The role of experimentation in driving transformative innovation in real places

Past Event
19 January 2022 15:00 (GMT)
19 January 2022 16:30 (GMT)


This initiative will discuss the critical importance of creating transformative innovation strategies and policies that are evidence-driven, rooted in the capabilities and resources of communities, and that acknowledge and take advantage of where a country, region, or local area is situated along the entire process of innovation. Prevailing approaches to innovation policymaking have been heavily influenced by the Silicon Valley model of growth creation, which prioritises technological innovation. Some cities or regions have benefitted from this approach, but it is neither feasible or desirable in every context, and it is unlikely to lead to a step change in terms of directing innovation activities towards achieving transformative societal goals. A culture of exploration and experimentation is required, to develop and continually adapt innovation policies that are fit for purpose, and fit for context.

Ref: #9

Policy and governance for transformative change


Alex Glennie
Alex Glennie is Senior Policy Manager at Nesta's Innovation Growth Lab. She leads engagement work with an international network of innovation policymakers, supporting them to embed experimentation practices in how they work and facilitating learning opportunities between them. In prior roles at Nesta, she has conducted comparative research on inclusive innovation policies, and worked with government innovation agencies around the world on strategy and policy.
Dan Breznitz
Dan Breznitz is a University Professor and Munk Chair of Innovation Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy with a cross-appointment in the Department of Political Science of the University of Toronto, where he is also the Co-Director of the Innovation Policy Lab and a Senior Fellow of Messi College. In addition, he is a Fellow of CIFAR where he Co-Directs the program on Innovation, Equity and the Future of Prosperity. Professor Breznitz is known worldwide as an expert on rapid-innovation-based industries and their globalization, as well as for his pioneering research on the distributional impact of innovation policies. His most recent book, Innovation in Real Places: Strategies for Prosperity in an Unforgiving World, offers pragmatic advice while debunking dangerous myths on innovation, growth and prosperity, and was chosen by the Financial Times as one of the best books of 2021.
Geeta Nathan
Geeta Nathan is the Head of Economics and Insights at Innovate UK, the UK's innovation agency. Her team focuses on impact, evaluation, thought leadership research and strategic data analysis, with an objective of understanding how Innovate UK programmes deliver economic and sustainable impact at a business level and macro level. Geeta has a long career in economics, having worked in the construction sector, banking sector and also having taught Economics for 2 years.