The best political systems harness and amplify the brainpower of their citizens. The worst do the opposite. Around the world, many experiments are underway to tap collective intelligence – from neighborhoods to big strategic issues, budgets to laws. What is being learned from these experiments? What do they suggest about the future design of democracy? How should the formal processes of democracy relate to the informal ones, like media and social media commentary? And how could these ideas be implemented whether at the level of cities, nations, continents (like the European Union) or even the United Nations?
Geoff Mulgan CBE is Chief Executive of Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation which uses investment, practical innovation and research to promote innovation for the common good in the UK and dozens of countries around the world. Between 1997 and 2004 Geoff had roles in the UK government including director of the Government’s Strategy Unit and head of policy in the Prime Minister’s office. From 2004 to 2011 Geoff was the first Chief Executive of The Young Foundation. He was the first director of the think-tank Demos and reporter on BBC TV and radio. He has been a visiting professor at LSE, UCL and Melbourne University and is currently a senior visiting scholar at Harvard University. His most recent book is Big Mind: How Collective Intelligence Can Change Our World (Princeton University Press). Geoff’s Twitter handle is @geoffmulgan. A summary of ideas Geoff has worked on can be found here.