About Nesta

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.

First glimpse at the CareerTech Prize judging panel

The CareerTech Challenge Prize aims to answer this question for the six million UK workers currently in roles likely to radically change or disappear by 2030. We have been on the lookout for new digital solutions that use labour market data to help adults in England navigate the job market and develop secure and rewarding careers.

You can read more about the Prize on our website.

Entries to the Prize closed on 29 January 2020 and we are now in the process selecting our finalists.

Selecting our finalists

Finalists will not only receive a £50,000 grant, but also hands-on support and coaching to build their business and product development skills, as well as networking opportunities with other innovators. In March 2021, a winner and runner-up will be selected to receive prizes of £120,000 and £80,000 respectively.

To help us with the selection, we have assembled an expert panel of judges in fields such as tech innovation, entrepreneurship, data science, policy, learning, skills and employment, and more.

The judging panel will have to make tough decisions based on our judging criteria to select solutions that are innovative, insightful and impactful, accessible and usable, and also have market potential.

We will be announcing our full judging panel on our website over the coming weeks, but you can find a sneak peak below.

Shivvy Jervis

Shivvy Jervis - Futurist and Keynote Speaker on Sustainable Innovation

Cited a "a thought leader beyond compare" by the World Economic Forum, professional Futurologist Shivvy Jervis reaches thousands each month through her talks and broadcasts on ‘human-perception’ AI, immersive workplaces, digital identity and the ‘Internet of Everything’. Founder of futurism advisory FutureScape 248, Shivvy uncovers the most powerful breakthroughs at the intersection of digital, science and human psychology and her work has received over 24 pieces of industry recognition.

Patrick Lee - Service Owner for the National Retraining Scheme

Patrick is the Service Owner for the National Retraining Scheme and is responsible for design and delivery. The National Retraining Scheme will help prepare adults for future changes to the economy, including those brought about by automation, and give them the support and tools they need to retrain into better jobs

"Working on the National Retraining Scheme in the Department for Education, I have a sense of the scale of this challenge and very much look forward to seeing the great ideas the market has come up with. I am excited at the prospect of working with the successful innovators to develop products that really make a difference.”

Patrick Lee, Service Owner for the National Retraining Scheme

Dr Fiona Aldridge - Director for Policy and Research, Learning and Work Institute

Dr Fiona Aldridge is responsible for leading L&W’s programme of research and development, and ensuring that their work influences policy and practice, by providing a credible and influential voice on learning, skills and employment.

“The CareerTech Challenge represents an important investment in ensuring that adults have the skills and knowledge to understand and respond to the changing world of work. Our annual Adult Participation in Learning Survey shows that engagement in adult learning and training is at an historic low, with deep and persistent inequalities in both access and motivation; at present, those who could benefit most from future-proofing their skills are least likely to be engaged. I’m delighted to have been asked to join the judging panel for the Challenge and look forward to seeing some bold and innovative solutions that will help people improve their working lives and unlock better futures.”

Dr Fiona Aldridge, Director for Policy and Research, Learning & Work Institute
Abi Mohamed
Abi Mohamed - Co-founder and Tech Lead of Community Growth Ventures

Abi Mohamed is the co-founder and Tech Lead of Community Growth Ventures, a London-based angel investment firm. CGV invests time, capital and resources to help passionate founders from minority and underestimated backgrounds create sustainable companies that deliver value to customers and the communities they operate in. Additionally, she is a Programme Manager at Tech Nation and a venture scout for Backed VC.

“I’m excited to join the judging panel because technology has changed the world in many ways during the last decade, and right now, more than ever, it is so important to help support new startups trying to innovate the current ways of working in the UK. I’m a big believer in supporting diversity in the UK especially in tech and giving a gateway to those who care about humanity, equality, and fairness for all.”

Abi Mohamed, Co-founder, Community Growth Ventures
Ryan Dunn

Ryan Dunn - Data Science Hub Lead at Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

Ryan Dunn is a lead data scientist in the UK government’s Department for Work and Pensions. He currently leads a data science hub developing digital data products to transform public sector decision making.

“I am very excited to be a CareerTech Challenge judge. The initiative combines my passions of digital innovation, information provision and collaborative outreach with a focus on developing solutions to help and support people.”

Ryan Dunn, Data Science Hub Lead, Department for Work and Pensions
Jyldyz Djumalieva

Jyldyz Djumalieva - Head of Open Jobs Data at Nesta

Jyldyz is leading on a stream of research with the focus on helping workers navigate changing labour markets more confidently. Specifically, Open Jobs Data team leverages big data and data science to contribute to the development of innovative and actionable labour market solutions.

"Large-scale trends, such as automation, climate change and an aging population are reshaping the world of work. In this environment, more workers than ever need timely and forward looking advice on jobs and skills. CareerTech Challenge Prize is an exciting opportunity to develop innovative solutions that could offer such advice and support workers in navigating changing labour markets more confidently."

Jyldyz Djumalieva, Head of Open Jobs Data at Nesta

The CareerTech Challenge Prize is part of the £5.75 million CareerTech Challenge, a partnership between Nesta, Nesta Challenges and the Department for Education to help prepare adults for the changing world of work. You can read more about the CareerTech Challenge on our website.


Nassin Watson

Nassin Watson

Nassin Watson

Programme Manager, Challenge Works


Nassin is a programme manager at Challenge Works, working on the Sustainable Cities Challenge.

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