WASHINGTON, DC - After launching a number of groundbreaking initiatives over the last year, X-Lab will celebrate its first anniversary by spinning out as an independent tech tank starting in April, announced its director and founder Sascha Meinrath. X-Lab is innovative and future-focused, built to anticipate, develop and respond to what’s next in tech policy by combining visionary leadership and in-depth technological expertise with an understanding of how regulatory and legislative debates affect the rights and freedoms of consumers.
X-Lab will be housed at the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity that works to achieve a healthier, more equitable world through a diverse array of technology, conservation, education, global health, and other philanthropic initiatives. X-Lab was created with the premise that no one should ever have to choose between their fundamental liberties and the technologies they want to use. X-Lab’s work empowers tinkerers and the digital craftsmen and women of tomorrow to develop human-centric, rights-preserving innovations.
“Today, Washington needs bold leadership that can chart a course through the increasingly complex tensions that new technologies are creating,” stated Sascha Meinrath, X-Lab’s founder and director. “I’ve been honored to work with many of the smartest technical minds on the planet, to launch both the Open Technology Institute and now X-Lab. X-Lab is conceptualized from the ground up to provide a fundamentally new kind of collaborative environment for the next generation of tech policy visionaries.”
In just its first year, X-Lab has kicked off several programs including Commotion Labs, the Civil Liberties Coalition, the Circumvention Tech Audit Lab, the PrivWare Lab, and a participatory democracy platform called Nobis, being built in collaboration with DemocracyOS and Loomio. Meinrath previously founded the Open Technology Institute in 2008, which rapidly grew to become one of the leading tech policy organizations in the nation’s capital. He stepped down as OTI’s director and New America’s vice-president in 2014 to launch X-Lab, the latest in a number of successful projects he’s curated and developed, including the Commotion Wireless Project, Measurement Lab, and the Open Internet Tools Project. Meinrath has been recognized as one of “Time Tech 40” and as one of Newsweek’s Top 100 in their “Digital Power Index.”
“The Open Technology Institute is a vital and exciting part of New America, one that is helping to shape our future at the intersection of policy and technology in a wide range of fields,” stated Anne-Marie Slaughter, president of New America. “Sascha founded and built OTI over a number of years, for which we are deeply grateful. We expect great things from him as he spins out his new venture.”
“Sascha Meinrath is an internationally recognized technology visionary whose work has inspired a new generation of public interest advocates and directly impacted national decision-making at the highest levels,” stated Eric Kessler, president of the New Venture Fund. “The New Venture Fund is thrilled to welcome Sascha and looks forward to the many ways that we will change the world for the better together.”