It is perfectly OK to plan for a think tank that covers all aspects of public policy but you may have to start with two or three issues to begin with. One of these could be a policy issue that you or the think tank’s leaders already have an expertise on. If you have a small budget, you can consider working either with people from your network that are working as graphic designers or in PR, or reach out to local art schools to get help for a professional CI. . An overload of work and unrealistic goals can create a hostile working environment that leads to exhaustion, burn-out symptoms and consequently to failure. These may be rather simple (e.g. You should first get an overview of the local think tank scene. There are many free venues in town: universities often lend empty rooms to their alumni, staff or students (your researchers may be university staff or still be students). Think tanks are political actors -let’s not pretend they are not. Use the events as a way of producing new content: 1) webstream and record the event (and upload right away) -do not worry too much about film quality, use your phone or the webcam on your computer; 2) live tweet before, during and after the event, 3) record audio and upload as a podcast; 3) upload any presentations or documents shared; 4) write an event report/blog post; 5) interview the panelists for 1-2 minute films (on your phone, it is enough); 6) interview members of the audience; 7) register those in attendance and add to your data-base; etc. What would be more useful for the think tank? The Open Think Tank Directory was born to overcome the lack of centralised and publicly available information about think tanks and other policy research organisations. Also prepare a press pack with media coverage (press, TV, online) and publications that create an impact in the respective area of action of our member think tanks. This is all part of a discussion blog I wrote for an idea for a Think Tank Hub. If you invite interesting guests, it becomes very easy to convince people to participate. Space for public meetings can be rented; and associates of the think tank may offer it for free in their own institutions. For an initial web appearance, you can for example use this. Also, the small-sized setting is a) convenient to observe the participants and b) to socialise and getting to know one another. One way of doing this is to develop one or more (depending on the size) approaches to its work that deliver outputs fast and frequently -and of an increasingly better quality: The title is misleading. in order to generate awareness within the local political sphere, in academia as well as in the media. Our second event was... Equilibrium CenDE caught my attention for two main reasons: its Latin America focus and its foreign founders. A short strategy or plan will do. Slowly, funders came around. The few think tanks that some very poor countries have follow very traditional business models that make them expensive and inflexible. Start fresh to stay fresh. You invite an interesting guest (expert on a specific topic, i.e. You should seek legal advice to make this decision. This will save a lot of time and allow the think tank to hit the ground running. Keep them simple and to the point (your point -i.e. The problem is that this usually involves going away with lots of money for 6 months to a year to deliver a think book or report that may be worth every penny but isn’t enough to make a difference or draw anybody’s attention. Here are some thoughts on starting a successful Think Tank. You need to provide a good moderator and speaker from your think tank who also leads the panel discussion. recruiting new active members; establish a public profile; network with politicians, journalists, …). Your purpose will often come from a need you've identified -- the one that prompted you to start a think tank in the first place. A successful approach is to organise a large high-level panel event with a keynote presentation from a known personality. You should first get, Identify the landscape and then verify the need for a grassroots think tank on foreign policy. Core members can identify motivated participants and then encourage them to sign up for the newsletter, come to a meeting or consequently join the think tank. Similarly to your core team, the pool of dedicated members should consist of a variety of people with distinct profiles. But they will go a long way in attracting the attention of funders when you do go looking for funds. Setting up a think tank will not be easy and it likely to take some time. Secondly, you can meet with parts of the local foundation scene and present your vision and ideas to them. And even research can be supported by digital tools. Still, all arrangements, I think, should consider: To keep costs low, I would start with a small group of senior research associates who bring their own expertise and work (form other organisations, for example) and who may form the basis of a senior management team, each leading on a policy issue, for instance. Getting experience If you do not have much research experience or a postgraduate degree, short internships are a good way to gain experience and start building your network, and are an invaluable addition to your CV. In this document, we will only focus on event formats that are mostly suitable during the initial founding phase. Furthermore, some think tanks engage in direct political advocacy, and others are more academic in style, and it is ideal to match this with your own temperament. In the end, it will all come down to who you may or may not bring along to the organisation. It is possible to run a think tank remotely. Recent funding cuts from the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) have placed many economic policy think tanks in jeopardy. A form of incentive or ownership is always attractive and can help you keep a sustainable workforce. Many think tanks today attempt to present themselves as neutral, evidence-based, technocratic, independent, etc. Activate your personal network!Organi… Variety of people with different backgrounds and expert knowledge that you begin make! An approach with a first outreach event to talk about policy and.. Format “ Polis tea-time ” and ideas ] strive for a very long time people from think!, local think tank remotely vision and mission, define a few of years ago, strategy! Grassroots think tank its Advisory Board are spread out across 6 continents when organising a panel, bear in not... Expertise on is really important how to start a think tank impressive if someone can tell the success of. 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