We see a world full of potential, where new ideas solve the big challenges that matter to everyone.
We seek out, spark and shape powerful new ideas, joining with others to take on the big challenges of our time and shift how the world works for everyone.
New ideas are key to human progress, prosperity and happiness. In a rapidly changing world, we need new ideas to tackle the big challenges we all face and empower people to shape the future.
These big challenges include an ageing population, stretched public services, a rapidly changing jobs market, and ordinary people feeling disempowered.
We work with others to achieve our goals
We know we can’t make change happen by ourselves. We work with all kinds of partners all over the world, who have in common the drive to improve how the world works. We bring together the very big, such as national governments and global technology firms, with the grassroots, such as community groups and local activists, to make change happen.
We combine our knowledge, networks, funding and skills to back new ideas that tackle big challenges. We operate across the globe and across sectors (including education, healthcare, the arts, technology, and economic policy), working with others to turn these good ideas into reality:
- We see - we spot opportunities in challenges.
- We spark - we generate novel ideas to solve big problems that matter to everyone.
- We shape - we provide the help needed for promising ideas to grow and adapt.
- We shift - we join with others to back world-changing ideas.
Some examples of our work
Health - tackling antibiotic resistance
In 2014 we launched the £10m Longitude Prize challenge fund to help tackle the threat of antibiotic resistance. To raise awareness of the prize we worked with the BBC, Amazon, the Science Museum and many others, reaching over 84 per cent of the UK population. Longitude Prize was set up with our fund partner Innovate UK and includes the Astronomer Royal and the Chief Medical Officer for England on its committee. The challenge is still open and over 100 teams across the world, including in the UK, US, Nigeria, Israel and Australia are now working to win the prize and tackle the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
Education - equipping children for a digital future
Our landmark research uncovered major deficiencies in the education system that were threatening the future of the UK’s thriving high-tech creative and digital industries - prompting wholesale reform of the school ICT curriculum in England, and making it the first G20 country to introduce compulsory computing education including computer science and programming. Nesta went on to mobilise a generation of young people to gain the confidence and know-how to make new technology. Make Things Do Stuff was a national education programme designed with our partners Mozilla and Nominet Trust that reached over 250,000 young people over two years and supported the growth of grassroots coding clubs around the country, which are still flourishing today.
Arts and the creative economy - making the case for renewed investment
Our research into the creative economy has influenced policy across the UK. We have revealed that creative jobs are the hardest to automate, giving the country a crucial advantage as robots, AI and automation start to take over many jobs in the coming decades. Our research has provided good reasons for the government to invest more in Britain’s creativity.
Where we work
Nesta was established with an endowment from the UK National Lottery and so our primary focus is on England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. But we have a truly international outlook. We work on a global scale so that we can be more useful to the UK - by learning from the best ideas around the world and developing international partnerships that allow us to have greater impact.
We want to hear from you
If you’d like to find out more about our work, if you’d like to become a partner, enlist our help, or if you’re interested in finding out more about what we can offer your organisation, please email [email protected]. If this sounds like the kind of place you’d like to work, browse our jobs.