OTT Conference 2022 – Think tanks and partnerships for change

Organised by On Think Tanks
Event type Event
Start date 17 May 2022
End date 19 May 2022

During the OTT Conference 2022, On Think Tanks (OTT) welcomed 271 people from around the world to explore partnerships between think tanks and other changemakers.

Over the three days, 67 panellists from the global think tank community participated in 16 sessions — two keynote conversations, four panels and 10 fringe events hosted by our partners and friends.

Sessions covered exciting issues, ranging from think tanks and the media, private sector, social movements and political parties, to the war in Ukraine, partnerships for democratic security, think tanks and impact investing, partnerships to scale research impact, and much more!

Explore all the sessions

Think tanks play an important role in shaping evidence-informed change in the world. But they can’t do it alone. Increasingly, think tanks are convening, connecting and collaborating with different types of organisations – such as political parties, the media, social movements and the private sector.

Are think tanks prepared for these partnerships? Are they governed and managed in the right way? Do they have the right teams, skills, experiences? What are the risks and challenges of collaborating with other actors?

Join us over three days to explore partnerships between think tanks and other changemakers. Make sure you have subscribed to our newsletter to be the first to get details about the event.

This year’s conference is supported by the Hewlett Foundation, Universidad del Pacífico and Mercator. Get in touch if you would like to support.

What to expect

  • Networking: Connect with thinktankers and policy experts from over 40 countries. We work hard to create different ways for participants to interact in and outside of sessions
  • A diversity of sessions: Keynote presentations and Q&A, panel discussions, fireside chats and fringe events organised by our partners and friends. Sessions are designed to exchange ideas, experiences and strategies on different dimensions of think tank partnerships for change.


We’ll be adding details of sessions and speakers in the coming weeks.

All times Central European Summer Time (CEST)

Day 1

14.00: Welcome

14.10: Keynote conversation and Q&A. Joseph Asunka, CEO of Afrobarometer discusses the importance of partnerships and collaboration to bring about change.

15.00:  Think tanks and political parties. Leandro Echt (Argentina); Aira Azhari from IDEAS (Malaysia); and Sonja Schiffers from the Heinrich Böll Foundation exchange partisan and non-partisan think tank experiences of working with political parties.

16.10: Break

16.20: Think tanks and the media. Stuart Coles, Chatam House (UK); Maurice Otieno , Baraza media lab (Kenya); and Holly Shulman, Center for Global Development (USA). Think tanks have traditionally relied on the media to share their research, and the media on think tanks for expert opinion on current affairs. But with the rise of social media, this relationship is shifting. Thinktankers from  Kenya, USA and UK share their experiences of engaging with the media and the evolving nature of think tank-media partnerships.

17:30: Closing plenary

Day 2

Fringe events hosted by OTT partners and friends

Sessions run from 10.00 – 19.00 CEST

Day 3

14.00: Welcome

14.10: Keynote conversation:What neuroscience can tell us about collaboration and knowledge communication. Joaquín Navajas, PhD in Neuroscience and Sonia Jalfin, Director of Sociopúblico discuss what new neuroscience research can tell us about collaboration and knowledge communication, and the implications for think tanks.

15.00: Think tanks and social movements. Anna Taylor, Food Foundation (UK) Donald Deya (Stop the bleeding consortium); Laurie Laybourn-Langton , IPPR (UK). Are think tank-social movement partnerships an ideal way to bring about progressive change? Speakers share their stories and perspectives from different sides of the partnership and unpick challenges and strategies for working together t0 bring about progressive change.

16.10: Break

16.20: Think tanks and the private sector. Chris Richards, ICE (UK); Jai Asundi, CSTEP (India), Btirina Diyamett, Stipro ( Tanzania). Think tank-private sector partnerships are becoming more common. But there’s little written about them. Speakers from Mexico, India and the UK exchange their perspectives on the benefits and challenges of, and strategies for, collaborating with the private sector.

15:30: Closing plenary

Learn more about OTT Conferences.