Executive Director transitions are difficult but necessary. This is still, unfortunately, a subject that is rarely discussed and often done with great concern for secrecy. Better planned, better communicated and better managed transitions can be a great way to propel a think tank into the future.
The Think Tank Initiative has contracted Results for Development and University of Washington researchers to learn more about the different contexts in which think tanks work and about the strategies they use to achieve success within these diverse environments. As part of this study, they invite you to participate in a survey.
"The Development Sector, the Aid Industry, is redundant and has to go." This is what I said at the very interesting Development Futures Conference organised by the Australian Council for International Development's Universities Network, in Sydney. I argued, instead, for an unmediated relationship between peers: people, organisations and governments.
The last three WonkComms events have considered the ‘why’, ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘where’ of think tank communications. This event turns attention to ‘who’ – the human resources think tanks can call on for their communications, what skills are needed to progress in the sector and how to develop them.
William Savedoff, senior fellow at CGD writes about Thomas Seeley’s Honeybee Democracy, drawing lessons for think tanks and conferences. It’s clever and quite funny – and also offers some good, constructive advice about how think tankers can be a bit more like honeybees when trying to come to collective decisions or sharing good ideas.
The On Think Tanks Exchange is a new initiative to support collaboration between researchers in think tanks across the world. Each researcher (those accepted to programme) will participate in a series of face to face and online exchanges between January 2014 and September 2015. The deadline for application is the 30th November!
The other week I had the good fortune of participating in an excellent meeting in Prague hosted by the Open Society Foundations: Policy Research, Technology and Advocacy Event @ the Hub. The event was designed to bring experts together from across Central and Eastern European think tanks to share ideas and learn from each other on innovative approaches to evidence-based advocacy and communications.