Geoff Mulgan – Keynote Speaker

Professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy and Social Innovation at University College London Former, Chief Executive of the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA), Former Director of the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit

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Specialist Subjects

  • Enhancing Sectors/ Regions Competitiveness and Productivity
  • Socio-economic Policies
  • Innovation in Social, Public and Service Fields
  • Morality and Accountability in Organisations
  • Government and Governance - What Is Happening Globally
  • Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Education and Skills Development
  • Nudge Theory & Strategy
  • Behavioural Change
  • Social Innovation
  • Social Inclusion


  • English


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 (an endowment which grew in worth to around £450m) between 2011 and the end of 2019. Between 1997 and 2004 Geoff had roles in the UK government including director of the Government’s Strategy Unit and the Performance and Innovation 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.

He has a PhD in telecommunications and has been a visiting professor at London School of Economics (LSE), University College London (UCL) and Melbourne University, a senior visiting scholar at Harvard University and President of the Innovation Design Department at the Italian University for Design (IAAD) in Turin. He has also been a regular lecturer at the China Executive Leadership Academy.

Geoff has founded or 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, States of Change, The Australian Centre for Social Innovation, Maslaha and Nesta Italia.

He has co-chaired a World Economic Forum group looking at innovation and entrepreneurship in the fourth industrial revolution.

Geoff has advised many governments, foundations and companies, chaired an international advisory committee for the Mayor of Seoul and has sat on advisory committees for the Prime Minister’s office in the United Arab Emirates, the Scottish Government and SITRA, the Finnish innovation agency. He will be a World Economic Forum Schwab Fellow from 2019-22. He’s a board member of Reimagine Europa and the Culture Trust. He has pioneered many ideas used by governments, civil society and business – including joined-up government, anticipatory regulation, experimentalism, social investment and social impact bonds, open innovation and creative economy strategies, collective intelligence and data (these are covered in more detail in the ‘ideas’ section on this site).

Geoff is working from 2020 onwards with Demos Helsinki and the New Institute in Hamburg. At UCL he is a co-lead of the new International Public Policy Observatory on COVID (from December 2020). From January 2021 he will be a member of the International Advisory Board of the European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment panel (STOA).

Geoff’s 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 – ‘Social innovation: how societies find the power to change’ – was published in late 2019 by Policy Press. His books have been translated into many languages including – Chinese, Arabic, Korean, Russian, Malay, Italian, Punjabi, Turkish, German, French, Romanian and Greek. More information on these and other books can be found in the books section of this site.

Geoff has given TED talks on the future economy, happiness and education. He was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2020

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