Laura was Nesta's lead policy advisor for public and social innovation until November 2013.
She joined Nesta's Policy and Research team in 2009 focusing on social innovation and innovation in public services. Laura has worked on a range of projects exploring innovation trends and imperatives within social policy, and the methods and policies that can strengthen the impact of innovation in these fields.
Before Nesta Laura was project coordinator and networks manager at the RSA, building and supporting the RSA Fellowship to become an active, connected network for civic innovation.
Laura has previously worked with the think tank Demos, developed a range of independent creative projects and managed a busy London restaurant. Laura holds a BA (Hons) in Classics from the University of Oxford.
I am hardly the first to observe that social innovation lacks a consistent definition. As a phrase, it is plagued by two identity crises: much ambiguity persists in attempts to define ‘innovation’; and what constitutes ‘social’ – whether social outcomes, social processes, the social sector and so on – is subject to a wide variety of interpretations.
Goodness! Three months goes quickly. It feels like only a few weeks ago that we welcomed ten very early stage aspiring social technology ventures into Nesta's Ada Lovelace space as this summer's cohort of Bethnal Green Ventures.
Today we are announcing the ten teams that are going to be part of this summer’s Bethnal Green Ventures cohort. We had over 100 applications and a very competitive selection process, and we’re delighted to be working with such ambitious projects and people.
A few weeks ago, we published the provocation paper Innovation in Policy in collaboration with MindLab, an innovation agency working within the Danish Government. This paper intended to stimulate debate and dialogue about the challenges involved in developing a culture of innovation within government, and how decision-making can better deal with uncertainty and complexity in social policy.