Charles Leadbeater

Charles Leadbeater

global learning, role of education, society in the digital age
Rockwool Foundation, System Innovation Initiative, Copenhagen; former advisor to Tony Blair’s government
United Kingdom
30 years of work with governments around the world to promote innovation

About Charles Leadbeater

Charles Leadbeater works with entrepreneurs, governments, cities and foundations around the world on to promote innovation with purpose.

Over the past ten years he has published a string of influential reports on the changes needed in education to equip students with the agency needed for a world of rapid transitions. In Learning from the Extremes he explored how way social entrepreneurs are using technology to create new approaches to learning in the poorest parts of the developing world. The Problem Solvers examines the skills young people will need to thrive in an uncertain, creative and entrepreneurial economy in which machines with artificial intelligence may well be capable of doing many routine jobs.

Charles was an adviser in Tony Blair’s government Policy Unit on the knowledge driven economy. He drafted the UK Government’s White Paper – Our Competitive Future: Building the Knowledge Driven Economy, one of the first policy papers in the world to argue that advanced economies would become increasingly dependent upon innovation for growth. He went on to advise a range of governments on long term strategy. As a visiting Professor at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose he advised the British government and the European Union on how to organize innovation to meet big societal challenges through his work on a commission on Mission Oriented Innovation.

He is the author of several internationally renowned books, among them Living on Thin Air, which explores the rise of the knowledge driven economy and We-Think: mass innovation not mass production, which examines how the web was enabling creative collaboration across a wide range of fields. His book, The Frugal Innovator, is an account of how lean, simple, clean and social self-help innovations are providing new solutions in health, energy, water and housing in the developing world. He was one of the first people in the world to write about social entrepreneurship in his 1997 report The Rise of the Social Entrepreneur.

Accenture, the management consultancy ranked him one of the top management thinkers in the world, and the Financial Times said he was the outstanding innovation expert in the UK. He is a Life Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts in London.