Our team

Our core team are experts in innovation, entrepreneurship, productivity and business growth policy, with backgrounds in government and academia. We are experienced in working with government agencies and organisations aiming to become more experimental and data-driven, and have strong networks with policy and research communities.

Wanda Maria Mollica

Wanda is Research and Policy Engagement Coordinator at the Innovation Growth Lab (IGL). 

In her role, she is responsible for enhancing IGL's outreach, communications, and engagement offer. She also provides project management support across various IGL projects. 

Prior to joining IGL, she worked as Deputy Editor for a human rights journal and as Officer in a Sustainability team. She also has experience working with NGOs and Think Tanks to help grassroots organisations spread awareness and devise strategies for current socioeconomic issues. She holds a BA in International Development from King’s College London and an MSc in International Social and Public Policy from the London School of Economics.


James Phipps

James is Deputy Director at the Innovation Growth Lab (IGL).

Since joining IGL in 2016, James has overseen efforts to encourage policymakers to apply an experimental approach within innovation, entrepreneurship and business growth policy. He has worked with government ministries and innovation agencies around the world to develop and evaluate new ideas. 

Notable projects include BEIS’s Business Basics Fund, where James was pivotal to the experimental approach that was used to test and explore many different ways of encouraging small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to take up productivity-boosting ways of working and technology. 

Before joining Nesta, James was Head of Enterprise Policy Development and Evaluation at the UK Business Department, where he led research into the rationale and effectiveness of public support for entrepreneurship and business growth. He was also instrumental in the department becoming more experimental and rigorous in its evaluation, which included a range of policy experiments from small messaging trials through to the £30m Growth Vouchers Programme.


Anna Giulia Ponchia

Anna Giulia is a Programme Manager at the Innovation Growth Lab (IGL).

In her role, she leads the implementation of an ambitious new research initiative, which aims to support high-impact experimental research in science, innovation, and productivity.Prior to joining IGL, Anna was part of the Innovation team at Results for Development (R4D) where she coordinated an initiative supporting social innovations impacting over one million lives. In this role, she collaborated with social enterprises, NGOs, and global donor organizations to scale innovation projects, and worked with national and regional governments in East Africa to identify the demand for health innovations. Anna's previous experience includes positions at the World Health Organization in Geneva and the British Chamber of Commerce in Mexico.

She holds an MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies from the London School of Economics and a BA in Politics and International Studies from the University of Warwick.

George Richardson

George is Head of Data Science and Technology at IGL.

Prior to working at IGL, George worked as Head of Data Science in Nesta’s Data Science Practice, deploying data science and engineering to produce research and products to advance the organisation's missions. Before that, he was a Principal Data Scientist in Nesta's Innovation Mapping team.

He has a doctorate in physics and materials science from Imperial College London and has worked on a range of other data projects spanning renewable energy, homelessness and humanitarian crisis response. George is bringing his experience and knowledge to IGL to change the ways that data and technologies are used to enable policies that strengthen research and innovation and harness the outcomes for societal benefit.


Edoardo Trimarchi

Edoardo Trimarchi is Policy Lead for the Innovation Growth Lab (IGL).

In this role, Edoardo contributes to the development and growth of IGL’s programme of work to create more experimental policy ecosystems.

Before joining IGL in 2022, Edoardo was the Senior Policy Manager of the Abdul Latif Jameel Policy Action Lab (J-PAL) office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Santiago, Chile. For three years he led J-PAL LAC’s policy team in identifying opportunities to promote the use of evidence in policy making, built partnerships with governments, donors and civil society organisations across the region, and provided technical assistance for the scale-up and replication of successful interventions. He joined J-PAL LAC in 2017 as a Senior Research Associate working on a White Paper on youth crime and violence prevention in Mexico. Previously, he worked in Colombia with J-PAL LAC and Innovations for Poverty Action on a project for the institutionalisation of evidence use within the Monitoring and Public Policy Evaluation Unit of Colombia's National Department of Planning. 

Edoardo also conducted field research in Bolivia and Colombia, and interned at the Democratic Governance Unit of the United Nations Development Programme in the Dominican Republic. Edoardo has an MSc in Sustainable Development - International Development from Utrecht University and a BA in Economics from Bocconi University.


Nyangala Zolho

Nyangala is a Policy Learning Designer at the Innovation Growth Lab’s (IGL) Policy team.

She helps IGL partners and the wider policy community to share and learn from policy ideas.

Since joining Nesta in 2018, Nyangala has worked to deliver impact through strategic communications and programme design, having supported the delivery of Nesta’s 2030 strategy. Prior to Nesta, Nyangala worked for several years for a human rights and technology startup. She has worked for both profit and non-profit organisations to deliver programmes that are multidisciplinary and mission driven.

Nyangala has a degree in International Relations and holds a MA in Global Media and Transnational Communications from Goldsmith’s, University of London. Her personal interests tend to fall into three main categories: social justice, design and technology.