Winter School for Thinktankers 2017

Organised by On Think Tanks, foraus
Event type Courses
Location The Think Tank Hub, Geneva
Start date 22 January 2017
End date 29 January 2017

The  Winter School is a unique opportunity for young and proactive individuals to develop their knowledge and understanding of think tanks and to prepare themselves to become future policy entrepreneurs. 

Think tanks play a crucial role in policy making and in strengthening democratic processes by informing and enriching the public debate. Maintaining an active and dynamic community of think tanks and supporting the creation of new ones is highly important for democratic governance and sustainable development.

To be a successful think tank leader one cannot rely on being just a great researcher and intellectual; leaders have to be excellent managers, political strategists, great communicators, and prolific networkers.

See more about the new thinktankers:

The School

During this 8-day programme in Geneva, you will acquire the basic tools needed to develop and strengthen your own think tank. You will learn from prestigious experts at the local and international level and you will have the chance to discover some of the key actors of global governance based in Geneva.

The confirmed list of lecturers includes renowned experts and organisations such as:

  • Enrique Mendizabal (Founder of On Think Tanks),
  • Simon Maxwell (former Executive Director of the Overseas Development Institute),
  • Guy Lodge (former Deputy Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research and Founder of Kivu International) on Developing a policy relevant research agenda,
  • Sonja Stojanovich (Director Belgrade Center for Security Studies)
  • Verena Parzer (Avenir Suisse) on Communications,
  • Francesco Pisano (Chief, United Nations Office at Geneva Library),
  • Simon Müller (Doctors without Borders) on Fundraising,
  • Emilia Pasquier (Director foraus),
  • Kali Taylor (Founder Students-Energy, tbc) on Monitoring and Evaluating Influence,
  • Prof Thomas Biersteker (Director of Programme for the Study of International Governance, The Graduate Institute, tbc),
  • Ilona Kickbusch (Director Global Health Center, tbc), and
  • Others who will be confirmed soon. 

The Winter School’s programme will focus on the following core areas:

  • Governance and management for think tanks
  • Development of a proactive research agenda
  • Communication strategies
  • Fundraising, financial management, and accountability
  • Monitoring, evaluation, and impact for the continuous strengthening of the think tank.

The mornings will be dedicated to lectures from think tank experts from Geneva and around the world. In the afternoon we will visit key organisations in Geneva to experience how theories are implemented by some of the most influential stakeholders of international politics.

You can read up on the programme programme here. Note that it will be updated so come back to check it out.

The School will be delivered in English.

Why Geneva?

Geneva is home to 34 International Organisations, permanent representations of 175 countries and hundreds of NGOs, with numerous daily events on the most pressing global affairs. Moreover, Geneva is a city where ideas are generated and global governance is shaped, hence an excellent place for you to learn and network.

Who is this for?

This School is designed for recent graduates or postgraduate students from developed and developing countries with prior experience working in think tanks or with the clear intention of creating one themselves. They may be early career researchers, communicators or managers.

This is a unique opportunity as it will be based on an intensive interactive teaching method, where the participants must promote critical thinking amongst them in order to achieve the best results. We want you to learn by challenging ideas, and learn to think outside of the box!

Our goal is that you get inspiration and practical tools for your professional development as well as unique networking opportunities. Throughout the week, we will organise a city tour, various networking gatherings, as well as a UN visit so that you can experience Geneva at its fullest.

You will receive a certified diploma after the completion of the Winter School.

Those completing the School will be invited to apply to On Think Tanks new Fellowship Programme (to be launched in 2017). If accepted you will have access to all the On Think Tanks School’s course and receive personalised mentoring and support during an entire year.

Application and cost

The inscription cost is of 1000 CHF and covers the lectures, all background material and literature,+ and access to the online platform which allows participants to interact with each other and the speakers.

Participants from developing countries (you must be planning to return home after the School or after completing ongoing studies, if that were the case) can apply for a scholarship that will cover the fees only. If you are planning to travel to and stay in Geneva you will have to make your own arrangements. If you wish to be considered for a scholarship please state so in the form below. Please make sure you provide as much detail as possible in your application.

All participants will have to cover their own travel and accommodation to Geneva (if they are not already based in the city).

To apply please complete the form below. We will review it every week and accept participants on a rolling basis until the 25th November 2016. 

The earlier you apply the greater chances you will have.

If you have any questions, please contact: [email protected]

Who is behind the School of Thinktankers?

The School of Thinktankers is part of the On Think Tanks School but has been designed and is being delivered in collaboration with others:

  • onthinktanks_logomark-copyOn Think Tanks: For and about think tanks, this organisation works to promote, develop, and support initiatives of think tanks given their key role on the contribution of knowledge to the world of politics.
  • The Think Tank Hub: The Think Tank Hub Geneva, founded in April 2014, is an initiative undertaken by
    the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) in collaboration
    8749c7_63c9626f0a3a4cfdbe974863768c30b8mv2with the think tankforaus – Swiss Forum on Foreign Policy. The hub aims to create a dynamic and innovative platform for think tanks specialized in various fields.
  • foraus: The leading Swiss Think Tank on logo_foraus_hdforeign policy generates independent, high quality recommendations for Swis
    s foreign policy decision makers and the public, thereby bridging the gap between academia and politics.

The Winter School is funded by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA).