The GovLab Launches The Living Library – A New Resource on Technology, Innovation and Governance

Today, the GovLab at NYU Tandon School of Engineering announced the launch of The Living Library – a new resource that seeks to inform those interested in and working at the intersection of technology, innovation, and governance. Specifically, the site includes thousands of curated pieces of content – ranging from journal articles and research papers, to thought pieces and book summaries – all of which can be searched or filtered by an array of categories such as geography, topic, governance level, or sector.

Developed with support from the MacArthur Foundation and Luminate, The Living Library builds on the success of the GovLab Digest – a weekly curated email with thousands of readers – to provide actionable knowledge on governance innovation in a searchable and navigable platform.

“At a time of information overload and misinformation, decision-makers have a hard time identifying the signal in the often noisy coverage of civic tech, big data, open innovation, and other buzz terms,” said Stefaan G. Verhulst, Curator of the Living Library and Co-Founder of the GovLab. “The Living Library seeks to not only make the field more evidence-based, it also tries to signal important views, trends, and practices worth noting.”

Content on The Living Library spans topic areas ranging from artificial intelligence, open data, and blockchain, to citizen science, open innovation, crowdsourcing, and civic technology. With an international purview, The Living Library draws on global research and insights from a vast array of sectors.

With an ever-growing agglomeration of information continuing to occupy physical and digital space around the world, The Living Library – as the Digest did previously – attempts to extract and deliver the most useful and insightful pieces of knowledge to innovators around the world, and is intended to inform and inspire policymakers, practitioners, technologists, and researchers alike.

Living Lib Screenshot v2

A screenshot of The Living Library

The Living Library provides users with five key offerings:

  1. The Collection – a compilation of more than 5,000 pieces of curated content – articles, reports, case studies, opinion pieces, and more – that are updated daily and cataloged according to content topic, sector area, governance level, geography and region;
  2. The Digest – a weekly newsletter highlighting 20 new pieces of actionable knowledge on governance innovation (see below what readers say about the Digest, and subscribe to the Digest here);
  3. The Index – a collection of statistics and data sources relevant to governance innovation;
  4. Selected Readings – an annotated and curated collection of recommended works on key open governance topics;
  5. 21st Century Vocabulary – a descriptive collection of emerging concepts and terms related to current efforts to improve governance.

Visit the new website at For more information or suggestions, please contact Stefaan Verhulst (stefaan at

What Readers of the Digest Say:

“The Digest has an uncanny ability to uncover the most informative literature about the digitalization of the economy and government…It keeps me informed and I recommend it to others who don’t have or want to spend the time to stay abreast of technological innovation and policy impacts. I eagerly devour each Digest message.” – Paul Wormeli, Innovation Strategist at Wormeli Consulting LLC

“The Digest is my personal clearinghouse for open governance and governance innovation issues. It helps me to navigate through the comprehensive and always growing body of knowledge. There’s no better way to stay updated with what is coming up from research’s state of the art or practice frontier.” – Silverio Zebral Filho, Head of Government Innovation at the Organization of American States

“I love how The Digest provides a quick and comprehensive view on the most interesting ideas and publications out there in the world of government innovation and effectiveness. I’d warmly recommend The Digest to anyone who wants to stay on top of what’s happening in the community.” – Danny Buerkli, Programme Director, Centre for Public Impact