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.

Hugo Harper

Hugo leads Nesta's healthy life mission.

Hugo joins Nesta from the Behavioural Insights Team where he led their work on health and education, helping them grow from a small team in the Cabinet Office, to a global organisation of more than 250 people.

He has overseen projects with a wide range of partners including No10, government departments, large charities and private sector players. He has worked on all aspects of public health, from antimicrobial resistance to workplace well-being. Within public health, obesity is his specialist interest area. Since 2013 he has been a key advisor in the area and has produced multiple field trials, lab studies, impact models and policy recommendations.

During the pandemic, Hugo spent almost all his time on the Covid-19 response and sat on the SAGE sub-group SPI-B. Outside of the UK, he has spent time in both Singapore and Australia working on developing the adoption of a more behavioural approach to public health policy implementation.

Hugo holds an MSc, with distinction, in Behavioural and Economic Sciences from the University of Warwick, as well as a BA in Psychology and Physiology from Oxford University.