What I do
Benjamin is co-head of the International Innovation team within Nesta's Policy and Research division, examining new global trends and practices in innovation, with an emphasis on emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil and Malaysia. The team works around the world to build knowledge, programmes, resources and networks for innovation that will help the UK to flourish in a rapidly changing global economy.
His primary 2014 project was working with the Malaysian innovation agency, AIM, to develop a toolkit to help Malaysian businesses understand and improve their investments in innovation capacity and capabilities. This work was extended in 2015 to a pilot of UK firms, in collaboration with global accounting body the ACCA. Also in 2015 he published on UK-China collaborations for innovation between small and medium enterprises. Beginning in 2015 with a study scoping the development needs of innovation agency executives in the Pacific Alliance group of countries for the Innovate UK agency, Benjamin now leads on the new Nesta-led executive development programe for innovation policymakers, the Global Innovation Policy Accelerator.
Prior to Nesta, Benjamin was Head of Open Innovation at the Big Innovation Centre, and a Senior Researcher at The Work Foundation. He worked on projects ranging from corporate and government open innovation, to youth employment, social media at work, the creative industries, the changing employment deal, and design innovation policy. He collaborated on the development of London Creative and Digital Fusion, an EU-funded programme supporting London-based creative and digital SMEs.
He also worked for nine years as a researcher and lecturer at Henley Business School, teaching people management, innovation and research methods on their global MBA and DBA programmes. His research clients at Henley included Ford Motor Company, Petroleum Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), the Department for Education, the EU Commission, and the BBC.
He holds a PhD from Henley Business School at the University of Reading, which focused on the evaluation of management and leadership development programmes.
Outside of work, Benjamin is a founding member and former manager of Chantage, a former BBC Choir of the Year based just a stone’s throw from Nesta on Fleet Street. In 15 years with Chantage, Benjamin has performed in France and Spain, recorded at Abbey Road, sung with the Swingle Singers, released two CDs, and performed to more than 8 million on the BBC One Show. In October 2015, Chantage will represent the UK at the Malta international choral competition.
Follow him here: @DrBenjaminReid