Nesta Christmas list 2019

“Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” Dr. Seuss

December has rolled around; the temperature’s dropped and the number of gifts you need to buy seems never-ending but fear not! We've found a host of thoughtful and interesting gifts from Nesta's network of fundees and partners, all of which use a bold idea to change the world for good. No need to brave the crowds on the high street or make that last-minute panic purchase on Amazon. We’ve got you covered with our Christmas list with a difference.

Say it with a t-shirt

BlackOut UK bring visibility to the sexual and mental health inequalities experienced by black queer men. Supported as part of our Social Movements in Health project, a programme designed to magnify the voice of marginalised groups in health, they've designed organic cotton tees, to celebrate revolutionary black queer icons.


Revolutionary Love organic cotton t-shirt by Unapologaytic in collaboration with BlackOut UK

Eco-conscious footwear

Founded by Joanna Hamer, a Year Here fellow, Juta Shoes hand-make reclaimed vegan faux fur slippers in East London. Each pair provides flexible work at above the London Living Wage for women who face barriers to employment. Year Here was supported through the Innovation in Giving Fund and was one of our 2014 New Radicals, our programme that showcases 50 radical thinking individuals and organisations changing the UK for the better.

Juta slippers

Vegan faux fur slippers from Juta Shoes

Taste the world with Migrateful

Fancy learning a new skill in 2020? Treat your loved ones to a Migrateful cooking lesson. Founded by graduates of Nesta-supported Year Here, Migrateful supports refugees and migrants to deliver cooking lessons that teach their traditional cuisines, ranging from Cuban to Ethiopian, Nigerian to Syrian. We can vouch for this one first hand, as several Nesta teams have bonded over dishes from Bangladesh and Nigeria as part of team away days.

Group photo of Migrateful at Christmas

A Migrateful Christmas

A fresh take on green living

The latest book from 2017 New Radical Natalie Fee How to save the world for free gets to the heart of the environmental issues we’re currently facing and explores simple ways we can all save the world. For free. We all know a better world is possible. How to Save the World for Free could help you see in a greener new year.

Image of book cover How to save the world for free

'How to save the world for free' by Natalie Fee

A gift card to a brighter future

Crowdfunding platform Beam provides homeless people with training to help them get stable, paid work. Supported as part of our ShareLab project, that explored how digital platforms can deliver social impact, their Christmas gift cards are the first step in helping a homeless person build a new life. The recipient gets the gift of a donation and chooses who they give the donation to through Beam's crowdfunding platform. Could you help Sophia become a beautician or Abz become a bricklayer?

Beam pic

Beam's crowdfunding platform helps you fund someone's brighter future

Dining with a difference

Social enterprise Fat Macy's works with young Londoners in temporary accommodation to put on pop-up supper clubs or catered events, helping them make the move from hostel to home. Founded by our very own Meg Doherty, while on a Year Here placement, from intimate dinners with your nearest and dearest to a raucous office party, Fat Macy’s will take the stress out of any gathering.

different dishes of food

Fat Macy's social enterprise dining with a difference

Rent a gift

Is borrowing the new buying? Based in the Upper Norwood Library hub in Crystal Palace, Library of Things, a Connected Communities Innovation Fund grantee, provides an array of practical as well as playful items to borrow. From a dehumidifier to an icecream maker, their flexible memberships and gift cards allow people to reserve items, collect them from the library hub and use them at their leisure. They also host events and workshops that encourage skill-sharing and help people connect with others in their community.

Two children with tools

Library of Things - a space for borrowing, sharing and learning

A ticket to the future

How can the planet sustain us? What will Alexa do with your biggest secrets? With questions as big as these, it’s tempting to retreat and hide from the world. But what we need is a map and a compass to point us in the right direction. And a ticket to our flagship festival FutureFest! Held on 20 March, FutureFest brings together interactive experiences, performances, talks and debates. Why not treat yourself and your loved ones to a ticket as what's more important than having essential tools to navigate a better future?

Osmosis experience

Climb inside the Osmo experience at FutureFest 2020