Inclusive innovation at Plexal

We believe that innovation should benefit everyone, and that we end up having better products, policies and services when everyone is included in their design.

Inclusion is one of our three main innovation themes, along with cybersecurity and mobility.

We’re on a mission to support user-centric, genuinely inclusive innovation. Our approach is to understand the challenge, bring the right people together and create real change – quickly. Sitting in the heart of London’s most inclusive business zone in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, we’re working with industry, academics, policymakers, innovators and experts by experience. Large-scale change takes a village – so it’s a good thing we’ve got one.


There are 13.9m people with disabilities in the UK but assistive technology is still not reaching enough people, while industry hasn’t fully woken up to innovation opportunity in front of them.

That’s why we intend to turbocharge disability-led innovation in the UK. We believe that by including diverse experiences and innovating around specific user challenges, you end up with better solutions for everyone. So we’ve partnered with University College London, The Global Disability Innovation Hub, Disability Rights UK and many more to launch an inclusive enterprise zone in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

We’re optimising Plexal’s workspace to meet the needs of people with a range of accessibility challenges, and we’re working with both industry and disabled people to stimulate the growth of the assistive tech sector. Our goal? To develop and scale disability-led innovations that benefit everyone.



We work closely with partners like My Life My Say and Disability Rights UK to understand the challenges and identify opportunity areas for innovation.


Through our workspace and events, we’re uniting a community of innovators who are typically under-represented in the tech sector. These experts by experience help us craft solutions that are genuinely user-centric.


If you’ve got an inclusion challenge, we’ll design a bespoke project or programme and ensure the solution is user-centric.


We’re helping social entrepreneurs get their idea off the ground, find a route to market and scale with our OpenDoor accelerator.


When it comes to levelling the playing field, we’re looking to the innovation community.

So in 2019, we delivered an accelerator aimed at supporting solutions that could help people from under-represented groups to start a business, find work or succeed in their career.



The Social Inclusion Unit’s our research arm aimed at producing actionable insights that can make society and business more inclusive.

We asked the public what they thought about the state of social inclusion in the UK – and who they think is responsible for improving things. Download our report, which contains a foreword from mayor of London Sadiq Khan, to find out what they told us.


We’ve partnered with University College London, The Global Disability Innovation Hub, Disability Rights UK and many more to launch an inclusive enterprise zone in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The East London Inclusive Enterprise Zone (ELIEZ) brings together a community of entrepreneurs, business leaders and design thinkers who are disabled or whose work focuses on disabled people. We’re inviting them to join, and in return we’ll help them market and scale their business, as well as give them complimentary desk space at Plexal for six months.

We’re currently consulting with our partners to understand the accessibility challenges they could face at Plexal, and we’ll be optimising our workspace in response to what they tell us.

We hope that by bringing disabled innovators together and connecting them with industry and entrepreneurs from across the tech sector, we can grow the UK’s assistive technology sector and create products or solutions that are inherently empathetic.

We’ll also be sharing everything we learn from the process so workspaces across the country can become more inclusive.





Russell Gundry

Head of innovation strategy

Russell leads our inclusion work, including our involvement with ELIEZ and the delivery of our OpenDoor accelerator. With over 10 years’ consultancy experience, he’s an advocate for action-oriented and user-centric solutions that involve inclusive innovation methods and systems thinking.


That’s a wrap: our OpenDoor cohort graduates

Over the past 12 weeks, nine organisations have been through OpenDoor: Plexal’s accelerator programme aimed at supporting solutions that can make work more inclusive.

It’s kick-off time: Plexal’s working with BT to make football more inclusive

From the side streets of São Paulo to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, the transformative power of football is felt globally. And BT wants to bring the game to even more people.

How we’re optimising our workspace for accessibility

Plexal has partnered with 12 organisations, including UCL, Here East and our member Disability Rights UK, to launch the East London Inclusive Enterprise Zone (ELIEZ) with the aim of supporting


Whether you want to test an idea, solve a specific challenge, scale a solution or connect with the right organisations and innovators, our inclusion team will create a solution designed around your needs.

Find Us

Plexal’s based at Here East: a tech campus in east London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. We’re a 10-minute walk from Hackney Wick train station, or you can catch the free shuttle bus from Stratford train, underground and bus stations.


14 East Bay Lane, The Press Centre, Here East, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, E20 3BS


We’re open Monday-Friday from 6am-12am, Saturday - Sunday 10am-6pm