Charles Leadbeater

CHARLES LEADBEATER'S theories on innovation have compelled some of the world's largest organizations to rethink their strategies. A financial journalist turned innovation consultant (for clients ranging from the British government to Microsoft), Leadbeater noticed the rise of "pro-ams"—passionate amateurs who act like professionals, making breakthrough discoveries in many fields, from software to astronomy to kite-surfing. His 2004 essay "The Pro-Am Revolution"—which The New York Times called one of the year's biggest global ideas—highlighted the rise of this new breed of amateur.

Prominent examples range from the mountain bike to the open-source operating system Linux, from Wikipedia to the Jubilee 2000 campaign, which helped persuade Western nations to cancel more than $30 billion in third-world debt. In his upcoming book, We-Think, Leadbeater explores how this emerging culture of mass creativity and participation could reshape companies and governments. A business reporter by training, he was previously an editor for the Financial Times, and later, The Independent (where, with Helen Fielding, he developed the "Bridget Jones' Diary" column)

"Charles Leadbeater is an extraordinarily interesting thinker. His book asks critical questions. I know it will be widely read and debated."
—Tony Blair