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.


Barking, in a two-bed housing association flat she used to share with her daughter. Her daughter now lives on the same estate with her partner. Sometimes has to let the second room to other housing association tenant to avoid bedroom tax.


Recently begun to claim state pension. She trades second hand kids’ clothes on eBay that she gets from central London charity shops and receives some income from recycling discarded scrap and bottles.


After a period of loneliness when her daughter moved out, she joined a local womens’ DIY group inspired by the stories of African ‘Barefoot Grannies’ solar engineers. She uses solar panels and a smart sensor system in her house; she now generate enough energy to supply two other flats in her block. She contributes to her local ASBOwiki - hyperlocal online neighbourhood watch scheme that uses pensioner reports to track movements of suspicious teenagers in real-time.

Technology used

Smart electricity metre, smart phone uses mainly for texting, Ebay and app for traders finding street bargains, next-generation solar panels and sensors in her home to remind her of daily tasks and to reduce energy use.

Key trends

(2) Neighbourhoods becoming more important; (4) Active aging population; (6) Fragile energy supply and environment; (7) Inequality causing skills and housing divides.