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On Think Tanks was founded in mid 2010. It has evolved from a blog into a global platform dedicated to study and support policy research and policy research centres, or think tanks. The members of the On Think Tanks Team and its Advisory Board are spread out across 6 continents!

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  1. 1

    Everything I needed to know about online content I learned from making mixtapes

    I was never particularly good at making mixtapes—my teenage musical tastes were too uncultured, my town too small to support more than your standard country/classic rock/top–40 radio stations, and my working-class parents too poor to support much of a music-buying habit. (For you... Read full article
  2. 2

    A conversation with Katy Owen from CoVi, the first visual think tank in the UK

    Common Vision UK (CoVi) describes itself as the first visual think tank in the UK and they “explore, develop and share innovations in policy and practice using visual and accessible tools and channels.” (CoVi).  It is, indeed, a new concept: the focus of their outputs is more “visual”,... Read full article
  3. 3

    Beyond the artifact: rethinking the research output

    Many interventions to increase research impact have received a lot of attention recently, including: Liberating research from PDFs; Changing the writing style from one that is targeted solely at researchers to other audiences; Using a variety of techniques to make a research output more... Read full article
  4. 4

    Long-form: Choosing a digital platform for policy organisations

    Mike Connery was right: digital long-form for think tanks has taken off. And from the Brookings Institute to the King’s Fund, policy communicators are publishing fine examples of digital native think pieces and essays using bespoke models. But not everyone wants (or can afford) a ‘Snow... Read full article
  5. 5

    Think tanks and videos: are they an effective tool to communicate research?

    I (very) recently joined the On Think Tanks team as an editorial manager. One of my first set of tasks was to create a series about Think Tanks and Videos from content that was already on the site. The first step was obvious: a broad search and bookmarking of all relevant posts. Let me state... Read full article
  6. 6

    Responding to digital disruption of traditional communications: ‘reusing the wheel’

    In earlier blogs, I’ve discussed one of the biggest challenges for think tanks in using the Internet: the amount of information out there that is competing for attention. As well as being a challenge, however, this also offers an opportunity. For it is this mass of content – and the tools... Read full article
  7. 7

    Responding to digital disruption of traditional communications: ‘cradle to grey content’ strategy

    At its core, all content developed by think tanks should be strongly evidence based. The Internet will not change this: if anything, the growth in competing messages makes this more important to stand out from the crowd. How then, is the Internet altering the messages think tanks deliver? In my... Read full article
  8. 8

    Responding to digital disruption of traditional communications: ‘being there’ communications

    Two of the key communications goals of a think tank are being heard by the right people, and your information being found easily when needed. Historically, organisations seeking policy influence could pursue these goals in separate ways – the former through use of events, media engagement... Read full article
  9. 9

    Responding to digital disruption of traditional communications: three planks to ODI’s digital strategy

    At a recent meeting to discuss ODI’s communications strategy, it became very clear that communications is changing – and rapidly so. ‘Digital disruption’ is breaking down barriers between the traditional functions of a communications team, throwing up new challenges in all areas. At... Read full article