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The Swiss Think Tank on foreign policy

foraus (Swiss Forum on Foreign Policy) generates independent, high quality recommendations for foreign policy decision makers and the public, thereby bridging the gap between academia and politics. Its non-partisan approach aims to promote an open dialogue and informed decision-making on all aspects of Swiss foreign policy. foraus is a grassroots organization.

© foraus - Swiss Forum on Foreign Policy 2017

DAY 1

Will Paxton from KIVU International started off the week with a lecture on developing a research agenda. He invited the participants to debate how and to what extent policy makers actually listen to researchers. He also highlighted the importance for a think tank to have a clear focus, concrete strategies for policy changes, and an awareness about which “windows of opportunity” are open to it.

Francesco Pisano delivered a brief history of the UN and its library, and encouraged think tanks to engage more with the UN in general. In this vein, the next speaker, Jennifer Freedman, discussed how think tanks could actually engage with the UN and used her organisation, UNRISD – an autonomous research institute within the UN – as an example. Her advice: « stay relevant » and « one of your priorities should be translating academic papers into short messages and finding the right channels to get messages to the targeted audience ».

Will Paxton, Director, Kivu International

Lectures at the United Nations (UN) Library on developing a catchy research agenda linked to SDGs. 

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