Young Foundation is a London-based think tank focused on social innovation.
The Young Foundation says it conducts research and practical testing to to better understand structural inequalities in society. As well as influencing policy, it has also created many new organisations: public, private and non-profit.
Launched in 2005, it is named after Michael Young, the British sociologist and social activist who created over 60 organisations including the Open University and Which?
The Young Foundation says it focuses on fields where it sees the greatest potential for social innovation. These include: where problems are intensifying (such as mental illness); and where new possibilities are arising (for example, because of new technology).
Youth and Education
The Young Foundation works alongside governments, schools, universities, funders, charities, social enterprises and businesses on projects that aim to reduce the inequality young people face.
- The Young Academy supports social enterprises whose work raises the attainment of disadvantaged young people in England. Its ventures include: Right To Succeed, Code College, Surf and Turf Camps (digital skills), Edukit and SpireHub.
- The Young Foundation teamed up with the Edge Foundation to create the Learning Launchpad, an investment fund which provided seed funding and support to projects that promoted practical learning. Over a three year period, 14 projects were selected for funding and support, including: The Studio Schools Trust; Working Rite (a 1:1 mentoring and training service for school leavers); Arrival Education (provides work placements); and Enabling Enterprise (started by Teach First graduate teachers to work with schools on practical learning and enterprise skills).
Who it works with
The Young Foundation works with a large number of organisations: governments, business, charities, local authorities, NHS bodies and others. Here is a selection of their partners:
- Australian Government
- Bellwether Education Partners
- Boston Consulting Group
- British Council
- Cabinet Office
- City of London Corporation
- Clifford Chance
- Department for Education
- European Commission
- Foreign and Commonwealth Office
- J.P. Morgan
- Macquarie Group Foundation
- National Youth Agency (DCSF)
- Nike UK
- Open Society Foundation
- Paul Hamlyn Foundation
- Rockefeller Foundation
- Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI)
- Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co
- Glenys Thornton, CEO
- Geoff Mulgan: Mulgan was the Young Foundation's first CEO from 2005-2011; he founded the think tank Demos and was previously head of policy for Tony Blair. He has been described as 'the ultimate New Labourite' Mulgan became CEO of 'innovation' charity NESTA in June 2011.
- Tim Allan, chair of trustees. Allan is MD of lobbying firm Portland PR; former media adviser to Tony Blair; prior to that Director of Corporate Communications at BSkyB
- Jonty Olliff-Cooper, ex-Boston Consulting Group; headed the Progressive Conservatism Project at Demos, helped to create The Big Society Network, and worked in the Conservative Party’s Policy Unit in opposition, where he led on innovation and civil society issues.
- Malcolm Dean, Guardian’s lead writer on social affairs and assistant editor
- Alexander Stevenson, co-founded RSe Consulting, a public sector consultancy sold to Tribal in 2008, where he stayed for a year.
- Amanda Levete, architect
- Kirsteen Tait, adviser to Paul Hamlyn Foundation
- Website: http://youngfoundation.org
- Address: 18 Victoria Park Square London E2 9PF
- John Harris, The power of influence, Guardian, 26 May 2006