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.

I'm just fresh from the Soil Association's Annual Conference where they've been discussing the relevance of social innovation to tackling some of their core challenges. During question time, a little voice pops up at the back and asks whether the sharing economy is relevant to supporting the growth of organic, local food consumption in the UK.
Helen Goulden
Friday, 11 October 2013
And so it arrives, the end of the year. Traditionally a time of pausing for reflection, wool gathering the events of the previous twelve months and trying to piece together a picture of what’s been achieved…
Helen Goulden
Monday, 10 December 2012
Around seven million tickets have been sold for the London Olympics and if the viewing figures for the Athens Olympics are anything to go by, a further four billion people will tune in at least once to watch the Olympics on TV.
Helen Goulden
Friday, 27 July 2012