Ed Straw was born in 1949 and educated at Manchester University, Manchester Business School, Harvard Business School and Oxford University. He has seen government from every angle: as a citizen and consumer, adviser to several government ministers, chair of Demos and Relate, and a specialist on government task forces. He was a consultant on Thatcher’s public sector reforms and then New Labour’s, a policy moderniser during Neil Kinnock’s leadership of the Labour Party, and he designed the organisational blueprint for the party under John Smith and Tony Blair.
He was also a global and UK board director for PwC, and his work has taken him to countries and governments around the world. An early training in civil engineering taught him structured analysis, and perhaps most importantly for this book, how to design things so they don’t fall down.