What is a life well-lived? How do people who have high life satisfaction spend their time? How can we create meaningful connections around the experiences and choices that each of us face? The LIFE Lab seeks to help our students and alumni craft their best lives, and in the process better understand what it takes for one to live one’s best life and how we might learn from each other

What originated as an innovative way to help our students be more intentional about crafting their best life – a year-long partnership with EC MBA students and 100s of alumni to create a new course, Crafting Your Life – has evolved into the LIFE Lab with a multi-pronged course development, community building, and research agenda aimed at helping people craft their lives according to what matters most to them.


The LIFE Lab is led by Leslie A. Perlow, Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership. She holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her research focuses on the workplace and how we can create better work and better lives.

Activities/Research Focus

The LIFE Lab’s multi-faceted work includes: 

  1. Course development: we have built and continue to invest in the evolution of the EC course Crafting Your Life, which serves as a laboratory for innovating on content and tools aimed at helping students and alumni define for themselves and live more fully a well-lived life.
  2. LIFER community: we have come to appreciate that crafting your life is a lifelong journey and have created a rich and active community of former students (LIFERs).
  3. Alumni community: almost every alum we interact with laments that such a course did not exist when they were at HBS, but also adds it is not too late for them to be involved – propelling us to not only seek to help MBA students on their life journeys, but also find ways to help our 89,000 HBS alumni connect with and learn from each other.
  4. Data-driven research: we have embraced the potential of investing in technology-enabled tools to facilitate personal insights and community building in ways that will not only benefit the students and alumni who fill out these tools but also, and very importantly, enable us to amass an extraordinary database about their lives, in turn allowing us to address a vast array of research questions to which our alumni – and academics and practitioners more generally – seek answers to about how to effectively craft one’s best life.