About us

What is TIAL

The Institutional Architecture Lab was formed in 2023 by Sir Geoff Mulgan, Jessica Seddon and Juha Leppänen in an effort to help the institutional design community coalesce, learn together, and grow. Each of us has been involved in various stages of creating new organizations and other institutions. Like many other people, we have witnessed first-hand the absence of a formal community along the way — or a place where we can learn from past experience. We are aware that there is a lot of great work happening around the world, but nowhere to recognize it. Those seeking new design ideas and those working to translate insights from social science, experience, and logic into “good bets” for new institutions have no one obvious to call. 

TIAL aims to fill this gap by helping those interested in the practice and theory of institutional design to find each other, compare notes and learn together, and grow into a professional community that can meet the need for new institutions across the issue areas and geographies where they are needed.

Core team

Sir Geoff Mulgan


Sir Geoff Mulgan is Professor at University College London. He has had a career spanning senior roles in governments, NGOs, foundations and business. He has been directly involved in setting up many organizations in the public sector and civil society, and has experience overseeing venture capital funds and impact investment, including supporting the creation of commercial start-ups (notably Start Up Europe across 28 countries) and social enterprises (including Social Innovation Europe). He is the author of a series of books and other writings that included reflections on institutional design, including ‘The Art of Public Strategy’, ‘Big Mind’, and shorter pieces proposing designs for institutions ranging from data trusts to new global governance entities. He co-leads the International Public Policy Observatory (IPPO); is editor in chief of the journal Collective Intelligence; and currently chairs the European Commission ‘Whole of Government Innovation’ programme developing new ways to coordinate and align government actions, particularly around Net Zero. He is also closely involved in work to create new institutions to govern AI. His roles in TIAL include work on ideas and frames (building on previous papers on organizational architecture) and leading on practical projects (AI, population mental health, labor markets).

Jessica Seddon


Jessica Seddon’s work on environmental governance focuses on how new sources of data can be better orchestrated and leveraged to enable new (and more sustainable) ways of interacting with the environment around us. Jessica’s career in India and the U.S. spans academic, program leadership, and strategic advisory roles focused on institutional design for integrating science into policy and social initiatives. Jessica is currently Senior Visiting Fellow, Artha Global and Senior Fellow and Lecturer at the Yale Jackson School of Public Policy. Prior to joining Yale, Jessica served as Director, Integrated Urban Strategy and Global Lead, Air Quality at the World Resources Institute. She is the founder and served as initial managing director of Okapi, an institutional design consultancy incubated by IIT Madras. Jessica has contributed blueprints on institutional design to various state and national government committees on sustainable infrastructure, public private partnerships, and federal-state revenue sharing in India. Her roles in TIAL include work on ideas and frames for shaping ecosystems of actors and organizations, identifying practical guidance for building specific institutional capabilities, and leading on practical projects focused on responding to environmental change.

Juha Leppänen


Juha Leppänen serves as the Chief Executive of Demos Helsinki. With a mission to build a fair, sustainable and joyful next era, Juha helps national and local governments, businesses and NGOs to anticipate and lead key transformations of our century. Juha has written extensively on the need for a 21st-century governance, focusing on democratic innovations, institutional imagination, and methodical experimentalism. Key works include an exploration of form as well as content, Finland’s framework for experimentalist policymaking, the Humble Governance model, and reframing mission-oriented innovation and industrial policy through governance and institutional perspectives. He is consistently pushing for an ambitious agenda in the governance of collective problems like the climate crisis, digital transformation, and inequality. He has written series of publications to provide tangible solutions for existing and emerging institutional actors. In addition to writing, Juha has served as an advisor on institutional innovation and revisions with local, national and multilateral entities in Europe, North America, Middle East and Latin America. Juha is playing a role of linking institutional design with contextual factors and playing a convening role, working on the links to government reforms, and potential projects across key geographics.

Operational Team

TIAL works as an autonomous unit supported by the administrative team at Demos Helsinki.

Core Partners