Young Foundation

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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 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:


Former staff

  • 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'[1] Mulgan became CEO of 'innovation' charity NESTA in June 2011.



Address: 18 Victoria Park Square London E2 9PF


  1. John Harris, The power of influence, Guardian, 26 May 2006