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.

We held two days of debate, discussion and solution shaping around food, technology and surgery on Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 March 2018 in Milan, Italy.

The Challenges Of Our Era Summit was about action, not talk. We want to change the world by radically improving access to necessities of modern life. We think innovation is key to this. At the Summit, we wanted to design new challenge initiatives that incentivise innovators to fix these global problems.

Our aim was to gather experts and specialists in the fields of interest such as policymakers, academic researchers, frontline professionals and innovators, technologists and funders.

Event programme

The event, which started at 14:00 on Tuesday 6 March, gave attendees the opportunity to hear from high-level keynote speakers discussing the role of science, technology and innovation and why it is important to favour and invest in them to create a resilient and sustainable future. This was followed by a drinks reception in the evening.

On Wednesday 7 March the programme began at 09:30 and include practical sessions facilitated by experts in three specific areas:

  • Surgical equity, the Lancet Commission thinks 17 million lives can be saved every year through increased access and improved quality in medical services in the developing world.
  • Agriculture and food production, because we will soon need to feed a world of 10 billion and because the World Bank believes growth in agriculture can have up to four times the poverty alleviation power of other forms of economic growth.
  • Data for good, since access to the benefits of the digital revolution have not been shared equally - and new information technologies can transform education, governance, finance and the economy for the benefit of all.