Prospect Magazine Think Tank Awards 2011
Tonight was the Prospect Magazine Think Tank of the Year Awards 2011. Bronwen Maddox, Editor of Prospect presided and Vince Cable, MP, handed out the awards. The full list of winners and runner-ups has been published by Prospect but here are some of my impressions of the event.
First, I must confess that I think these are the kind of awards that every country ought to have. Even if there are 2 or 3 think tanks the awards are not just a great way to showcase their work but also to let others know about them and their potential for good.
Vince Cable had some interesting things to say. Think tanks, he said, should be “thinking the unthinkable” and “putting the unimaginable into practice”. These resonate with the call for “logical leaps of the mind” made at the CIGI Anniversary. Think tanks are great brokers and boundary workers, he added, and also provide an army of people who go on to become invaluable advisors in government and provide ideas for journalists to write about.
Jamie Walls, Vice President of Communications of Shell, who sponsor the event, contributed by saying that the work that think tanks do can shape business. Business is often forgotten as an audience by many think tanks.
It is important to point out that the judges were driven by two main criteria:
- Originality of research
- Some evidence of impact in public policy