Future Communities


The Challenge

How can we imagine and build inclusive, sustainable and innovative communities?

What we’re doing

We research and explore new and existing projects and initiatives tackling, in an holistic and innovative way, the social, economic and environmental challenges within our communities.

Some of the issues we investigate:

Social Exclusion • Poverty • Access to services •  Urban Ecosystems • Migration • Cultural Discrimination

We test, experiment and replicate the most promising solutions, encouraging dialogue and collaboration between public and private actors. We take part to public debates and conversations with policymakers disseminating research and data, organising events and building networks.

Our goals

We imagine and build scenarios of alternative and desirable futures for our communities through a collaborative process, sometimes supported by emerging technologies. We look for unconventional and radical solutions not necessarily fit to be scaled, flexible in front of ambiguity.

We work in the field to:

  • Research, analyse and promote socially impactful projects and initiatives at the local level
  • Build interdisciplinary networks of diverse actors keen to exchange experiences and skills in order to establish long term collaborations to experiment innovative solutions to complex challenges
  • Encourage systemic change through hybrid forms of funding, from private and public partners
  • Create a new narrative to inspire a constant and productive work with policymakers

Our method

In this area we implement an exploratory approach characterised by the application of diverse methodologies. Through applied research, we collect data and map information to explore scenarios and detect opportunities; thanks to experiments we promote, replicate and actively contribute to the evolution of promising solutions. With advocacy activities we engage with our network and stakeholders.

Our tools:

Ethnography • Horizon scanning • Data science • Human-centred design • Policy design • Challenge prizes • Open Call

We believe in the contamination of skills and experiences.

We constantly learn from others. Our activities are inspired by the work of actors as Demos Helsinki, Kennisland, UNDP e FutureGov. Our deep connection with Nesta and its twenty-year work in the areas of Innovation Policy,  Government Innovation and Futurescoping is our benchmark and legacy.

Our partners

We never work alone. Nesta Italia’s partners in Future Communities are a diverse mix of public, private and civic society actors.


Marco Zappalorto, Simona Bielli, Federica Fulghesu, Luca Tricarico, Matteo Colombino, Roberta Marà, Laura Sinagra Brisca