We are accelerating innovation in social impact.

CIV:LAB is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working in New York, Detroit and London on urban innovation and economic development.

Our Origins

Est. 2019 in New York City

Our first program launched in 2019 in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) is called the Grid

The Grid harmonizes the urban innovation ecosystem by connecting entrepreneurs, city departments, academia, business, and community leaders within cities and around the world to identify urban problems, solve them, and scale those solutions

The Grid's membership has more than doubled in size since it launched from 70 founding members to more than 130 members and a 16-member Steering Committee

CIV:LAB’s Theory of Change

Cities are the locus of humanity’s challenges and, by extension, the laboratory for their solutions

Greater collaboration between city actors leads to greater positive impact in tackling urban problems

Through collaboration of city actors and utilization of their knowledge and resources, prioritization can be placed on the real, city-specific issues facing each city, not just urban challenges generally

Leadership Team

Simon Sylvester-Chaudhuri

Founder & Executive Director

Vijayta Rao Narang

New York Program Director

Arnaud Saughet

NYC Response Lab Director

Emily Dabish

Detroit Director

Helena Monteiro

London Director

Operations Team

Diane Barthélemy

Creative Lead, New York

Laura Nuyen

Platform Developer, New York

Manna Suri

Events Manager, New York

Christopher Bineham

Copywriter, New York

Jay Taparia

Finance Director, New York

Earl Lin

Data Science Lead, New York

Paolo Taticchi

Global Partnerships, London

André Campbell

Creative Advisor, London

Allison Lucas

Fellow, Detroit Urban Solutions

Suman Gidwani

Fellow, Detroit Urban Solutions

Sophie Marrie

Intern, London

Advisory Board

Chenelle Bonavito Martinez

New York Academy of Sciences

Dana Chermesh Reshef

inCitu and Schmidt Futures

Iina Oilinki

Smart and Clean Foundation

Michael Lenihan

Public Sentiment

Liz Sisson


Jonathan Lane

New York Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC)

Paul Riser

TechTown Detroit

Dr. Robin Mazumder


Alex Norman


Emily Wheeler

CleanTech Executive