Geoff Mulgan has had such an astonishing career in setting up think tanks like Demos, running Tony Blair’s strategy unit, transforming the Young Foundation, leading NESTA and he is now professor of Collective Intelligence at UCL, London. Here he discusses his vast experience of trying to institutionalize systemic change without it stifling imagination, how he has put social innovation on the map, how he has helped develop ways to harness our collective intelligences to that solutions we develop are co-created and therefore really stick.
Geoff Mulgan CBE is Professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy and Social Innovation at University College London (UCL). He was Chief Executive of Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation 2011-2019.
From 1997 to 2004 Geoff had roles in the UK government including director of the Government’s Strategy Unit and head of policy in the Prime Minister’s office. 2004-2011 he was the first CEO of The Young Foundation. He was the first director of the think-tank Demos; and a reporter on BBC TV and radio. He has a PhD in telecommunications and has been a visiting professor at London School of Economics (LSE) and Melbourne University, and a senior visiting scholar at Harvard University. He has advised many governments around the world and is a World Economic Forum Schwab Fellow from 2019-22.
Geoff is also an author of multiple books and has given TED talks on the future economy, happiness and education.
President / Creative Bureaucracy Festival
Charles Landry is an international authority on the use of imagination and creativity in urban change. He is best known for having invented the concept of the Creative City in the late 1980s. Its focus is how cities can create the enabling conditions for people and organizations to think, plan and act with imagination to solve problems and develop opportunities. The notion has become a global movement and changed the way cities thought about their capabilities and resources.
Charles noticed, however, that there was a crucial gap in the Creative City concept that needed addressing: a focus on the vital role of bureaucrats as facilitators and drivers of change. It was at this point that he came up with the Creative Bureaucracy idea – a seed planted 3 years ago which has since developed into the movement you’re part of today.
Charles helps cities and the public administrations behind them to identify and make the most of their potential by triggering their inventiveness and thinking and by opening up new conversations about their future. His aim is to help cities become more resilient, self-sustaining and to punch above their weight.