GovLab – Doing things right in New York

GovLab Logo
GovLab Logo

Looking out across the community of people and organisations that are working to improve government it’s brilliant to come across bright sparks. One such bright spark is GovLab. They are working to improve the ability of organisations and government to work together openly and effectively.

Like Wittin, GovLab sees the central role of data in transforming organisations. They use this to do four key actions:


They develop and create prototype systems that facilitate problem-solving following their ethos.


They pull together networks of innovators across disciplines. This will help get a better view of challenges and possible solutions for improving governance and outcomes.


In an effort to disseminate good practice and good ideas, GovLab gathers and publishes information and analysis about successful ideas.


GovLab also trains entrepreneurs to look specifically at public sector challenges and facilitates connections between them and the public sector.

A core concept of GovLab is that mistakes and failure are useful tools for learning. Wittin is a solid partner in this belief. Particularly in government, we need more failure. Not because we want failure, but because failure allows us to create the opportunities that we can learn from and to improve as an organisation.

It’s a shame they are based out of New York, we need a good solid equivalent here in Scotland.

If you have a bit of time taking a look isn’t a bad idea:

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Born into the wilds of mid-western America, Matthew has lived his life creating. The kind of kid that bought a tarp, some PVC pipe and a skate board; fashioned himself a windsurfing set-up and then saw an opportunity in a local tornado. "Sorry Mom." Undergraduate in Art and Design, Doctorate in Scottish History, Matthew came late to the realisation that if he's going to use his diverse skill set he'd have to employ himself.