Beth Simone Noveck pioneered the creation of the Democracy Design Workshop, a collaborative "do tank," where students and faculty at New York Law School and across institutions work together in teams to develop legal code and software code to foster open, transparent and collaborative ways of learning, working and governing. The Do Tank (http://dotank.nyls.edu) is a first-of-its kind legal R&D lab where lawyers innovate, harnessing the new tools of information and communications to the goals of social justice. Projects address, not only how law regulates technology, but how to wield technology to improve law teaching and practice, encourage participatory governance and enable collaboration within organizations and communities.
With the support of grants from the MacArthur Foundation, Omidyar Network, CA, IBM, Microsoft, HP, GE, Intellectual Ventures and Red Hat, Professor Noveck launched the Peer to Patent: Community Patent Review project in collaboration with the United States patent and Trademark Office (www.peertopatent.org). Peer-to-Patent is the legal, policy and software framework to open patent examination for public participation for the first time. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Council of Europe and AmericaSpeaks have sponsored her research on online communities by funding the Cairns Project, graphical software to support group formation and collaboration. She also received a grant from ICAIR to support the creation of Democracy Island, an experimental space within a virtual world for research on citizen participation.