Alexa Clay

Culture Hacker, Tech Provocateur, Economist, Writer & Keynote Speaker

Alexa Clay is the leading expert on subcultures and innovation from unlikely places. With a BA from Brown University and a MSc. from Oxford University, Alexa works to create bridges and opportunities between misfit subcultures and the formal economy. She believes the underworld is filled with natural-born-innovators and they have more in common with Silicon Valley entrepreneurs or Exxon, than you might think.

Alexa is the co-author of best selling book The Misfit Economy, named the pre-eminent business book to read by The World Economic Forum, TechRepublic, The Telegraph and Huffington Post. In the book Alexa interviews over 500 criminals, including Somali Pirates, LA drug dealers, hackers and NY con artists to unveil their remarkable ingenuity.

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On a mission to change the worlds perception of criminals and their contribution to society, she wants us to stop viewing them as burdens and locking away their expertise, but instead, she wants them to be valued and repurposed for society’s benefit.

Through her Misfit Academy, Alexa teaches how to think like the underworld’s most creative, innovative and forward-thinking individuals and how to apply their lessons to more formal markets.

Beyond her work with the dark side of the economy, Alexa holds a number of positions including being the co-Founder of the League of Intrapreneurs, a movement to create change from within big business, she’s advised for the Clinton Foundation where she developed a community of social intrapreneurs (from the private sector) to work on climate change.



“Alexa Clay is a fresh voice and fast-rising star with an edgy and thought-provoking message from the front lines of the often invisible creative economy. A brilliant and engaging storyteller, she takes you inside the hearts and minds of the innovators working on the fringes, inspiring us to rethink our assumptions about what’s next.”

– Peter Sims, author of Little Bets and founder of BLK SHP 

“Alexa shows us how actors in the informal economy are innovators whose importance equals that of Richard Branson or Steve Jobs.” 

– VICE Magazine

“Alexa Clay blew my mind, not only because of her vision of misfits as innovators, a bridging species between the old and the new economy, that fight against institutional inertia, but for her capacity of having apparently endless cool side projects. Going beyond of the moral issues that divide the world into good and evil, in The Misfit Economy she documented the practices that were used by hackers, copycats or pirates to innovate.” 

– Excerpt from Power to the Pixel review



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