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Think Tanks

(San Francisco, California, U.S.A. - Jeff M. Wang)




- Think Tanks

The world has always been led by great thinkers. Great thinkers are always at the forefront. All of these people dreamed that the world could be a better place and challenged the social norms of the time. In many ways, they laid the foundation for what would soon become a modern think tank. 

Back in the Hypatian era of Plato and Alexander, and even to the modern era of philosophers like Simone de Beauvoir: great thinkers are always at the forefront.

A think tank is a group of people whose sole occupation is to read, write, research, and discuss topics important to social good. It's a collective intelligence. 

Think tanks are not one size fits all: there are many different types of think tanks. Think of a specific problem or crisis facing the world. There may now be a think tank looking for a solution to the problem. 

Think tanks are made up of experts in their respective fields. lawyers, doctors, ethicists, political scientists and professors are the most common occupations among think tank workers. 

A think tank is an organization that brings together interdisciplinary groups of scholars to conduct research around a specific policy, issue or idea. Think tanks discuss a wide range of topics, including social policy, public policy, economic policy, political strategy, culture and technology.


- The Roles of Think Tanks

Think tanks act as brokers of policy knowledge, research centers and incubators for new ideas. As brokers, they transfer knowledge between academics, policymakers and civil society. As applied researchers, they translate multidisciplinary theory and experience into insights and recommendations to inform and meet the needs of policymakers. As innovators, they expand the horizons and possibilities of the policy world—for example, demonstrating the power of entrepreneurial solutions. At best, think tanks can provide credible, relevant, and understandable information.

In young democracies and emerging markets, think tanks can play a central role as reform leaders. They foster change by raising awareness of key economic issues, initiating discussions and showing policymakers the way forward. Their expertise and leadership can strengthen and mobilize civil society.

The role that think tanks often play:

  • Provide a place where ideas can be developed freely and independently. 
  • Raise awareness of important issues. 
  • Provide evidence-backed alternative policy solutions. 
  • To inform and educate policy makers, the public, business and civil society. 
  • Encourage public debate and facilitate the exchange of ideas. 
  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of policies and government programs

[More to come ...]

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