Irene Knowles

Team Coordinator

I joined Nesta at the end of 2021 and I am responsible for overseeing our team’s internal operational and governance processes, and for supporting the wide-ranging portfolio of programmes that we deliver for clients across a variety of health and social care institutions. 

I have a special knack for looking at complexity from a big picture perspective, while dissecting it to get to the root cause of any underlying issues – possibly a long-term occupational side-effect of a previous life as an aspiring academic studying the origin of languages!

Prior to working at Nesta, I worked in the Arts and Culture sector and in more recent years for a blood cancer charity, where I supported a team of scientists looking to identify genetically matched donors for patients in need of stem cells transplantation, thus gaining a sound understanding of science and research-led environments, as well as of the public health sector at large. 

The role gave me the opportunity among other things to combine my primarily Humanities-based background and Events experience with the intellectual rigour of science, and as such I led on various science engagement initiatives: these include designing visitor tours of the laboratory, and L&D events aimed at presenting the advancements of our research to colleagues from different divisions across the wider organisation.

As an add-on to my role, I also collaborated to develop D&I strategies, crafting comms and workshops to raise awareness of key objectives and increase their outreach.

Outside of work, my eclectic background makes me hugely passionate about all things human, particularly through interdisciplinary approaches and collective rituals, all of which have found a natural home in an ongoing interest in and study of Anthropology –  a subject I have cultivated for a few years by being part of a group who meets weekly at UCL and whose main focus is egalitarian societies and protection of indigenous communities. 

In yet another previous life (like cats, I have many!) I also worked as a performer for several years, a thing that allowed me to develop creative skills which I have and still in turn apply to several areas: from educational workshops to facilitating sessions to develop students’ communication skills, right through to street theatre for environmental activism!

© 2019 Nesta Nesta is a registered charity in England and Wales 1144091 and Scotland SC042833. Our main address is 58 Victoria Embankment, London, EC4Y 0DS. You can reach us by phone on 020 7438 2500 or drop us a line at [email protected]
All our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, unless it says otherwise. We hope you find it useful.