The primary focus of the Democracy Lab differs from that of a traditional think tank. In the traditional model, the primary focus is a dialog between a small set of high-level intellectuals/ writers and another set of high-level politicians/policy makers. This traditional model has certainly produced benefits for democracies in the past. However, the explosion of new information technology and the rise of globalization have made the way for a new model of think tank that is much more citizen-focused than the traditional model. The Democracy Lab has been created to exploit this new space in benefit of progress and development. The primary focus of the traditional think tank is to make policy makers more informed; the primary focus of the Democracy Lab is to turn citizens into policy makers.
None of this is to say that the Democracy Lab does not intend to work with and influence the traditional class of academicians, politicians and policy makers (after all, they are citizens too). But it is to say, that the Democracy Lab intends to cast a much wider net, and its primary focus will always be on finding ways to increase the quality and quantity of involvement by the great mass of ordinary citizens in governance and policy making.