What We Do & How We Do It

Apparatus is a full-service public policy and affairs practice focusing on complex issues at the nexus of social, natural, and built systems. We provide both client-oriented consulting services and engage in independent and sponsored research and advocacy. Our practice is rooted in deep substantive understanding of the legal, ethical, social, and political dimensions of science, technology, health, and the environment. We are practitioners and theorists--we bridge the gap between rigorous expert investigation of problems and practical, action-oriented solutions. Our approach is based on three key principles:


  • Systems thinking. We deal with issues and challenges that cannot be simplified or dissected into distinct “causes” and “effects.” The issues we engage with emerge from complex interactions among multiple interdependent systems. These are issues that implicate a range of interests and stakeholders, span across different systems of oversight (e.g., EPA, FDA, state law, tort system, insurance), or present opportunities and challenges that are fundamentally new or different.


  • Anticipatory governance. We don’t prepare you to react to uncertainty and change. We help you build a capacity for proactively dealing with uncertainty and change. We equip you with emergent tools, practices, and strategies to foresee alternative futures so you can anticipate and assess the opportunities and consequences of the actions and policies that may be used in response to change. Our approach produces results that are more adaptive, reflexive, and durable and that minimize the need for downstream “crisis management.”


  • Serving the public interest. We help clients from across industries and sectors promote social justice and advance the common good. We offer our services exclusively to organizations and projects that seek to improve our social, natural, and built environments. Our services and methods are premised on enhancing meaningful and inclusive deliberation around issues that present opportunities and challenges for different segments of society. In conducting our work, we insist on maintaining the highest ethical standards for research integrity, community engagement, and professional and political activities.

The Partners



Leili has more than a decade of legal, public policy, and advocacy experience addressing complex issues and challenges involving science, technology, engineering, health, and the environment. She is a nationally recognized expert in anticipatory approaches to science and technology governance and oversight, and is particularly well-known for her work dealing with the novel opportunities and challenges of emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, genetics and genomics, synthetic biology, and social robotics.


Leili offers deep substantive knowledge of the legal, regulatory, market, and non-market systems that govern decision-making at the federal, state, and local levels, including how these systems interact with one another. She is also skilled and experienced in communicating with, building support among, and developing strategies to influence diverse stakeholder groups, including legislative and agency decision-makers.


Prior to founding Apparatus, Leili was the founding Director of the University of Minnesota’s Initiative on Governance of Emerging Technological Systems (IGETS), a network of interdisciplinary scholar, policymakers, industry partners, and community members focused on producing information, facilitating dialogue, and promoting policies to support the fair and responsible development of technologies with known or uncertain economic, environmental, health, and social implications. She was also previously a Research Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affair’s Center for Science, Technology, and Public Policy and Associate Director for Research and Education at the University of Minnesota’s Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment, and the Life Sciences.


Leili holds a number of academic positions at the University—she is Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at the University’s Law School, Lecturer at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and Affiliate Faculty at the University’s Center for Bioethics. She also sits on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and the Advisory Board of Robotics Alley. In 2017, she was appointed by Mayor Betsy Hodges to serve a two-year appointment on the City of Minneapolis' Capital Long-Range Improvement Committee.


Leili’s online CV can be accessed at www.leilifatehi.com.  

Leili Fatehi, JD



Laura has spent her career helping organizations tell better stories. With expertise in strategic marketing, branding, and communications, she’s worked with a variety of for- and non-profit organizations to deliver a compelling vision to the market and community.


On the for-profit side, Laura has spent over a decade working with business-to-business organizations in the technology, software, cloud solutions, and professional services industries. She’s overseen and delivered marketing tactics, campaigns, and plans for companies ranging in revenue from under $1M to $2B+.


Laura’s key strength lies in her ability to take insights from disparate groups and stakeholders and package them into a cohesive and compelling message that resonates with buyers, consumers, and partners. Laura’s extensive marketing experience includes analyst and public relations work, new product launches, website design and optimization, web/print/social media content development, event planning and management, multi-channel campaign design and execution, and more.


In the non-profit space, Laura currently volunteers with the Citizens League, National Council of Jewish Women Minnesota, Move Minneapolis, the Junior League of Minneapolis, and Business Marketing Association MN. Her leadership roles within these organizations range from overseeing development and fundraising efforts to leading marketing and communications to developing training and leadership development programming.


She is a current board member of the Citizens League, Move Minneapolis, National Council of Jewish Women Minnesota (Board Chair 2018 - 2020), and Linden Hills Neighborhood Council. She is a past president and board chair of the Junior League of Minneapolis.

Laura Monn Ginsburg
Team Members
Matt Goodwin

Project Fellow - Drive Together MPLS


Matt believes that curiosity is the key to solving the world’s greatest challenges.  After spending 3 years on the West Coast in the software industry, Matt comes to Apparatus as a Project Fellow working to help cities better understand themselves. By responsibly using emerging technologies, Matt believes that cities can create more inclusive communities by reimagining their transportation networks and planning processes.


Currently a student in the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning Program at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School, Matt has done research into the equity of one-way car sharing networks and is busy thinking of ways in which city infrastructure and policy can become more adaptive. While majoring in Applied Physics at Harvey Mudd College, Matt had his hand in a variety of projects including advanced antenna design and identifying ways in which power plants can operate more efficiently.


When he’s not thinking about the future, Matt enjoys the outdoors, dog videos and trying (while often failing) to recreate his Nonna’s recipe for meatballs. Good coffee and good stories hold a special place in his heart.