Who are we?

Institute of Quantitative Social Science

The Crowd Innovation Lab (CIL) at Harvard University researches and provides guidance on how teams and crowds are organized to perform tasks and functions. More specifically, through partnerships with NASA's Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation, Harvard Medical School, and other academic and non-profit organizations, the lab designs and fields complex, computational problems that can be solved through crowd sourcing.

Currently, the Crowd Innovation Lab supports 4 tracks:

  1. NASA's Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation/ NASA Tournament Lab
  2. Precision Medicine Contest Series with the Broad Institute
  3. Challenges for the Federal Government
  4. Contests in Microfinance with MIT's Laboratory for Financial Engineering (LFE)

The lab studies crowdsourcing as a tool, which includes the following:

  • Assess benefits and disadvantages of crowdsourcing
  • Advance knowledge on when and how to use crowdsourcing
  • Provide academic expertise to commercial crowdsourcing platforms
  • Define contest problem definitions through data extraction and re-framing
  • Define incentive structures
  • Facilitate the adoption of crowdsourcing processes and integration of crowdsourcing products


The Crowd Innovation Lab is now the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH). LISH is spurring the development of a science of innovation through a systematic program of solving real-world technical challenges while simultaneously conducting rigorous scientific research and analysis. LISH is a Harvard-wide research program lead by faculty co-directors Karim Lakhani, Harvard Business School; Eva Guinan, Harvard Medical School; and David Parkes, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; with support from the Institute for Quantitative Social Science.

Copy and paste this code to your website.
Copy and paste this code to your website.