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), grown in size and reach, and launched a range of new initiatives in investment, programmes and research. It has implemented a new strategy involving partnerships with other funders in the UK and internationally, and growing new centres and units.


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 has been a visiting professor at LSE, UCL, Melbourne University and a regular lecturer at the China Executive Leadership Academy. He is an adviser to many governments around the world, and has been a board member of the Work Foundation, the Health Innovation Council, Political Quarterly and the Design Council, the first chair of Involve and the Social Innovation Exchange, and co-chair of the London government committee on science, technology and digital under Mayor Boris Johnson. He has founded or co-founded many organisations including Demos, Uprising, Studio Schools, SIX, Action for Happiness and Maslaha.   

From 2015-2018 Geoff has a role as senior visiting scholar at Harvard University, in the Ash Center at the Kennedy School.

His recent books include The Art of Public Strategy - Mobilising Power and Knowledge for the Public Good (OUP, 2008), Good and Bad Power: the ideals and betrayals of government (Penguin, 2006) and Connexity (Harvard Business Press and Jonathon Cape, 1998). His latest book The Locust and the Bee was published by Princeton University Press in 2013. His next book, on collective intelligence, will be published by Princeton in 2017. Read more on some of the ideas Geoff has been involved in over the years.

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