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About us

On Think Tanks was founded in June 2010 by Enrique Mendizabal but today includes a growing number of partners and contributors.

We believe that think tanks or policy research institutes can serve several important public good purposes – even if they are sometimes dismissed as ideological pawns or interest driven. They play key roles in any modern society that values the contribution that knowledge can make to the world of politics and the lives of its citizens.

On Think Tanks focuses on a range of issues of relevance and interest to think tanks as well as their staff and supporters.We hope that our initiatives and the articles and the resources published here will support think tanks to be more strategic in the ways they make short and long-term decisions; and that this will result in better policy advice and policy outcomes for all.

Along the way, we work with others to develop and support initiatives to help think tanks and their supporters. See for example, the On Think Tanks School.

Find out more: Initiatives. +

Support and funding

We run On Think Tanks as a non-for-profit initiative with the assistance of several contributors who, from time to time, will post on On Think Tanks. If you would like to become a contributor, please get in touch.

There are two main vehicles of funding and management for OTT: Universidad del Pacífico (Peru) and Mendizabal Ltd (UK).

Between 2015–2018, On Think Tanks is being supported by a grant from the Hewlett Foundation, provided through Universidad del Pacífico in Perú. The grant is intended to support On Think Tanks over this period and it has made it possible achieve a more balanced global coverage, focus on a few themes in greater detail, and encourage the participation of new contributors. The Hewlett grant has paid for changes to the website, assistants, travel, the development of in-depth edited series, and the launch of OTT’s initiatives such as the On Think Tanks School.

Universidad del Pacífico, too, provides a solid platform from which to reach out to new audiences, develop new services, and involve new southern-based institutions in the sector. We expect to raise funds to support this strategy and new efforts in collaboration with our hosts.

Other activities are supported through projects managed by Mendizabal Ltd, in the UK. For example, the On Think Tank School’s fees are paid, via Paypal to Mendizabal Ltd which dedicates all fees (minus costs) to supporting the School.

Hence, other funders contribute, indirectly, to On Think Tanks through their support of specific projects led by the members of the team or initiatives. The Think Tank Initiative, The Think Tank Fund, and the Knowledge Sector Initiative, for instance, support the On Think Tanks Exchange which is the source of important insights into the opportunities and challenges that think tanks face in their collaboration efforts. Similarly, the Think Tank Fund supported the On Think Tanks Data Visualisation Competition, which is the source of useful resources on data visualisations that have been shared through On Think Tanks.

In other cases, we are able to support our work through individual-led collaborations. The Premio PODER al think tank del año in Perú is one example of collaboration between Enrique Mendizabal, representing On Tanks and PODER Magazine in Peru. This award provides great insights into the nature of think tanks and the think tank community in a single country; thus offering a perfect space and opportunity for learning. In 2012 Enrique Mendizabal and Vanesa Weyrauch, co-founded Politics and Ideas to promote southern-based research on the links between research and policy.

Sometimes, we just join others’ initiatives and try to support them as best as we can. Transparify is a great example of this.

If you like what we do and would like to support us why not suscribe (voluntarily) or make a contribution to On Think Tanks? Find our more in our Support us page.

Governance and our team

As On Think Tanks’ complexity grows we recognise the importance of improving our governance. For that purpose we have set up an Advisory Board. +

Our team, too, has grown and you can meet them here: Our People.

Other boring but important information

On Think Tanks is guided by these ‘principles’:

  • Be inclusive and global
  • Take the initiative
  • Rock the boat
  • Be an honest source of ideas and advice

Please have a look at out content ‘policy’: