Alexa Clay

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Alexa Clay (born March 21, 1984 in Cambridge, Massachusetts) is a writer, public speaker and researcher with a focus on subculture, informal economy, and new economic thinking. Clay is the co-author of The Misfit Economy, a book published by Simon & Schuster in 2015, that examines the role of creative thinking and ingenuity among society's "misfits."[1] The Economist called the book "a peon to the quirkier members of society." Clay has been active in the fields of social business, technology studies, and social change. She has been an advocate for "inclusive innovation," examining the ways in which entrepreneurs in the black market and informal economy are given access to economic opportunity.[2]

Formerly, Clay led work on social entrepreneurship at Ashoka and co-founded the League of Intrapreneurs, a network focused on scaling the movement of social intrapreneurship.[3] Along with John Elkington and Maggie de Pree she was the co-author of The Social Intrapreneur: A Field Guide for Corporate Changemakers, a report sponsored by the Skoll Foundation.[4]

In 2013, Clay started performing as "the Amish Futurist," an alter ego she developed to bring more existential reflection into the tech scene.[5] The Amish Futurist has performed at SXSW, re:publica, Tech Open Air Berlin, and the DEAF Biennale.[6]

Clay grew up the daughter of two anthropologists. She has written about her experience growing up with psychiatrist and alien abduction research Dr. John E. Mack for Aeon Magazine.[7] Clay received her BA from Brown University and an MSc. in Economic History from Oxford University.[8]

References[edit | hide all | hide | edit source]

  1. The Misfit Economy (Simon & Schuster, 2015). Preview here:
  2. "Why Using Ex-Convicts Could Give Startups an Edge," in WIRED UK. Link here:
  3. "The Rise of the Intrapreneur" in Fast Company. Available here:
  4. The Social Intrapreneur: A Field Guide for Corporate Changemakers. Available online at:
  5. "Searching for the Soul of Startups" in Fast Company by the "Amish Futurist." Link here:
  6. The Amish Futurist at re:publica:
  7. A. Clay, "Growing Up Alien," in Aeon Magazine. Link here:
  8. Bio for Alexa Clay by The World Affairs Council. Link here: