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Prof Geoff Mulgan
STEaPP 4th Floor
Shropshire House
11-20 Capper Street
wc1e 6ja
Prof Geoff Mulgan profile picture
  • Professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy and Social Innovation
  • STEaPP
  • Faculty of Engineering Science

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.

He has a PhD in telecommunications and has been a visiting professor at London School of Economics (LSE) 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 helped found 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 and Nesta Italia.  He has co-chaired a World Economic Forum group looking at innovation and entrepreneurship in the fourth industrial revolution.  

He has advised many governments, and has chaired an international advisory committee for the Mayor of Seoul and 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 is on the advisory panel for STOA which advises the EUropean Parliament on science and technology. He will be a World Economic Forum Schwab Fellow from 2019-22, and a fellow of Demos Helsinki and the New Institute in Hamburg. 

He has pioneered many ideas used by governments and others – including creative economy strategies, joined-up government, anticipatory regulation, experimentalism, open innovation and problem-solving methods. Geoff has given TED talks on the future economy, happiness and education.  His Twitter handle is @geoffmulgan and a summary of ideas Geoff has worked on can be found here.    His website is geoffmulgan.com  He was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2020.

Research Summary

Past books by Geoff Mulgan include the following:

Social Innovation: how societies find the power to change (Policy Press, 2019): "A bold, inspiring book that will leave you smarter, more inspired, and ready to improve the world." Kriss Deiglmeier, CEO Tides; ‘Based on the vast experience and insightful expertise of Geoff Mulgan …showcases how all sectors can best embed its principles to address the most pressing challenges of our century.” Isabel Mota, President of the Board of Trustees of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation; "This book gives a wide audience what some of us have been privileged to hear from Mulgan in person: the reflections of a profound thinker who is charting new territory in social innovation, demonstrating how we can rise to the most complex challenges of our era." Stephen Huddart, President & CEO, the McConnell Foundation.

Big Mind: how collective intelligence can change our world (Princeton University Press, 2017) ‘Fascinating and important’ (Financial Times) ‘Brilliant’ (Kirkus Reviews, starred) ‘Important … a sophisticated analysis of the various human and computational forms of collective intelligence.’ (Professor Howard Gardner, Harvard University); ‘important, wide-ranging …. inspiring and should be read by all citizens’ (Lord Martin Rees, former President of the Royal Society and Astronomer-Royal) ‘The book the world needs – magnificent’ (Jeremy Heimans, author of New Power) ‘Big Mind brims with pragmatic, unexpected insights. Mulgan filters his awe-inspiring breadth of academic knowledge through the lens of decades of practical experience’ (Professor Scott Page, University of Michigan)

The Art of Public Strategy (Oxford University Press, 2009) ‘Deep insights into the politics of change …. and impressive creativity in the design of new social institutions’ (Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School); ‘A wonderful book that can provide invaluable guidance.'  (Professor Mark Moore, Kennedy School, Harvard University); ‘Riveting …fizzing with insights and ideas.... a ‘must read’ for anyone interested in strategic choice and action in government’ (Professor Colin Talbot, Manchester University); ‘Bold …  intelligent, well-argued and challenging’ (Peter Shergold, head of Australian public service).

Geoff’s books have been translated into many languages including Chinese, Korean, Malay, Arabic, Urdu, German, Russian, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Hungarian, Turkish, Romanian and Greek. 

Teaching Summary

Geoff teaches on the STEaPP MPA programme covering public administration, and science and engineering policy.  In the past he has taught in many institutions including Harvard Kennedy School, ANZSOG in Australia, as well as many civil service colleges.

Academic Background
1990   Telecommunications University of Westminster
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