WinterSchool for Thinktankers 2020 – Geneva

Organised by On Think Tanks, foraus and The Think Tank Hub
Event type Courses
Start date 2 February 2020
End date 8 February 2020

The WinterSchool for Thinktankers took place 2-8 February 2020, in Geneva, Switzerland. If you would like to register your interest in a future edition please complete this form.

The WinterSchool for Thinktankers (WISCH) is designed to deepen your think tank knowledge and prepare for future leadership roles.

It offers practical skills, opportunities and networks to help you and your think tank grow in core areas such as fundraising, communications, financial management, policy engagement and more.

Read more about the WinterSchool 2019 edition. 

More about the programme

The WinterSchool for Thinktankers is a seven-day intensive course at the heart of international policy and collaboration in Geneva.

The programme focuses on five core areas:

  • Think tank governance and management
  • Policy relevant research agendas
  • Communication strategies
  • Fundraising, financial management and accountability
  • Monitoring, evaluation and learning of policy influence

The programme includes:

  • Lectures and guided groupwork with former think tank directors and practitioners
  • Networking events
  • Visits to the UN and other international agencies
  • City tour of Geneva

Taught by expert practitioners, the programme is designed to:

  • Prepare and inspire the next generation of think tank leaders
  • Build a community of emerging think tank leaders to support and learn from each other
  • Encourage participants to reflect on their own organisation and how to support its development

Expert lecturers include directors and former directors at leading think tanks. In previous editions we have had experts from the Overseas Development Institute, Chatham House, foraus, The Graduate Institute, Belgrade Center for Security Studies and Centre for Economic Policy Research. See list of our past lecturers.

A diploma will be issued after the completion of the WISCH.

Click here to see the programme

Confirmed speakers for 2020 include:

  • Eduardo Belinchón, Digital innovation manager, foraus
  • Lizza Bomassi, Deputy director, Carnegie Europe
  • Maurizio Bona, Senior advisor for relations with parliaments and science for policy, CERN
  • Keith Burnet. Director of communications and publishing at Chatham House
  • Darius Farman,Co-head programme Europe, foraus – Swiss Forum on Foreign Policy
  • Ellen Mather, Lead branding designer, Soapbox
  • Simon Maxwell. Former executive director of the Overseas Development Institute and International Development Expert
  • Enrique Mendizabal, Founder and Director of On Think Tanks
  • Francesco Pisano, Director, Library of the United Nations Office at Geneva
  • Marc-André Pradervand
    Fundraiser and consultant
  • Sonja Stojanovic Gajic, former Director of Belgrade Centre for Security Policy
  • Anna Stünzi, President, foraus – Swiss Forum on Foreign Policy
  • John Schwartz, Founder and CEO, Soapbox
  • Stephen Yeo. On Think Tanks advisor at large and former CEO of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Can I apply?

We welcome thinktankers from around the world, working in all think tank roles, including in research, fundraising, communications, project management or human resources.

The course is designed for early and mid-career thinktankers, aspiring to future leadership roles. But we also welcome policy entrepreneurs interested in setting up their own think tank, recent graduates or experienced thinktankers who are perhaps moving into leadership positions or facing a particular challenge.

See the profiles of previous participants here.

Cost and logistics

The WinterSchool costs 1,200 CHF ( U$D 1200). This covers:

  • 7-day face-to-face School, including expert lectures, learning activities, networking events, and visits to key institutions in Geneva
  • An online study pack
  • Lunch during the School
  • City tour of Geneva
  • Access to an online forum for fellow participants, alumni and OTT School experts and team
  • Diploma upon completion of a personal learning journal
  • Access to On Think Tanks Fellows and Alumni network

Participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation to Geneva, and will need to cover their costs.

We offer 5% of discount to organisations that send 2 participants, and 10% for those that send 3 or more.


Applications have now closed. If you would like to register your interest in a future edition please complete this form.


Get in touch

If you have any questions contact us at  [email protected] or  [email protected]

Who is behind the WinterSchool for Thinktankers-Geneva?

The WinterSchool for Thinktankers is part of the On Think Tanks School for Thinktankers. It is implemented in collaboration with foraus and the The Think Tank Hub in Geneva and with the support of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA).