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Putting People First

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Search results for 'kestenbaum'
9 October 2007

Interview with Jonathan Kestenbaum of NESTA on innovation and design

Jonathan Kestenbaum
A few weeks ago Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken interviewed Jonathan Kestenbaum, the CEO of NESTA, the UK Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts.

The interview, which is now published on the website of Torino 2008 World Design Capital in both English and Italian, deals with innovation and design. Kestenbaum explains in great clarity how NESTA works to stimulate innovation, and how design, and in particular human-centred design, is a central part of that approach.

Some quotes:

“Much of our practical experimentation and much of our reflective research is suggesting that the next bounce of the ball, as far as innovation is concerned, will not necessarily take place within disciplines but between disciplines.”

“Design to NESTA is a tool for innovation. Basically it is a problem solving process, which is highly visual and very human-centred because it starts with the needs of people. Design is key to good innovation. For NESTA, design and its visual processes allow the early testing of ideas, leaving space for early and relatively cheap failure and reducing the risks and costs for innovation. This design approach also makes sure that the testing and the prototyping are very human-centred. If people do not want the product or do not know how to use the product, if they cannot understand the product, you will never get it to market. Design is the process through which all of this happens.”

“We sat down with the heads of the Royal College, Imperial College and Tanaka Business School who were planning to support interdisciplinary projects on a major scale and discussed the formation of an incubator for some of these projects – projects that would be the result of the integration of design, engineering, science and business. Across the organisations involved in what has been named ‘Design-London’, several million euros have now been invested and we have managed to get that matched by Government. This month the incubator and rest of Design-London will open and be the first of its type, bringing together artists, engineers and business graduates- to all work on new product development.”

Read full interview

4 September 2007

People regularly featured on this blog

In alphabetical order:

A
Marko Ahtisaari
Ken Anderson

B
Nik Baerten
Genevieve Bell
Chris Bernard
Tim Berners-Lee
Ralf Beuker
Nina Boesch
Danah Boyd
Stefana Broadbent
Tyler Brûlé
Bill Buxton

C
Jan Chipchase
Hilary Cottam
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Alistair Curtis

D
Uday Dandavate
Liz Danzico
Regine Debatty
Paul Dourish

E
Jyri Engeström
Richard Eisermann

G
Jesse James Garrett
Fabien Girardin
Anand Giridharadas
Bruno Giussani
Adam Greenfield

H
Laurent Haug

I
Mizuko Ito

J
Bob Jacobson
Matt Jones

K
Jonathan Kestenbaum
Anne Kirah
Dirk Knemeyer
Jon Kolko
Mike Kuniavsky

L
Loïc Lemeur
Dan Lockton
Victor Lombardi

M
Nico Macdonald
John Maeda
Ranjit Makkuni
Ezio Manzini
Roger Martin
Stefano Marzano
Simona Maschi
Bruce Mau
Grant McCracken
Jess McMullin
Peter Merholz
Crysta Metcalf
Bill Moggridge
Peter Morville
Ulla-Maaria Mutanen

N
Jakob Nielsen
Donald Norman
Nicolas Nova
Bruce Nussbaum

P
Steve Portigal

R
Carlo Ratti
Howard Rheingold
Louis Rosenfeld
Stephen Rustow

S
Dan Saffer
Nathan Shedroff
Jared Spool
Yaniv Steiner
Bruce Sterling

T
John Thackara

V
Marco van Hout
Rob van Kranenburg
Mark Vanderbeeken
Joannes Vandermeulen
Jeffrey Veen
Timo Veikkola
Michele Visciola
Eric von Hippel

W
Tricia Wang
Luke Wroblewski

Z
Paola Zini
Jan-Christoph Zoels

13 April 2007

NESTA call for user-focused solutions to mental health problems

NESTA width=
The UK’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) is calling for innovative project proposals from front-line workers, carers and people with direct experience of mental distress, to tackle some of the key challenges surrounding mental health in the UK, reports the eGov Monitor.

The initiative forms part of the first stage of NESTA’s wider ‘Innovation Challenges’ initiative.

NESTA Chief Executive Jonathan Kestenbaum explains, “The rising cost to the economy of mental health problems alone is enough to support the need for us to find new ways of addressing this issue. We need to empower people at the grass roots to come forward and work together to develop more innovative, user-focused solutions.”

NESTA will look to fund and develop local projects from individuals or teams with experience in mental health (including user- and carer groups). The organisation will be looking for projects which, with the right support and guidance, will have the potential to grow into national projects with real impact.

Project ideas can address any aspect of mental health, across all life stages and in any setting. Projects are likely to range from ways to break down the stigma of mental illness to encouraging the involvement of users in re-designing their own care. They may focus on new and improved processes and services, but could also take the shape of new products or technologies. NESTA is particularly interested in ideas that involve collaboration between different disciplines or different areas of mental health practice.

Read full story

13 March 2007

NESTA launches £20m initiative to stimulate social innovation

NESTA for social innovation
The UK’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) is more and more taking on the dynamic innovation role that the Design Council had until rather recently, again exemplified by this announcement:

NESTA just launched a new £20 million initiative designed to encourage innovative solutions to some of the UK’s most pressing social issues including chronic disease, mental health and climate change.

NESTA’s ‘Innovation Challenges‘ will focus on several key themes, starting with Health Innovation and followed by the Environment. Each theme will last for three years during which NESTA will conduct a series of high-impact projects with key partners, designed both to unearth existing ideas, and stimulate new approaches in response to recognised problems.

Focusing on health, the first Challenge aims to identify and develop solutions to issues around chronic disease management, mental health, and ageing. The Challenge programme’s initial partnership projects will see NESTA calling for both social entrepreneurs and front-line workers to come forward with ideas.

NESTA Chief Executive Jonathan Kestenbaum explains:

“The UK faces significant social challenges that are resistant to conventional solutions. Mostly the impetus for addressing these issues is placed on the shoulders of government alone but this isn’t enough – there’s an increasing gap between the scale of the problems and the solutions available. It’s time we empowered people at the grass roots to develop ideas which, with the right support, could have a lasting impact on key social issues“.

Read press release

The Design Council meanwhile is silent. The latest publication is from September last year. The latest press release (about a speech by a Government Minister) is from the beginning of December. And the dynamic RED unit is no longer.

1 March 2007

A participatory conference model at NESTA, London

Uploading...innovation
Two days ago Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken was at the NESTA Uploading…Innovation event in London.

NESTA, which stands for National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, has beautiful well-equipped offices in the centre of London (no wonder, given their £ 350 million lottery-funded endowment), and is increasingly becoming a strategic player in informing the UK innovation policy, in part also due to the new leadership of Jonathan Kestenbaum (who was appointed chief executive of NESTA last November).

The event itself brought about a whole range of ideas (that you can read about here, here, here, here and here – and these are just a few). What I think was also really unique was the process itself.

NESTA organised this event “to learn from those people who have been at the forefront of the development of new participatory ways of working, those who have harnessed the network effects of emerging technologies of collaboration to create new business models, new products and services, to bring about culture change within organisations and disruptive innovation to their sectors.”

So they brought about 150 people together for an afternoon. How do you manage a participatory conference? How do you get 150 people to exchange their ideas and learn from it in the process?

The solution they came up with involved the collaboration of Steve Moore of Policy Unplugged, who created a bottom-up process. Simply said, the afternoon was divided in two blocks, with six to seven people making a 3 minute pitch for a particular topic and then breaking out into discussion groups to deepen it. Both the pitches and the discussion groups were open: if you felt like it you could make your own pitch, you joined the discussion group that you liked, and in the discussion group you contributed or listened as you felt like.

This approach was based on the premise that 5% of the people speaking 90% of the time is not the best way to stimulate knowledge sharing and that we are in many ways all experts. In other words, it functioned like a live version of a web forum.

Mark’s own group discussed the lack of a Europe-wide discourse on people-focused innovation (e.g. on experience design & innovation; sustainable & innovation; participation & innovation), with most of the discourse either being American or country-specific, and what can be done about it. Some good ideas came up and we are exploring a new online magazine on some best practices that he hopes to tell you more about soon. Any ideas and input are of course welcome.