Nesta Christmas List 2016
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Still got some Christmas shopping to do? Don’t worry, we may have just the thing. Each year, we create a list of thoughtful and meaningful gift ideas from companies in the Nesta family, whether organisations we’ve supported directly or some of the brilliant ventures those organisations have helped bring to life.

Whether you’re looking for a gift that tells a story, inspires curiosity or creates a positive social impact, we hope these ideas will offer some inspiration for you. From DIY robot kits to shoes that help support socially isolated women, check out the 2016 Nesta Christmas gift guide: 

Detective Dot

Detective Dot is a children's book that champions diversity and explores technology. On a mission to inspire kids (particularly girls and under-represented groups) into technology and coding, founder Sophie Deen set out to create a strong and inclusive role model in nine-year-old tech whizz, Dot. Sophie's company, Bright Little Labs, was backed by Nesta-supported social accelerator Bethnal Green Ventures.

DIY robot kit

The micro:bot pack from Technology Will Save Us (backed by our Digital Makers Fund), helps kids learn to build and code three different robots: artbot, which you can code to draw different patterns; roombot, a DIY Roomba complete with tinfoil collision detector; and golfbot, which allows you to play DIY crazy golf.

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Active Hands

One of ten finalists in our Inclusive Technology Prize, Active Hands designs and sells a range of products to help people with disabilities that affect hand function to be more active and independent. The company's gripping aids help with everything from using gym equipment to assisting with DIY, painting or gardening.


One of our 2016 New Radicals, Madlug (Make a Difference Luggage) is a lifestyle bag brand with a message: “No child should carry their life in a bin bag.” A former foster carer of 10 years, founder Dave Linton saw that children in care would often arrive at new places with their belongings in a plastic bag, and wanted to change this. Madlug CIC is a 'buy one, give one' brand. For every bag purchased, the company donates a bag to a child in foster care. 

Juta Shoes

Founded by Joanna Hamer, a Year Here fellow in social innovation, Juta Shoes makes upcycled espadrilles using offcuts and reclaimed materials from local factories, while also providing employment opportunities for socially isolated women in London. Year Here was supported through the Innovation in Giving Fund and one of our 2014 New Radicals. Find out more about Juta Shoes in its crowdfunding video below (the campaign was successfully funded): 

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Rocket Fund

And finally, why not spread some Christmas cheer by supporting a project on Rocket Fund? Our new pilot fundraising platform for schools aims to reduce educational inequality and empower teachers to innovate in the classroom. Nesta is providing match-funding for the first five tech-related projects, but teachers can raise funding for whatever they think will have the biggest impact on students' education. Read the blog introducing Rocket Fund