Charles Leadbeater

This article is from 2008.

Charles Leadbeater

Internet ideas man seeks to expand boundaries

‘What excites me about book festivals is the sheer diversity of ideas, viewpoints and styles,’ says Charles Leadbeater. ‘There are so many interesting people who are interesting in different ways.’ Leadbeater is all about ideas. He has advised governments and companies around the world on innovation strategies and how to harness the positive power of the internet as a platform for mass creativity and discussion. His book about the subject, We:Think, also explores how the web creates a culture where everyone can participate and share their knowledge and information.

The very nature of the subject required Leadbeater to get online and start collaborating. ‘It just seemed odd to write a book about that topic in a traditional way,’ he says. ‘It was going to take a long time for the book to be published, so I thought it would be better to get some of the ideas out, to be talked about, shared and tested.’

The We:Think project was born with the associated website receiving thousands of suggestions and opinions. ‘The comments were encouraging, many were helpful,’ he says. ‘They alerted me to ideas, books and connections which I had not seen.’

A chance to discuss these ideas with an audience in Edinburgh is a new opportunity for him to spot connections and themes while admitting: ‘I am looking forward to having my mind expanded.’ And if you’ve ever wondered how anyone is going to make a living if all their knowledge is being shared online, here’s your chance to ask.

18 Aug, 8.30pm, £9 (£7); 19 Aug, 7pm, £9 (£7).

Charles Leadbetter

The cultural commentator talks technology, addressing how software, the web and gaming is changing the way we operate as a society. 'Part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival'.

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