Charles Leadbeater

Charles Leadbeater, also known as Charlie Leadbeater, is a British author and former advisor to Tony Blair.[1]

Leadbeater signing copies of We-think in 2008


A graduate of Balliol College, Oxford, he first came to widespread notice in the 1980s as a regular contributor to the magazine Marxism Today.[2] Later he was Industrial Editor and Tokyo Bureau Chief at the Financial Times. While working at The Independent in the 1990s, he devised Bridget Jones's Diary (originally a column) with Helen Fielding.[3] He worked on social entrepreneurship, publishing The Rise of the Social Entrepreneur in 1997.[4] He advised the British government on matters of the Internet and the knowledge-driven economy.[5]

His book, We-think, explores the new phenomenon of mass creativity exemplified by web sites such as YouTube, Wikipedia and MySpace. The book, which in a preliminary version is open to public criticism and revision, argues that participation and sharing, rather than consumption or production, will be the key organizing idea of future society.[6]

In September 2010 Leadbeater opened the Incubate (festival), in Tilburg, The Netherlands. In a 2014 report for the think tank Centre for London, Leadbeater coined the term 'Endies' (short for 'Employed but with No Disposable Income or Savings'), to refer to the growing number of households in London struggling on modest incomes in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.[7]

In 2015, Leadbeater was working as a innovation consultant[8] and was described as "leading authority on innovation and creativity" in 2020[9]


  • A Piece of the Action: Employee Ownership, Equity Pay and the Rise of the Knowledge Economy (Demos Papers) (1997)
  • Living on Thin Air: The New Economy (1999)
  • The Independents: Britain's New Cultural Entrepreneurs (co-authored with Kate Oakley) (1999)
  • Living on Thin Air: The New Economy (2000)
  • Personalisation Through Participation: A New Script for Public Services (2004)
  • Up the Down Escalator: Why the Global Pessimists Are Wrong (2004)
  • The Pro-Am Revolution (co-authored with Paul Miller) (2004)
  • We-think: The Power of Mass Creativity (2008)
  • Innovation in Education: Lessons from Pioneers Around the World Paperback (photography by Romain Staropoli) (2012)
  • The Frugal Innovator: Creating Change on a Shoestring Budget (2014)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Harris, John (29 September 2015). "Marxism Today: the forgotten visionaries whose ideas could save Labour". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 January 2022. Leadbeater, who worked as a government adviser in the early New Labour period, assisting Mandelson at the Department of Trade and Industry, and writing speeches for Blair.
  2. ^ Whitney, Craig R. (3 December 1991). "The Curse of Marx Kills a Leftist British Journal". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 January 2022. Charles Leadbeater, the industry editor of the newspaper The Financial Times and a frequent contributor to the magazine.
  3. ^ "The True Story of Bridget Jones". The Independent. 13 November 2004. Retrieved 7 January 2022. It was, from the start, fully formed and gloriously funny, as can be seen in the column on the right, a testament to Fielding's skills as a writer and the careful conception of Leadbeater.
  4. ^ Leadbeater, Charles (11 March 1997). The Rise of the Social Entrepreneur (PDF). Demos. ISBN 1898309531.
  5. ^ Diamond, Patrick (19 January 2021). The British Labour Party in Opposition and Power 1979-2019: Forward March Halted?. Routledge. ISBN 9781138817890.
  6. ^ Kane, Pat (21 March 2008). "Here Comes Everybody, by Clay Shirky. We-Think, by Charles Leadbeater". The Independent. Retrieved 7 January 2022. Leadbeater's mantra "we are what we share" could conceivably become "an economy's motive force"...
  7. ^ Leadbeater, Charles; Wilson, Brell; Theseira, Margarethe. "Hollow Promise: How London Fails People On Modest Incomes and What Should Be Done About It" (PDF). Centre for London. Centre for London. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Schools of the future: don't forget, the most powerful computer is the brain". the Guardian. 9 July 2015. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  9. ^ "Are you creating brands or consumers?". The Times of India. 22 February 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2021.

External linksEdit