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.

Lab Notes - April Edition

Brought to you by Nesta, GovLab, MaRS, MindLab and SIX; Lab Notes is a loose network of labs, units and teams working to support public sector innovation. Through a combination of useful content and links, our monthly digest will bring together interesting tools and news from public sector innovators around the world.

Crowdsourced content: To capture the most relevant information and resources for you, Lab Notes will serve as a platform for all those already working at public labs, units and teams. We are particularly keen to capture what's happening in non-Anglophone countries. If you have something to say about an approach you're using to tackle a particular challenge or if you'd simply like to get the word out on an event you're planning, please continue the discussion on Twitter #psilabs or reach out to us directly at [email protected]

This month’s key lab picks:

#1. Find out how a digital social innvovation lab is being used to help source solutions for social challenges in Afghanistan - in Technology Innovation labs in Afghanistan

#2. Read the guest blog by Christian Bason, CEO of Danish Design Center and author of Design for Policy, Insourcing design: why public and private organisations are looking to design-led innovation

#3. An e-panchayat initiative has been launched in India which will widen rural communities' access to services and enable village government units to be connected with internet in the Future Gov Asia article, Indian state to launch village-level online service centres

#4. LabWorks 2015 update: Nesta has announced the first wave of confirmed speakers at LabWorks 2015, Juan Felipe (the newly appointed Executive Director of Chile’s GobLab, and Xavier Troussard, (Head of Foresight & Behavioural Insights at the Joint Research Centre). The event, which will take place on 9-10 July in London, promises to be the biggest ever gathering of public innovation labs and will explore how labs can make and measure impact. The programme will consist of a major international conference followed by a day of practical workshops designed for and delivered by lab practitioners. To register contact [email protected]

#5. In issue 4 of #Tech4Labs, "Canvassing" the value proposition of your public lab project, GovLab's Arnaud Sahuguet writes about the value of business model canvasses as a strategic planning tool for public lab projects

#6. The World Wide Web Foundation, African civil society organisations, and open data and technology experts are working together to explore how open data in Africa can be used to beat corruption, spark innovation and improve public services. Find out more in the article, African Technology and Data Pioneers Gather to Spark Open Data Revolution

#7. Interested in finding out why governments have a strong imperative to be more experimental? Read the Nesta paper, Better public services through experimental government, and this Guardian article by Nesta's Jonathan Breckon, Why governments need guinea pigs for policies

#8. Women in Labs: Read our Lab Notes interview with Sophia Parker, founder of SILK (Social Innovation Lab for Kent) here

#9. Discover how innovation labs and spaces are being used by the UN to drive innovation in humanitarian responses in the working paper: Innovation spaces: transforming humanitarian practice in the United Nations

#10. Season Three of The Long+Short, Nesta’s digital magazine, is dedicated to all things ‘Stagnation’. Check out Alain de Botton, Andrew Keen and Mariana Mazzucato’s article, Escaping the Whirlpool, which considers governments’ role in responding to a world of fast innovation, slow growth and rising inequality

#11. Ben Williamson’s article, Testing government: policy labs and political experimentation, is a useful roundup of some of the key trends in public policy labs field


Sophie Reynolds

Sophie Reynolds

Sophie Reynolds

Former Senior Researcher - Public and Social Innovation

Sophie was a Senior Researcher in Nesta’s Policy and Research unit. She is now Director of Sophie Reynolds Research & Consultancy.

View profile