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 sciencecan 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 (Actions)

  • BUILD: we develop and test prototypes for new platforms to enable open and collaborative problem-solving inside a variety of organizations.
  • TRAIN: we train entrepreneurs, inside and outside government, to tackle public interest challenges using open innovation to take projects from idea to implementation.
  • LEARN: we assess and disseminate information and analysis about governance innovations (successes and failures) globally and their impact on people’s lives.
  • CONNECT: we build networks of policymakers, technologists, designers, entrepreneurs, researchers and thinkers from across disciplines to gain deeper insights, develop more agile research protocols, and new theories for understanding the transformation of today’s institutions.

How we do it (Methodology)

  • 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.