WBE attended the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Think Tank Forum – a great opportunity to share our vision on improved connectivity and collaborative problem-solving.
On 22 September 2017, our colleagues Valentina Eigner and Toni Michel participated in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Think Tank Forum hosted by the Moldovan Institute for European Policies and Reforms. The conference aimed to find solutions to connect the EaP think tank and policymaking communities and provided a platform to discuss shared priorities for the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum that took place from 25-27 October in Tallinn, Estonia as well as for the Eastern Partnership Summit to be held in Brussels on 24 November.
With policy networks and joint solutions being the topic of this Forum, WBE was very interested to participate and to share our own vision on how to advance connectivity and collaborative problem solving. At the conference, our colleagues Valentina and Toni presented the WBE THINK Platform and WBE’s approach to achieving effective collaboration between researchers and decision-makers across political, economic and financial, social and cultural sectors.
WBE’s THINK Platform is an online-based crowd-source analysis platform that connects researchers, analysts and consultants with decision makers across the fields of business and finance, civil society and policy-making. The THINK Platform provides these different strategic actors with crowd-source analysis and communication avenues, to exchange, collect and jointly analyse information, develop comprehensive strategies for Europe and the neighbouring regions and conduct concrete projects to implement these strategies.
This grassroots, cooperation-based approach, offers a new vision for strategy development. Integrating a diversity of actors, of expertise and of experience across sectors and country borders, this approach benefits the creativity and reliability of the analysis, leads to more flexible and comprehensive strategies and ensures the relevance of the projects conducted.
On the panel, Valentina presented WBE’s running research project on the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its potential implications for Europe and the neighbouring regions. The research project relies on a network of researchers who conduct analysis using crowd-source analysis tools in close cooperation with European and regional civil society organisations, companies and state institutions. The goal of the project is to create a common situational picture of the Chinese actions in South-eastern Europe, the Post-Soviet space and the Middle East and North Africa to develop comprehensive strategies for state and non-state European actors. The project enables the different actors to improve their strategic position counter to the Chinese strategy, to use the Chinese strategy as an inspiration and to develop a common European strategic response, which includes the development of concrete projects in cooperation with Chinese counterparts.
WBE’s approach – developing transnational and trans-disciplinary networks and improving cooperation among researchers, policy-makers and other economic, finance and civil society actors to develop comprehensive, notably cross-sectorial strategies for Europe and the neighbouring regions – was met with strong interest amongst participants.
The Forum, the first of its kind, was a great success. WBE is proud to have participated and significantly contributed to the outcome paper with policy recommendations for the 2017 Eastern Partnership Summit. Moreover, our presence at the Forum enabled us to expand our network and build new partnerships. This has enlarged WBE’s analytical pool in the EaP countries, benefitting our work as we analyse the Chinese actions in the Post-Soviet space.
WBE looks forward to continued collaboration with our partners. We aim to ‘break bubbles’, uniting researchers and analysts with decision-makers across sectors, fostering the development of sound, comprehensive strategies for Europe and the neighbouring region, and enabling the implementation of concrete and sustainable projects.
We would like to thank Iulian Groza and all organisers of the EaP Think Tank Forum for a magnificent event and look forward to further cooperation in the future.
Interested? More information on the conference can be found here.
Our colleague Valentina Eigner representing WBE at the Eastern Partnership Think Tank Forum