Projectskeyboard_arrow_rightThe GovLab Academy

The GovLab Academy

How to empower civic & policy entrepreneurs to develop impactful real-word projects?

Project Websitelink
    Governance Area
  • National Governance Local Governance
  • Institution Type
  • Nonprofit Academic Corporate/Business Public Sector
  • Innovative Capability
  • Open Innovation Design Thinking Agile Research Rapid Prototyping
  • Product Category
  • training, coaching & mentorship


Although many schools and programs teach the skills relevant to business innovation, aspiring public and social sector innovators have very few places to turn to receive the mentoring and support needed to take a technology-driven governance innovation project across a wide range of social issues from idea to implementation. Our objective has been to focus sharply on delivering learning experiences and support that make for successful governance innovation projects.




John S. and James L. Knight Foundation


Through coaching programs, workshops, courses and project clinics, and master classes, The GovLab Academy offers teams and individuals who are passionate about solving a public problem access to high-quality, curated content aimed at busy practitioners, mentoring designed to help take public interest projects from idea to implementation, connections to subject-matter experts, and tools for peer-to-peer learning and skill sharing.

Results & Impact

In a series of Masters-level courses and online (and offline) workshops and coaching programs funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The GovLab and its network of 25 world-class coaches and over 100 mentors helped over 1000 participants in more than a dozen US cities and thirty countries to take a public interest technology project from idea to implementation. In the process, we’ve learned a lot about the need for new ways of training the next generation of leaders and problem solvers.

Our participants come from more than 30 different countries, and we have recently expanded to launch globally-accessible massive open online courses (MOOCs) such as “Solving Public Problems with Data” and “Open Justice”.

Our aim has been to aid public entrepreneurs?—?passionate and innovative people who wish to take advantage of new technology to do good in the world. That’s why we measure success, not by the number of participants in a class, but by the projects participants create and the impact those projects have on communities.


Beth Simone Noveck

Dinorah Cantú-Pedraza

Denny Tek

Christopher Wong

Claudio Mendonca

Anna Bialas