Come explore the art of hustle with leading innovators from the black market economy. Former traffickers, drug dealers, smugglers and gang leaders will share their entrepreneurial lessons in conversation with leading start-up founders. This event is the book launch for THE MISFIT ECONOMY, a book by Alexa Clay and Kyra Maya Phillips that explores underground and fringe innovation.

“What do Somali pirates, Amish camel milkers, and gang leaders have in common? They’re all innovative — and successful — misfits in today’s global economy. Think you can’t learn anything from outlaws and provocateurs? This book will make you think again with engaging stories and insightful analysis of how people operating on the fringes create unique business models, and in the process transform the culture around them.” — Daniel H. Pink, author of TO SELL IS HUMAN and DRIVE

“…for those wanting a fresh perspective on business practices or working lives, this is a snappy introduction to a new way of thinking” The Financial Times

“The Misfit Economy helps us to understand the lives of those men and women who have had to depend on illegal enterprise just to get by. In this book you’ll learn how the misfit economies can bring meaning to those who are hopeless, jobless, and hungry for more than a handout. You’ll meet people who are just like everyone else in searching for freedom and opportunity, but aren’t afraid to bend the rules of the system. ”— King Tone, Former Leader of the Latin Kings, a hispanic street gang

About the book

Who are the greatest innovators in the world? You’re probably thinking Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford. The usual suspects.

This book isn’t about them. It’s about people you’ve never heard of. It’s about people who are just as innovative, entrepreneurial, and visionary as the Jobses, Edisons, and Fords of the world, except they’re not in Silicon Valley. They’re in the street markets of Sao Paulo and Guangzhou, the rubbish dumps of Lagos, the flooded coastal towns of Thailand. They are pirates, slum dwellers, computer hackers, dissidents, and inner city gang members. Across the globe, diverse innovators operating in the black, grey, and informal economies are developing solutions to a myriad of challenges. Far from being “deviant entrepreneurs” that pose threats to our social and economic stability, these innovators display remarkable ingenuity, pioneering original methods and practices that we can learn from and apply to move formal markets.

This book investigates the stories of underground innovation that make up the Misfit Economy. It examines the teeming genius of the underground. It asks: Who are these unknown visionaries? How do they work? How do they organize themselves? How do they catalyse innovation? And ultimately, how can you take these lessons into your own world?

A burning desire to take on the establishment. A commitment to the free sharing of information, which can enable collaborative innovation. An itch to fix or improve. An aspiration to gain a deep understanding of a system (and all its components) so it can be rebuilt or enhanced. These are all principles that can be applied to great effect in the formal economy, as we seek to improve the organizations, the systems, and the institutions that surround us.
From The Misfit Economy

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