Urban Innovation Lab

Why do we exist?

Because Washington, DC (and cities around the country) has jarring inequalities in terms of health and wealth, and it does not need to be this way. We aim to support and advance the kind of innovative thinking and collaborative leadership needed to address the complexity of the challenges our city faces.

How do we work?

The Aspen Institute convenes leading thinkers and doers to discuss the critical issues of our day. The discussions aim to inspire action based on big ideas and timeless values. The Urban Innovation Lab applies the Institute’s general modus operandi to conversations and interactions with the innovators and entrepreneurs building a better Washington, DC.

What do we do?

We identify high potential entrepreneurs who are building social ventures that are addressing the deep-rooted challenges of inequality and opportunity.

We make non-monetary investments in these entrepreneurs – in the form of with leadership development, connectivity, and promotion – to support their ability to build enduring social ventures that creates the justice and impact they envision.

We also act as a bridge between the longstanding institutional actors and support them with the right connections and conversations.