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.

Pitch your ideas to tackle our education challenges

The pitching challenge is now closed to new entries. Thank you to all that submitted their ideas. We'll be in touch with you all to announce the shortlisted ideas soon.

Nesta's flagship education and skills event, 'Acting Now for Future Skills', will explore how educators and policymakers can respond to growing demand for future skills highlighted by our recent report 'The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030'.

But before then, we want your help. We know that we don’t have all the answers, so we want as many people as possible to take an active role in preparing for the future. We’re crowdsourcing your ideas to address two major challenges within education and skills development over the coming weeks, and giving you the opportunity to pitch your solutions to our audience.

Below are the two challenges, instructions on how to take part, and what’s in it for you. Describe your idea in 250 words or less before the 30 October, and shortlisted entries will get an opportunity to pitch at Acting Now for Future Skills!

The Challenges

  • Learning shouldn’t finish when you leave the classroom. We want adults to be able to learn new skills for their future. How would you help?
  • Teachers are great. However, with schools under financial pressure and teachers struggling under heavy workloads, it is hard for schools and teachers to invest the resources or time in adopting innovative methods to help children develop future skills. Teachers need more time and schools need more money. How would you help?

What’s in it for you?

Our in-house panel of experts will narrow down your submissions to a shortlist. Proposals on the shortlist will be invited to:

  • Pitch their idea to our audience of senior decision makers and innovators from across the education and skills sector on November 30 at Acting Now for Future Skills!
  • Get constructive feedback from our audience on the day during the pitching workshop.
  • Meet with a relevant expert at Nesta after the event to discuss how they could develop their idea.

Don’t worry if your idea is exactly that - an idea. We don’t need a business plan or a sustainable model for development, just a fresh approach to an old problem. Be innovative and be bold!

Why are we doing this?

Acting Now for Future Skills will bring together those who are working to improve our education system now - across the entire education pipeline - and those who are thinking about the skills we require in the future.

We don’t have all the answers, but we do know there are some great ideas out there. We want to open up the conversation and get as many people involved in the debate as possible. If you don’t want to pitch on the day, don’t worry! Please share your idea with us anyway and help us learn more.


Taking part is very simple:

  1. Read our two challenges and decide which one you would like to pitch a solution for.
  2. Follow the link to our google form and tell us about your solution in 250 words or less. Submit your responses by midday on the 30 October.
  3. We’ll contact you by the 6 November to let you know if your proposal has been shortlisted.
  4. On the 30 November, our shortlisted proposals will each be able to pitch their idea at Acting Now for Future Skills!

Please note:

  • There is no financial reward attached to this challenge.
  • Although some proposals may involve describing products, we’re not interested in a business pitch. Instead, we’re interested in what makes your solution unusual or innovative and how it will help people. We’re looking to spark debate and share ideas.
  • Although we will not be publishing your written submissions, given the open and collaborative nature of the event please do not share any information that you would not be happy to share publicly or you consider to be commercially sensitive.
  • If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].
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Toby Baker

Toby Baker

Toby Baker

Mission Manager, A Fairer Start

Toby worked with local governments to develop and pilot improvements to services that support young children and families.

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