Being Danish and there fore somewhat unfamiliar with English culture and language it was important for me to come to an organization that was flexible and open minded, and found Innovation Unit to be exactly this from day one. I actually experienced it before day one, as they were happy for me do be interviewed via Skype from Phnom Penh in Cambodia, when I realised I wouldn’t be able to make it back to London for the interview in time.
After getting the interview I was immediately assigned to work on Radical Efficiency, a research project that was looking for examples of innovative public services from across the globe that had delivered different and much better outcomes for users at significantly lower cost.
Having never worked focused with public and social innovation before, I was given the time and space to get inside this field before setting of on the research for the project. This enabled me to better understand both the aim of the project, as well as Innovation Units broader mission.
Throughout the work on Radical Efficiency I was supported by senior colleagues to develop the research, but also trusted and expected to develop this on my own, and bring my own perspective on the work and our analysis to team meetings. This helped me build my confidence and skills in innovation research, presenting and writing in English for an often very diverse audience, including blogging, writing parts of the actual report and presenting our findings at workshops.
Alongside radical efficiency I was working with coordination and research on number of Innovation projects, spanning from Health to Further Education.
If I were to promote one thing about Innovation Unit, beyond working in an organization and on projects that actually make a change, it would be the people and the office culture. No two days are the same, and there is room for everyone. What matters is that you are dedicated to the work and can work as part of a team with a diversity of people who will often very different, but equally dedicated.
I now use what I know about public service innovation to support Nesta where I am a Policy Adviser.