Senior Programme Manager, Innovation Skills

Sonja Dahl


Innovation Skills

Join Date

July 2014

What I do

As Senior Programme Manager, Sonja is responsible for designing and delivering Nesta’s Innovation Skills programmes for the public and community sectors. 


Since joining Nesta two years ago, Sonja has been instrumental in designing new partnership projects and programmes with UK, European and worldwide clients. She also leads on a number of pan-European programmes including Design for Europe, which enables European countries to share learning on using innovation methods and tools in the public and social sectors. Sonja drives a design-led innovation agenda across a range of initiatives in Nesta’s portfolio.

Before joining Nesta, Sonja was Head of Design at the Design Council and was instrumental in the design and development of their Leadership Programmes for the public and private sectors.

She also led on the recruitment and management of their national network of Design Associates and worked to streamline service delivery, support evaluation and impact measurement, and drive quality assurance of products, materials and tools.

Sonja’s international experience includes working on '11 Lessons' – a benchmarking study of design processes in leading global businesses – and helping to shape the winning bid to deliver the European Design Innovation Platform.

Prior to joining the Design Council, Sonja worked as a consultant at Johnson Controls where she ran interior architecture and site strategy projects for clients such as BP, Pfizer and IBM.

She has a first-class honours degree in Design Studies from Salford University, and an MPhil in Vehicle Design from the Royal College of Art.

As part our Design for Europe programme, which aims to build innovation capabilities in the European public sector, the OECD asked Nesta to run a workshop on designing and prototyping at its annual conference.
Sonja Dahl
Thursday, 19 March 2015