Who we are

The GovLab’s mission is
to improve people’s lives by changing the way we govern.

Our goal is to strengthen the ability of institutions – including but not limited to governments – and people to work more openly, collaboratively, effectively and legitimately to make better decisions and solve public problems.

We believe that increased availability and use of data, new ways to leverage the capacity, intelligence, and expertise of people in the problem-solving process, combined with new advances in technology and science can transform governance.

We approach each challenge and opportunity in an interdisciplinary, collaborative way, irrespective of the problem, sector, geography and level of government.

What we do


We develop and test prototypes for new platforms to enable open and collaborative problem-solving inside a variety of organizations.


We assess and disseminate information and analysis about governance innovations (successes and failures) globally and their impact on people’s lives.


We train entrepreneurs to tackle public interest challenges using open innovation to take projects from idea to implementation.


We build networks of innovators from across disciplines to gain deeper insights and develop new frameworks for improving governance.

How we do it

We learn by doing

We embrace failure: failing fast and often, learning from our mistakes and sharing experiences.

We collaborate with and connect experts and practitioners, across sectors and disciplines, levels of governance and geographies.

We rely on reproducible experiments and metrics to better understand what works (and what doesn’t) and to translate theory and hypotheses into actionable insights.

We put users at the center, to ensure we stay focused on improving people’s lives.