Blog: Peter Kageyama

Peter is a partner with Creative Cities Productions (formerly Sextant Marketing Group) and the founder of the Creative Cities Summit*. He provides consulting and development services for the Creative Economy by focusing on entrepreneurs, arts & cultural organizations, cities and technologies that impact peoples’ quality of life. Peter works internationally on projects that have positive economic, social, cultural and environmental outcomes.

He is based in St. Petersburg, Florida but is a Midwesterner at heart, originally from Akron, Ohio.


*The Creative Cities Summit 2.0 will bring leaders from around the country to Detroit on October 13-15. Highlights include a special Big Creative Three session on Tuesday, Oct. 14, featuring Richard Florida, John Howkins and Charles Landry, the originators of the concepts of the "creative class", the "creative economy" and the "creative city," respectively.

A pre-conference "Unconference" with the theme of "Detroit 2.0" will take place from 1-5 p.m. on Sunday, October 12 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. There is a nominal $10 registration fee for the day.

For more information or to register for both the Unconference and CCS2, click
Peter Kageyama - Most Recent Posts:

Peter Kageyama - Post 4: Thinking Creatively about Uncreative Things – Parking

Parking is a problem in every city. Or is it? Does the city have a parking problem or a parking expectation problem? We all want to park next to our destination. Every merchant says they want people to be able to park right in front of their store. But even more than convenience, we all want a vibrant urban and retail scene that encourages lots of people and activity. In large urban areas, like NYC or Chicago, people don’t expect easy parking so they plan accordingly. For years most of our downtowns have been ghost towns after 5pm so we have gotten used to the idea of easy parking. If we are successful in reinvigorating our cities, we will need to change our expectations of convenience. 

And have you noticed that American obesity is at an all time high? Maybe we should think of parking and transportation as a health issue as well. Think of that. What if we asked our planners and transportation engineers to be part of the overall solution to public health. How would that change their thinking?  Would they simply say “that is not my job” or would they rise to the occasion and be part of the solution. I don’t know but I would really like to find out! 

For more creative thinking about our cities, please join us at the
Creative Cities Summit 2.0, October 12-15 in Detroit.

Peter Kageyama - Post 3: Cities We Love & Cities We Hate

I have been thinking a lot lately about what it is that makes us love or hate a place. We use these terms pretty easily and without too much consideration, but think about the things that really make you love or hate a place.

The things we hate about cities tend to be BIG things. Things like the transportation system (or lack thereof), the school system, the "good old boy" networks or crime. Big things. When we think about what we love about cities, they tend to be small, intimate things. A certain park bench, a local restaurant, a street festival, a view or a place where you take your dog. 

Cities spend an awful lot of time and resources trying to solve these big problems, and rightfully so. But even if they get these things right, we will never love a city for its transportation system or low level of crime. We expect those things the way we expect clean sheets at a hotel. The things that we love on the other hand can often be had for relatively little money or resources.The things we love are the chocolate on the pillow in the hotel.

If cities spent a little more time and effort on increasing the little things we love about cities, it would make the things we hate seem more remote and less dire. And it would give cities the space and momentum they need to face those big challenges.

Post #2: It’s All About Talent

Everyone is talking about talent attraction and retention. Every city and economic development organization in the country now has a plan of some kind to attract and retain talent. Every city complains about losing talent to some particular city (I hear about Chicago a lot from my Detroit friends!). It really does not matter if you are talking about the creative economy, the creative city or the creative class. At heart, they all begin with talented, creative, innovative people doing things.

Talent is the fuel and the building block.

And in this "war" for talent, some of the strategies and tactics are really interesting!

I live in St. Petersburg, Florida which is in Tampa Bay. Last month, the Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky came to Tampa, Florida on a recruiting mission. It was really a poaching mission. 

The Mayor and several large employers from Louisville sponsored a big party in Tampa called the Louisville Reunion where they worked with their local alumni organizations to identify former Kentucky residents now living in Florida. They brought Kentucky bourbon and the promise of jobs back in Louisville.

Many here, including the Mayor of Tampa, dismissed the event as a non-issue, but to me it was indicative of where things are going. The "war for talent" is starting to turn into a shooting war! We are used to having other communities court our major businesses, but this poaching mission from Louisville seems to signal a new openness towards going after the talented individual.

Historically the role of talent attraction and retention fell to the company. It was wrapped up in your salary, benefits, working conditions, etc. We all know today that that is only part of the total package. Talented workers now want to know about he community and the local culture. 

Today, our cities have a direct role to play in the process of talent attraction and retention. They need to be more innovative, creative and maybe aggressive in their efforts to find new ways to go after talent. The Louisville example may seem a bit extreme, but it at least shows that the city and their business community have hooked up and are aggressively looking to work together. Is your city ready to defend its talent from the likes of Louisville?

There is a special session on the City’s Role in Attracting and Retaining Talent at the Creative Cities Summit 2.0, October 12-15 in Detroit.

Post 1: Post #1: Who the hell picked Detroit for this conference?

Well actually, I did. My name is Peter Kageyama and I am the founder and co-producer of the Creative Cities Summit 2.0, which is coming to Detroit October 12-15th

And why Detroit? That is a question that I get asked a lot when I talk about the conference to my friends and colleagues. And it is an answer that is at the very heart of what the conference is actually about.

If you are reading this publication, you most likely already know what I just learned last year. And that is that there is something really cool, really interesting going on here. I had not been to Detroit since college in the 80’s and it was just over a year ago that I came up from Florida to visit my friend Karen Gagnon from the Michigan Cool Cities program. Karen had been asking me to come up and see what was on in Michigan and I finally made the time to do it. And I am really glad I did.

The national media's portrayal of Detroit really does not do justice to the incredible things that are happening on the ground there. And that is shame, but it is also probably true of most places. The market for "good news" is limited and we all know the  "if it bleeds, it leads" mentality of local media. I found great projects going on in Detroit and I met some incredibly smart and passionate people who love this community. And that is what I have been telling people ever since. Don’t believe all the negative about Detroit – you really need to go and see how this city and its creative people are responding. I know people will be surprised.

Detroit is the psychic center of Michigan and symbolic of the American industrial economy. Its challenges are the challenges of all post-industrial cities. By addressing the issues and challenges Detroit and Michigan faces, we are addressing those issues for the world.

We need places like Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburg to adapt, change and thrive in the 21st century. And that is the mission and hope of the Creative Cities Summit 2.0. To bring together the many thought leaders and change agents and let them be inspired and go on to discover their own solutions to these challenges. 

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