November 15, 2022


OTT Conference 2023 – Think tanks and political uncertainty

OTT – Chatham House, London, UK
start date: May 10, 2023 end date: May 11, 2023

New and persistent forms of political uncertainty are impacting think tanks globally. 51% of organisations in our latest sector survey named political uncertainty as a key challenge, citing polarised elections, regional instability, the rise of populism, shrinking civic space, eroding democracies, weakened institutions and public distrust as just some of the issues they contend with daily.

At the On Think Tanks (OTT)  Conference 2023, we will discuss the role of think tanks amidst political uncertainty. How can think tanks achieve their goals in an area dominated by political uncertainty? What role can think tanks play in countering it and how can donors best support them?

What to expect?

The OTT Conference brings together thinktankers, funders and policy experts from around the world. It is a space to exchange knowledge and experience, establish and strengthen partnerships and co-develop solutions to common sector challenges.

Our conferences are designed to create opportunity for formal and informal interactions, and for participants to create sessions on topics that are relevant and important to them.

The conference is an invitation-only two-day event at Chatham House. The conference is a mix of:

  • Keynote presentations and conversations (15-minute presentation followed by 30-minute discussion) intended to ‘give us something to think about.’
  • Parallel sessions (90 minutes) offer the opportunity to explore an issue in more depth and with more active participation from all. The format is flexible depending on the topic and purpose. Conference participants are invited to propose and create sessions. For more details please read this guidance on session proposals.
  • Extended coffee-breaks (30-45 minutes) and lunchbreaks (90 minutes) allowing for more informal interaction and relationship building (especially important after three years online!)
  • Marketplace of ideas: a space for organisations to present strategies for working amidst political uncertainty.

Watch the highlights from the 2022 online conference and the commentary from attendants of the 2019 conference (last one held in person).


The OTT Conference 2023 is held in partnership with, and hosted by Chatham House, with support from the Hewlett Foundation, the Robert Bosch Stiftung Foundation and Soapbox.

If you are interested in supporting the conference please get in touch with Andrea Baertl ([email protected]) and Luis Orlandi ([email protected])

Who is this for?

The Conference is for think tank leaders, funders, policy experts and think tank scholars who are interested in critical unpacking the think tank label, addressing the opportunities and challenges these organisations face, and exploring the changes within and around them.

This is not an open conference – mainly, because space is limited. But if you wish to be considered register here. We will let you know if we can offer you a space. Those who are not able to attend can follow the discussion via Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.


The programme is being developed in consultation with partners and participants.

Speakers include:

Session topics include:

  • The role of funders amidst political uncertainty
  • The (uncertain) world today
  • The role of think tanks in countering political uncertainty
  • Thinking politically: users of evidence in times of crisis
  • Uncertainty, fear and behaviour: views from psychology and neuroscience
  • The middle ground is missing! What can think tanks do?
  • Making sense of the world: the role of the media
  • Foresight and futures thinking for social change
  • Hope-based communication: change people’s minds to change policies
  • Misinformation is winning: what can think tanks do?
  • Does technology fuel or help deal with political uncertainty?

Who will be there?

Confirmed participants include:

  • Andwele Bryan, Head of Gender, Equity and Social Inclusion at Laudes Foundation and Porticus (The Netherlands)
  • Angela Bednarek, Director, Evidence Project at Pew Charitable Trusts (US)
  • Annapoorna Ravichander, Executive Director at Public Affairs Centre/Public Affairs Foundation (India)
  • Caroline Cassidy, Director, Public Engagement & Strategic Communications at Capita (France)
  • Chris Sims, Deputy Director, Institute for Policy and Engagement at University of Nottingham (UK)
  • Christian Acemah, Executive Director at Uganda National Academy of Sciences (Uganda)
  • Christopher Maloney, Program Officer at William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (United States)
  • Chukwuka Onyekwena, Executive Director at Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (Nigeria)
  • Damien King, Executive Director at the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (Jamaica)
  • David Tripepi-Lewis, Director of Partnerships and Development at Institute for Government (UK)
  • Dena Lomofsky, Senior Consultant at Southern Hemisphere (South Africa)
  • Denise Brennan, Head of Organisational Strengthening & Learning at Laudes Foundation (The Netherlands)
  • Denisse Rodriguez-Olivari, Founder and Director / Policy Leader Fellow at Voceras / European University Institute (Peru)
  • Donald Houessou, Director of operations at ACED (Benin)
  • Dove-Oforka Ijeoma, Chief Operating Officer at Connected Development and Follow The Money (Nigeria)
  • Dr Cheikh Oumar BA, Executive Director at IPAR (Senegal)
  • Dr Denis Foretia, Executive Chairman at Nkafu Policy Institute (Cameroon)
  • Erica Schoder, Executive Director at R Street Institute (United States)
  • Fayyaz Yaseen, Director of Programs at Accountability Lab (Pakistan)
  • Francesco OBINO, Director, Research and programs at Global Development Network (India)
  • Gang Li, Director at China Think Tank Research and Evaluation Center, Nanjing University  (China)
  • Gurucharan Gollerkeri, Director at Public Affairs Centre (India)
  • Hamzat Lawal, Cheif Executive and Co-Founder at Connected Development and Follow The Money (Nigeria)
  • Hannah Cameron, Senior Program Officer at BMGF (UK)
  • Hassan, Research Coordinator at Sustainable Development Policy Institute Pakistan (Pakistan)
  • Helena Hahn, Policy Analyst at European Policy Centre (Belgium)
  • Henry Alt-Haaker, Senior Vice President at Robert Bosch Stiftung (Germany)
  • Igor Bandović, Director at Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (Serbia)
  • Ismael Palacín, General Director at Bofill Foundation (Spain)
  • Jai Asundi, Executive Director at the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (India)
  • Jennifer Hecht, Project Manager at Stiftung Mercator (Germany)
  • Jessica Espey, Lecturer in Global Development and Environment at University of Bristol (United Kingdom)
  • Job Imharobere Eronmhonsele, Deputy Executive Director at Centre for Population and Environmental Development (Nigeria)
  • John Schwartz, CEO at Soapbox (UK)
  • John Young, Executive Director at INASP (UK)
  • Katy Murray, Insights and Relationships Lead at Cast From Clay (UK)
  • Kerstin Schulz, Senior Project Manager at Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH (Germany)
  • Kristin Corbett, Senior Strategic Knowledge Translation Officer at the International Development Research Centre (Canada)
  • Laura Boeira, Executive Director at Instituto Veredas (Brazil)
  • Laura Christoph, Research Associate/Project Manager at Institut für Europäische Politik (Germany)
  • Laure Tall, Research Director at IPAR (Senegal)
  • Mario G Picon, Director at Results for Development (US)
  • Marko Drajic, Advocacy and Project Manager at Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (Serbia)
  • Michael Jarvis, Executive Director at Transparency & Accountability Initiative (US)
  • Monica Nadal, Director of Research at Fundacio Jaume Bofill (Spain)
  • Nabil Barkati, Chief Programs Officer at Maghreb Economic Forum (Tunisia)
  • Norma Correa Aste, Professor and Researcher at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (Peru)
  • Olumide Abimbola, Executive Director at Africa Policy Research Institute (Germany)
  • Pamla Gopaul, Senior Programme Officer and Lead Coordinator Policy Bridge Tank at African Union Development Agency NEPAD (South Africa)
  • Peter Hurst, Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation  (UK)
  • Ramona Naqvi, Director of Strategic Partnerships at GDN (Romania)
  • Raymond Struyk, Fellow at Results for Development Institute (US)
  • Reema Patel, Head of Deliberative Engagement at Ipsos (UK)
  • Sarah Ssewanyana, Executive Director at Economic Policy Research Centre (Uganda)
  • Sherine Ghoneim, Director of Communications and Policy Outreach at the Economic Research Forum (Egypt)
  • Simonida Kacarska, Director at European Policy Institute, Skopje (North Macedonia)
  • Sonia Jalfin, Director at Sociopúblico (Argentina)
  • Sonja Stojanovic Gajic, consultant and member of Executive Board at Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (Serbia)
  • Sophie Pornschlegel, Senior Policy Analyst at European Policy Centre (Belgium)
  • Stephen Yeo, Associate at On think Tanks (UK)
  • Susanne Zels, Program Director Policy Engagement and Partnerships at Robert Bosch Foundation (Germany)
  • Thomas Birringer, Deputy Head Analysis and Consulting at Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V. (Germany)
  • Tom Hashemi, Managing Partner at Cast From Clay (UK)
  • Tristan Stubbs, Secretary to House of Lords Commission at House of Lords (UK)
  • Zhu xufeng, Professor at School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University (China)
  • Dr. Monika Lueke, Chief Operating Officer at DGAP, (Germany)
  • Laura Christoph, Project Manager/ Research Associate at Institut für Europäische Politik, (Germany)
  • Erika Perez-Leon, Projects associate at Sociopúblico and OTT, (Peru)
  • Agnes Titriku, Programs Manager at African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs, (Ghana)
  • Goran Buldioski, Director of Programs at Open Society Foundations, (Germany)
  • Diane STONE, Chair Global Policy at European University Institute, (Italy)
  • Belen , Organisational Learning and Strengthening Programme Manager at Giaquinta, (Argentina)
  • Shona Warren, Global Board Member at Open Think Tank Network , (United Kingdom)
  • Pascal Roelcke, Chair at Agora, (United Kingdom)
  • Micheil Page, Head of Programme at Agora, (United Kingdom)
  • Andrew Marshall, Senior Vice President Engagement at Atlantic Council, (United States)
  • Isabel Calle, Executive Director at SPDA, (Peru)
  • Ellen Groom, Head of Agora Northern Ireland and Treasurer of Agora UK at Agora Think Tank , (United Kingdom)
  • Rosalind Goodrich, Head of Research Communications at International Institute for Environment and Development, (United Kingdom)
  • Renata Skardziute-Kereselidze, Deputy Director at Georgian Institute of Politics, (Georgia)
  • Pedro Isern, Executive Director at CESCOS, (Uruguay)
  • Sara Pantuliano, Chief Executive at ODI, (United Kingdom)
  • Aidan Muller, Director at Daimon Communications, (United Kingdom)
  • Christopher Chibwana, Program Officer at Hewlett Foundation, (United States)
  • Hans Pung, President at RAND Europe, (United Kingdom)
  • Sherine Ghoneim, Director of Communications and Policy Outreach at Economic Research Forum, (Egypt)