Nesta
Steve Moore, founder and director of Policy Unplugged (a “social conference provider”), has invited me to be one of a few foreign guests at an event called Uploading Innovation hosted by NESTA in London on 27 February.

I am very much looking forward to contribute our thoughts on user-centred approaches to innovation, and to learn more about what people in the UK are doing in this regard.

I also hope we can establish some connections and exchanges, in view of Experientia’s upcoming involvement in Torino 2008, World Design Capital which is all about design for transformation, and with a Piedmont regional innovation policy (see also here) anchored in “demand-driven” approaches — i.e. user needs (which is, by the way, a topic that I am now also addressing in Flanders, Belgium.)

NESTA (blog) is the UK’s National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. It is the largest single endowment devoted exclusively to supporting talent, innovation and creativity in the UK. It is their mission to transform the UK’s capacity for business, social and public policy innovation. They invest in early stage companies, inform innovation policy and encourage a culture that helps innovation to flourish.

To help cultivate a new national conversation about innovation NESTA recently established NESTA Connect to explore how innovation can be stimulated through networks and collaborative working between different disciplines, organisations and places (see also this article).

The Uploading…Innovation conference has been convened to help NESTA 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.

NESTA and Policy Unplugged identified and invited 100 of the leading collaboratives in the UK into a conversation about how NESTA can formulate innovation policy and create programmes to ensure that they optimise the potential of the social, viral and community hallmarks of the Web.