Support us

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!

Please subscribe to On Think Tanks. The suggested contribution is GBP5.00 per month and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contribute Monthly

Alternatively, please send us a donation of any amount you think is appropriate


For alternative ways to support us, or if you would like to read about our strategy and find out more about On Think Tanks, please visit the support section of the website.


OTT Annual Review 2019: think tanks and technology

As ever, we are excited about the possibilities, but with a healthy degree of scepticism. We are quite certain that new technologies are playing, and will continue to play a transformative role in the evolution of think tanks and think tank communities across the world. But we do not think that it will be all it is billed to be. And change, whatever that may be, should be informed by facts, rather than hype and expectation.
  1. 1

    On think tanks and technology

    We’ve invited authors from across different disciplines, sectors and roles to offer insights into the opportunities and challenges that new technologies present to think tanks. As ever, we are excited about the possibilities, but with a healthy degree of scepticism. We are quite certain... Read full article
  2. 2

    An ethical and social justice agenda for digital inclusion

    The internet has transformed nearly every aspect of our lives, from the way we communicate with each other to the way we learn, work and participate in social and political life. Digital inclusion is no longer a ‘nice to have’, it is a human right. In the UK, this issue gained prominence... Read full article
  3. 3

    The questions technology poses think tanks

    It is easy to paint a dystopian picture of fast-approaching ‘technological singularity’ – the point at which artificial intelligence becomes cleverer than us, and probably decides that humans are dysfunctional and need to be eliminated. Before that happens, the robots will have taken... Read full article
  4. 4

    Embodied artificial intelligence: a new frontier for technology and policy action

    Today’s remarkable advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are powered in many ways by the billions of images uploaded to the Internet each day. This rich corpus of imagery and video has enabled industrial and academic researchers to develop models that excel at detecting specific objects... Read full article
  5. 5

    The journey to ethically-aligned artificial intelligence in healthcare policy

    The idea of intelligent machines performing intelligent tasks seems exciting. However, it opens up a can of worms around ethics, governance, and cultural implications. Some of these concerns include privacy issues around where the data comes from to train these algorithms. Others include the... Read full article
  6. 6

    The 4th Industrial Revolution and new frontiers: why think tanks should be prepared

    A couple of years back, when our research organisation in the global South started to think about the impacts of digital revolution, the topic was hardly getting any air play in our part of the world. Well, it’s not that the goods and services of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) had not... Read full article
  7. 7

    Think tanks versus robots: how technology is likely to disrupt think tanks

    ‘Tech’ and its close cousin ‘innovation’ have entered buzzword territory. Debate rumbles on about whether we are headed for utopia or dystopia at the hands of ever smarter robots that threaten to eclipse or even erode humanity. It’s the sort of big generational question that... Read full article
  8. 8

    On technology and monotony: automating tasks to save time, money…and your sanity

    At Soapbox, we pride ourselves on driving communications forward in the think tank sector. In recent years that has meant a lot of focus on digital communications – helping think tanks build better websites, leading the charge towards modular content, and helping researchers think in terms... Read full article
  9. 9

    Want to chat? What bots can teach think tanks about connecting with the public

    Hey there . How are you doing? … Would you like to read this piece on bots and thinks tanks, or would you rather look at this incredible video of a train passing through a market in Bangkok? … Articles that ‘chat’ like this one are not the norm. But they do already exist, built... Read full article
  10. 10

    How think tanks in developing countries can embrace technological change

    Think tanks are a special kind of organisation that aim to produce knowledge to transform society. Knowledge is a public good – like health and clean air – that can be produced in science labs, classrooms, grassroots organisations or businesses. Although knowledge is perceived as abstract... Read full article
  11. 11

    Think tanks – a strategic resource towards Africa’s technological growth and advancement?

    As a technology enthusiast, I am an ardent believer that Africa’s socio-economic development is firmly linked to her technological development, growth and advancement. And the opportunity to work for the Government of Ghana under its Information and Communications Technologies for Accelerated... Read full article
  12. 12

    Artificial intelligence and Russian propaganda: it’s not what it looks like

    In the think tank world, talk about artificial intelligence (AI) is common. Using it is less common. One of the underlying causes of this may be a perceived lack of familiarity with the methods. However, AI methods – including machine learning – are probably more familiar to many... Read full article
  13. 13

    Technology for society: the forgotten principles

    ‘Technology for society’ is an oversimplified concept. Everything from analysis reports, dashboards, and command centres to self-service websites are put forward as the holy grails of e-governance. Governments are demanding more and more digitisation and technology companies are fulfilling... Read full article
  14. 14

    More connections, less commitment: the impact of technology on networks

    Information, a community, and connections may have once been enough to keep network members engaged (and possibly paying dues). But now people can get these things through social media and other technology-facilitated platforms and tools. Networks face more competition. Potential members can... Read full article