Full website coming soon

Imagination: the cornerstone of creativity

We have set up the Institute of Imagination to help understand the power of imagination and realise its potential.

We are creating a new world-class cultural destination in the capital that will put children at its heart. A much-needed space where children and their families can let their imaginations run free and explore, experiment, make, play and create together.

Our new website is coming soon. Until then you can discover more about what we’re up to, find out how we’re making it happen and meet the team, inspirational advisors and friends behind the Institute of Imagination. Keep in touch with our developments.

Creating space for imaginations to thrive

Imagination is the cornerstone of creativity, problem solving and innovation. It’s an essential skill for life.

The Institute of Imagination will be one of a kind — a hybrid between a museum, gallery, community centre, science centre, and laboratory. A dedicated space for people to follow their own interests and trigger new ideas. It will be for everyone, whatever their background, wherever they are from, whatever their age.

Imagination has no bounds, so neither do we — we won’t be limited to just the sciences, or just arts. We will welcome over 600,000 visitors per annum to the Institute and many thousands more off-site and online.

Making it happen

To make the Institute of Imagination happen, we are working with a host of world-renowned experts which include Sir Ken Robinson (one of our patrons and a specialist in education and creativity), and Project Designer, Thomas Heatherwick CBE.

Behind the organisation is a world-class team, supported by a fantastic and diverse Advisory Board and group of Patrons. We’re working with organisations spanning the fields of visual and performing arts, the sciences, technology and education.

We are also drawing on ongoing conversations with teachers, parents, carers and our most important contributors — children themselves. We have carried out the largest pre-opening consultation with children in the UK and children are being involved in every step of our development.

We like to think of ourselves as choreographers of imagination. We’re not here to dictate. We’re here to create space for imaginations to thrive.

We know that it will work because we’ve already been testing out our ideas. We’ve sparked the imaginations of over 3,000 children and their families through our Imagination Lab and reached hundreds more in schools with our mobile Imagination Pods.

Institute of Imagination Mini Maker Faire

In May 2015, 400 young makers, parents and carers took part in the Institute of Imagination's first ever Mini Maker Faire.

We believe imagination matters

Imagine what could be possible if we create space for children to re-imagine the world.

If you’re interested in exploring the power of imagination, get in touch with us by email at hello@ioi.london or call us on
+44 (0)20 7494 9153.

Sign up to receive information by email about the development of the Institute of Imagination and about our future programmes and events:

People behind it


Professor Alison Gopnik
Professor of Psychology and Affiliate Professor of Philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley

Dame Mary Marsh
Director of Clore Social Leadership Programme, former Chief Executive, NSPCC

Michael Morpurgo OBE
Author and playwright

Professor Mick Waters
Professor of Education, President of the Curriculum Foundation

Sir Ken Robinson
Author, speaker and international advisor on education and creativity

Mark Wallinger
Artist and Turner Prize winner

Advisory Board

Sally Bacon
Executive Director, Clore Duffield Foundation

Dr Derek Cabrera
Cornell University and Founder of ThinkWorks

Laurent Carrier
Experience and Exhibition Designer, Founding Partner of Toboggan Design

Helen Chambers
Associate, National Children's Bureau

Alison Cole
Strategic Consultant and writer, arts and culture

Dr Laura Colosi
Cornell University and CEO of ThinkWorks

Bernadette Duffy OBE
Head of the Thomas Coram Centre

Rhian Harris
Director, V&A Museum of Childhood

Thomas Heatherwick CBE
Project Designer, founder of Heatherwick Studios

Patricia Lankester
Adviser and trustee to a range of cultural organisations

Dr Stuart Lester
Senior Lecturer in Play and Playwork, University of Gloucestershire

Mat Lown
Partner and Head of Sustainability, Tuffin Ferraby Taylor LLP

Dr Lisa Månsson
Director of Exhibits and Program, Tom Tits Experiment, Sweden

Dr Robin Meisner
Director of Exhibits, Providence Children’s Museum, Rhode Island, USA

Dr Ute Navidi
Independent international consultant and former Chief Executive of London Play

Alex Poots
Founding CEO & Artistic Director, Manchester International Festival; Artistic Director, Park Avenue Armory NYC

Jacqueline Rose
Cultural Strategy Manager and Big Dance Director, Greater London Authority

Robert Sain
Executive Director, the Centre of the Living Arts, Mobile, Alabama, USA

Jason Silva
Futurist, filmmaker, and host of National Geographic Channel’s Brain Games

Sir John Sorrell
Chairman, London Design Festival and UKTI Ambassador for the Creative Industries

Professor Andrew Tolmie
Dean of the Doctoral School, Institute of Education, University of London

Lady Marina Vaizey
Art Critic, writer and lecturer

David Wells
Manager of Creative Making & Learning, New York Hall of Science

Honor Wilson-Fletcher MBE
CEO of education charity, the Aldridge Foundation

Anne Wood CBE
Creative Director of Ragdoll Productions

Dr Anthony Woods
Director, Genesis Research Trust


Penelope, Viscountess Cobham CBE
Chair of Visit England

Boris Johnson
Mayor of London

Harvey McGrath
Former Chairman of Prudential plc

Lord Robert Winston
Professor of Science and Society, Imperial College London

Board of trustees

Ric Lewis, Chair
Ric is Founder, Chief Executive and Chairman of Tristan Capital Partners. He dedicates his spare time to voluntary organisations working to improve access and quality in education for children from less advantaged backgrounds.

Michelle Dorion, Founding Chair
A former banker, Michelle oversees a family office with interests in renewable energy, finance, insurance and real estate. A former member of the Board of Directors of Bacardi Ltd, Michelle is one of the Institute of Imagination’s co- Founders.

Basil Demeroutis
Basil is Founder and Managing Partner of FORE Partnership, a real estate investment firm. Previously a partner at Capricorn Investment Group, a significant single-family office focused on driving investment returns through a values-based, impact- oriented approach.

Emma Gilpin-Jacobs
Emma specialises in strategic communications and corporate reputation. Previously, she led on global brand positioning and strategic communications for various international organisations including the Financial Times Group and Time Warner. She is also a Board member of the Press Recognition Panel.

Kate Grussing
Kate is Founder and Managing Director of Sapphire Partners, a pioneering executive search consultancy. She has previously held senior international positions at JP Morgan, McKinsey and Morgan Stanley.

Jane Quinn OBE
Jane is co-Founder and Director of Bolton & Quinn, the UK’s leading specialist communications agency, working on cultural and educational developments worldwide.

Mary Reilly
Mary is a former Partner at Deloitte LLP, where she was Head of Charities. She is former Chair of the London Development Agency and now holds a number of non- Executive Director positions including Travelzoo Inc, Ferrexpo PLC and the Department of Transport.

Paul Simon
Paul is an Associate Partner with Earth Capital Partners and has significant experience in investment banking and private equity. Paul also advises Lord Stanley Fink.

Diana Uehlein
Diana is one of the Institute of Imagination’s co-Founders. Professionally, she has been dedicated to innovation in childcare and family support, providing consultancy for organisations such as Work/Family Directions in Boston.

Nick Viner
Nick is Chief Executive of Firefly Capital. Previously, as its founding Chief Executive, he oversaw the development of JW3, London’s award-winning Jewish Cultural and Community Centre.

Delivery team

Simone Crofton Chief Executive
Formerly Chief Executive of Borough Market, Simone brings a background in cultural place-making and visitor attractions. A venture capitalist earlier in her career, she brings significant experience of income generation and strategic business development. Previously Non-Executive Director, Better Bankside, the Adventure Capital Fund, and Board Member, South Bank and Bankside Cultural Quarter.

Gareth Binns Director of Content and Learning
Gareth brings a wealth of experience and knowledge about developing learning environments, programmes and resources. Formerly Head of Education and Interpretation at the National Trust, Director of Learning at Nesta, Keeper of Learning and Information at the British Museum, and CEO of the Sorrell Foundation.

Tom Doust Associate Director: Learning, Innovation and Digital Programmes
Co-founded an educational charity which enables children and young people to design and deliver social action projects. He was a 2013 Clore Social Fellow and worked with Nesta on their Impact Investment Programme.

Kate Bines Head of Communications
Marketing and communications professional with experience across the voluntary and creative sectors. Formerly led the V&A Museum of Childhood through a major rebranding and repositioning exercise.

Jennifer Coleman Director of Development
Formerly Head of Volunteer Board Fundraising, NSPCC, where she started her career as a graduate trainee. She was part of the core team that drove the £250m FULL STOP Appeal and developed the Society’s flagship Art Ball.

Tríona Larkin Development Manager
Formerly Corporate Partnerships Manager at St Mungo’s Broadway. Tríona specialises in corporate and major donor fundraising and special events.

Robert Cresswell Finance Director
Strategic and commercial finance director specialising in the charity sector. He is a qualified chartered accountant with experience in a Big 4 firm. He has most recently worked with the Invictus Games, and is a trustee and treasurer for a local care home.

Dr Vicky Cave Consultant: Children's Creative Programme
With a PhD from UCL in developing hands-on educational exhibits for children, Vicky is committed to access and inclusion and involving target audiences in the development of learning experiences within museums and discovery centres. She has developed exhibitions and learning programmes across a wide range of national visitor attractions including the Science Museum and the National Maritime Museum.

Institute of Imagination is a registered charity, number 1109276 and a company limited by guarantee, number 04921852.

Registered offices:
18 Broadwick St, London W1F 8HS

+44 (0)20 7494 9153

Full website coming soon