Global Innovation for Impact Lab

The Global Innovation for Impact Lab develops insights that help organizations make better strategic and operational decisions about innovation, scaling, and system change. We frame system change as a complex innovation process. This perspective expands our frameworks and diagnostic tools on effective innovation and scaling and enables us to develop new insights collaboratively with organizations and initiatives.



The hallmark of GIIL activities is a critical and constructive engagement with social innovation from an organizational perspective. This engagement includes related topics such as scaling and systems change and explores the role and potential of social innovation for positive impact. GIIL works in partnership with foundations, government and multilateral agencies, and organizations in the social and private sectors. Our research enables decision makers to grow their ambitions and capabilities for addressing social problems and for transforming social systems effectively.


GIIL not only contributes to the scholarly knowledge base on effective organizations but also educates the next generation of social sector leaders. We convene events and organize exchanges between research and practice to generate, reflect on, and disseminate knowledge. We interact with strategic partners such as foundations, government and multilateral agencies, and organizations in the social and private sector to define relevant areas for research and develop a joint learning experience. We organize a number of salons for smaller groups of senior foundation and social sector leaders in the USA, Europe, and Asia as well as larger audiences such as those at Stanford PACS’ signature event, the Philanthropy Innovation Summit.

Knowledge Creation

In addition to developing new research and educational tools and activities, GIIL aims to bridge continental and sectoral divides to configure people, ideas, and resources into productive opportunities for generating useful knowledge and enacting positive impact. GIIL aligns rigor, realism, and usefulness, and leverages insights from existing knowledge across disciplines with novel insights from engaging deeply with organizations and social problems in the field. We evaluate the substance behind topics such as innovation or systems change. Our critical perspective facilitates productive decisions by funders, entrepreneurs and established service providers, public and private sectors, and consultancies.

News & Updates

GIIL Co-Director Christian Seelos awarded 2019 Outstanding Social Innovation Thought Leader by the World Economic Forum and the Schwab Foundation

“Innovation and Scaling for Impact” co-authored by GIIL Co-Directors Johanna Mair & Christian Seelos receives 2019 Virgina A. Hodgkinson Research Book Prize by Arnova and Independent Sector