Technical Lead Collective Intelligence Product Design (Centre for Collective Intelligence Design)

Full-Time Blackfriars, London Salary: £53k - £65k Closes: 2022-03-14

We are recruiting for a Technical Lead Collective Intelligence Product Design (Centre for Collective Intelligence Design).

About Nesta

We are Nesta, the UK’s innovation agency for social good. We design, test and scale solutions to society’s biggest problems. Our three missions are to give every child a fair start, help people live healthy lives, and create a sustainable future where the economy works for both people and the planet.

For over 20 years, we have worked to support, encourage and inspire innovation. We work in three roles: as an innovation partner working with frontline organisations to design and test new solutions, as a venture builder supporting new and early stage businesses, and as a system shaper creating the conditions for innovation.

Harnessing the rigour of science and the creativity of design, we work relentlessly to change millions of lives for the better. Find out more at

About Centre for Collective Intelligence Design

Nesta’s Centre for Collective Intelligence Design helps create new ways for communities to use technology to harness their insights, ideas and power to act on the problems that matter to them and create the futures they want. We know well-designed systems can help promote healthy collective action at scale, but too often technology is designed to solve the needs of individuals or large organisations.

Our mission is to design digital tools and products that allow communities to respond collectively to challenges, and that help public and voluntary sector institutions strengthen trust and collaboration with citizens. Potential CI products could range from a mobile app, to a game, or online platform.

We work with Nesta’s mission teams and external partners to help them understand where and how collective intelligence approaches can help address the problems they’re working on. We apply collective intelligence design – which brings together insights from diverse groups of people, with new sources of data (such as sensor or mobile phone data) and digital technologies (including AI) – to develop bespoke solutions to those problems. We use rigorous research methods to test, learn and evaluate each solution.

The Role

Nesta is looking for an exceptional senior developer/research engineer who can draw on a wide range of different technologies to help build prototype/MVP collective intelligence solutions fast. At the heart of CI design is the ability to effectively combine crowds, data and new digital technologies to tackle complex social challenges. This is a unique opportunity to help shape an emerging area of innovation practice, and deliver creative solutions that help advance and demonstrate its potential.

As Technical Lead you will work collaboratively with a wide range of Nesta’s teams and partners to rapidly prototype, build or help commission technological solutions to complex problems across a variety of projects, meaning that every day will be different. Using your understanding of the latest engineering trends, you will help to combine all elements of technology: data, integration, smart applications, core applications, infrastructure, operations, and embedded security. This role will suit someone with both broad and deep knowledge of technology who enjoys getting their hands dirty in developing prototypes or creating an MVP.

You will ideally have previous full stack development experience and a flexible, adaptable approach to using a range of different technologies to solve problems.

As part of an interdisciplinary team the Technical Lead will work with the Centre’s designers and researchers to analyse cutting edge practice and methods, and then turn these insights into codified frameworks, processes, methods and tools for real-world application. You’ll also play a key leadership role within the team, helping to direct and mentor others.

You will be responsible for:

  • Working closely with CCID team colleagues and external stakeholders to design new collective intelligence products, focusing particularly on designing and testing appropriate technical solutions – drawing on a wide range of collective intelligence methods and extensive knowledge of existing solutions
  • Leading the rapid development of CI product prototypes, using a wide range of techniques
  • Translating product concepts into technical requirements, planning and documenting technical specifications for features or system design
  • Designing, building and configuring applications to meet partner organisation processes and application requirements
  • Working collaboratively with Nesta’s designers, researchers, data scientists and data engineers, and directing freelance developers where necessary
  • Writing testable, scalable and efficient code and leading code reviews
  • Leading quality assurance for all technical aspects of the products produced by the Centre for Collective Intelligence Design
  • Mentoring freelancers or team members and ensuring they adhere to determined software quality standards
  • Technically-oriented interaction design, including: application design, high-fidelity prototyping, human-computer interaction
  • Helping to advance the practice of CI design by working with other CCID team members to codify insights into practical new frameworks, processes and guides
  • Working collaboratively with the Centre’s Principal Researcher, and wider CI networks to analyse cutting edge practice, identify where further research is needed, and develop a programme of experimentation with new methods
  • Contributing to business development activities, including helping to plan consultancy engagements and activities, developing project plans and budgets, and managing stakeholder relationships, including taking on the day-to-day leadership of projects
  • Supporting the overall leadership, direction, and delivery of projects within the Centre for Collective Intelligence Design

Experience, Skills and Mindset:

  • Ability to produce rapid prototypes, with a flexible approach and ability in using a range of technologies, plus understanding of how and when to productionise
  • Technically-oriented interaction design, including: application design, high-fidelity prototyping, human-computer interaction
  • Demonstrable experience of using agile project methodologies, and test-driven development
  • 5+ years experience in full stack software development
  • Web development and mobile apps (mandatory) and one or more of the following: games, integration, machine learning, data visualisation, APIs, web services, GraphQL (desirable)
  • Experience with two or more software languages e.g. JavaScript, Python, Java, C#
  • Cloud computing e.g. AWS, Azure, GCP
  • DevOps (mandatory) and DataOps (desirable)
  • Relational databases (mandatory), other database architectures (desirable)
  • A BSc, or MSc in computer science, engineering, or related discipline or at least five years’ relevant experience in academia, industry of public/third sector.
  • An enthusiasm for, and commitment to, becoming a recognised expert and practitioner in Collective Intelligence Design, and a desire to address complex social problems
  • Ability to think strategically and systemically to identify opportunities to leverage collective intelligence in new ways to help achieve Nesta’s mission goals
  • Excellent time management, and able to manage multiple projects and competing priorities
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills, including an ability to communicate concepts, strategies and interdependencies effectively to a wide range of audiences
  • A self-starter with a curious and open mindset, with a willingness to learn from and with others, and ability to carry out self-directed research and learning
  • Experience of navigating complexity and uncertainty, and adapting personal style for a variety of cultural contexts and organisations
  • Personal commitment to the principles of data justice, diversity & inclusion and community empowerment

What we offer

Salary: £53k – £65k ( subject to seniority and experience) plus array of benefits, including health cash plans, dental insurance, the ability to buy and sell annual leave, eyecare vouchers and more

Location: This role is based in Central London, Blackfriars, but we offer flexibility for our people to work remotely with frequent travel in UK and internationally

Term: Permanent

Hours: This is a full-time role but we offer a range of flexible working arrangements and encourage our people to take advantage of them. Many do.

Reports to: Director of CCID

Making an application

To apply for this role, please submit your application before 8:00am on the 14th of March 2022.

Interviews will take place w/c 21st of March 2022.

At Nesta, we believe that a diverse workforce leads to an organisation that is more innovative, more creative and gets better results.

We want our workforce to represent the diversity of the people and communities we serve. We also want our workplace to be one where different experiences, expertise and perspectives are valued, and where everyone is encouraged to grow and develop.

This means that when we are recruiting, we actively seek to reach a diverse pool of candidates. It also means that we are happy to consider any reasonable adjustments that potential employees may need to in order to be successful.

We recognise the importance of a good balance between work and home life, so we do everything we can to accommodate flexible working, including working from home, compressed or part-time hours, job shares and other arrangements.

Please just let us know in your application or at any stage throughout the process (and beyond) if these are options you’d like to explore.