About us

Illustration containing title of the page: About us

Our vision, mission and areas of impact

We want to see a world in which all people belong and contribute to thriving societies.

To achieve this vision, we must challenge and change the systems that people who experience vulnerability and disadvantage rely on most.

Currently, the systems for physical and mental health, social care, education and justice are struggling to overcome persistent inequalities.

We know there are ambitious leaders trying to change these systems; who want to create more person-centred and effective services that make a real and lasting difference, particularly for those living with significant disadvantage.

We also know that it is hard to make a real and lasting difference when leaders are dealing with budget pressures, staff shortages and  a pressure to deliver quick results.  Local systems are often very complex, and can actively work against making sustained change and taking risks.


Innovation Unit can help.

Our mission is to grow and scale the boldest and best innovations that deliver long-term impact for people, address persistent inequalities, and transform the systems that surround them.

Our innovation and impact formula combines decades of practical experience with recent research, to help you design new solutions, implement them successfully and take them to scale for greater impact.

Adopt
and adapt

Adopt and adapt proven innovations

We help local systems to adopt and adapt innovations that have been successful elsewhere, by helping them understand where fidelity is essential, and where things need to flex to fit a new context.

See how
Got questions?

Place‑based
transformation

Place‑based transformation

We help local, place-based systems improve outcomes and reduce inequality, by developing a shared vision for change, designing and testing new solutions, and mobilising a local alliance that can deliver change long after we have gone.

See how
Got questions?

Innovation
programmes

Innovation programmes

We design and deliver innovation programmes that develop new ideas, test and evaluate promising innovations, and spread and scale the most successful.

See how
Got questions?

Learning partnerships
and programmes

Learning partnerships and programmes

We play the role of learning partner: helping organisations and systems learn from practice, research evidence and lived experience. We run formative evaluations and deliver learning programmes that connect and share learning between innovators and adopters.

See how
Got questions?

What our partners
say about us

The Health Foundation logo

"Innovation Unit takes a really open and collaborative approach. They have brought new insights and thinking to the table, and led a successful co-design process that brought a range of senior leaders together to build a sense of shared endeavour and commitment to achieving collective impact. We're excited to continue the partnership with them over the coming months."

Cathy Irving, Director of Communications, The Health Foundation
DWP Logo

"Complex problems such as this can only be solved by those at the sharp end co-designing a fresh approach. Innovation Unit have helped to make that process of co-design truly productive."

MATTHEW PIKE, POLICY FELLOW, WORK AND HEALTH UNIT
West London Clinical Commissioning Group logo

“Innovation Unit’s and PPL’s work has helped to energise the entire service. Their team combine creativity and dynamism, with a deep understanding of the context in which we are operating. They have managed to engage practice staff and partners, and keep them engaged, despite a hugely challenging context. We move forward with our work confident in the model, and ready to bring 20 more practices into the fold.”

HENRY LEAK, HUB MANAGER, WEST LONDON CCG

“Working across the education system in British Columbia, the Innovation Unit team has taken our thinking to new places and landed new ideas through a rigorous approach to innovation. They have focused on enabling more productive relationships between schools in bringing innovative practice to life. Their contribution to the development of BC as one of the world’s leading education systems has been significant.”

ROD ALLEN, DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT AND FORMER ASSISTANT DEPUTY MINISTER IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
LambethCCG_Logo

"Our partnership with Innovation Unit has been about demonstrating the value of design led approaches and growing - not just our practical skills - but our culture to apply a design lens. We believe that to realise the change we want to see in Lambeth, design thinking applied at scale and across all layers of the system is critical."

DENIS O’ROURKE, DIRECTOR OF COMMISSIONING IN MENTAL HEALTH, LAMBETH CCG

“Being clear about the learning outcomes we want for students is challenging, complex and incredibly important foundational work for us. Innovation Unit have been just the right partners. Their expertise, commitment and the intellectual rigour they apply is delivering us a charter that we believe will truly deepen and enrich the education we offer.”

MARGERY EVANS, AGA KHAN EDUCATION SERVICES ACADEMIC DIRECTOR

“ELEVATE is a bold forward thinking initiative of AISNSW. To realise our ambition we specifically sought out Innovation Unit as a strategic partner to work with us because of their global perspective and proven impact. We wanted to offer schools the opportunity to engage in a robust innovation process to redesign practice and to equip them with methods that will serve them well into the future.”

SHARON CHEERS, DIVISION HEAD, SCHOOL INNOVATION, ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS OF NEW SOUTH WALES (AISNSW)

“The team at the Innovation Unit are brilliant at bringing structure and clarity to thorny problems. Facilitating a room of opinionated innovators is no easy feat, and yet they always manage to bring some new insight. That has helped bring new perspective to the scaling challenges we faced, and renewed vigour to our approach!”

TOM WHICHER, NHS INNOVATION ACCELERATOR FELLOW

“Through our work with the Innovation Unit, we have learned how to develop practices that are replicable, scalable and sustainable. Innovation Unit brings an incredible breadth and depth of expertise - in education, leadership, innovation, service design, evaluation - that is utterly transformative; we will never go back to the ways we did things before working with them!”

STACEY QUINCE, PRINCIPAL CAMPBELLTOWN PERFORMING ARTS HIGH SCHOOL, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA