Labs that Close the Gap


If you are not learning, you are not thriving. Much of the value that academic institutions offer is their connections. Alumni networks are rich resources. But are they as effective as they could be?

Can digital technology including AI help make these communities more accessible? 

The LIFE Lab aims to connect HBS students and its alumni around topics of interest. Businesses can tap into these vast networks, to source new talent, increase their own visibility, and learn from others in the industry. 

The lessons learned can be applied to other digital communities and give companies access to network effects in other areas of interest. 


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 make work better. 

Activities/Research Focus

The Lab has two key areas for focus:

Process: To look at how to build digital communities that engage alumni in meaningful ways.

The Lab will: 

  • Develop a rich database about HBS alumni and their topics of interest. 
  • Create an intellectual community that breaks down barriers and partners with faculty and staff to build life-long learning.
  • Help D^3 Institute take a research-based approach to building the Learning Network it strives to create.

Content: To explore how HBS alums craft their lives.

The Lab will:

  • Discover how they spend their time and what matters to them.
  • Consider the impact of life events.
  • Investigate the factors that influence the lives they craft.
The DI is now part of the Digital, Data, and Design (D^3) Institute at Harvard. Read more about this change..