A university illustrates the radical shift in the objectives to which enterprise is being put: it dedicates itself entirely to social enterprise.
There is a lot of evidence on the extent of innovation in labour market programmes prior to the coalition governments' launch of the Work Programme. The Labour Government began 13 years of wide-scale experimentation in labour market programme design with the launch of the New Deal programmes in 1997, focused on lone parents, young people, disabled people and long-term unemployed people. These were followed by a plethora of pilots to develop and test innovative ideas.
People rightly expect to receive accessible, high quality public services that they get choice and control over, but they have an increasingly important role to play if these demands are to be met in the future. This will only happen if public services can organise people and provide services in a way that leads to outputs that are empowering, coherent and offer lasting value. But how can public services make it easier for people to meet their own and other people's needs?
I spent two days this week at Strata, the Big Data conference that's been run for the last 18 months or so by O'Reilly, and that was held for the first time outside the United States this week.
Defining the term collaborative technology is difficult. Often when we talk about collaborative technology, or for that matter social media or web 2.0, people naturally think about popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, You Tube or Wikipedia.
At Nesta we are interested in exploring how rigorous evidence can be better used to drive innovation. Part of this is being able to identify the most effective policies and programmes. Yet the thing we find striking is how little is known about the actual mechanisms that can effectively ensure evidence is useful and useable for decision makers. In other words, what works in helping identify what is working?
Is innovation always a good thing? It's a question I'm often asked, usually rhetorically. The speaker normally has one of two things in mind: innovations that are intended to do harm (cluster bombs, drone strikes) or innovations that go horribly wrong (credit default swaps, grey goo)*.
Martin Wolf wrote a widely quoted article in today's FT arguing that economic growth is slowing down in a long-term and structural way. There's a lot to say about this (I fundamentally disagree with the underlying paper by Robert Gordon that Wolf bases his paper on).
October is a busy month here at Nesta Towers. The summer's officially over, the Olympic flame has moved on and Plan I has been published. Which means we're all now racing to Get Things Done. Number one on my list has been moving on our plans to build a public facing campaign driving demand for the Digital Makers movement.
Collaborative technologies, which many of us use in our everyday lives to create, share and discuss information, have brought about a profound change in the way we organise and go about our everyday lives. These cheap, ubiquitous technologies have changed the way products and commercial services are delivered and social needs are met.
Follow our daily updates on Twitter @nesta_uk
Take part in the discussion on our LinkedIn group
Share your views on our Facebook page
Sign up for our regular updates for the latest news and opportunities.