What we want to achieve

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Nesta tackles society's big challenges. We design and test innovative solutions, and we scale them so they have a nationwide impact.

At the moment, we are building a new strategy that will direct Nesta's activity for the coming decade. The new strategy, to be published in full in the coming weeks, will be built around three missions: a fairer start, a healthy life and a sustainable future.

A fairer start

The circumstances of our childhood set us on a path that affects the rest of our lives. Children born into disadvantage are more likely to experience poorer health, lower earnings, and lower levels of happiness than their peers. Our vision is for every child to have the fairest possible start in life, so they can thrive and realise their potential.

We will focus primarily on two crucial stages: the first five years and the period from age 11-16. We will work in partnership with families, communities and professionals to design, test and scale innovative ideas that aim to level the playing field.

A sustainable future

The UK economy has previously failed to value the wellbeing of individuals and the environment. After the shock of COVID-19, we must take steps towards a sustainable economic recovery that will work for people and the planet.

We will focus our expertise on reducing household emissions so that the UK can reach its legally binding goal of net zero emissions by 2050 (2045 in Scotland).

We will also aim to create a labour market system where information about skills and careers is open and empowering for workers; and where policies give everyone the power to overcome systemic barriers that stop them participating in good-quality, meaningful work.

A healthy life

The poorest people in the UK die almost a decade before their more affluent counterparts and experience ill-health almost twenty years sooner. To tackle this injustice, we will focus on two of the biggest drivers of lost years of healthy life: obesity, caused by unhealthy food environments, and loneliness. ​

By bringing new methods and coalitions together to design, test and scale solutions in these areas, we believe we can help close the gap.

Our 2017-2020 strategy areas

Our strategy for 2017-2020 was organised around the following priority fields. You can read more about the work we did in these fields below: