Today we are launching Nesta Italia, a partnership between the global innovation foundation Nesta (based in the UK), and Compagnia di San Paolo, one of Italy’s largest and oldest philanthropic foundations.
The two organisations share the same vision to promote innovation and support initiatives in the arts, health, education, and civil and economic development.
Nesta Italia aims to use its knowledge, networks, funding and skills – working in partnership with others across Italy, including governments, businesses and charities – to address these areas mentioned above.
What is Nesta?
Nesta is a global innovation foundation. It was established in 1998 as the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts. Today Nesta is an independent UK charity but works internationally, growing and spreading new ideas that can change the world for the better.
Big prizes, the national curriculum, projects in data, innovation in government, impact investment and overhauling health care are just some examples in which Nesta has taken ideas and methods from one field to another, to reshape entire systems for the better.
Nesta is global because change can’t happen in isolation.
The foundation works with many partners across the world: it brings together the very big, such as national governments and technology firms, with the grassroots, such as community groups and local activists. It works with organisations in Europe and had a key role in developing projects in democratic engagement, experimenting with new approaches to data from Barcelona to Amsterdam; bringing together digital policy makers from countries including Berlin, Stockholm and Lisbon; and supporting startup scenes in cities right across the continent.
Why Nesta Italia
Working with partners across the world is important to put innovation in a global perspective, as well as to learn from other practices and approaches.
Europe is a place of opportunities as well as challenges, in which Nesta could play a role, and this is the reason why, despite the results of Brexit, we have decided to go further, building deeper partnerships with other European institutions. The alignment of goals and vision with the renowned Foundation Compagnia di San Paolo, and the extraordinary creativity of Italy, represents the basis for a very promising partnership.
Through this initiative, we wish to be the catalyst for new ideas, encourage more imagination and experimentation, as well as practical implementation.
Why Compagnia di San Paolo
Compagnia di San Paolo is one of Italy’s largest and oldest philanthropic foundations. Similar to Nesta, it pursues socially useful objectives in order to promote cultural, civil and economic development. Either directly or through its instrumental entities, such as Fondazione per la Scuola, Compagnia di San Paolo works in many areas that are very close to Nesta’s own areas of work, such as education, inclusion, promotion of arts and heritage, health and social policies. The alignment of vision and the strategic position in Turin, make Compagnia di San Paolo the ideal partner for Nesta.
Nesta’s Italia priority fields in Italy are health and ageing; education; responses to migration; and the arts and cultural heritage. These are the areas where we identified big challenges and where our expertise in methods of innovation are suited to the action that’s needed.
In each field we bring together research, funding for practical work, convening and advocacy – focusing on areas where the combination of digital technology, empowered individuals, and better use of data and evidence can have the biggest impact.
Our vision is to accelerate innovation that serves everyone and can convince a generation of young people, who often fear that their lives will be worse than their parents, that the future can be bright after all.
We know we can’t make change happen by ourselves. Lasting change is always the result of collaborations, and Italy, Britain and Europe more generally desperately need to turn outwards not inwards, to make this positive change happen.
We will need many friends who share the same view and hopes for the future. We hope you will be one of them.
Tonight in Turin we will meet leaders of innovation institutions and social foundations; European, national and local policymakers; and entrepreneurs and academics, and will make new connections with them. The event is fully booked, but you can follow us on Twitter at @nesta_it and register at the bottom of the page to be updated about our activities.