Small Organizations / Big Bang

Geoff MulganThe popular wisdom is that the groups that create change are those that are large enough to make a real difference, and that significant social change is most often spearheaded by a rare, brilliant leader.

But that thinking is misleading and counterproductive, says Geoff Mulgan, chief executive of NESTA, Britain’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts.

More often than not, real change is created thanks to the cumulative efforts of many.

Such collaboration has been vital to the success of Mr. Mulgan’s program, Studio Schools Trust, a network of U.K. schools that incorporate real-world work to keep teens from dropping out.

The program has relied heavily on partnerships with a number of small companies, national and local education agencies, and local communities, he says.

In this episode of Making Change, Mr. Mulgan discusses why organizations that want to bring about social change should stay small, ask the right questions, and seek partners in the communities directly affected by their cause.

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