Bringing a great new idea to life – and then to the scale where it can realise its potential value – can be a long and incredibly difficult journey. Over the last decade, Nesta has been researching, testing, developing and spreading the methods that, at each phase of the journey, can improve the chances of success.
Building on our prior work with innovation methods, we wanted to explore what’s coming next. Novel innovation methods are important because they underpin much economic growth and social progress, and can help tackle growing concerns that the pace of new discoveries may be slowing.
What, then, are the emerging methods that can reshape the way we support and manage innovation across business, science, civil society, and government? And how can organisations like Nesta help develop and spread these promising prospects to those who can apply them for greatest good?
To answer these questions, we reviewed innovation management literature from new and emerging sources, before undertaking in-depth interviews with a group of more than 35 leading thinkers, innovators and supporters of innovation across a wide range of sectors.
Great ideas can come from anywhere, so our interviewees included people with backgrounds in everything from space exploration to design, artificial intelligence, international development, psychology, software and public service reform. We purposefully sought out views from those embedded in a range of geographies – from Cambridge and New York to Shenzhen and Nairobi.
From our interviews, we identified three emergent groups of novel practices:
We are grateful to all of our contributors for taking part in this horizon scan. We would particularly like to thank the innovation practice Brink, with which we collaborated on some of this research.
Find out more about the nine emerging innovation methods we identified below: