Geoff Mulgan – Keynote Speaker

CEO of NESTA, an Innovation Charity

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Specialist Subjects

  • Innovation in Social
  • Public and Service Fields
  • Morality and Accountability in Organisations
  • Government and Governance - What Is Happening Globally
  • Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Demographics and Ageing
  • Happiness & Society


  • English


Geoff Mulgan is Chief Executive of Nesta, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, in the UK.

Previously Geoff was Director of the Young Foundation. The Young Foundation has inspired dozens of new organisations and initiatives including the Open University and Which?, patient-led healthcare and schools for social entrepreneurs, as well as producing pioneering research on changing patterns of community and social life.

From 1997 to 2004 Geoff had various senior roles in the UK Government including Director of the Strategy Unit and Head of Policy in Prime Minister Tony Blair’s office. He was closely involved in the design and implementation of dozens of new organisations and programmes in social policy, welfare, health, education, demography and technology. Before that he was the founder and director of the think-tank Demos, described by the Economist as one of the world’s most influential think-tanks, and Chief Adviser to Gordon Brown, then the UK’s Finance Minister.

Geoff believes that ageing has gone through three overlapping phases: first, anxiety about a demographic time bomb implying higher pension costs, rising numbers with a disability and chronic disease and exploding health budgets: second, interest in options for encouraging active ageing, including greater employment in later life, sports and volunteering; third, a recognition that ageing may be a source of economic growth rather than a drain on it, with a potentially burgeoning ‘silver economy’. However, realising this last possibility will require far-reaching changes to technology, policy and regulation. It will also require much more systematic and energetic innovation to discover the best models in fields such as transport, homecare, housing and planning

Geoff began his career in local government in London where he pioneered policies to support creative industries that have been emulated all over the world. Previously, he was a BBC reporter and a columnist for national newspapers including the Guardian and Independent.

Geoff is a World Economic Forum Global Leader of Tomorrow, and is ranked as one of the UK’s leading public intellectuals. He has lectured in over 30 countries. He is a visiting professor at LSE, UCL and Melbourne University, and a visiting fellow at the Australia New Zealand School of Government. He is a board member of the Work Foundation and the Design Council, chair of Involve (a charity bringing together practitioners in democracy and public engagement) and member of the International Steering Committee of the Program of Innovations and Excellence in Chinese Local Governance (IECLG).

Greg is also the Co-Founder of Action for Happiness. Action for Happiness brings together like-minded people from all walks of life and helps them to take practical action to building happier and more caring societies. Drawing on the latest scientific research, it is backed by leading experts from diverse fields including psychology, education, economics, and social innovation. The fundamental values of Action for Happiness are:
1. We can affect our happiness and the happiness of those around us
2. We need to prioritize the things that cause happiness
3. Helping others is essential for happier society

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