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Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Do you own a drill?

The average productive time of a drill in its entire lifetime is about 12-13 minutes.

So why own a drill, when what you really need is a hole?


Isn't it better to rent a drill...or even better rent out your drill to other people who need a hole?

Collaborative Consumption

That’s just one of the examples that Rachel Botsman draws on in her excellent TED talk on the Rise of Collaborative Consumption.


Rachel describes the trend for the internet to create new platforms for people to share resources and assets.  A big part of this is finding ways to create trust between strangers. Remember life before Ebay? Would you have sent £10k to a total stranger on the basis of having seen a photograph of a car?

The Three Ingredients

While Rachel's analysis focuses on commercial consumption, it's also relevant to the future of meeting social needs. 

There are three key ingredients:

  1. Matching needs and wants
  2. Maximising the value from untapped resources and assets 
  3. Establishing the trust that enables mutual exchanges between strangers 

Trusting Strangers

Timebanking is just one area where the internet can create trust platforms that enable mutual exchange between strangers.


Could an online marketplace for social care micro-enterprises take the cost out of safeguarding and lead to better and cheaper ways of meeting social need? 


As ever, thoughts are welcome.


Philip Colligan

Philip Colligan

Philip Colligan

Guest blogger

Philip is the Chief Executive of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

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