Chief Executive Officer

Geoff Mulgan


Executive Team

Join Date

June 2011

What I do

Geoff Mulgan is Chief Executive of Nesta, and has been in post since 2011. Under his leadership Nesta has moved out of the public sector to become a charity (in 2012), launched a range of new initiatives in investment, programmes and research and has implemented a new strategy involving partnerships with foundations, governments and companies in the UK and internationally.


From 2004-2011 he was the first Chief Executive of the Young Foundation, which became a leading centre for social innovation, combining research, creation of new ventures and practical projects. 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 under Tony Blair. Before that he was the founder and director of the think-tank Demos. He has also been Chief Adviser to Gordon Brown MP; a lecturer in telecommunications; an investment executive; and a reporter on BBC TV and radio.

He is an adviser to many governments around the world. From 2013-16, under Mayor Boris Johnson, he was co-chair of the London Enterprise Panel committee responsible for science and technology in London. He has been a board member of many organisations including the Work Foundation, Big Society Capital, the Health Innovation Council, Political Quarterly, the Design Council, Atomium Culture, and Involve. He is a co-founder and current board member of organisations including the global Social Innovation Exchange, Studio Schools Trust, Uprising and Action for Happiness. He has been a visiting professor at LSE, UCL, Melbourne University and a regular lecturer at the China Executive Leadership Academy. From 2015-2018 Geoff is a senior visiting scholar at Harvard University, in the Ash Center at the Kennedy School.

From 2016 Geoff is co-chair of a new World Economic Forum group looking at innovation and entrepreneurship in the fourth industrial revolution. He is also member of the board of the French government’s French Digital Agency; a member of an Academy of Medical Science’s review of public health; the Scottish Government’s CAN-DO panel; chair of an international advisory committee for the Mayor of Seoul and member of an advisory committee in the Prime Minister’s office in UAE.

His recent books include The Locust and the Bee (Princeton University Press, 2013); The Art of Public Strategy - Mobilising Power and Knowledge for the Public Good (Oxford University Press, 2008), Good and Bad Power: the ideals and betrayals of government (Penguin, 2006) and Connexity (Harvard Business Press and Jonathon Cape, 1998). His next book, to be published by Princeton UP, is on collective intelligence.   

Geoff’s Twitter handle is @geoffmulgan. A summary of ideas Geoff has worked on can be found here.

The pioneers who change our immaterial lives through ideas have as much influence as the engineers and technologists who provide the visible hardware. We host FutureFest because we want people to think about the future so that they can act more effectively in the present.
Geoff Mulgan
Thursday, 15 September 2016
What lessons can be learned from the cutting-edge of architecture where people are creating spaces for innovation?
Geoff Mulgan
Thursday, 18 August 2016
All 50 of our 2016 New Radicals embody a great British shared tradition of compassion and verve, bloody-mindedness and practicality.
Geoff Mulgan
Sunday, 10 July 2016