September 1, 2022


School for Thinktankers 2023

On Think Tanks – Brussels
start date: January 29, 2023 end date: February 4, 2023

Join us at the School for Thinktankers 2023!

After two years online, we’re happy to return to an in-person one-week programme in Brussels. 

The School is designed to develop your think tank skills and prepare you for, or strengthen, leadership roles. It offers practical knowledge, learning and networking opportunities to help you and your think tank grow in core areas such as fundraising, communications, financial management, policy engagement and more.



What to expect 

The School for Thinktankers 2023 runs over 7 days (Sunday 29 January to Saturday 4 February) in Brussels, hosted by Bruegel , the European Policy Centre (EPC) and the Centre for Africa-Europe Relations (ECDPM).

Topics covered:

  • Governance and management
  • Policy relevant research
  • Communications
  • Fundraising and financial management
  • Monitoring, evaluation and learning 

It includes:

  • Lectures and group work with experienced think tank leaders (mornings). Expert lecturers include directors and former directors at leading think tanks. See the list of our past lecturers.
  • Site visits to local organisations and institutions (afternoons).
  • Networking activities are embedded throughout the week.
  • Learning materials on each topic, including background notes, recorded lectures, presentations, and reading lists.
  • Join the alumni community upon completion of the course. Now with over 150 thinktankers from around the world.  
  • A diploma is issued upon completion of the School personal learning journal.


The list of confirmed trainers includes:

  • Scarlett Varga, Head of Development at Bruegel
  • Katja Knežević, Deputy Head of Outreach and Events at Bruegel
  • John Schwartz, CEO and Founder at Soapbox
  • Naomi Isaacs, Brand Strategist at Soapbox
  • Fabian Zuleeg,  Chief Executive at EPC
  • Sonja Stojanovic Gajic
  • Lizza Bomassi, Deputy Director at Carnegie Europe
  • Andrew Sherriff, Associate director of institutional relations and partnerships at ECDPM
  • Kathleen Van Hove, Senior policy officer in ECDPM’s institutional relations and partnerships department
  • David Watson, Managing Director, Communications and Publishing Department at Chatham House

Who can join?

The School is open to all. Each year we welcome a diverse range of thinktankers, from early/mid-career to senior leadership positions, and from research, communications, human resources, fundraising and project management roles. We also welcome policy entrepreneurs interested in setting up their think tanks. 


‘What I liked most about the School was the richness and breadth of content covered, as well as the opportunity to network with leaders from across the world.’ 2019 

‘I felt it was a very well thought out agenda with great speakers! So much expertise from the speakers but also the participants in the group. Would recommend it to others!’ 2020 

‘The content is rich, systematic, thorough, and well planned. Not what you traditionally get to learn in the regular academic training.’ 2021 

More from past participants.

Costs and logistics 

The School for Thinktankers 2023 costs 1,250 USD . 

This includes:

  • 6-day in-person programme including expert lectures, group work, networking events and site visits.
  • A digital and printed study pack
  • Coffee breaks during the School
  • A city walking tour 
  • Access to the online School platform and resources
  • Access to the OTT Alumni network
  • Diploma on completion of a personal learning journey 

This does not include travel and accommodation. Participants are responsible for arranging and covering these costs. We can advise on suitable accommodation if needed.

We offer a 5% discount to organisations that send two participants and to members of alumni organisations and 10% for those that send three or more.

How to apply

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and applicants will be informed as soon as a decision has been reached. Applicants should be prepared to pay the cost of the School within three weeks of receiving confirmation of attendance.

Only a couple of spaces left!

Apply now!

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