Tory Burch, Tim Brown, and many other leading figures. Despite this cast’s vastly different backgrounds and skills, Florida’s research concludes that there are seven key principles to achieving your business and life goals:

  • Envision the future
  • Find your passion
  • Get creative
  • Design your time
  • Collaborate
  • Take risks
  • Embrace failure

    Unfortunately, this is exactly what the majority of us don’t do. Instead of developing a real strategy to upgrade and optimize our lives, too many of us just slog through life in a state of “managed dissatisfaction.” But it’s never too late to envision an entirely different future—or to actively upgrade your life. It’s not about finding more time, money, or resources. Anyone can do it. This smart and entertaining guide delves deep into each principle, giving you the insights, tools, and inspiration to take your life from ordinary to extraordinary.

  • Upgrade Your Business, Upgrade Yourself
    Rana Florida shares her formula, giving you the tools to achieve unimagined success in work and life. Upgrade gathers the best practices not just from CEO’s and business executives but from entrepreneurs, innovative thinkers, and creative leaders and presents their philosophies in simple and actionable terms that anyone can put to good effect in their professional or personal lives from day one. Her research yields seven key principles to achieving your business and life goals.

    Additionally, Rana speaks on the following topics:

  • How To Market Your Business, Brand And Yourself
  • Business Tips In Launching A Startup
  • Design And Creativity
  • Creative Entertaining
  • Creative Spaces


  • Rana Florida, Business and Marketing Speaker: Create Detroit, Opening Remarks


    Detroit native, Rana Florida makes the case that the city can shed its longtime “poster child for distress” image, taking the audience on a tour of the cultural gems hidden in the streets that she knows so well. As a teenager she and her sisters explored the different clubs throughout Detroit; as an adult she was hired by two consecutive mayors to aid in the development of a number of recreational facilities, including the local zoo, the Bell Isle Nature Center, and the city's aquarium.

    “As we well know Detroit is on the rise,” she states pointing out its many strengths from its acclaimed universities to its unique musical heritage. “Armed with determination, legendary grit, diversity, and innovative capacity, it has the knowledge assets to forge a better future.”

    Rana Florida, Business and Marketing Speaker: Interview