Centenary lecture

Wills Memorial Building, 6.00pm, Admission free

Thursday 12 February 2009

Jonathan Kestenbaum, Chief Executive of NESTA

Transforming the UK’s capacity for innovation

Listen online (57 mins)

Download this lecture (mp3, 52MB)

Lecture description

During demanding economic times, nations which invest in their innovative capacity are best placed for the upturn when it arrives. This lecture will consider how the UK invests through the downturn and prepares its society for the new economy ahead.

Biography of Jonathan Kestenbaum

Chief Executive of NESTA, The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts

Born in Japan to American parents and brought up in the UK, Jonathan graduated from the LSE, Cambridge and the Cass Business School. He started his career in education, building an international training programme for promising young educators. Moving to the business world, he worked as Chief of Staff to Sir Ronald Cohen, the Chairman of Apax Partners. Together they built The Portland Trust, which most recently developed a $500 million fund for small and medium-sized businesses in the Middle East.

Later, Jonathan moved in to the public sector, becoming Chief Executive of the Office of the Chief Rabbi, Professor Jonathan Sacks. Together, they worked on a number of prize-winning publications, including the 1990 BBC Reith Lectures, The Persistence of Faith. In 1996 he was appointed Chief Executive of the UJIA, one of the largest voluntary organisations in the UK.

He is a trustee of a number of foundations, a tutor at the Cass Business School, on the planning group of the World Economic Forum and a Companion of The Chartered Management Institute. He is also a Board member of the Design Council, the UK's Technology Strategy Board, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Profero, a digital marketing company.