From November 11-14th, over 200 think tank representatives, policymakers, donors, researchers, and like-minded stakeholders will converge in Bangkok, Thailand to celebrate all that’s been achieved over nearly a decade of the Think Tank Initiative (TTI). Our flagship event, the Think Tank Initiative Exchange (TTIX), will be the third and final of its kind and the TTI Planning Committee has been hard at work. The focus is ‘Sustainable Organizations for Sustainable Development’ and an alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals is woven throughout the agenda. As we all come together to look to the future the main question we will aim to answer is: How can think tanks continue to contribute to building more equitable and prosperous societies?
In terms of the sessions themselves, this will not be a traditional conference. Rather than back-to-back panels and PowerPoint presentations, we will aim to foster discussion, debate, and interaction that is think tank-led through participatory sessions, a marketplace, and emergent focus topics. We also want to afford ample time to open conversation and catching up amongst friends. Here’s a taste of how we’ve framed the three days:
Day 1: Set the scene: reflect on the past and focus on the future
After opening TTIX, think tanks will share their TTI journey and reflect on the future in a session called “Think Tanks in a Changing World’. In the afternoon, we will have a collaborative session on lessons learned and what we would do differently if we could do it again, and then move to a discussion with funders where participants will be encouraged to “Ask Any Questions”.
Day 2: Explore and engage
We will begin with a marketplace showcasing think tank achievements, before moving to two sets of parallel sessions where participants will break into small groups: the first will have a thematic breakdown that aligns with the marketplace and the second will focus on practices and approaches. From there we will learn more about the South Asian Sustainable Think Tanks project before regrouping for dinner.
Day 3: Collaborate and learn
Our final day will bring us back to the marketplace to learn more about “in-demand” projects and ideas. We will then have our final set of parallel sessions where we explore collaboration opportunities before moving to an extended lunch that marks the end of TTIX.
In the coming weeks and months, we will be working to share information and prepare you for the event, as well as give you all an opportunity to connect with one another online. We look forward to the stimulating discussions that will no doubt ensue through the e-Forum, and are counting down to seeing you all in November. Until then!