The Mission
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In this series, Nesta Chief Executive Ravi Gurumurthy is joined by a range of thought leaders as he explores the innovations and ideas that can be applied to tackling some of society's greatest challenges.

5. How Coronavirus will change our futures, with Nicholas Christakis

In this episode of The Mission, Ravi is joined by social scientist, physician and author, Nicholas Christakis, to talk about the three stages of the pandemic, how propaganda machines thrive when the world is distracted and why we're heading towards a second Roaring Twenties.

Since the start of the year, Nicholas has been immersed in Coronavirus and published a book in October which explores the effects and aftermath of the pandemic; Apollo's Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live.

4. Tackling the UK's productivity crisis with John Van Reenen

What are the roots of the UK's productivity problem and what can be done about it? Ravi is joined by John Van Reenen OBE, Professor at London School of Economics, to talk about the state’s role in accelerating the fourth industrial revolution and what Rishi Sunak should, and shouldn’t, do when we finally emerge from recession.

3. Creating a new social settlement with Hilary Cottam

How do we fix our welfare state? Ravi talks to innovator, social entrepreneur and author of Radical Help, Hilary Cottam, about where the current system falls short and how it could be redesigned for the future.

The Robin Murray Living Library is mentioned in this episode and can be found at

2. Reducing educational underachievement with Becky Francis

How can we break the link between disadvantage and educational underachievement? Ravi is joined by Becky Francis, the Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, to discuss what drives the gap, how COVID-19 has made it worse and what we can do about it.

1. Dissecting trust with Rachel Botsman

What's happened to trust? In the first episode of the series, Ravi talks to Rachel Botsman, author and authority on trust, about how trust is changing, why trust matters in the age of COVID-19 and how we can innovate around it.

Why can innovation do more to tackle society's biggest problems?

Read Ravi's blog here