Robert Neuwirth on the Informal Economy in Africa

by Jörgen Eriksson on July 3, 2015

Screenshot 2015-07-03 12.19.29Wednesday this week, I watched a speech by Robert Neuwirth at the Future of Places conference, which I found both very good and entertaining. As it is Friday, I think it is an appropriate day to publish my video of the speech here on the Bearing Wave.

Mr Neuwirth describes the informal economy in Africa in a fascinating way. Having worked with projects in Africa on-and-off myself for 20 years, I enjoyed the speech very much, as he successfully pointed out the quick fixes and sometimes innovative complex shortcuts which makes the African economies work, and also how globalisation plays a strong role, with African street vendors travelling to markets in China to buy cheap pirated mobile phones.

Mr Neuwirth is an American journalist, author, and investigative reporter. He wrote Shadow Cities: A Billion Squatters, A New Urban World in 2006, a book describing his experiences living in squatter communities in Nairobi, Rio de Janeiro, Istanbul and Mumbai. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post and Forbes and his second book, Stealth of Nations: The Global Rise of the Informal Economy, was published in 2011. Having seen him speak, I put both books on my summer reading list.

Robert Neuwirth Learning from squatters smugglers and street vendors

About Jörgen Eriksson :

Jörgen Eriksson is the founder of Bearing and is the Chairman of the firm since it was created. He has successfully expanded Bearing into covering projects on four continents. He is also Adjunct Professor of Innovation Management at the International University of Monaco and at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona and he is an active member of the Founders Alliance organisation.

Working with consulting engagements across Bearings practices, he has over the past fifteen years participated in and supervised a large number of client projects, from innovation system development and place development and branding, to merger and acquisition assignments and leading edge research and business development activities for key clients.

His new book, Branding for Hooligans, will be published in 2015. It is about how innovation and branding are key survival factors in our modern times of hyper competitive markets.

Prior to Bearing, he was Director of Europe, Middle East, and Africa for Trema Treasury Management, a technology and consulting services provider, supplying financial software solutions for the global financial industry, Clients included The European Central Bank, Citibank, SEB, South African reserve Bank, Deutsche Bank, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), as well as many other large financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies.

Early in his career Eriksson was educated at the Stockholm School of Economics, where he studied economics, financial economics and philosophy. He then worked in Scandinavian investment banks and also for the Swedish Institute of National Defense Research.

You can contact Jörgen on e-mail, connect on LinkedIn onörgen-eriksson/0/38/8a0/ and follow him on twitter on joreri508.

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