As we approach the end of this stage of the Knee High Design Challenge the six teams are pitching to the Selection Panel and our Advisory Board to seek further investment for the coming 18 months.

Since the Challenge began in autumn 2013 these six teams have been supported through three stages of development.

Along the way, the Knee High Design Challenge has been supported by two expert panels - an Advisory Board and a Selection Panel.

The members of these panels are specialists in the fields of public health, child development, evaluation, and innovation. They have worked alongside us and the teams to make sure the teams’ products and services have the potential to make a real and sustained difference to children and families in Southwark and Lambeth.


The Knee High panel members are specialists in the fields of public health, child development, evaluation, and innovation

Selection Panel

The Selection Panel is tasked with shortlisting and choosing the right teams to continue to receive further investment and support at the end of each stage. These decisions are made against five pre-agreed criteria.

  • Innovation – Is the product/service taking a new approach?
  • Impact – Will the product/service have a significant impact the health and wellbeing of children under five?
  • Growth – Will this product/service last beyond our investment?
  • Relevance – Does the product/service remain appropriate to the local area and for local people?
  • Capability – Does the team display the appropriate skills and commitment to making this a success?

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board has supported the programme with strategic advice and guidance. They also review the Selection Panel’s decisions and make recommendations on the final selection at each stage. As the teams have developed their work, the Board members have also supported them with specialist guidance and access to relevant networks.

Meet the selection panel

Selection Panel member Ollie Smith talks about working with Design Council on the Knee High Design Challenge.

Ollie Smith - Director of Strategy and Innovation, Guy’s and St Thomas' Charity

Ollie joined Guy’s and St Thomas Charity in November 2010 and is responsible for the design and implementation of the Charity’s strategy. He leads the Charity’s funding programme, investing £100m in any five year period on radical innovations to improve people’s health and healthcare in Southwark and Lambeth.

Emma Stevenson – Assistant Director Children and Maternity Integrated Commissioning, Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group, London Borough of Lambeth

Emma has worked in the public sector leading on Children’s Services for over sixteen years. Emma has extensive experience of developing effective services to improve outcomes for children and their families and ensure value for money. She is a member of various London based working groups and panels that inform regional and national policy, including the Pan-London Children’s Commissioning group, South East London Children’s long term conditions group and Maternity group. 

Elaine Allegretti – Head of Strategy, Planning and Performance for Children's and Adults' Services, London Borough of Southwark

Dr Abdu Mohiddin – Consultant in Public Health, Lambeth and Southwark Public Health Directorate

Abdu is the Public Health Consultant Lead for improving child and young people's health in Lambeth and Southwark. He has a particular interest in child health inequalities and is involved in several child health initiatives including the Evelina London Child Health Programme and the Big Lottery's Better Start programme in Lambeth. 

Rosie Dalton-Lucas – Health Improvement Partnerships Manager, Lambeth and Southwark Public Health Directorate

Rosie has over 10 years’ experience leading health improvement programmes, partnerships, and strategies on healthy weight, mental wellbeing and physical activity. She is currently developing partnerships around Early Years, Active Design, Active Transport and Exercise Referral. As a longstanding champion for creative approaches and community involvement she is currently undertaking a Masters in Sustainable Design, exploring the role of social innovation in the public sector.

Mat Hunter – Chief Design Officer and Director of Challenges, Design Council

Mat is responsible for overseeing programmes that demonstrate how design can create new solutions to the big issues of our time.

Ella Britton – Programme Lead, Design Council

Ella is Programme Lead for the Knee High Design Challenge. 

Catherine Makin– Project Manager, Design Council 

Catherine is Project Manager for the Knee High Design Challenge.

Meet the Advisory Board


The Advisory Board has supported the programme with strategic advice and guidance.

Chair: John Mathers – Chief Executive, Design Council

John is leading the Design Council into the next chapter of its rich history that dates back to 1944.  

Deputy chair: Mat Hunter – Chief Design Officer and Director of Challenges, Design Council

Mat is responsible for overseeing programmes that demonstrate how design can create new solutions to the big issues of our time.

Elaine Allegretti – Head of Strategy, Planning and Performance for Children's and Adults' Services, London Borough of Southwark

Jenny Deeks – Head of Family and Children's Centre, Coin Street Community Builders

Jenny is the Head of Coin Street Family and Children’s Centre for Coin Street Community Builders, a social enterprise on the boarder of Southwark and Lambeth. The Centre has Ofsted Outstanding status and houses a nursery, family support team, play scheme, midwifery unit, training and employment. 

Prior to joining Coin Street, Jenny was a Director of children’s and family’s charities, and worked in Local Authorities, including roles as Parenting Education Manager for the London Borough of Waltham Forest, Enfield Parents Centre, and Head of Service, Sure Start for the London Borough of Newham. Jenny worked as a theatre designer/director until becoming a lone parent of twin babies.

Dr Angela Donkin – Deputy Director, University College London Institute of Health Equity

Angela leads work on children, indicators, work, and income at the Institute of Health Equity (IHE). Before joining IHE in 2012, Angela was the senior civil servant responsible for overseeing the independent reviews on Early Intervention in the Cabinet Office. Prior to that she led on health, work and wellbeing for the Cross Departmental Health Work and Well-Being Initiative. Earlier in her civil service career Angela steered, set up and analysed a number of longitudinal studies, with a focus on income, wealth, health, life expectancy, work, and pensions.

Dr Grenville Fox – Joint Lead Child Health Clinical Academic Group, King's Health Partners

Grenville has worked as a consultant neonatologist at Guy’s & St. Thomas’ Hospital for the past 18 years. He has been Clinical Director at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital since 2007 and Joint Clinical Academic Group (CAG) Lead for Child Health for King’s Health Partners since 2010. Grenville works alongside children and families services in Lambeth and Southwark, and across south east England and further afield.

Ed Gardiner – Behavioural Design Lead, Warwick Business School

Ed supports the Knee High Design Challenge, working with the teams to apply insights and methods from behavioural science to the design of new products and services.

Jackie Harrop – Leadership Coach, Jackie Harrop Ltd

Jackie is former Director of Children and Learners Government Office for London leading on the management of DfES/DfE policies for children and young people and performance improvement for London Boroughs. She has extensive experience managing public services for children across the country and has held roles as Assistant Chief Executive in Wokingham and Deputy Director of Education in Westminster.

Jackie is now a freelance coach and leadership consultant coordinating the Leaders for London programme for leaders of Children’s Services across the capital. She is former Chair of a validation panel assessing evidence of evaluation to demonstrate impact and an assessor for the GLA and Project Oracle.

Rashid Iqbal – Director of Children and Families Services, London Early Years Foundation

Rashid is the Children and Families Services Director at London Early Years Foundation, a charitable social enterprise tackling inequality and improving children’s life chances through excellent early education and care.

Rashid was Commissioning Director for The Children’s Society, a national charity, and for several years Deputy Director of Operations where he was responsible for delivering early years and family support services though children centres and nurseries across England. He has helped set up, volunteered for and worked in a number of charities since starting his career in education. Rashid is also a 2010 Fellow of the Clore Social Leadership programme.

Jonathan Jenkins – CEO, Social Investment Business Group

Jonathan is CEO of the Social Investment Business Group, one of the largest UK impact investors. Jonathan has over 15 years experience in fundraising for SMEs from his City career, which included time at a UK merchant bank, and culminated in his role as managing director of Plus Markets: a stock exchange created by his family to enable access to capital for smaller companies.

Jonathan was formerly Director of Ventures at UnLtd, supporting early stage social entrepreneurs, and was the architect of Big Venture Challenge programme. He is also a proud non-executive and trustee of a number of third sector organisations.

Sean Miller – Founder and Director, nonon

Sean runs his own service design and innovation practice partnering with a wide range of public, private and third sector clients, leading projects to create new services, improve existing ones and build in-house capability.

Sean also holds associate roles with the Design Council and Nesta among other innovation agencies providing expert advice and mentoring to support local authorities, central government, NGO’s, charities, start-ups, SMEs and corporate organisations. Sean has lectured at Imperial College and Central St Martins and sits on the Board of Trustees for the award winning Beat Bullying Group.

Michael Ridge – COO and Head of Public Policy Practice, Frontier Economics

Michael has 25 years’ experience as an applied economist. His work involves advising governments, agencies and non-government bodies on the impact of policy and programme interventions and their value for money. Michael is an expert on the application of evaluation methodologies, particularly in relation to interventions focused on early years development, education and health.

Oliver Smith – Director of Strategy and Innovation, Guy’s and St Thomas' Charity

Ollie joined Guy’s and St Thomas Charity in November 2010 in the newly created role of Director of Strategy and Innovation and is responsible for the design and implementation of the Charity’s strategy. He leads the Charity’s funding programme, investing £100m in any five year period on radical innovations to improve health and healthcare for the local population and service users.

Emma Stevenson – Assistant Director Children and Maternity Integrated Commissioning, Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group, London Borough of Lambeth

Emma has worked in the public sector leading on Children’s Services for over sixteen years, developing effective integrated service delivery and commissioning. Emma has extensive experience of developing effective services to improve outcomes for children and their families and ensure value for money. She is a member of various London based working groups and panels that inform regional and national policy, including the Pan-London Children’s Commissioning group, South East London Children’s long term conditions group and Maternity group.

Lord Matthew Taylor

Lord Matthew Taylor is nationally known for his work on creating more sustainable communities. Chairman of the National Housing Federation (representing housing associations), he recently led the Government's Planning Guidance review, and previously the Rural Planning Review. MP for Truro and St. Austell for 23 years, he stood down in 2010. He has a strong interest in enhancing early childhood opportunities, having written policy papers on the subject and having three young children - one of whom was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 aged 2½, and successfully treated at St. Thomas’ and Great Ormond Street hospitals.

Dr Ivo Vlaev – Professor of Behavioural Science, University of Warwick

Ivo’s key research interests are in behavioural economics, specifically topics of behaviour change, consumer psychology, cooperation, and well-being. His research is published in peer-reviewed academic journals, book chapters and government reports. 

Ivo is co-author of the UK Cabinet Office MINDSPACE report, which provides a framework for designing effective policy utilising the latest insights from the field of behavioural economics. MINDSPACE is widely used across both local and central government and in the commercial sector. Ivo is also Honorary Professor of Safety and Quality Improvement at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Ruth Wallis – Director of Public Health for Southwark and Lambeth, London Boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark

Ruth leads a multidisciplinary team which works with CCGs, clinicians, council partners and the community and voluntary sector to improve health and reduce health inequalities. She has a longstanding interest in design and the built environment, including housing, external environment, safety and healthy high streets. From 1998 to 2013 she chaired the London Health Inequalities Network, which progressed work on the social determinants of health, including planning, such as improving availability of healthy food (and reducing fast food outlets), improving access to financial advice (limiting betting shops and payday loan availability).

Ruth currently chairs an Advisory Board for a programme that has been jointly developed with the Design Council to create a new online sexual health service for Southwark and Lambeth.

Dr Ingrid Wolfe – Director, Evelina London Child Health Partnership; Clinical Senior Lecturer, Child Public Health, Kings College London; Co-Chair, British Association for Child and Adolescent Public Health

Ingrid is qualified in paediatrics and public health, which has enabled her to be a children’s doctor in a very broad sense of the term. She has on-the-ground insight from clinical practice and a population perspective from public health. These two aspects come together in her academic work, which focuses on children’s health services and policy in the UK and European countries, and in her NHS work as Director of the Evelina London Child Health Partnership where she is leading the development and evaluation of a new model of children’s health care in South London.


The six teams are pitching to the Selection Panel and our Advisory Board to seek further investment.

A thank you to our experts

We’d like to thank the Advisory Board and Selection Panel for their support throughout the Challenge. It’s been a privilege to work with such enthusiastic and encouraging people whose involvement and advice has been a huge reassurance to us throughout the process. Their commitment to the programme and the funded teams has been exceptional and we are incredibly grateful for the time and energy that has been poured into the Challenge.

Find out more about the Knee High Design Challenge.

Meet the six teams who will be pitching for investment.

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