Geoff Mulgan on Disrupters and Cleaners

Andrew Young — February 16, 2018

In a new post for the Nesta blog, Geoff Mulgan reflects on the idea that the world is largely “divided into the people who make mess and the people who clean it up.” He begins by considering the dichotomy between Disrupters, the predominately white and male cohort that prescribes to the “move fast and break things” mantra, and Cleaners, the predominately less wealthy and female group often responsible for the type of cleaning and maintenance on which we all rely.

Mulgan expands the implications of this line of thinking with a particular focus on creativity and innovation – he argues:

“These two ideas now sit in an interesting opposition. On the one hand many idolise the digital disrupters, the people who mess things up. These (nearly all) men are now some of the world’s richest people, the new aristocracy of the 21st century. On the other hand many think the world has far too much disruption, mess and waste, and long for an economy aware of limits, and responsible for its own actions.

We probably need them both, and to be able to cultivate both mindsets simultaneously. Perhaps what we should be wary of are people who only adhere to one – the disrupters who see that as an adequate world view, and people who cling too tightly to order over imagination.”

Read more here.