Jennie Winhall
Social innovationsleder

I am a social innovator and service design expert. As an Associate with the Rockwool Foundation Intervention Unit, I provide leadership in social innovation and service design across program areas, developing teams and overseeing the design process from insight and innovation to start-up and scale.


Areas of Interest

Much innovation effort is wasted on incremental improvements to outdated public systems. I believe that to meet the new challenges faced by society we need fundamentally different responses and that requires imagination, rigorous experimentation and a whole-hearted embracing of uncertainty.


My interest is in redesigning systems on relational, rather than transactional, models. These models unlock new resources, generate meaningful relationships, and are strengthened through increased participation (rather than burdened by rising demand).


I design and build new ventures as working exemplars of this thinking, most recently with the Intervention Unit on youth unemployment (NextWork) and in our current work on integration.


Previously, I was a founding member of Participle which was highly influential on public policy in the UK for our work rethinking issues like unemployment and an ageing population and scaling new solutions nationally.



At the Foundation my practice combines two approaches: a service design approach that involves deep insight into people’s lived experience, design thinking, and rapid prototyping; and a social sciences approach that applies new knowledge and cutting-edge methods for evaluating what really works.


I teach design thinking and leadership, mentor social technology start-ups and am published in Design for Policy.


In addition to my work with the Intervention Unit, I collaborate with colleagues internationally on systems entrepreneurship and run Alt/Now at the Banff Centre in Canada, an incubator for social ventures currently focused on economic inequality.


There is more about my practice in my TEDx talk.