The Lab is named one of NESTA/ The Observer 50 New Radicals


The Finance Innovation Lab has been named as one of the 50 New Radicals in a competition arranged by the Observer and NESTA .

We are utterly thrilled to be recognised for trying to do things differently and are so grateful for all the support we’ve had from you, our community.

How is The Lab Radical?

These are some of the ways we think our approach is Radical:

  • We are taking on the largest, most daunting system of all – the global financial system
  • We are the product of a pair of unlikely bedfellows- WWF-UK and ICAEW. The partnership between our organisations is totally equal collaboration and based on friendship, which gets us through the difficult bits
  • We get our community to talk about things that are totally taboo in finance; our values, what really matters to us as individuals, what kind of world we want to leave for our children
  • The project is predominately female-led (3 women and 1 very emotionally intelligent man). We’ve developed a different culture for change in finance that nurtures, encourages and helps to incubate radical solutions.
  • Not only is our project radical itself, but The Lab is designed to find and support other radicals. We are a radical community builder!
  • This bottom-up approach, that many people criticised and said wouldn’t work, has worked
  • We have raised over £1,450,000 since we launched and have gained support from a diverse collection of people like Deborah Meaden (Dragons Den), Sir Mark Moody Stuart (Chairman of Hermes Equity Ownership Services) and Gaynor Coley (MD of the Eden Project).
  • We have begun to support and inspire Labs all over the world from Singapore to San Francisco
  • And helped launch a whole range of successful projects including the TEEB for Business Coalition an international coalition designed to tackle externalities and UnLtd* Future, a programme of support for social entrepreneurs with disruptive and sustainable business models.

What were they looking for?

This is what they were looking for: “George Bernard Shaw famously said that, while reasonable people adapt themselves to the world, unreasonable people try to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, he concluded, depends on unreasonable people.

We’re looking for fresh approaches that could be social, technological, scientific or artistic, which have the potential to change the way we live for the better. They have to be real – not just an idea – but they could be small-scale. They might be well-known, but we’re also interested in people below the radar who probably won’t be appearing on nominations lists for honours.”

The judges included:

•John Mulholland, editor of The Observer
•Geoff Mulgan, chief executive of NESTA
•Martha Lane Fox, UK Digital Champion
•Alicia Navarro, tech entrepreneur and CEO and founder of Skimlinks
•Lucy Siegle writer and ethical living columnist for The Observer