The Overedge Catalog: New Types of Research Organizations

Research organizations and institutions often are shoehorned into a set of well-established categories: universities, public companies, tech startups, and certain types of non-profits, such as think tanks. But there is the need for innovation here, particularly when it comes to encouraging the development of new ideas and the ability to operate on long timescales. We need new types of research organizations.

In cartography, most maps are bound by the straight lines at their borders. But occasionally, there are parts of the map that don’t quite fit. They bleed over the edge and yet still cry out for being included in a map. These are the overedges. The Overedge Catalog is devoted to collecting the intriguing new types of organizations and institutions that lie at the intersection of the worlds of research and academia, non-profits, and tech startups. This is a small but growing number of organizations, but hopefully by collecting and highlighting all of these here, it can spur further institutional innovation.

The Catalog (as of January 18, 2023):

Further General Resources

Novel Organizational Structures

Alternative Funding Sources

Other Lists of Organizations

The Overedge Catalog was partly inspired by Steve Krouse's Whole Code Catalog, especially the tagging and layout mechanism, used with permission.


The Overedge Catalog is a continuing, and somewhat subjective and personal, effort. If you would like something to be included, please contact Samuel Arbesman.

Furthermore, if you are interested in starting a new research organization or are currently building one, please contact me. I would love to chat.

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© 2022 by Samuel Arbesman