OTT Conference 2020: the 1st online event

Organised by On Think Tanks, DGAP
Event type Event
Location Online
Start date 30 March 2020
End date 1 April 2020

We had to postpone the face-to-face OTT Conference 2020 in Berlin, but we do not want to miss the opportunity to connect with our colleagues and friends from around the world. In the past few weeks we’ve seen a lot of events move to online spaces, so we thought we would give it a go as well. There are lots of great recommendations to do this and, after a bit of research, we’ve decided to try this platform as a pilot for future online events. While we will not be replacing our yearly face-to-face event, we feel that incorporating a digital spaces to meet will allow us to meet more often and be joined by those who cannot travel every year.

We think this platform might offer what we need but we want to test it first. If you want to join and learn with us, please sign up!

Below you will find the schedule for this pilot online conference.

To find out more about the OTT Conference 2020 please visit:

The schedule (CET time)

Day 1: 30th March

13:45-14:00 Welcome to the OTT Conference: the online event

14:00-15:30: Panel | Think tanks and technology

  • Speaker 1: Jonathan Tanner (Government v The Robots)
  • Speaker 2: Marek Tuszynski (Tactical Tech)
  • Speaker 3: Sonia Jalfin (Sociopúblico)
  • Speaker 4: Sebastian Rieger (Stiftung Neue Verantwortung)
  • Moderator: Enrique Mendizabal (On Think Tanks)
This session will address:
  • What are the technological changes that are affecting policy research and think tanks in particular?
  • What are the effects (positive and negative) of these changes to: the context in which think tanks operate, the issues that think tanks will need to study, the methods/tools/skills they will need to study them, the way they engage and communicate with their audiences, their own governance, management and strategies, etc?
  • What are the implications of these changes and effects for how think tanks are led and supported in the future?

15:30-16:00: Networking session

Day 2: 31st March

13:00-13:30: Keynote 1 | Diane Stone, Central European University: on transnational networking and the ways in which think tanks seek to inform global policy debates

13:30-14:00: Networking session

14:00-15:30: Parallel 1 | Going digital in times of COVID-19

What tools and platforms do you use for convening, consulting, communications and collaboration, both within your organisation and with your stakeholders? What challenges and opportunities do these digital ways of thinktanking present compared to our usual ways of doing things? The silver lining of this tremendously harmful crisis may be that it is a driver for innovation within think tanks.

14:00-15:30: Parallel 2 | Diversity and think tanks

Inclusion and diversity in the workplace are said to contribute to a better performance of organisations and increased public trust. This session will explore the issue of inclusiveness and representativeness within think tanks, focusing on gender, age, socio-economic background and ethnicity. We hope to first define the concepts of “inclusiveness” and “diversity” and try to answer the following questions: How does the inclusiveness in think tanks impact the methodology and research produced? Whether and to what extent the inclusiveness and diversity in research, governance, management and communication impact the global projection and legitimacy of a think tank? And, what practical steps can be undertaken by think tanks to increase their diversity?

Day 3: 1st April

13:00-13:30: Keynote 2 | Dustin Gilbreath, CRRC Georgia: on machine learning to predict policy problems

13:30-14:00: Networking session

14:00-15:30: Parallel 3 | Automated, personalised, targeted: using technology to drive your research communications

We live in the age of information and disinformation. An age where we take for granted the proliferation and replication of ideas – the merging of data, truth and opinion. How can complex, detailed policy ideas based on research and evidence cut through? This session looks at new ways that think tanks can harness the power of technology for communications – how automation can help put more of our work in more places, how targeting can ensure we are putting it in the right places, and how personalisation can ensure our messages hit home.