Sir Geoff Mulgan CBE is Professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy and Social Innovation at University College London (UCL). Prior to that he was Chief Executive of Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, between 2011 and the end of 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. From 2004 to 2011 he was the first Chief Executive of The Young Foundation. He was the first director of the think-tank Demos; and has been a reporter on BBC TV and radio. Geoff co-founded many organisations including Demos, the Young Foundation, the Social Innovation Exchange (SIX), Uprising, Studio Schools Trust, Action for Happiness, the Alliance for Useful Evidence, the Australia Centre for Social Innovation, States of Change and Nesta Italia. He has advised many governments around the world and is a World Economic Forum Schwab Fellow from 2019-22. Past books include ‘The Art of Public Strategy’ (Oxford University Press), ‘Good and Bad Power’ (Penguin), ‘The Locust and the Bee’ (Princeton University Press) and ‘Big Mind: how collective intelligence can change our world’ (Princeton University Press). His latest book – on social innovation – was published in late 2019 by Policy Press. Geoff has given TED talks on the future economy, happiness and education.
Creative Bureaucracy Festival meets Science: Interview Geoff Mulgan
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Governments around the world are ever more dependent on science and technology when making decisions. Yet while many countries have amazingly high quality science advice pouring into government, this knowledge often disappears into a black hole. Not only are processes not designed to synthesise and mobilise diverse sets of knowledge towards effective decision making, but public officials and politicians aren’t trained with the capacities needed to imagine things differently.
What would it take to change that? How could governments embed collective intelligence organisation at their core? And how could we ensure a next generation of agile bureaucrats fluent in both synthesising complex evidence and dynamic speculative imagining? These are some of the questions tackled in this interview with Sir Geoff Mulgan.
Currently professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy and Social Innovation at University College London (UCL), Geoff draws on decades of experience moving between academia, government, business and the practicalities of how governments work to shed light on these questions and more.
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