The Governance Lab is a new project originating from New York University that aims to tap into new ideas around engagement, and how these can make government better.
Here’s a blurb from their website:
Innovations in technology and science are empowering individuals to engage with one another – and with traditional institutions of governance – to tackle problems more collaboratively, and drive progress more rapidly than ever before. Through collection, computation and visualization of large-scale data sets, we can make better informed decisions. We can use new methods for generating ideas from more people in response to wicked challenges. New insights from social and behavioral research are teaching us how to use tools like prizes, games, challenges and “nudges” to create incentives for engagement. We are developing social machines – collaboration platforms – for organizing work at a distance so we can solve problems more democratically.
The Gov Lab consists of two main parts. GovLab Research consists of a network of thought leaders in academia, government and industry to look at how collaborative problem solving can be brought to bare on public sector problems.
The second strand is GovLab Academy, which aims to teach the next generation of leaders and civil servants in this new model of collaborative governance. Students receive mentoring from the GovLab’s team of professional advisors.
It certainly looks like a fascinating project, and one to keep an eye on. You can check out a video from GovLab below where they briefly discuss what the project is about.