The MacArthur Research Network on Opening Governance comprises:



Beth Simone Noveck

New York University / Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“The next great superpower is going to be the one who can successfully combine the hierarchy of institution … with the diversity and the pulsating life and the chaos and the excitement of networks.”

Faculty Members:


Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Massachusetts Institute of Technology / University of Southampton

“The Web as I envisaged it, we have not seen it yet. The future is still so much bigger than the past.”




Deborah Estrin

Cornell Tech / Weill Cornell Medical College

“I strongly believe that if we get the flow of our small data back to us, we can make the right thing happen and in the right way”



Erik Johnston

Arizona State University / Center for Policy Informatics

“There is a democratic surplus waiting to be spent by people hesitating to participate because 1) they are unaware of how many other people share their cares regarding their communities 2) they are unsure about the best first step or 3) they do not realize how important their skills, expertise, and experiences are to finding innovative solutions.”


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Deb Roy

Massachusetts Institute of Technology / Twitter

“As our world becomes increasingly instrumented and we have the capability to collect and connect the dots between what people are saying and the context they’re saying it in, what’s emerging is an ability to see new social structures and dynamics that have previously not been seen.”


Henry Farrell

George Washington University

“Even under realistic accounts of how people argue, democratic argument can transform private vices (confirmation bias) into public virtues (the preservation of cognitive diversity)”



Sheena S. Iyengar

Columbia Business School / Jerome A. Chazen Institute of International Business

“In reality, many choices are between things that are not that much different. The value of choice depends on our ability to perceive differences between the options.”


Karim Lakhani

Harvard Business School

“Open source software really showed the way in how innovation can be democratized. Many R&D executives now realize that there is a tremendous amount of knowledge outside their own organizations. The challenge is to find a way to access this knowledge and engage the minds of many people in the problem solving process.”


Anita McGahan

University of Toronto / Harvard University / Massachusetts General Hospital

“[We need to] do what society needs us to do, which is deliver prosperity for everyone.”




Cosma Shalizi

Carnegie Mellon University / Santa Fe Institute

“Most of our notions are intuitive, unformalized, and vague. This suits us well enough, most of the time, and arguably some degree of vagueness is inevitable. Still, from time to time we want to make a notion less vague, less intuitive and more explicit, more amenable to examination and reasoning – to formalize it.”


Institutional Members


Jesper Christiansen

National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts

“The concept of innovation as a ‘necessity’ in the light of this current crisis has been a significant addition to the ‘instruments’ of public governance.”


Geoff Mulgan

National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts

“One of the lessons of history is that even the deepest crises can be moments of opportunity. They bring ideas from the margins into the mainstream.”


Lee Rainie

Pew Research Center

“Social relations are changing in a pretty big way. We are moving in a gradual form, but now accelerated by technology, from a social system that was built around small, tight-knit groups and big, bureaucratic hierarchies, to a new system that’s built around more loose-knit, more dispersed networks.

Chief of Research:


Stefaan G. Verhulst

New York University 

“We have new tools of collaboration and new social scientific insights for how to put them to good use, to source new and better ideas whether from data or from people. But we lack institutions that can quickly discover, recognize, implement and scale innovative solutions to these, and other, problems.”



Network Coordinator: