Economic Research Fellow, Creative and Digital 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 and data. Particularly in the domains of creative activity and places, and in the use of social media and web scraped data.

Past projects have included mapping the geography of employment in the UK's creative and high-tech economies, using Twitter data and social network analysis to assess the impact of networking events, analysing Meetup data to identify activities in the UK at the intersection of technology and art, using geo-tagged Flickr photographic data to understand people's engagement with historic buildings in London 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 open datamarkets for personal data and the value of personal data, and on the effects of digital technology in higher education, manufacturingdemocracy, art 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. 

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.