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.

This event was in partnership with University of Oxford and brought together policymakers, public sector commissioners, social finance and social impact investment entities to think about how public and social innovation can be used to create a more inclusive economy.

In the last decade, governments worldwide have explored how social innovation can tackle some of the most complex societal challenges. Meanwhile, a substantial body of research has explored how European and UK policy can foster social innovation to address structural inequality and marginalisation. Drawing from this emerging evidence base, this event shared the lessons learned to support central and local government to capitalise on the opportunities that social innovation presents.

In the afternoon, a practical workshop session explored:

  • where and how co-creation and other social innovation approaches could lead to better outcomes for inclusive economic policy
  • the barriers and opportunities for policymakers and civil servants adopting these approaches
  • the skills and support policymakers and civil servants need to adopt social innovation approaches in the policymaking process in the future.

View the slides, browse the Storify and join the conversation on Tricider.


Beatrice Andrews

Senior Policy Adviser, Policy Lab - Cabinet Office

Camilla Buchanan

Senior Policy Advisor, Government Inclusive Economy Unit - Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Nicholas Mays

Director - Policy Innovation Research Unit

Alex Nicholls

Professor of Social Entrepreneurship - University of Oxford