Archive for July, 2008|Monthly archive page

Think tank

In Development, Economy, Politics, Poverty, Public Education on July 20, 2008 at 7:06 pm

One of the ideas I have been mulling over in my head for a while is starting up a think tank.  From Wikipedia:

think tank (also called a policy institute) is an organization, institute, corporation, or group that conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economy, science or technology issues, industrial or business policies, or military advice. Many think tanks are non-profit organizations, which some countries such as the US and Canada provide with tax exempt status. While many think tanks are funded by governments, interest groups, or businesses, some think tanks also derive income from consulting or research work related to their mandate.

To me, the beauty of a think tank is that often they can remain quite disconnected from other parties and advocacy groups if careful enough.  The best way to form solutions is to step back, look at the whole situation, and form a logical, and amicable, solution.   Step 1 is where most groups, governments included, fail.  They are too involved in the politics of the issue (they ought to be), and because of this entanglement form decisions that look good, rather than based on logic.  For example, a politician would have a difficult time being elected saying that a recession is a perfectly normal part of economic growth, and that the trick is to balance growth with recession.  Instead, politicians claim that they are the only ones that can break free of economic troubles and send the economy sailing.

This is just saying what people want to hear; it has nothing to do with reality.

A think tank has the potential to solve global issues through gathering data, studying the trends, and applying controlled changes.  But I wouldn’t want to limit a think tank to economic policy.  There’s no reason why you couldn’t gather the best and brightest in their respective fields and tackle all sorts of problems.  Here’s a few:

  • City planning
  • Education
  • Human rights
  • Economics
  • Peace
  • Criminal justice
  • Public relations

If you have anything that you think should be added to the list, leave a comment.

I’m going to start a think tank.  Join me.