December 13, 2017


The Winterschool for Thinktankers

On Think Tanks has teamed up with foraus, a Swiss foreign policy think tank in Geneva, the Think Tank Hub , the  Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs(FDFA)  and the Think Tank Initiative,to deliver the  Winterschool for Thinktankers, an initiative aimed at inspiring the next generation of think tank leaders.

The Winterschool for Thinktankers is designed to address a challenge that all think tanks in developing countries face: good think tank leaders are scarce. A think tank leader cannot rely on being a great researcher and thought leader; he or she also has to be an excellent manager. Unfortunately, this is not something that many researchers think about during their careers. By the time they are senior enough to take on leadership roles, it is (almost) too late. This initiative wants to remedy this problem.


The Winterschool for Thinktankers is designed to:

  • Prepare and inspire the next generation of think tank leaders
  • Create a community of emerging think tank leaders who can support and learn from each other in the future
  • Encourage think tank staff to reflect on their own organisations and make recommendations to support their development

The Winterschool

The winterschool is a 7-day programme in Geneva (late January) in which participants will acquire the tools and knowledge to prepare to become a policy entrepreneur. Participants  will  learn from prestigious experts who will share their expertise.  Additionally, and as Geneva hosts a unique wealth of international organisations and networks, participants will have the chance to discover some of the key actors of global governance that are based there.

The Winterschool for Thinktankers is primarily focused on thinktankers, researchers and practitioners interested in engaging with and informing international policy agendas. However, anyone interests in evidence informed policy is welcome to apply.

The Winterschool programme will focus on the following core areas related to think tanks:

  • Governance and management for think tanks
  • Development of a proactive and policy relevant research agenda
  • Communication strategies
  • Fundraising, financial management, and accountability
  • Monitoring, evaluation, and learning of policy influence for the continuous strengthening of the think tank.

The mornings will be dedicated to lectures and guided groupwork from think tank experts from around the world.

In the afternoon, we visit key organisations in Geneva to experience how theories are implemented by some of the most influential stakeholders of international politics.

What will participants receive?

Prospective candidates must apply and successful participants will receive: 

  • A seven day  face to face School including learning sessions and social activities. 
  • A Study pack with background notes on each theme, relevant information about the lecturers and the institutions that will be visited, and useful information about host city. 
  • Access to an online forum to engage with fellow participants, experts and the OTT School team and its partners, before, during and after the School. 
  • A certificate upon completion of a personal learning journal.  
  • Access to On Think Tanks Fellows and alumni network. 

Take a look at highlights from the 2018 WinterSchool for Thinktankers in Geneva.

Applications for the 2019 Winterschool are now  CLOSED, but if you are interested in participating in a following edition of the winterschool please complete this form and we will contact you in October 2019, or get in touch with [email protected]