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.

Innovate! is the world’s first board game designed to encourage innovation policymakers to be more collaborative and experimental. This report reflects on what we learned whilst developing the game, how the prototypes have evolved and how effective games and simulation are for supporting policy training and practice.

Created in partnership with designer and developer Digital Liberties, Innovate! aims to improve how policymakers work together, strategise and incorporate the views of key stakeholders to address large-scale issues, such as air pollution, data ethics or inequality.

When we launched it in August 2018 we were plunging into unknown waters: the first board game we had produced and the first time Digital Liberties had developed a game with this purpose. Following rigorous testing and numerous iterations we created a product with a positive message: by bringing the right people together we can find solutions to complex societal challenges.

The process taught us a lot about developing games and simulation, and we are continuing to explore this method as a tool to support innovation in policymaking.

If you have feedback on the game, or if you develop games in this field or train people using a similar tool, we’d like to hear from you. Please contact [email protected]


Florence Engasser

Florence Engasser

Florence Engasser

Senior Foresight Analyst

Florence was a senior foresight analyst within Nesta’s Discovery Hub, which aims to create a link between Nesta’s current portfolio and our pipeline of future work.

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Rosa Carbo-Mascarell

Game designer, business developer and producer at Digital Liberties, a cooperative of game makers, designers and policy analysts.