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.
Posts from the ‘Opinion’ Category
"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.
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 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.
The relationship between Executive Directors and their Directors of Research or Policy is crucial for the success of the think tanks. The latter are charged with developing the ideas that the organisation promotes; but are they adequately supported?
Few think tanks have the office space they need -and deserve. CGD's office move offers and opportunity to reflect on the subject and open a new topic of conversation. CGD has crunched the numbers but have you? Have you considered how your office design affects your productivity?
We’ve been continuing to scour the web for resources to help think tanks develop data visualisations and to get their ideas across to new audiences. A lot of the resources we found were designed to help with the technicalities of developing visualisations themselves. But we were intrigued when we came across SwayWhat, a tool that not only helps create charts, but also serves as a platform to share ideas. If I had to describe it in a sentence, it’s SlideShare for data visualisations – but it’s more ambitious for that. It hopes to bring evidence to the most political of discussions.
I had to find out more, so I got in touch with SwayWhat CEO, Noah Blumenthal, to understand better how think tanks might take advantage of their services.
Round 3 of the On Think Tanks Data Visualisation Competition is currently open for submissions(the deadline is 20 November at 23:59 GMT!)! The judges want it to be the biggest and the best round we've had so far so each of them has taken a minute to offer their advice when it comes to data visualisation -- what works, what doesn't, and what are they really looking for when judging the data visualisations. Last but not least we hear from Enrique Mendizabal.
Round 3 of the On Think Tanks Data Visualisation Competition is currently open for submissions(the deadline is 20 November at 23:59 GMT!)! The judges want it to be the biggest and the best round we've had so far so each of them has taken a minute to offer their advice when it comes to data visualisation -- what works, what doesn't, and what are they really looking for when judging the data visualisations. Today we hear from John Schwartz.