Why are we doing this?
Health as a Social Movement builds on the agenda set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View. It is a three-year programme, to support social movements in health and care.
What are we doing?
Nesta aims to understand how social movements grow to impact health and care, and deliver on the needs of the people they represent. The interactions social movements have with institutions shapes their trajectory; we are exploring new models of engagement between institutions and movements.
There are inherent challenges in established organisations like the NHS working alongside more emergent practices like social movements. Many questions emerge: how can formal institutions work with something as restless and intangible as a movement? Who is accountable to whom? Can shared purpose be created without co-opting citizen-led change?
If institutions and social movements are to partner effectively, new models of engagement must be devised, with commitment on both sides to build on their strengths and create better ways of doing things.
In the first year, we published, 'Health as a Social Movement: The Power of People in Movements' which took a broad view of health social movements as people-powered efforts that promote or resist change in the experience of health or the systems that shape it.
We are now taking an in-depth look at several transformative social movements which have scaled internationally, to share learnings from activists, and propose how movements navigate a complex web of people and relationships to grow in influence. The initial insights report will be launched in May 2017.