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.

A compendium of innovation methods

There are many ways to help bring good ideas to life. Nesta works to uncover, develop and test, new ways of supporting innovation from across sectors and around the world. These techniques, tools and processes are collectively known as innovation methods.

Featured in this compendium are just some of the innovation methods we have explored over the last decade. Some, like seed accelerator programmes, we have invested in and studied. Others, like challenge prizes, standards of evidence or public sector labs, we have developed and helped to spread around the world.

Each section gives a simple introduction to the method and describes Nesta’s work in relation to it. In each case, we have also provided links to further relevant resources and inspiration on our website and beyond.

The 13 methods featured are:

  1. Accelerator programmes
  2. Anticipatory regulation
  3. Challenge prizes
  4. Crowdfunding
  5. Experimentation
  6. Futures
  7. Impact investment
  8. Innovation mapping
  9. People Powered Results: the 100 day challenge
  10. Prototyping
  11. Public and social innovation labs
  12. Scaling grants for social innovations
  13. Standards of Evidence

Download a copy for free or buy a printed copy.

We’re continuing to research, examine, explore, develop and test new methods of innovating and supporting innovation. Get in touch with [email protected] to suggest new ideas for exploration or collaboration.


Kirsten Bound

Kirsten Bound

Kirsten Bound

Executive Director of Research, Analysis and Policy

Kirsten was an Executive Director at Nesta and led Nesta’s Research, Analysis and Policy team.

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Geoff Mulgan

Geoff Mulgan

Geoff Mulgan

Chief Executive Officer

Geoff Mulgan was Chief Executive of Nesta from 2011-2019.

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