The Young Foundation
The Institute of Community Studies (ICS)
was set up by Michael Young in 1954. The ICS was an urban studies think tank which combined academic research and practical social innovation. In 2005, it merged with the Mutual Aid Centre and was renamed The Young Foundation, in honour of its founder, Michael Young
. In both current and previous incarnations, The Young Foundation has been instrumental in leading research, driving public debate, and implementing social innovation in the UK and abroad, with an emphasis on combining research and practical application.
The Young Foundation is still based in Bethnal Green, where the ICS started.
During the second half of the 20th century Michael Young was one of the world’s most creative and influential social thinkers and doers. After 1945 he helped shape the UK’s new welfare state. In the early 1950s he set up the Institute of Community Studies
and used it as a base for research and action.
Together with collaborators including Peter Willmott
, Peter Townsend
and many others, he wrote a series of bestsellers which changed attitudes to a host of social issues, including urban planning (leading the movement away from tower blocks), education (leading thinking about how to radically widen access) and poverty.
Young pioneered ideas of public and consumer empowerment both in private markets and in public services, some of which are only now becoming mainstream (for example NHS Direct, the spread of after-school clubs and neighbourhood councils can all be traced to his work). One of his books coined the term ‘meritocracy’. Another radically rethought the role of the family.
Other organisations Young created pioneered new approaches to funerals and baby-naming, neighbourhood democracy and the arts. He was described by Harvard
’s Daniel Bell
as ‘the world’s most successful entrepreneur of social enterprises’.
The Youth Foundation is involved in different areas. These include health and well-being, place-based work, inequality and support for young people.
Notable former employees
- ^ Tricia Hackett (17 November 2011). "Designing in Social Sustainability: How to create thriving new communities" (PDF). The Young Foundation. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
- ^ "The Young Foundation, registered charity no. 274345". Charity Commission for England and Wales.
- ^ Gavron and Dench,eds, Young at 80, Carcanet, London, 1995
- ^ "History - The Young Foundation". The Young Foundation. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
- ^ "Our Programmes". The Young Foundation. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
Last edited on 6 March 2021, at 16:07
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