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.

To succeed in addressing some of society's most deep-rooted inequalities, we know that Nesta must become a more inclusive employer and a more inclusive innovator.

Our commitment to change is manifest in our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strategy – developed by a diverse group of staff from across Nesta. It is the result of many frank, sometimes difficult, conversations about who we are, how we work, who we promote, and how we support our staff.

It is also a recognition of hard truths, which we are determined to address.

Internally, Nesta has both gender and ethnicity pay gaps, and the diversity of our staff does not reflect the diversity of society, particularly in our leadership roles. Externally, we need to ensure that EDI considerations are baked into every step of our work, from impact investment decisions to programme evaluations. Despite growing momentum to address EDI in the workplace and in social impact work, the evidence base for what works remains limited. We intend to apply our innovation capabilities to close this evidence gap.

Our focus on advancing equity and inclusion was thrown into sharper relief by the death of George Floyd in police custody in May 2020. As with many organisations, this shocking event and the Black Lives Matter movement’s powerful response drove us to look even harder at ourselves and our role in preventing, or perpetuating, injustice within our workplace and in the work we do.

Above all, we know that any strategy is meaningless unless we hold ourselves accountable. This document details the nine goals for change that our EDI team established and the Nesta board approved. It also summarises the ways we will work to achieve them, and the metrics by which we will measure the extent of our progress.

We have a long way to go as an organisation – and we intend to share our learnings, failings, questions and pay gaps publicly along the way. We will strive to be humble, and to listen to the experiences and suggestions of others. We invite challenge and collaboration as we commit to the shared goal of greater equity, diversity and inclusion in our organisation, in the field of innovation for social good, and in society as a whole.