What I do
Celia plays a cross-cutting role at Nesta with responsibility for strategy on futures. She oversees the organisation's experimental work into new fields, which encompasses practical projects, research and events. The Explorations team conducts foresight exercises for Nesta on the organisation's priority fields to identify new challenges and opportunities.
Celia has directed research and programmes focused on a range of emerging trends and technologies in the UK and internationally. She joined Nesta in January 2015 to design challenge prizes aiming to stimulate breakthroughs in future technologies in Europe, and went on to establish new innovation funds in the public, corporate and social sector (including Nesta's £5 million fintech prize, the Open Up Challenge).
Prior to joining Nesta she was a US-UK Fulbright Scholar at New York University and a Fellow at the US innovation centre GovLab.
Celia’s career in the UK includes several years at the think tank Demos. During her time there she was Head of the Family and Society Programme and published widely on social policy (including reports into the care system and on young people and digital technologies). In 2010 she took a sabbatical from Demos to accept a Visiting Fellowship at the Foundation for Young Australians in Melbourne.
Back in London as Head of Research and Policy at the Family and Parenting Institute, Celia worked on programmes to embed evidence-based practice in the family sector and also initiated work to visualise the impact of austerity cuts on children and families using open data.
Celia holds a BA from Oxford University and an Executive Masters of Public Administration from New York University. She is a mentor for fellows at the social enterprise Year Here.