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.

Few parts of society have been left untouched by COVID-19. In particular, the pandemic has highlighted many of society’s most troubling inequalities while also testing, to the limit, the abilities of governments to lead their citizens through a crisis. Social innovation organisations like Nesta have also had to move quickly to respond to the unprecedented crisis.

For Nesta, our immediate priority was to offer as much practical help as possible. Conversations with grantees revealed that non-financial support such as coaching, legal and financial advice and technical support were as important as flexibility with funds, so we responded to this with a combined support package to help them weather the storm.

In order to help alleviate the long-term consequences of the crisis, we also launched the Rapid Recovery Challenge, which supports tools and services designed to improve access to jobs and money for those hardest hit by the economic shock. We are now delivering more than 10 initiatives supporting the COVID-19 response.

We also published a series of essays that hope to illuminate the lessons and possible futures thrown up by the current crisis – including reflections on emerging trends and what the ‘new normal’ really is. And we summarised and synthesised various – often opposing – views about how the world might change.

Finally, we've been working to champion other organisations’ initiatives throughout the crisis by shining a light on the impressive grassroots work being done in communities up and down the country to try to limit the physical, mental and economic strain on those most vulnerable to the virus.

Read our curated list of resources, from funding to volunteer opportunities, that set out the many different ways in which people and organisations across the country continue to support each other during this crisis.