CEO of Nesta since 2011; from 2004-2011 the first Chief Executive of the Young Foundation. Between 1997 and 2004 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, both focused on domestic policy.
Before that founder and director of the think-tank Demos; Chief Adviser to Gordon Brown MP; a lecturer in telecommunications; an investment executive; and a reporter on BBC TV and radio.
Adviser to many governments around the world. From 2013-16, under Mayor Boris Johnson, co-chair of the London Enterprise Panel committee responsible for science and technology in London. Co-founder and board member of organisations including the global Social Innovation Exchange, Studio Schools Trust, Uprising and Action for Happiness. Past visiting professor at LSE, UCL, Melbourne University and a regular lecturer at the China Executive Leadership Academy. From 2015-2018 senior visiting scholar at Harvard University in the Kennedy School. From 2016-18 co-chair of World Economic Forum group looking at innovation and entrepreneurship in the fourth industrial revolution. On Scottish Government’s CAN-DO panel; the SUMMA programme working on education across Latin America; chair of advisory committee for the Mayor of Seoul and member of an advisory committee in the Prime Minister’s office in United Arab Emirates. Recent books include The Locust and the Bee (Princeton UP, 2013); The Art of Public Strategy (Oxford UP, 2008), Good and Bad Power: the ideals and betrayals of government (Penguin, 2006), Connexity (Harvard Business Press and Jonathon Cape, 1998), Politics in an antipolitical age (Polity, 1996. Most recent book is Big Mind: how collective intelligence can change our world (Princeton UP 2017)