Director of Discovery
Celia leads the Discovery Hub, Nesta’s in-house strategic foresight function.
Drawing on the latest data on trends alongside signals of change from networks and citizens, the Discovery Hub helps Nesta to be more responsive to emerging social needs and to explore the potential of new technologies.
Celia joined Nesta in 2015, initially leading the design of challenge prizes; including establishing the first multi-million prize fund on open banking with the CMA and several major UK banks. Between 2017-2020 she was Director of the Explorations team, incubating the Centre for Collective Intelligence and seeding work on participatory futures. Celia has developed content for several flagship projects for Nesta, including programming for FutureFest and our annual Predictions series.
Over her career, Celia has developed a particular interest in the future of foundations (having led this Horizon Scan of grant making trends) and in social sector strategy more broadly. She formed an international perspective on these fields during her time as a Fulbright Scholar at New York University, a Fellow at the US innovation centre GovLab and the Foundation for Young Australians in Melbourne.
In the UK, she has held senior roles in charities and think tanks – including as Head of Research and Policy at the Family and Parenting Institute. She spent several years at the think tank Demos where she published a wide range of reports on policy, technology and society. Celia holds a BA from Oxford University and an Executive Masters of Public Administration from New York University.