Chain Reaction 2008

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Chain Reaction 2008 is an international forum on social leadership, founded in 2008. The initiative formed part of the program of the United Kingdom Prime Minister’s (Gordon Brown) Council on Social Action.[1]


Chain Reaction was established to bring people together from across the world for a multi-day event in order to explore their connections, learn how to use those connections in positive ways and how they work together to maximize their collective power to change the world.[2]


The first event was held from 17–18 November on London’s South Bank, bringing together over 500 social leaders, from all sectors (government, business and community), many of whom were from outside of the UK. The program included:

  • Inspirational speakers, debates and conversations
  • Open space, materials and practical support to develop new ideas
  • Activities designed to make you think they were entirely planned and delivered by young people
  • A 'transformance' program drawing on learning from creative arts from around the world
  • A dedicated social media space, connecting people virtually to the event from all around the world, drawing on their collective brain power to accelerate the development of new ideas for social action.[3]

Chain Reaction, was officially announced by the Prime Minister Gordon Brown on 24 July 2008 at the UK Catalyst Awards, the awards ceremony to recognize everyday heroes who use technology to make a positive impact on the world around them.
Gordon Brown said “In the year ahead we will see bold new international collaborations to promote social action [such as the] first chain reaction forum on social leadership, taking place in London in November”.

Phil Hope, Minister for the Third Sector, said in regards to the event: "This promises to be unique event bringing together essential voices from around the world to inspire and catalyze ideas for positive social action. It’s now up to all of us – central and local government, big business, and the third sector – to support and enable a creative and thriving environment in which organizations and communities continue to come together in new and groundbreaking ways.”[4]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Cabinet Office
  2. ^ Communities and Local Government "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-09-08. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  3. ^ Cabinet Office: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
  4. ^ Cabinet Office