Top people and projects changing Britain for the better in 2014 revealed

A downloadable house and DIY volunteering youth scheme feature on a list of the top 50 people and projects helping to change Britain for the better.

The 2014 New Radicals, unveiled by Nesta and The Observer today, are being celebrated for tackling social challenges in new and innovative ways across a broad range of sectors, including architecture, education and health.

More than 1,000 people responded to the open call for nominations with a panel of judges, led by Nesta chief executive Geoff Mulgan and The Observer Editor John Mulholland, whittling this down to just 50.

Projects within architecture include:

Volunteer for Yourself: Combines volunteering and DIY to help young people aged 14-17 to learn building and construction skills on the job by fixing local youth club buildings in need of essential repairs. Since the project began in 2012, 1,299 young people and 203 tradespeople have refurbished 59 youth club buildings across the UK.

WikiHouse: An open source construction set available online. The aim is to allow anyone to design, download and print a house and its components which can be assembled with minimal skills and training.

You can read the full list of the 2014 New Radicals on The Observer and Nesta websites.

Geoff Mulgan, chief executive of Nesta, commented:

“New Radicals celebrates the often unsung heroes who are blazing new trails that could benefit us all, whether in schools or care homes, science or the arts. It’s designed to complement the very familiar lists that celebrate the rich, the powerful and the famous, and we hope that once again the list can inspire others to turn their enthusiasm and ideas into practical change for the better.”

John Mulholland, editor of The Observer, said:

“It’s a thrilling list – here are people or groups of people who are organising, collaborating and active in a way that helps transform lives and communities. It’s an antidote to apathy and cynicism – this is about activism. The ways in which these people act has the effect of materially changing the lives of Britons for the better. I think the message is clear – if at all possible, do something. It’s almost always better than doing nothing.”

New Radicals launched for the first time in 2012 when another 50 innovative and inspiring people and projects were celebrated.