Menu Close
Professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy and Social Innovation, UCL

Geoff Mulgan is Professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy and Social Innovation at UCL. He is also project lead for the International Public Policy Observatory, commissioned by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in response to COVID-19.

Geoff was previously Chief Executive of Nesta, the UK's innovation foundation which runs a wide range of activities in investment, practical innovation and research.

He has been a visiting professor at LSE, UCL and Melbourne University and is a senior visiting scholar at Harvard University. 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 next book, 'Social Innovation: How Societies Find the Power to Change is published by Polity Press. His books have been translated into many languages. Geoff has also given TED talks on topics including the future economy, happiness and education.

Between 1997 and 2004 Geoff had various 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 Geoff was the first Chief Executive of The Young Foundation. He was the first director of the think-tank Demos; Chief Adviser to Gordon Brown MP and reporter on BBC TV and radio. He has helped set up many organisations including Demos and the Young Foundation as well as the Social Innovation Exchange (SIX), Uprising, Studio Schools Trust and Action for Happiness.

Under his leadership Nesta moved out of the public sector to become an independent foundation; greatly expanded its work, partly through creating new units, centres and funds in fields ranging from evidence and impact investment to challenge prizes and skills; and complemented its work in the UK with work in dozens of countries around the world.

Geoff co-chairs a World Economic Forum group looking at innovation and entrepreneurship in the fourth industrial revolution. He has advised many governments around the world and is currently chair of an international advisory committee for the Mayor of Seoul and a member of advisory committees for the Prime Minister’s office in the UAE, the Scottish Government and SITRA, the Finnish Innovation agency.


  • –present
    Chief Executive, author on technology, politics and social change., Nesta


  • 1982 
    Oxford, BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics