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Innovation in the UK

Nesta is the UK’s innovation foundation. We help people and organisations bring great ideas to life by providing investments, grants and mobilising research, networks and skills. We are an independent charity and our work is enabled by an endowment from the National Lottery.

The Risky Business of Innovation

Posted by NestaWed, 10 Apr 2013

Nesta, together with the Local Government Association, is supporting innovators in local government across England and Wales through its Creative Councils programme. In the final blog of the short series, Greg Wilkinson discusses how to overcome the gravitational pull of the status quo.

The local energy programme of Stoke-on-Trent

Posted by NestaFri, 5 Apr 2013

Nesta, together with the Local Government Association, is supporting innovators in local government across England and Wales through its Creative Councils programme. In the second blog of the series looking at the latest stages of the progammes, Hywell Lloyd looks at how Stoke-on-Trent council is revisiting an area where local government was once pioneers to deal with the tough challenges that they currently face.

Learning by taking risks…

Posted by NestaWed, 3 Apr 2013

Nesta, together with the Local Government Association, is supporting innovators in local government across England and Wales through its Creative Councils programme. As the programme approaches its latter stages, Melani Oliver kicks off our short series and discusses the bold ideas that are beginning to generate significant learning for the wider sector.

What are British values?

Posted by NestaFri, 25 Jan 2013

A fascinating report out today on the nation’s values, corroborates some trends which have been visible for a long time, writes Geoff Mulgan

Local government is starting to get serious about innovation

Posted by NestaThu, 11 Oct 2012

Nesta’s Philip Colligan closes the first Creative Councils’ blog series which has explored how local authorities can develop and implement radical innovations.

Learning from the journey

Posted by NestaWed, 5 Sep 2012

In the seveth blog of the Creative Councils series, Sarah Gillinson, partner at the Innovation Unit discusses the importance of the journey that the councils have been on during the programme

Local government and local energy: what’s your Creative opportunity?

Posted by NestaTue, 4 Sep 2012

In the sixth blog of the Creative Councils series, Jane Forshaw, assistant director, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, describes the council’s innovative plans to make Stoke-on-Trent energy self-sufficient by 2030.

Uni-fi - improving outcomes for children in care

Posted by NestaTue, 4 Sep 2012

In the fifth blog of the Creative Councils series, Nicole Chavaudra, Children’s Transformation Programme Manager, Derbyshire County Council tells us why adults don’t always know best when it comes to young people in care.

Failure from the jaws of success

Posted by NestaTue, 4 Sep 2012

In the fourth blog of the Creative Councils series, David Jackson, partner, the Innovation Unit discusses six common reasons why councils may find it tough to innovate.

There’s nothing elusive about innovation

Posted by NestaTue, 4 Sep 2012

In the third blog of the Creative Councils series, Andrea Siodmok, chief designer, Cornwall Council encourages people to get out of the comfort zone and find room to think.

Your county your way

Posted by NestaThu, 9 Aug 2012

In the second blog of our series on our Creative Councils programme, David O’Leary from Monmouthshire County Council discusses how the ability to ‘fail fast fail forward’ has been the best route to innovative new ideas.

Graft and craft – how innovation happens

Posted by NestaFri, 3 Aug 2012

Philip Colligan introduces the first of a blog series exploring how local authorities can develop and implement radical innovations.

A tour de force for co-production

Posted by NestaTue, 3 May 2011

If the concept of co-production was once restricted to the margins, it’s certainly beginning to make its way into the mainstream.

A call for creative councils to come forward

Posted by NestaThu, 14 Apr 2011

It’s no surprise that this year’s ‘LGC 50 most influential voices’ list has a strong bias towards innovation, with so many leaders and chief executives earning their place because – in the face of daunting challenges – they are re-imagining the role of local government. 

Going local

Posted by NestaThu, 24 Mar 2011

Is data dull? The answer to this question is a resounding NO! In August 2010 NESTA launched a programme called Make it Local. The aim of the programme is to help show local authorities how to make the most of opening their data and working with digital developers to provide useful web-based services for their communities.

Ten Steps to Transformation: 10. Don't try to save money

Posted by NestaFri, 5 Nov 2010

If you take one thing away from this series, it’s the insight that the only way to make savings sustainably is to start from how services can be better, not from how to save money.

Ten Steps to Transformation: 9. Don’t start with creating an innovation culture – culture only comes from practice

Posted by NestaFri, 5 Nov 2010

An important challenge now is how to create the right environment for radical innovation across your organisation, supported with the right balance of risk and reward. But this doesn’t mean creating an innovative culture for its own sake, but a culture where staff feel empowered and supported to affect change and adapt their own practice.

Ten Steps to Transformation: 8. Help the social sector to help you.

Posted by NestaWed, 3 Nov 2010

As cuts are made and pressure on public services mounts, it is increasingly recognised that charities, voluntary groups and enterprises will be central in creating the public services of the future.

Ten Steps to Transformation: 7. Turn to your community as partners in tackling big issues

Posted by NestaWed, 3 Nov 2010

In our experience, meaningful community participation can be a powerful way to respond to social challenges and to prompt redesign of public services. But securing engagement beyond the ‘usual suspects’ requires structured support and careful design.

Ten Steps to Transformation: 6. Do you really know best? Service users are experts too.

Posted by NestaMon, 1 Nov 2010

Co-production – where staff and users work together in equal, reciprocal relationships – can help us to develop more effective, more preventative, and so more sustainable public services.