Pitch your ideas to tackle the UK’s education challenges


Nesta is an innovation foundation. We back new ideas to tackle the big challenges of our time. We see a world full of potential, where new ideas solve the big challenges that matter to everyone. Our mission is to seek out, spark and shape powerful new ideas, joining with others to take on the big challenges of our time and shift how the world works for everyone.

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Image courtesy of supplier. Image courtesy of supplier.

Here at Nesta, we’re gearing up for our flagship education and skills event, and we need you to get involved. 'Acting Now for Future Skills' will explore how educators and policymakers can respond to growing demand for the future skills highlighted by our recent report, 'The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030'. We know that we don’t have all the answers, so we want as many educators as possible to take an active role in preparing for the future.

We’re crowdsourcing your ideas to address two major challenges within education and skills development over the coming weeks, and giving you the opportunity to pitch your solutions to our audience. Below are the two challenges, instructions on how to take part, and what’s in it for you. Describe your idea in 250 words or less before the 30th October, and shortlisted entries will get an opportunity to pitch at Acting Now for Future Skills!

The challenges

1. Learning shouldn’t finish when you leave the classroom. We want people to be able to learn new skills for their future while they are in work. How would you help?

2. Teachers are great. However, with schools under financial pressure and teachers struggling under heavy workloads, it is hard for schools and teachers to invest the resources or time in adopting innovative methods to help children develop future skills. Teachers need more time and schools need more money. How would you help?

What’s in it for you?

Our in-house panel of experts will narrow down your submissions to a shortlist. Proposals on the shortlist will be invited to:

  • Pitch their idea to our audience of over 200 senior decision makers and innovators from across the education and skills sector on 30th November at Acting Now for Future Skills!
  • Get constructive feedback from our audience on the day during the pitching workshop.
  • Meet with a relevant expert at Nesta after the event to discuss how they could develop their idea.
  • Don’t worry if your idea is exactly that - an idea. We don’t need a business plan or a sustainable model for development, just a fresh approach to an old problem. Be innovative and be bold!


Taking part is very simple:

1. Read our two challenges and decide which one you would like to pitch a solution for.

2. Follow the link to our Google form and tell us about your solution in 250 words or less. Submit your responses by midday on the 30th October.

3. We’ll contact you by the 3rd November to let you know if your proposal has been shortlisted.

4. On the 30th November, our shortlisted proposals will each be able to pitch their idea at Acting Now for Future Skills!

Further information

  • There is no financial reward attached to this challenge.
  • Although some proposals may involve describing products, we’re not interested in a business pitch. Instead, we’re interested in what makes your solution unusual or innovative and how it will help people. We’re looking to spark debate and share ideas.
  • Although we will not be publishing your written submissions, given the open and collaborative nature of the event please do not share any information that you would not be happy to share publicly or you consider to be commercially sensitive.

If you have any questions, please contact events@nesta.org.uk.

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