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.

Beth Simone Noveck is a Jerry Hultin Global Network Professor at the New York University School of Engineering and a Visiting Professor at the MIT Media Lab. Beth discussed her new book Smart Citizens, Smarter State: The Technologies of Expertise and the Future of Governing with Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive at Nesta.

Offering a far-reaching program for innovation, Smart Citizens, Smarter State suggests that public decision-making could be more effective and legitimate if government were smarter -if our institutions knew how to use technology to leverage citizens’ expertise. New tools - what Beth Simone Noveck calls technologies of expertise - are making it possible to match the supply of citizen expertise to the demand for it in government.

Drawing on a wide range of academic disciplines and practical examples from her work as an adviser to governments on institutional innovation, Noveck explores how to create more open and collaborative institutions. In so doing, she puts forward a profound new vision for participatory democracy rooted not in the act of occasional voting or the serendipity of crowdsourcing but in people’s knowledge and know-how.

Beth directs the Governance Lab. She served in the White House as the first United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer and director of the White House Open Government Initiative from 2009-2011, and was also appointed as a senior advisor for Open Government by David Cameron in the UK. She splits her time between the US and the UK.