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.

From the Margins to the Mainstream

This guide provides a diagnostic tool for local government innovators to catalyse systems change and evolve public services from the inside out. It identifies how singular initiatives could be expanded to change the wider system, and provides a self-assessment tool to help readers identify and understand the barriers and enablers of change within their organisations and ecosystems. It also gives guidance on how to build the enablers needed to embed new, innovative ways of working.

A new approach to local government and public services is emerging, alongside new operating models that enable local authorities to draw on the assets of a place, acknowledge complexity and put citizens at their heart.

Despite the promise of these innovative practices they often remain on the margins of organisations or systems, struggling to get the support, investment or attention needed for them to be sustained and grown. The embedded model of public service is hard to shift, and without significant effort and challenge, it tends to reject, infect, or co-opt the innovative work that has occurred at the margins. The solution is not to reduce these practices to fit with the dominant model, but to use them as a catalyst to change and evolve public services from the inside out.

Created using the insight and practical experiences of the Upstream Collaborative's Margins to Mainstream workgroup, facilitated by Collaborate.

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Jenni Lloyd

Jenni Lloyd

Jenni Lloyd

Programme Manager, Innovation Programmes

Jenni was a Senior Programme Manager, responsible for the development, management and delivery of government innovation programmes.

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Ellen Care

Ellen is Head of Practice at Collaborate CIC

Hannah Anderson

Hannah is Director of Practice at Collaborate CIC