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Economist and author Vinny Tafuro is pushing the envelope when it comes to our understanding of economics. He has authored two books, "Corporate Empathy" and "Unlocking the Labor Cage," in which he explores his ideas for disrupting the world of economics as we know it. Tafuro is tired of the narrow confines of the field of economics to date and the segmented way in which it is studied. Looking to pioneer a new way of studying economics, Tafuro is starting a think tank called the Tampa Bay Institute for Economic Evolution. He's looking to change the way we measure social capital in the knowledge economy.


Years in Tampa Bay

26 years

Hustle (job)


What do you do?  

Measure and identify social capital in the knowledge economy so that we can start investing in education and societal welfare with smarter metrics that aren’t currently available in economics.

Why do you do it?

To create smart metrics that advance societal welfare.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

About 6 years ago, I was inspired by a friend to write a book, had no idea what I would write a book about. Over the holidays, I was inspired by the question, “Can corporations do good things?” The idea came from this idea that small business is warm and cuddly and does good things. But big business is cold and sociopathic. And I was like “What happened between the founding of the company and it growing big?” Exploring that is what led me to this.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

That economics is some sort of hard science or that it’s limited to the marketplace. The thing is, economics is society and the current field of economics only looks at a segment of society and until we build metrics and change the discussion to look at all of society, we keep bumping into problems that are really just walls created by an improper framing of questions.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

The biggest challenge of my research in economics is that it really sits outside of current economic philosophy. It asks a biggest question and is trying to tackle things that aren’t currently there.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

Not finding a passion – finding a passion is a big arduous task that you may not actually come across in a timeframe that you’d like to. I’d like to reframe that and say follow your curiosity. Curiosity is a much kinder friend that is more often available. If you follow your curiosities you’re more likely to find your passion that way.

What's next?

Launching a think tank for economics in Tampa Bay, the Tampa Bay Institute for Economic Evolution.

More Hustle

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