Renowned thinker on innovation
The trends reshaping business and society
The future of education
Charles Leadbeater is a world-renowned innovation expert whose work focuses on how to be human in an increasingly technologically driven, unequal world overshadowed by mega trends such as climate change.
He has advised companies, cities and governments around the world, and is also a prolific author.
His latest book, The Analogue Innovator (forthcoming, 2018), will look at why as digital innovation accelerates we are so drawn to older forms of craft work, culture and technology as a counterbalance. Finding the right combination of the old and the new, the human and the technological will be critical to how we live and work well.
In Breakthrough Movements, Charles unpicked the DNA of breakthroughs which have changed life for the better for millions of people, from the creation of the modern restaurant to the invention of the contraceptive pill. Big breakthroughs come from innovation movements that combine new thinking about society with technology, organisation and culture to make it real. He uses this analytical framework to forecast which technologies will provide the biggest breakthroughs in the future: from driverless cars and blockchain to personalised genetic treatments and solar energy.
Charles has an impressive track record for being ahead of the game. His best seller, Living on Thin Air (1998), forecast the rise of the knowledge driven, weightless economy. We-Think: mass innovation not mass production (2008), forecast that the web was breeding a culture of collaboration across a wide range of fields.
Charles is also an avid social innovator. He is a founder of Participle, the innovation and design agency, and founder chair of the Google award-winning charity Apps for Good. He is a well-known and provocative voice in debates on the future of learning, arguing that education should prepare young people to be creative and collaborative problem solvers. His TED talks on education have been watched by over 3 million people.
As Cultural Ambassador for the London Mayor, Charles has written widely on the future of London and other cities, looking in particular at how successful cities can be smart and efficient but also hospitable and humane.
In an era where the world seems to be changing at an ever-increasing pace, it can be difficult to discern the signal from the noise when it comes to changes in the business landscape.
But this is precisely what Charles does. With his trademark passion, wit and clarity of thought, he helps organisations understand the key trends affecting them, and how they need to think and adapt to face-off the risks and take advantage of the opportunities.