Charles Leadbeater

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Strategist & Author

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Leadbeater advises companies and governments on innovation strategy. In his book We-Think he argues that mass creativity on sites like YouTube shows that participation is becoming the key organising idea. In presentations Charles argues that, rather than being innately selfish, most of us prefer to be cooperative. He explores what drives entrepreneurship, how big organisations can be as agile as smaller competitors, and why some bosses secretly hate innovation.


Charles Leadbeater is an ideas generator, strategist and adviser to leading European companies. Hailed as one of the world’s top management thinkers, he is an authority on innovation and competition.

Reportedly Tony Blair's favourite corporate thinker, Charles advised the Downing Street Policy Unit and the DTI on the knowledge driven economy. He drafted White Papers on competition, science and communications, advised the BBC on charter renewal, and worked with Channel Four on its digital strategy.

Charles is a senior advisor on competitiveness to the European Commission. He brings a global perspective, built on extensive research in Silicon Valley, Finland, China and India. His books Go Barefoot and Up The Down Escalator explore what he calls the ‘mass innovation’ economy, and show how successful companies adopt evolutionary models of innovation.

In We-think Charles explores the new phenomenon of mass creativity exemplified by web sites such as YouTube, Wikipedia and Instagram. He argues that participation, rather than consumption or production, will be the key organising idea of future society. Equally he has been an outspoken critic of some of the practises found on the web and warns that its great potential and promise might be lost.

Charles Leadbeater was listed by GQ as one of the 30 Most Powerful Men in Britain. This might have attracted interest from Bridget Jones, whose diary he jointly devised with Helen Fielding as Assistant Features Editor at The Independent.

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