The story so far…
“Are you here to sell books, or start a movement?”
In May 2018 Sam Conniff published his debut book Be More Pirate with Penguin Random House. Wanting to fly the flag and actually live the values of the book, on launch day he took a punt and fly-postered the entire outside window of Penguin’s building on Vauxhall Bridge Road, with the front cover of the book. No permission sought.
Needless to say it didn’t go down well, and for a while it looked like he might be the first author to lost his publishing deal on the day of launch. But, bold moves often reap rewards and towards the end of the day, Richard Branson saw the stunt and sent a tweet. The book launched.
As the readership grew, something unexpected happened; hundreds of messages from people explaining how they’d begun their own rebellions in everything from finance to education and healthcare.
In a matter of months, it became clear that Be More Pirate was evolving organically from a book into a social movement. People started rallying on social media. If Sam wasn’t going to host a meet up, it was going to happen without him.
Then, as if by magic, a messages came in was in the form of investment. Christopher Kingsman, understanding the need for real change and spotting the potential for a movement, decided to fund the role of a Right Hand Pirate who could manage and support the growing crew and organise a meet up.
Which is exactly what happened: 100 modern pirates on the replica of Sir Francis’ Drake’s ship The Golden Hinde in February 2019. The beginning of a movement.
And that is where we now are…in a new era of pirates and professional rule breaking.
There are challenges that lie ahead but every day new pirates emerge with stories to tell and an appetite to do things differently - we’re learning as we go and taking inspiration from them.
So spread the word, join the crew, stop fucking around and be more pirate!