In our turbulent times, think tanks are confronted with multiple external and internal challenges that range from populism and decreasing trust in experts to questions surrounding diversity and talent retention. The Think Tank Lab - a new initiative of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) and the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) that is kindly supported by the Stiftung Mercator and Robert Bosch Stiftung – aims to support German think tanks in navigating these challenges by fostering innovation, offering trainings, and facilitating the exchange of good practices.
At our kick-off event on June 23, we discussed what the world expects from think tanks today and how they can become incubators for policy innovation. Our speakers, including Dr. Robin Niblett, director of Chatham House; Christiane Hoffmann, author at Der Spiegel; Dr. Hannah Neumann MEP; and others shared their perspectives on current challenges for and the future of think tank work. Moreover, we presented the Think Tank Lab and opportunities to get involved in our upcoming activities.
This graphic recording gives you a quick overview on the results:
The idea of think tanks as incubators of policy innovation will become more important and will require adaption.
In his keynote comment, Dr. Robin Niblett identified current barriers to think tank innovation, such as siloed expertise and specialized funding, and shared ten tips on how to foster innovation in think tanks. Watch the full keynote below and all event recordings here.
After the public event, we invited our community to shape the Think Tank Lab together with us. In three parallel workshops, we discussed and explored how we can foster diversity in German think tanks, how we can better understand our audiences and their needs, and how we can improve the onboarding experience for new think tankers.
Have a look at our key findings in our graphic recording:
Details about the Think Tank Lab can be found on www.thinktanklab.org and Twitter.
The Think Tank Lab is a new initiative of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) and Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) that is kindly supported by the Stiftung Mercator and Robert Bosch Stiftung.