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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.

Using foresight to build tomorrow's government

Lab Notes - September edition

The September edition of Lab Notes brings together inspiring blogs, articles and podcasts for public sector and social innovators around the world, including lessons in how the Singaporean public sector is planning for tomorrow's challenges, a new software tool for user-friendly impact evaluation and more...

This month's key lab picks

1. Foresight in government: The Singaporean government has just launched its 2050 foresight strategy; while Policy Horizons Canada has launched IMPACT – a serious foresight game for public servants.

2. Here are 10 lessons for cities from the ‘Ideas Camp’ of the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge, a competition curating creative ideas to tackle local problems in Latin America and the Caribbean.

3. This year’s Social Innovation Exchange Summer School takes place in Bogota, Colombia and will explore ‘social innovation in divided societies’. Register for the event here.

4. Read about how Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement led to the implementation of digital deliberation tools that are used by hundreds of people to improve national government decisions.

5. Thoughtworks describes their journey of on-the-ground learning, piloting, and national roll-out of a plan to provide electronic health records to millions across Bangladesh.

6. The Innovation Growth Lab wants to hear about the factors that prevent the take-up of RCTs by practitioners in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship policy. Read about the research and take the survey here.

7. How can we harness the collaborative economy for social and environmental good? Join 200 policymakers, entrepreneurs and other innovators with Nesta in London for Sharelab on November 1st.

8. This paper from GovLab’s Beth Noveck and Stefaan Verhulst offers ten practical actions for governments to make the most of tech-driven innovation.

9. The Oxford Government Review edition on trust covers strategies for innovation such as behavioural insights, collaborative government, and Social Impact Bonds for more effective and legitimate policymaking.

10. UNDP’s Khatuna Sandroshvili blogs on her experiences of using ‘reverse engineering’ to kickstart solutions at the Georgian Government’s Innovation Service Lab.

11. Listen to the GovInnovator podcast about RCT-YES, a free and user-friendly software tool that makes it easier for public leaders to use RCTs for rigorous programme evaluation.

12. FastCodesign describes some of the projects to kick off the UN’s new accelerator for testing and scaling-up the best ideas for fighting global hunger.

13. Failure by government is now not only cheaper, it’s also more necessary. William Eggers describes why public officials need to adopt a mindset of learning to fail well.


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.

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Theo Bass

Theo Bass

Theo Bass

Senior Researcher, Government Innovation

Theo was a Senior Researcher in Nesta's Research, Analysis and Policy Team

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