What We Do

Innovation Illinois is an independent, nonpartisan, 501(c)(4) research-based advocacy organization dedicated to promoting progressive public policies that reflect current research and real world-tested best practices. At Innovation Illinois, we work to create, shape, promote, and implement progressive public policies by:
Advocating for progressive policies

We understand that strong, reliable research is only the first step toward progressive change. We advocate strongly and persistently for new policies that will benefit the people of Illinois – through educational efforts aimed at legislators and through strategic communications campaigns that use traditional and social media outlets to engage and inform the public.

Communicating

Communicating Illinois’ strengths to legislators, reporters and the world

Conducting and gathering evidence-based research

As part of our mission, we conduct and gather research that focuses on the most pressing policy challenges facing Illinois – in education, healthcare, innovation, workers’ rights, energy, environment, governance, consumer protection and economic growth.

Adapting best practices

We survey best practices that have been implemented in other states, seeking smart, pragmatic programs and initiatives that can be adapted and duplicated here in Illinois.

Strengthening government-academia relationships

Through our strong connections with both government and academia, we seek to facilitate stronger, more productive partnerships that will speed the process of development of sound, evidence-based policy.

Developing nationwide partnerships

We collaborate with allied organizations nationwide that share our mission and our insistence on evidence-based policymaking, working to amplify their findings and develop advocacy relationships that cross state lines.


Policy is not made in a vacuum. Too often, thoughtful suggestions for progressive change in Illinois are overwhelmed by a loud and dismal public narrative that insists our state is doomed to economic failure. We use our sophisticated communications infrastructure to counteract that false and damaging narrative by presenting the facts about Illinois’ real economic strengths and brightening future to legislators, reporters, and – most important – the people who call Illinois home.