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ZAID HASSAN

CEO & Co-Founder

Zaid's first entrepreneurial venture, aged 7, involved selling loose cigarettes and gum to bemused diplomats in the streets of New Delhi (while his horrified parents looked on). He has since found ways to put his entrepreneurial energy to less carcinogenic uses. 

Zaid was born in London. In 1980 his parents decided to pack up and move the family, including his twin sister and younger sister, to India. They were gone 12 years, travelling the world, moving to Bombay, then to Delhi and then finally to the emirate of the Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. 

Zaid moved back to the UK to study physics, which he abandoned for the .com boom. He hired his favourite professor, a post-doc in gravitational physics, to write code. 

Over the last fifteen years Zaid has helped develop strategic responses to complex challenges including climate change, child malnutrition, employment, energy, financial systems, global food systems, and security issues. 

Zaid regularly teaches courses on how to address complex challenges. He is a Visiting Professor at the California College of Arts (CCA). He has guest lectured at The University of Oxford, The University of Bergen, Norway, The New School in New York and many more institutions. Over 2009-10 he was an Associate Fellow of The Institute of Science, Innovation and Society, at the Said Business School, based at the University of Oxford. He is currently a Social Innovation Fellow at Babson College. 

Zaid is author of “The Social Labs Revolution: A New Approach To Solving Our Most Complex Challenges.” (Berrett-Koehler, 2014) 

He rides a single-speed (non-fixie) Genesis bike that is the colour of a sunset. He lives in Oxford. He has a seven year old son who wants to know why we ask questions.