Fran Sanderson, Director, Nesta
Fran leads the Arts & Culture Investments and Programmes team at Nesta, including Arts & Culture Finance, which manages over £30m of impact capital making loans of between £25k and £1m to arts and culture organisations through three funds The team works on various projects with the aim of understanding and articulating the full breadth of impact of arts, culture and the creative economy; promoting innovative funding and business models and partnerships, such as blended finance, impact investing and crowdfunding; improving understanding of and access to the positive impacts of arts and culture; and helping arts and cultural organisations experiment with and benefit from new technologies, for example by collaborating with Arts Council England to produce the Digital Culture Survey. Recent initiatives include Amplified, a grant and structured support programme helping cultural and creative organisations to use digital ideas to generate social impact; an Innovate UK-funded performance demonstrator project, with an RSC-led consortium including Philharmonia, Punchdrunk, EPIC Games, Marshmallow Laser Feast and others to investigate what the Audience of the Future will look like; a Creative Immersive Mental Health fellowship programme with StoryFutures looking at the role of creatives in engaging users; and Alternarratives, a prize designed to bring the short story form into the 21st century with the aim of reigniting interest in reading for pleasure among young people.
In a previous life, Fran was a fund manager at JPMorgan, before spending some time travelling in a campervan and living off grid in southern Portugal with her young family. She started working in impact investment at the birth of Big Society Capital in 2012 and moved to Nesta in 2015.