Charles Leadbeater

Creativity, Innovation, Team Building

Travels from United Kingdom

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Charles Leadbeater Profile

Influential author, Charles Leadbeater is ranked among the world’s top management thinkers. A leading consultant on creativity and innovative strategy, he has advised numerous companies and governments, including Tony Blair’s administration.

Charles’s bestselling book We Think: Mass innovation not mass production forecast the rise of more collaborative, open forms of innovation made possible by the web. His most recent book The Frugal Innovator: Creating Change on a Shoestring Budget explores our universal ability to effect change and resolve problems. Overall, Charles’s research and expertise centers on how organizations respond to and make the most of the current upheaval, tensions, and opportunities created.

His 2004 report “The Pro Am Revolution”, for the think-tank Demos, was selected by The New York Times as one of the best ideas of the year and his paper “Personalization through Participation” helped start the debate about personalized learning. His TED talks have been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times, including one on “Learning from the Extremes”, a report he wrote in conjunction with Cisco which looks at novel approaches to educational innovation being pioneered by social entrepreneurs working in slums and favelas in the cities of the developing world.

Charles is a Fellow of NESTA, the UK innovation agency and Chair of the Nominet Trust, one of the leading social tech investment funds in the world. He is also Chair of CDI Apps for Good, the mobile-based creative learning program.

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    Charles Leadbeater is a leading authority on innovation and creativity. He has advised companies, cities and governments around the world on innovation strategy and drew on that experience in writing his book We-Think: the power of mass creativity, which charts the rise of mass, participative approaches to innovation from science and open source software, to computer games and political campaigning.

    We-Think was the latest in a string of acclaimed books: Living on Thin Air, a guide to living and working in the new economy; Up the Down Escalator, an attack on the culture of public pessimism accompanying globalization and In Search of Work, published in the 1980s, which was one of the first books to predict the rise of more flexible and networked forms of employment.

    In 2005 Charles was ranked by Accenture, the management consultancy, as one of the top management thinkers in the world. A past winner of the prestigious David Watt prize for journalism, Charles was profiled by the New York Times in 2004 for generating one of the best ideas of the year, the rise of the activist amateur, outlined in his report, The Pro-Am Revolution.

    As well as advising a wide range of organisations on innovation including the BBC, Vodafone, Microsoft, Ericsson, Channel Four Television and the Royal Shakespeare Company, Charles has been an ideas generator in his own right. As an associate editor of the Independent he helped Helen Fielding devise Bridget Jones′s diary. He wrote the first British report on the rise of social entrepreneurship, which has since become a global movement. His report on the potential for the web to generate social change led to the creation of the Social Innovation Camp movement.

    Charles has worked extensively as a senior adviser to the governments, advising the 10 Downing St policy unit, the Department for Trade and Industry and the European Commission on the rise of the knowledge driven economy and the Internet, as well as the government of Shanghai. He is an advisor to the Department for Education′s Innovation Unit on future strategies for more networked and personalised approaches to learning and education. He is a co-founder of the public service design agency Participle.

    A visiting senior fellow at the British National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts, he is also a longstanding senior research associate with the influential London think-tank Demos and a visiting fellow at Oxford University′s Said Business School and the Young Foundatio. He is co-founder of Participle, the public service innovation agency, which is working with central and local government to devise new approaches to intractable social challenges.

    Charles spent ten years working for the Financial Times where he was Labour Editor, Industrial Editor and Tokyo Bureau Chief before becoming the paper′s Features Editor. In 1994 he moved to the Independent as assistant editor in charge of features and became an independent author and advisor in 1996.

Charles Leadbeater Speaking Videos

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Charles Leadbeater's Speech Descriptions

Charles Leadbeater’s seemingly casual talks reach deep levels of thought on pressing social issues, innovation, and education. He discusses the importance of collaboration and contribution of “amateur” innovators and consumers in curtailing poverty, closing the gap between the have’s and have-not’s, and finding sustainable solutions to environmental challenges. Charles’s tightly-woven arguments and compelling true life stories shatter conventional wisdoms on innovation and help businesses, non-profits, education institutes, and governments of every level develop new ideas and game-changing disruptions.

    Most Requested Programs:

    • Why good managers hate innovation
    • What′s Your Innovation Recipe?
    • Open Innovation
    • Personalised Learning
    • Personalising Public Services
    • Open Source Health Care
    • The Self Organising City
    • The Open Library

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Books by Charles Leadbeater:

    We-Think: Mass innovation, not mass production

    You are what you share.

    That is the ethic of the world being created by YouTube and MySpace, Wikipedia and Facebook. We-Think is a rallying call for the shared power of the web to make society more open and egalitarian.

    We-Think reports on an unparalleled wave of collaborative creativity as people from California to China devise ways to work together that are more democratic, productive and creative. This guide to the new culture of mass participation and innovation is a book like no other: it started first online through a unique experiment in collaborative creativity involving hundreds of people across the globe.

    The generation growing up with the web will not be content to remain spectators. They want to be players and this is their slogan: we think therefore we are.

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