The Technological Change Lab (TCLab) is a research and advisory program with international scope, with a focus on economic development in developing economies.
Our focus is on processes of technological change - it's origins and implications in industry sectors, technological innovations, employment patterns, and urban and regional transformation. Every change involves considering questions of redistribution, equality, and inclusion - and what policies and planning processes will best meet these issues.


The philosophy of TCLab has been a three-way focus on Economic theory, policy design, and realistic development plans.

It has become commonplace for economists and economic development specialists to separate these. TCLab’s programs have made a modest attempt to nudge these three essential components together.

An essential component is collaboration. The Lab works with a range of organizations-from government to academia, and grassroots organizations to multilateral development agencies and banks.


TCLab was founded at Columbia University in 2007. Until 2015, it expanded rapidly in programs and Visiting Scholars, hosting senior and junior postdoctoral Scholars, doctoral, and M.S. students. It now remains a research unit hosting news on development, research exchange, and program collaborations.

In the past TCLab workshops have been part of Columbia Universities required M.S. courses on policy and planning with ‘client’ agencies and teams of M.S. students in urban planning.

The Lab was also at the forefront of new pedagogic offerings including a course on Development Strategy for Technology and Industry, where M.S. students had access to collaborating with departments in and improving upon the project design and policy framing of several multilateral agencies such as the OECD, the ILO, and UNCTAD.

TCLab-affiliated academic papers were presented at the Globelics conference Addis Ababa in Oct 2014; and at several others including a TCLab organized session on “Industrial Policy Above and Below the Radar” at the American Association of Geographers, at the American Collegiate Schools of Planning conference, and others in Europe.

Postdoctoral scholars from the UK, Brazil, and Finland were hosted, all with a focus on different aspects of technological change and social transformation.

2014-15 TCLab Brazil-India partnerships expand

In 2014-2015, TCLab has focused on decentralized industrial governance and creation of new programs away from Columbia University and in developing economies.

With TCLab Brazil Co-Director Prof. Monica Pinhanez, the programs have expanded with generous support from the FAPERJ Rio agencies, and from the Columbia Global Centres. These Programs are now independent of Columbia University and primarily associated with Brazil’s leading business and public administration school FGV-EBAPE.

In 2015, TCLab Director Prof. Smita Srinivas took over as Head of the new School of Economic Development at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS). Srinivas has worked closely with IIHS while at Columbia University.

In 2016, TClab Director Srinivas steps down at IIHS and returns to pre-existing visiting academic affiliations at the Open University and LSE and advjsory engagements with several agencies and organizations.