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.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated change in ways which may not have been possible were it not for the crisis. With people forced to do things differently, new ideas and ways of thinking have been born - often showing the best sides of humanity. From weekly claps for health workers around the world, to daily online exercise routines, creativity and community have been at the heart of the global response.

There is hope in this crisis. Be inspired by the people and projects around the world that are responding positively to COVID-19. This is an evolving resource and we welcome suggestions for additions within the existing sections or for new ones at [email protected].

Startup Blink have set up a global map of innovative solutions created in response to COVID-19.

Medical professionals, engineers and designers have connected over Facebook to design emergency medical supplies that are desperately needed.

People up and down the country have volunteered to provide essential support to the NHS during the COVID-19 crisis. Co-ordinated by Nesta grantee GoodSAM, volunteer recruitment has been paused for a few weeks but is likely to reopen again.

The Wemunity project is developing an open source system that validates the immunity of recovered patients, enabling them to volunteer in their local communities.

Welsh Women’s Aid are taking significant measures to keep services open to survivors, maintaining refuge provision and facilitating online therapy and support sessions.The Live Fear Free helpline is also available 24/7 and provides confidential help and advice to anyone experiencing violence or abuse, anyone who knows someone who needs help and any practitioners who are seeking professional advice.

Feed the Heroes is an initiative that supports those treating COVID-19 patients and small local businesses by using donated money to buy meals from small suppliers for health staff in Ireland.

IDEO is currently running an open challenge around COVID-19 access to information to inspire global leaders. The organisation has crowdsourced over 900 global ideas that are helping to empower and inform communities to stay safe during the pandemic.

Actor and writer Nick Green responded to the mass cancelling of artistic productions by creating a website – The Social Distancing Festival – celebrating art and showcasing creative talent from all over the world.

The United Nations needs the help of creatives in translating critical public health messages into work that will engage and inform people across different cultures, languages, communities and platforms. The shortlisted work will reach everyone, everywhere.

Invisible Hands is a New York-based group of volunteers working to deliver groceries and supplies to those in high-risk demographics.

In response to a campaign initiated by Snook, Vodafone, EE, BT, O2 and Three are giving all their mobile customers across the UK free access to NHS websites so that people can stay up to date with the latest health information without worrying about data costs.

Remote Ballachulish, in the Scottish West Highlands, created a brilliantly simple system to identify the wellbeing of individual households – with each home adding a green tick in their front window if they’re feeling well, or a red cross if they need some assistance.

Crowdfight COVID-19 aims to put the wider scientific community at the service of COVID-19 research by matching highly skilled scientists, who have volunteered their time, with tasks and questions that fit their respective areas of expertise.

Young Women’s Trust are reallocating their resources and gathering funds to support individuals affected by COVID-19.

HackIT – a Hackney-based initiative – created a map of support organisations in the area to help the local community source the support they might need during the crisis. The whole map was built in just 36 hours.

At 20.00 each Thursday, households across the UK clap from their windows and front doors to show support for key workers.