We are researching and pioneering new ways of thinking about regulating innovation and showing what it means in practice.
Traditional ways of regulating are not able to keep pace with technological disruption, shifting sectoral boundaries, new types of problems and the opportunities innovation can bring. Fast moving innovation in technologies like drones, blockchain or artificial intelligence (AI) bring big opportunities, but also carry risks for society. At the same time, more mature regulated markets, such as finance and energy, are not delivering the competition and innovation that customers and the economy need.
In response to this, Nesta has been working to develop a new theory and practice around regulation which we call ‘anticipatory regulation’.
This anticipatory approach emphasises flexibility, collaboration and innovation and is built on six principles which in many ways contrast with traditional regulatory practice:
Adopting these principles may require regulators to develop, or further develop, new kinds of capabilities.
We are demonstrating how this works in practice though our projects such as The Open Up Challenge and the legal access challenge, as well as working with governments and regulators around the world to test other approaches.