Open Think Tank Network

A transnational network of policy think tanks is set up with an open source digital platform.


Present generations face staggering global challenges, but lack democratic structures in global governance. Europe experiences a crisis of trust in political elites. Democratic participation is often limited to electing representatives, but people feel powerless when it comes to specific policy issues. "foraus", the Swiss Forum on Foreign Policy, and its partners are working towards a way to meaningfully shape politics.


"foraus" has initiated the creation of the international Open Think Tank Network – striving to foster transnational collaboration between think tanks with an innovative grassroots model. The aim is to enable participatory, bottom-up policy making on multilateral issues that extend beyond national boundaries. Hands-on collaboration is made possible through the use of the publicly accessible, open source policy innovation platform, ‘Policy Kitchen’.

a sustainable future-proof MODEL

This platform empowers diverse stakeholders from different countries – with a particular focus on youth – to co-create policy recommendations and create an impact with targeted communications to decision makers. It builds on ten successful years in the Swiss context, three years of experience as an international network, and one year of rolling out the Policy Kitchen platform. This model has proven its strength with ten policy challenges, ranging from biodiversity, to migration, to artificial intelligence, involving eight countries on four continents. Organisational sustainability is achieved by co-creating a future-proof governance model. This is not a time-bound project but a movement with the potential to scale globally. Financial sustainability is achieved through decreasing marginal costs (thanks to a decentralised and volunteer-driven engagement model), and increasing potential to attract funding as a function of the size of the community. Environmental sustainability is a core component of the policy work, for example the pilot campaign on global biodiversity protection.

Project owner
Nicola Forster
Co-Founder & President foraus