The Institute of Imagination is a charity creating space for children and young people to re-imagine the world. Our goal is to spark imaginations everywhere and encourage creative learning through our events, training, partnerships and research.

what do we do?

From the first mark on a cave wall to the first footsteps on the Moon, our greatest developments have begun with leaps of someone’s imagination. We believe imagination is a vital human resource and that it needs space to thrive. Our activities provide that much needed space.

We run events for children and young people, families, schools and educators from our current home, the Imagination Lab in London, and beyond. Find out what activities are coming up on our what’s on page.

We champion new ways to develop future generations of makers, not just consumers. At the heart of this, is the need for a public space that prioritises imagination. Our mission is to realise that public space and our permanent home – the Institute of Imagination Campus.

our mission

Every child is born with the capability to imagine – bursting with curiosity, wonder and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. But today, there’s less time and space than ever to flex imaginations.

That’s why we’re creating the iOi Campus, a one of a kind space, which will be a mix between a laboratory, a studio, a gallery, a science centre, a museum and a community centre. This exciting hybrid model, with children and young people at its heart, will enable us to realise a much-needed and world-class family destination.

And we’re not alone. We’re working with experts, teachers, parents and – most important of all – children, to ensure we provide a space they want and need. We’ve already engaged over 40,000 individuals and continue to test and prototype our methods and approach.

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our approach

Rather than seeking to change the world, we recognise that the world is already changing rapidly. Our focus is on ensuring children and young people are supported to develop the skills they will need to thrive in an uncertain future. That means creating a radically new approach to learning and development.

We are:

  • Child-led. We believe in learning environments that strongly encourage children to lead their learning, avoiding activities that have pre-determined outcomes.
  • Playful. We believe there is enormous value in learning through play, we believe that through play vital skills for the future are developed.
  • Failure positive. We believe in ideas and imagination and think the best learning opportunities come through an iterative approach.
  • Collaborative. We believe in working together, sharing ideas and problem solving as a community.
  • Inter-disciplinaryWe believe in the fundamental need for inter-disciplinary learning, combining the arts, sciences, technology and engineering.

We aim to provide children and young people with the tangible skills they need (from coding and engineering to making and electronics) and the intangible skills they need to develop throughout their lives (including imagination and creativity, collaboration and problem solving). Underpinning this, we support wellbeing, so children have the confidence and resilience to shape their futures.

See the iOi in action on Youtube

iOi Enterprise: The charity’s trading subsidiary, iOi Enterprise Ltd, carries out some of the day to day activities of the charity including the Imagination Lab programme and a range of outreach programmes. iOi Enterprise Ltd supports the activities of the charity and all profits it generates goes back into the charity through Gift Aid.


Download a copy of our latest Annual Report for more on our latest achievements, fundraising progress and audited accounts.

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