About Us

The Young Foundation is a leading independent centre for disruptive social innovation. We create new movements, institutions and companies that tackle the structural causes of inequality.

Welcome to YF
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Our Manifesto: For a just society

We believe structural inequality undermines the economy and corrodes our wellbeing. Lack of opportunity and limited social mobility destroys lives, leaving its mark on communities, relationships, aspirations and self-worth.

We work to create a more equal and just society, where each individual can be fulfilled in their own terms. We believe that little about the future of society is inevitable. Bound by our shared humanity, we believe we collectively have the power to shape the societies and communities we want to live in.

The Young Foundation harnesses the power of disruptive innovation to address the causes of inequality. This innovation is based on research, partnerships and practical problem solving. We use it as a tool for change in the systems that undermine individual responsibility, empowerment and participation. We have already created projects that are opening up new paths to power for marginalised people at the local level.

We create new movements, institutions and companies that empower people to lead happier and more meaningful lives.

We work with the public and private sectors and civil society to strengthen their positive impact on communities.

Join us. We are The Young Foundation.

Our approach

We strive to be audacious and determined in our actions, and open and unrelenting in our thinking. We are politically alert but non-partisan. We use the tools of social research, disruptive social innovation, venturing, strategic design and movement building. Above all, we listen to people, putting what they think, feel and believe, their aspirations, their experiences and their lives at the heart of everything we do. In the last five years we’ve launched 60 programmes and 138 publications across the country.

Our heritage

The Young Foundation takes its name from the social entrepreneur, activist and pioneer, Michael Young. For over 60 years, Michael brought together collaborations of the brightest, the best and the most innovative to solve social problems. Core to his approach was ethnographic research, stemming from a belief that engaging with people and understanding their lives shows the best way forward. His legacy includes the Open University, Which? and NHS Direct. The Young Foundation exists to continue and build on Michael’s work.