Research Fellow, Creative Economy

John Davies


Policy and Research

Join Date

June 2013

What I do

John is a research fellow focusing on the digital and creative economy. He is interested in the interface of economics, digital technology, creative activity, places and new data sources such as web-scraped and social media data. As part of this he is studying social media data and activities at the intersection of technology & art (sometimes simultaneously).

Past projects have included using Twitter data and social network analysis to assess the impact of networking events, using geo-tagged Flickr photographic data to understand people's engagement with the built environment and reconstructing the social networks of an online art gallery to analyse a creative community.

He has also written on topics in the data economy such as markets for personal data and the value of personal data, and on the disruptive effects of digital technology in higher education, manufacturingdemocracy and fashion.

John is on the steering group of the British Academy's Where we live now project into place-based policymaking and on the Intellectual Property Office's research advisory committee for unregistered rights. 

email: [email protected]

twitter: @johnardavies


Prior to Nesta, he worked as English Heritage's economist and led its Social and Economic research team. He has also worked for a leading economic consultancy and as a civil servant in a number of Government departments.

In a career that has taken him from from carbon markets to cartels and from Stonehenge to social media, John has worked on competition issues in a range of industries, been directly involved in the implementation of the European Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), and analysed private pensions, the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and investments in castles. He has also done some work on data visualisation.

John has undergraduate and master's degrees in economics from the LSE.