January 22, 2019


Trainers of the 2019 Winterschool for thinktankers

Trainers of the 2019 Winterschool for thinktankers

Day 1: Governance and Management 

Enrique Mendizabal, Founder & Director On Think Tanks

Enrique is an independent policy entrepreneur. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). Until December 2010 he worked for the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) where he headed the Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) programme. At ODI he co-founded the Outcome Mapping Learning Community. Enrique is the co-founder of Politics and Ideas, the Peruvian Alliance for the Use of Evidence, and the Premio PODER al Think Tank Peruano del Año. Since 2016, he organises an annual Evidence Week in Latin America. He lives in Lima (Peru) but spends quite some time in London and traveling tovisit think tanks across the world. He combines this with travel writing.

Lukas Hupfer. Director of foraus  – The Swiss think tank on foreign policy

Lukas has a wide experience in foreign policy both as an academic and professional. Following his studies at SciencesPo Paris he served the Swiss Foreign Ministry in Bern and Hebron. After five years of diplomatic service, Lukas was appointed director of foraus – the Swiss think tank on foreign policy in April 2018. foraus is a grassroots think tank that generates independent, high quality recommendations for decision makers and the public. Its non-partisan approach aims to promote an open dialogue and informed decision-making on all aspects of foreign policy.

Jonas Nakonz. Project manager at foraus  – Swiss Forum on Foreign Policy

Jonas works is a project manager at foraus – Swiss Forum on Foreign Policy, specialising in innovative formats to facilitate political dialogue and collaboration. He currently runs “Policy Kitchen”, a crowd-innovation approach to generate policy recommendations in a distributed, inclusive and participatory fashion (policykitchen.com).


Eduardo Belinchón. Digital Innovation Manager at foraus 

Eduardo is Digital Innovation Manager at foraus  where his work is focusing on strengthening the think tank digital transformation, managing the development of their digital engagement platform “Policy Kitchen” and strengthening the coordination and expansion of the Open Think Tank Network with new and innovative digital tools.

Before joining foraus Eduardo spent more than 4 years as a data specialist at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in New York, where his work focused on enhancing and promoting the compilation and dissemination of Sustainable Development Goals data both within the international system and member states.

 Day 2: Policy Relevant Research

Simon Maxwell. Former Executive Director, Overseas Development Institute

Simon Maxwell is one of the UK’s leading specialists on international development. He is a development economist with a career in research, aid management and policy advice spanning 45 years. He worked overseas for ten years, in Kenya and India for UNDP, and for the UK aid programme in Bolivia, then for fifteen years at IDS in Sussex, and for a dozen years as Director of ODI in London. He was until recently Executive Chair of the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (www.cdkn.org), and a Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons International Development Select Committee. He is currently Chair of the European Think Tanks Group (www.ettg.eu). Simon is a past President of the Development Studies Association of the UK and Ireland. In 2007, he was awarded a CBE for services to international development. For further information, see www.simonmaxwell.eu

Ekkehard Ernst.Chief Macroeconomic, Policy Unit ILO

Ekkehard Ernst leads Global Policy Dialogues on the Future of Work and other far-reaching challenges. At the International Labour Organization, he reflects on how artificial intelligence, an ageing society, climate change or populism might impact jobs and inequality. Together with the Geneva Macro Labs Ekkehard organizes regular conferences and roundtables to stimulate exchange and creative thinking on how to address these challenges. He regularly publishes blogs, newspaper articles, and policy reports and presents his insights at international conferences. His most recent work discusses the risks and opportunities of a wide-spread adoption of artificial intelligence, in particular for developing countries.

 Michaela Told. Executive Director, Global Health Centre, The Graduate Institute Geneva

Michaela Told is currently the Executive Director of the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. Prior to moving into academia, she worked with the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement at local, regional and international levels in all continents, most recently heading the Principles and Values Department of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. She was then involved in negotiations and policy-making within the statutory bodies of the RCRC Movement concerning her portfolio. Earlier in her career, she worked with the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Division of Development Cooperation and later served as Secretary General of an international women’s human rights NGO based in Geneva. In her current position she also serves as Deputy Director of the Global Health Centre and co-heads the WHO Collaborating Centre on Governance for Health and Global Health Diplomacy in Geneva. She has been instrumental in establishing these Centres and has been involved in the THINK_SDGs network from its beginning. She holds three Master’s degrees across different disciplines and a PhD in Cultural Studies.

Day 3: Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

Stephen Yeo. On Think Tanks advisor at large and former Chief executive officer of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Stephen Yeo is the former Executive Director of CEPR. Under his leadership, CEPR launched VoxEU, a global economic research platform. He has had extensive involvement in building capacity for policy research and analysis in Sub-Saharan Africa, along with experience in monitoring and evaluation, in particular of policy research networks and policy influencing projects. He is currently involved in the evaluation of the International Growth Centre (IGC).

Francesco Pisano. Director, Library of the United Nations Office at Geneva

Francesco Pisano is an expert in international affairs with a professional background in humanitarian affairs, risk management, and research on knowledge systems. He has an academic background in international relations with a specialisation in diplomatic studies and conflict resolution, and law with a focus on public international law.

He joined the United Nations in 1993 where he took positions of increasing responsibility with the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs, its Division for Disaster Mitigation, then with OCHA as Senior Officer.  He served as Director of Research, Technology Applications and Knowledge Systems at the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) where he was also the Manager of UNOSAT (the Operational Satellite Applications Programme) from 2007 to 2012. Since 2016 he directs the UN Library Geneva, a centre for research and knowledge exchange established in 1919, and the Cultural Activity Programme of UNOG, a space dedicated to cultural diplomacy and international outreach.

Day 4: Communications

Keith Burnet. Director of Communications and Publishing, Chatham House

Keith Burnet is Director of Communications and Publishing at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, where he oversees its communications strategy and outreach and has overall responsibility for the institute’s magazine The World Today and journal International Affairs. His previous marketing- and communications-related roles include for Wood Mackenzie & Co; NatWest Securities; Wiley-Blackwell; the Industrial Society; the Disablement Income Group; and the Labour party. He studied business and politics at Oxford Brookes University and the Curtin University, Western Australia. He was co-founder of the Scottish fanzineDeadbeat which allowed him to indulge his interest in music and interview and write about artists and bands including Morrissey, New Order and, Echo and the Bunnymen.

Ellen Mather. Lead Branding Designer, Soapbox

Ellen is the branding specialist at Soapbox. She helps our clients build strong brands and visual identities that align with their mission and purpose to have the greatest impact. She joined Soapbox after studying graphic design at the London College of Communication, and is currently studying part-time for a Master’s in Brands, Communication and Culture at Goldsmiths. Outside Soapbox she has a keen interest in wider visual culture and sociology.

John Schwartz.Founder and Managing Director of Soapbox

John is the founder and CEO of Soapbox (www.soapbox.co.uk), a global creative communications agency working with many of the world’s leading think tanks, NGOs and academic institutions. John studied philosophy and politics at the University of Warwick and previously worked for the Institute for Public Policy Research in London and as a publisher of political books. He was a producer on the multi-award-winning documentary “They Will Have to Kill Us First” about the 2012 civil war in Mali. He has a passion for making public policy work accessible to wider audiences and for communicating it in innovative ways.

Day 5: Fundraising and financial management

Sonja Stojanovic Gajic. Director, Belgrade Centre for Security Policy

Sonja Stojanovic Gajic is the BCSP Director. She holds an MA in Politics, Security and Integration with distinction from the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies, University College London. Prior to taking up her current appointment, she worked with the Strategic Development Unit of the OSCE Mission to Serbia and Montenegro’s Law Enforcement Department as a coordinator of the strategic management program for the Serbian and Montenegrin police services. In the period of 2006-2011, Ms. Stojanović worked part-time as a teaching assistant for security studies at the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Belgrade. She is the author of the methodology for measuring security sector reform (SSR) in transitional societies from the perspective of civil society tested in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

Dr. Marc-André Pradervand.former Head of Direct Marketing & Donor Care Unit a.i., Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Switzerland

Marc-André Pradervand studied Business Administration and Management Information Systems at the University of Zurich/Switzerland. After working for several years as a consultant he joined an international non-profit organization and discovered the beauty of fundraising. He has now been a fundraiser for over 18 years and has held different positions in organizations like UNICEF, Save the Children, World Vision or Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Currently he is Head of Fundraising for the Synapsis Foundation – Alzheimer Research Switzerland. He is also an active member of the Swiss fundraising association and trains fundraisers

Day 6: Adaptive thinking

Melanie Rayment. Social designer and strategist, On Think Tanks associate

Melanie is a Design Strategist and Social Designer. She uses design-led practices to approach complex social issues in a cross-sector way and works with organisations to enhance their problem-solving capability and guide strategic change in a human-centred way. She co-designs policy, interventions, services, change and engagement programs to achieve public impact and the organisation’s mission. Melanie has 15 years’ experience in both the private and public sector. Her commercial experience includes working with global brands and agencies and during her time with the ‘big four’ management consultants, across Sydney, Tokyo, and London, Melanie applied design to large-scale organisational, customer and industry challenges. She has spent time as a university teacher in Design for Social Impact and worked at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in a transdisciplinary approach with citizens, governments, and NGOs to co-develop mission-based approaches to social innovation across an array of policy issues.