The Governance Lab (The GovLab)

Deepening our understanding of how to govern more effectively and legitimately through technology



At no other time in history has innovation brought about more challenges or opportunities for governance.

The Governance Lab (The GovLab) studies the impact of technology on governing. This "think" and "do" tank partners with public institutions to design, implement and assess innovative ways of using technology to advance more effective and legitimate governing. Our goal is to strengthen the ability of public institutions — including but not limited to governments — and people to work more transparently and collaboratively to make better decisions, solve public problems, and advance social justice.

The GovLab's team has advocated for and designed open data policies and platforms and studied the impact of open data globally. We have done pathbreaking work to advance public-private big data partnerships, known as data collaboratives, with such partners as UNICEF. We also address how institutions can use the technologies of collective intelligence to get smarter, including designing and studying how expert networks can improve how institutions issue patents or examine medical devices, and pioneered the use of tech-enabled public engagement. We have also pioneered online expert-sourcing that we call "smarter crowdsourcing" to tackle problems such as Zika in Latin America or corruption in Mexico, and we have worked with cities like Buenos Aires, Madrid and Barcelona to help civil servants collaborate with citizens to solve problems. In addition, The GovLab coordinates the MacArthur Foundation funded Research Network on Opening Governance. The GovLab also trains NYU students and professionals in public entrepreneurship — helping passionate learners develop the skills to take a public interest project from idea to implementation to the end of improving people's lives.