A key role for Nesta has been to pave the way for others to succeed; to disrupt markets and services for the better, in pursuit of social goals. As we begin work on our new strategy, we plan to continue this role through the work of our specialist enterprises which are here to help you with your own innovation challenges.

How can we help you?

Our work incubating States of Change and establishing the Alliance for Useful Evidence has promoted government innovation, helping civil servants design more human-centred solutions and better use of evidence to inform policymaking and practice.

As we focus our activity on three new social innovation missions, a few key specialist enterprises that we have incubated will continue to support and shape the innovation ecosystem in the UK and beyond. Their activity will have important benefits for our missions – with opportunities to leverage their expertise and blend their methods with others in pursuit of impact – and will help keep Nesta at the forefront of innovation globally.

Over the past decade these teams have all grown through new sources of revenue and partners, and now have global reputations in their fields. Get in touch with our specialist enterprises and teams below to find out how they can help you with:

  • how to stimulate innovation through challenge prizes
  • how to run experiments
  • how to accelerate and improve the quality of change in complex systems through people-powered approaches
  • how to use data to transform the way we see the world, and our ability to change it
  • how to address complex challenges by combining data, technology and diverse groups of people
  • how to generate and apply behavioural insights to inform policy, improve public services and deliver results for people and society

How to stimulate innovation through challenge prizes

Challenge Works

By offering financial rewards (alongside expertise, networks and public awareness) to whoever can first or most effectively solve a problem, challenge prizes de-risk the creation of breakthrough innovations. Challenge Works will continue to draw on its expertise and reputation in prize design to help Nesta and other organisations around the world to promote innovation and help diverse innovators thrive.

How to run experiments

Innovation Growth Lab

To meet productivity goals and help economies be more innovative, a more experimental approach to policymaking is needed. The Innovation Growth Lab, an initiative led by Nesta in collaboration with government partners, works globally to promote experimentation and ensure that innovation and growth policy is informed by new ideas and robust evidence.

How to accelerate and improve the quality of change in complex systems through people-powered approaches

People Powered Results

Place-based and people-focused approaches have too often been overlooked in systems-change efforts, a key reason why top-down reform alone often fails to achieve its potential. People Powered Results will continue to work with local and national organisations and people to create the conditions and cultures required to rapidly adopt new innovations and scale what works.

How to use data to transform the way we see the world, and our ability to change it

Data Analytics Practice

New data sources and data science methods offer big opportunities to identify, understand and tackle urgent societal and economic challenges. Nesta’s Data Analytics Practice is a multidisciplinary team of developers, data scientists, visualisers, user researchers and ethicists exploring innovative and responsible applications of these methods to achieve social impact.  

How to address complex challenges by combining data, technology and diverse groups of people

Centre for Collective Intelligence Design

By harnessing all the resources of intelligence available to us, we can get better at tackling complex problems. The Centre for Collective Intelligence Design combines novel data, digital technologies such as AI, and participatory methods to engage diverse groups of people in new ways. The Centre helps organisations use these approaches to generate new insights, create innovative solutions and make more inclusive decisions.

How to generate and apply behavioural insights to inform policy, improve services and deliver results

Behavioural Insights Team

Nesta has been a founding shareholder of the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) since 2014 and fully acquired the organisation in 2021. We work closely with BIT to apply behavioural insights to our own work in combination with our expertise in other innovation methods. Working with clients from public, non-profit and private sectors, BIT has a track record of success across a range of policy areas, from healthcare to humanitarian aid, economic growth to early years, social capital to consumers. BIT’s vision is of a world designed and built around the way humans actually think and behave. As well as direct work with partners and clients, the organisation also shares expertise and helps others build capacity and skills to apply behavioural science to their own work.