OTT TV offers new insights into the world of think tanks. Video is an increasingly effective medium to reach out to think tank audiences. OTT TV features interviews with key leading thinkers in our field who share their experience and attempt to make a case for think tanks.

OTT TV offers new insights into the world of think tanks. Video is an increasingly effective medium to reach out to think tank audiences. OTT TV features interviews with key leading thinkers in our field who share their experience and attempt to make a case for think tanks.

If you wish to support OTT TV, please get in touch. We can produce your own  videos or develop a series focused on a funder’s national, regional and sectorial focus.

OTT TV 2019 interview series

In 2019 we’ve partnered with MediaTank Productions for our second series of interviews with members of the global think tank community including thinktankers, think tank scholars, policy entrepreneurs and think tank funders, about their experience working with think tanks across the world.

Erin Collinson, Director of policy outreach at the Center for Global Development, on policy outreach

Policy change can take a long time. It can be really useful to revisit old research, refresh analysis, refresh recommendations, because a new window of opportunity opens up that you didn’t anticipate.

In this episode Erin talks to OTT TV about building alliances, creating accessible products, and revisiting and refreshing old research.

Rob McLean, Senior programme specialist at the IDRC, on scaling research

There’s really fertile ground for learning about the science of scaling impact. It’s about the scaling of scientific research results, and that happens through things like policy influence when a think tank develops credible and rigorous evidence for influencing policy change. But it’s also about creating a science of how we go about that process.

In this episode Rob talks to OTT TV about scaling research and policy influence at scale.

Simon Maxwell, Former executive director at the Overseas Development Institute, on think tank boards

I’m very much interested in how boards can be diverse, high-performing, and supportive of the institution. I always say that the best job in the world is to be director of a think tank, but probably the second best job in the world is to be on the board.

In this episode Simon talks to OTT TV about think tank boards, the relationship between directors and boards, and the changing context in which think tanks are working.

Melina Kolb, Digital communications manager at the​ Peterson Institute for International Economics, on digital strategies

We think about digital strategy having different layers of content, each geared toward a different type of audience.

In this episode Melina talks to OTT TV about the importance of having a digital strategy to reach your audiences and make a difference in the policy space.

Ruth Levine, from CASBS at Stanford University, on why think tanks matter

Think tanks are this crucial bridge between rigorous, empirical analysis, and the uses that that research can put to in policymaking.

In this episode Ruth talks to OTT TV about think tank trends, fostering international collaborations, and articulating your value proposition.

Norma Correa, lead researcher and professor at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, on women in think tanks

I don’t think we would do ourselves any favours if, on the women’s empowerment agenda, we dedicate ourselves to celebrate and we forget to understand what’s behind.

In this episode Norma talks to OTT TV about women in think tanks, the role of female mentors, and diversity in think tanks.

Michelle Mittelstadt, Communications director at the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), on public engagement

People don’t live their lives in averages. They live their lives in their experiences.

In this episode Michelle talks to OTT TV about immigration, acknowledging people’s lived experiences, and MPI’s work engaging with the public.

Donald Abelson, Chair of political science at the University of Western Ontario, on evolving think tanks

Think tanks shouldn’t be talking over people’s heads, they should be talking to people, and explaining to them, whether they’re in the private sector or in government, why it’s important to think about the ideas they flagged.

In this episode Donald  talks to OTT TV about think tanks’ role in the political landscape, their evolution over the past few decades, and their role in engaging with the public.

Gala Diaz Langou, Director of social protection at CIPPEC, on global discussions

We share many challenges and we can learn a lot from each other. Being able to understand those challenges in their diversity is crucial and certainly very enriching to improve proposals.

In this episode Gala talks to OTT TV about the role of think tanks and other research institutions in informing the decisions of the G20, and the importance of including perspectives from the global south in these recommendations.

John Schwartz, Founder and CEO of Soapbox, on branding

Branding is about bringing the ideas about who you are and who you want to engage with into the very core of the organisation, and aligning people with that.

In this episode John talks to OTT TV about branding, think tanks’ intellectual and cultural territory, and public engagement.

Rachel Buntrock, Creative director at Soapbox, on branding and public engagement

[Branding] is not just about what you look like, it’s the way you talk about yourselves and the way you’re broadcasting.

In this episode Rachel talks to OTT TV about how branding can help think tanks reach the right audience and have the impact it wants.

Lukas Hupfer, Director of foraus, on public engagement

On a human level, you realise that everybody has a story of migration or has personal experience knowledge. You have to seek that knowledge because it then improves your research.

In this episode Lukas talks to OTT TV about foraus‘ experience working with the public, and how think tanks can better engage with the public to improve their research.

OTT TV 2016 interview series

In 2016 we launched our first series of OTT TV in partnership with MediaTank Productions. The series includes 10 episodes from five think tanks in America, covering the themes of communications, education, technology, policy reform, innovation and more.

The Century Foundation: A new wave of school integration

This video describes The Century Foundation’s research on school integration. It presentes the results of their research as well as how its researchers and communicators have worked together to bring about impact.

The Century Foundation: Integrated communications strategy

The Century Foundation describes its approach to research communications: an integrated communications strategy.

International Rescue Committee: Combating malnutrition in South Sudan

In this episode, we speak with Bethany Marron of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) on malnutrition research in South Sudan. We look specifically at a tool they developed to support low-literacy community health workers to tackle childhood malnutrition.

International Rescue Committee: Sparking organisational innovation

Ravi Gurumurthy, Chief Innovation Officer at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) discusses innovation science in tackling malnutrition in South Sudan but then also describes the wider innovation process at IRC.

The Belfer Center: Preventing nuclear terrorism

Dr Matthew Bunn at the Belfer Center at Harvard talks about his quarter century’s research into preventing nuclear terrorism. Not only does he speak on the challenges of doing research on a topic most governments try to keep secret, but also how they assess and evaluate various risks.

The Belfer Center: Targeting a policymaker audience

Josh Burek of the Belfer Center at Harvard talks about the importance of thinking through the demand side for research. He suggests three key questions all researchers should keep in mind when writing policy-relevant reports: Why does this matter? Who should care? And what should they do about it?

The Urban Institute: Communicating research through data visualisation

John Wehmann, Director of Design and Visuals at the Urban Institute, talks with On Think Tanks TV about connecting to their audience through data visualisations

The Urban Institute: Using data to reform the criminal justice system

“The more criminal justice actors and stakeholders look at data and evidence, the less punitive we will be as a country.” Nancy G. La Vigne, Director of the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute.

New America: Integrating technology in early literacy

How can technology be used in a way that actually supports relationships, conversation, growth and learning? Lisa Guernsey and Shayna Cook from New America talk about the impact of digital media on the lives of young children.

New America: Communicating across multiple audiences

Shayna Cook and Lisa Guernsey talk about communicating across multiple audiences, focusing on New America’s project: Integrating technology in early literacy.

We can help you produce your own videos.