HOW WILL the informal economy impact the global business landscape?
The landscape of the Informal Economy is vast – from street vending to P2P networks, from piracy to ad-hoc businesses – it is the fastest growing sector of both emerging and developed markets. In fact, the global informal sector has been growing even in the face of economic recession.
- If the global informal economy were a country, its GDP would be on the order of $10 trillion a year, which would make it the second largest economy on earth after the United States.
- In Europe the informal sector amounts for 20% of the annual GDP. In developing countries in Asia and Africa this can go up to between 25 to 40%.
- 1.8 billion of the total working force of the world – that means half of it – works in informal economy. This ratio is predicted to be 2/3 by 2020.
- In countries like India, the ratio of informal workers can go up to 85% of the total working force.
This means that now is a critical moment for businesses to investigate the scope of the informal economy, and the challenges and opportunities it poses for them.
THE FIRST Informal Economy Symposium in Barcelona: October 12, 2012
A group of thinkers and doers, engaged in a variety of projects that challenge conventional views of the informal economy, are gathering for a day of keynotes and panels in Barcelona. Drawing inspiration from street-level ingenuity, alternative currencies, P2P networks, copy-cat innovation, crowdsourcing and other drivers in the informal economy, the symposium seeks to better understand the relationship between informal commercial practices and formal economic structures. A better understanding of this relationship is the first step towards new business models, innovation approaches, and collaborations within, across, and between the formal and informal.
Visit the Informal Economy website.
Confirmed speakers include
- Keith Hart (Anthropologist who coined the term Informal Sector)
- John Thackara (author, The Bubble: Designing In A Complex World)
- Steve Daniels (Editor of Makeshift Magazine)
- Niti Bhan (Founder of Emerging Future Labs)
- Ben Lyon (founder, KopoKopo)
- Alexa Clay (author of Misfit Economy)
- Richard Tyson (Principal at Caerus Associates)
- Adam White (co-founder, Groupshot)
- and others who are deeply engaged in the redefinition of this topic from both a social and business perspective.