Executive Director, Innovation Lab

Helen Goulden



Join Date

July 2010

What I do

Helen was an Executive Director at Nesta and lead our Innovation Lab.

The Lab’s mission is to support and scale innovation for the public good; working with partners to run innovation funds and programmes, open innovation processes and challenge prizes. Our focus is broad, supporting innovation in education, local government, democratic engagement, the collaborative economy, the arts and civil society.

Helen joined Nesta in April 2009 and joined the executive team in May 2013. She was a board member of the Behavioural Insights Team.


Before joining Nesta, Helen worked in the private sector developing digital strategies and solutions for global corporate clients. She spent five years consulting in the Cabinet Office, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Communities and Local Government developing national innovation programmes for local government and leading research and product development for interactive television services. 

She regularly speaks in the UK and abroad on the subject of public and social innovation, and has a long-standing interest in the rise of the Collaborative (or sharing) Economy.

Helen holds degrees in Philosophy and in Responsibility & Business Practice.

Last week, Extant, the performing arts company of visually impaired people premiered its production of Flatland, a Digital Arts R&D funded project which set out to answer the question “How can cultural experiences be created for which it makes no difference whether you are blind or sighted?”
Helen Goulden
Thursday, 12 March 2015
The Arts Impact Fund announced today brings together commercial, philanthropic and lottery finance in a co-mingled fund and will be the first of its kind.
Helen Goulden
Tuesday, 10 March 2015
Today saw the launch of the Sharing Economy Review, a very welcome next step, bringing together many different conversations, demands and ideas that have been bubbling away for some time; including those that were kick-started at Number 10 last year.
Helen Goulden
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
Making Sense of the UK Collaborative Economy

Making Sense of the UK Collaborative Economy