Dep – Our mission

Piloting and scaling innovations that power better urban futures.

Over half of the world’s population live in urban environments – that’s 83% in the UK and rising, and we know that a range of pressures – such as pollution, social isolation, rising living costs, food insecurity – present a considerable challenge to people living healthier, safer lives. These challenges are directly impacting the lives of our east London neighbours, but it’s a global trend that shows .no signs of abating.

At the same time cities are places of growth, creativity and opportunity, driven by the knowledge of local people. Yet, much of the innovation economy takes place behind closed doors, often excluding the people who have first-hand experience.  

We believe that’s business limiting and societally damaging.

By bridging the gap between innovators from all backgrounds and creating an ecosystem open to all, we are seeking to disrupt systemic barriers and spark positive change at scale.  

We are looking to work with creative solutions under 3 themes:  

Climate emergency

Cities consume over two-thirds of the world’s energy and are responsible for over 60% of greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, rising temperatures and increases in extreme weather events are leaving urban populations vulnerable to risks on health, livelihoods, food security and basic operations. We are exploring ways to respond to the climate emergency. From green energy solutions, changing our habits, or delivering nature-based interventions to flooding or rising temperatures. Do you have an idea or product that might help tackle the climate emergency?

Health and wellbeing

Where we live, work, and play influence our mental and physical health, and city lifestyles can bring huge challenges: higher stress levels, higher rates of diabetes, anxiety, obesity, to name a few. SHIFT is working to improve physical and mental health outcomes where innovation intersects with how people interact with their local environment; the food we eat, the services we access; the way we socialise. Are you working on an innovation that can make a difference to people’s health and wellbeing?

Movement of people and goods

How people and goods move through cities is one of the essential elements of urban development and our mission to deliver better urban futures. Healthy and flourishing cities depend on mobility systems that are low-carbon, safe, accessible, affordable, and efficient. We are interested in testing and demonstrating new ways of moving people and things from place to place. Leveraging greener technologies and new thinking in urban planning, we will inform new strategies and improvements in future mobility, traffic management and infrastructure. Do you have a sustainable mobility solution?

Business people walking through the city at dawn

As we investigate, develop and demonstrate solutions for better urban futures, we will remain committed to our core values.

Inclusive Innovation: We enhance participation and empowerment of local communities to address context-specific problems in new and creative ways, driving shared benefits and opportunities for people, businesses and communities in the surrounding local areas and marginalised groups in east London.  

Collaboration and Partnership: Innovation shouldn’t happen behind closed doors. We facilitate and coordinate connections across communities, sectors and industries; co-creating value, sharing learnings and applying open innovation to maximise impact. 

Local and Global Impact: We address issues from our immediate locality to challenges of a global nature, working with a diverse range of innovators and stakeholders to demonstrate the potential for impact at scale. 

Find out more about how we’re working to deliver better urban futures. Join our mailing list.

Join our mailing list

Get access to our ecosystem of innovators, opportunities and partnerships in east London.

Join the ecosystem