Updated and expanded: A new edition of the inspiring memoir by one of Canada's most unusual, successful and socially conscious businesspeople.
"I am different. I have always been different. I grew up scared of being found out, scared of my natural inability to fit in, to conform, to look and sound and dress and behave 'normal.' I was always drawn to the different ones and I observed them with fascination--but the thought of being even a little bit like them mortified me. I was desperate to fit in. . . ." --From Misfit
Andreas Souvaliotis was raised at a time when being on the autism spectrum wasn't easily diagnosed or even discussed. Minds like his were simply considered odd. He also knew from an early age he was gay, and it terrified him as he was growing up with openly homophobic parents in one of Europe's least tolerant societies.
Andreas's differences made him an outsider, right through to his mid-forties. And then suddenly, everything changed. Misfit is the extraordinary memoir of a man who realized there was strength in his strangeness, that it could be used as a force for good. "It all happened in a flash. On a beautiful spring morning in 2007, sitting in my backyard and licking my wounds from a spectacular career derailment, I came up with a big idea--and I found myself contemplating the most daring and unconventional pursuit of my life." The weird kid from Greece was on his way to making his world, and everyone's world, a better place.
Andreas Souvaliotis's inspiring story shows us that everyone has what it takes to trigger positive change, and that none of us should see our differences and quirks as handicaps.
• The author is donating all of his proceeds from this book to 6 Degrees, a global charitable initiative that promotes inclusion, diversity, belonging and citizenhip. 6degreesto.com
ANDREAS SOUVALIOTIS is the founder of Carrot Rewards, Canada's most popular wellness app and the world's first national health rewards program. A decade earlier he started Green Rewards, the world's first mass eco-loyalty platform, which was acquired and fused into the popular AIR MILES program. Andreas has been recognized globally for his achievements and thought leadership in harnessing nudge theory to promote positive behaviour shifts on a mass scale. As a bestselling author and prolific speaker, Andreas is a leading Canadian advocate for innovative approaches to address public health, climate change, diversity and citizenship. He serves on the boards of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, Windmill Microlending and the Young Presidents' Organization, and also advises a number of academic institutions and NGOs.
"It is easy to find Souvaliotis, with his excitement and enthusiasm for the next puzzle to be unlocked, extraordinarily charming. Misfit is simple and clear, replete with the entrepreneur's gospel of creativity and innovation. Misfit will surely resonate for anyone who has likewise struggled to find a place for themselves in the world." —Quill & Quire
"Andreas's message is straightforward and powerful: harness the things that make you different in order to change your world for the better. We're all misfits, with our own particularities. And, in our quest to fit in and live 'normal,' we too often quash those very things that could make us special." —Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire, from their foreword
"The beautiful story of Canada's most energetic, dynamic, fun and outspoken social entrepreneur." —Greg Kiessling, co-founder and executive chairman, Bullfrog Power Inc.
"Have you ever been fired? Your ideas trashed, your dream rejected? The worst day of Andreas Souvaliotis's career opened the way to his greatest success. His amazing story will inspire overachieving 'misfits' everywhere." —David Frum, political commentator and author
"The inspiring tale of a courageous innovator who consistently transforms adversity into positive energy and passion." —Karen Kain, artistic director, the National Ballet of Canada.
"What happens when you mix a Greek immigrant whose favourite day is April Fools' with Alan Greenspan and Muhammad Yunus? Canada's Central Banker for Social Change, Andreas Souvaliotis." —Toby A.A. Heaps, CEO, Corporate Knights
"A book by someone who has more ideas in a minute than most of us have in a year." —Jeffrey Simpson, former national affairs columnist for The Globe and Mail
"Misfits have always been the architects of change and innovation for our world. My dear friend Andreas's story offers an awesome and rare glimpse into the mind and soul of a passionate innovator—a true misfit." —W. Brett Wilson, entrepreneur, philanthropist and Dragon