Why Think Tank?

Today, the world needs breakthrough solutions to address poverty and climate change. However, we continue to speak among ourselves, i.e. academics to academics; politicians to politicians and so on. Our goal is to break silos by bringing together individuals from many different backgrounds (researchers, NGO, International Organizations, Entrepreneurs, Managers, Politicians, etc etc) to rethink some of our current systems, with this year’s focus being on finance, education and consumption.

What is a Think Tank?

A think tank is a powerful framework for bringing subject matter experts together to make a policy recommendation. Now the challenges facing the social innovators are so vast and interconnected that no single Company or NGO or International Organisation or Government or Academic entity has the resources to solve the challenges single handedly. Please consider the following:

:: Finance: There are many millions of social entrepreneurs who want to raise funds for their ventures but only a handful receive enough funds to take their venture off the ground as financial institutions are reluctant to give funding to social projects because they hardly ever give returns on investment. So we need to re-think how we finance start-ups or projects that are focussed on social innovation.

:: Education: It is well understood that higher education has the biggest impact on the earning potential of all people. However, quality higher education remains out of reach for many because of the limited capacity of higher education institutions. They have limited capacity because of the high cost of delivery. So we need to re-think how we deliver quality higher education for the masses.

:: Consumption: Almost everyone knows what is responsible consumption and how our purchasing decisions can accelerate the adoption of sustainable business and industrial practices. But most of us are attracted by low prices and we do not research how companies produce food, energy or use water and plastic. So we need to re-think how we move the world towards responsible consumption and thus responsible production.

How will the Think Tank work at the Global Good Congress (GGC) with EPFL Tech4Impact on 15 November 2019?

The Think Tank will follow the following steps:

Step 1: At 8:00AM, 12 to 18 think tank leaders will arrive at The Olympic Museum, Lausanne and receive a networking space in the Global Good Congress Exhibition to showcase their research / initiative / project / advanced idea / hypothesis that fits with the scope of one of the three topics (education, finance, consumption).

Step 2: From 8:30AM to 10:00AM, participants inc. the researchers, entrepreneurs, politicians and leaders of NGOs, International Organizations and CSR initiatives will arrive and start networking with the think tank leaders.

Step 3: At 10:00AM, everyone will gather at the main auditorium of The Olympic Museum for the start and the think tank leaders will have an opportunity to introduce their topics in 30 seconds after the keynote speakers have set the scene.

Step 4: At 11:00AM, the participants will then self-select themselves in groups to further develop the idea presented or propose modifications based on their project and together think through a “solution” that will bring about change; think tank leaders are expected to guide the discussion with their expert insights.

Step 5: Just before 4:00PM, we will short-list a few teams who have developed an inspiring 2-minute pitch to present on stage at the main auditorium. Their pitches will start after the closing keynote. And the top three teams will have the opportunity to participate in innovation workshops between January and March 2020 to further develop their idea and get invited to present at future GoodFestival Event Series in Switzerland and the USA.

What is the criteria for becoming a Think Tank Leader versus an Exhibitor or a Keynote speaker?

Here is the draft selection criteria:

:: Entrepreneur or leader of a local/regional event or a project from a company or IO/NGO/University etc.
:: Has an idea that is new and different
:: Successfully aligned with reputed partners

Think Tank Leader
:: Has created a pathbreaking venture or written a critically acclaimed paper or a book
:: Seen as an emerging subject matter expert
:: Perhaps seen as “too innovative” because of the radical nature of the hypothesis

Keynote Speaker
:: Recognized as one of the global subject matter experts in the area we have selected
:: Someone with serious achievement that requires many years of consistent excellence and resilience
:: Work experience that spans at least three continents - otherwise they do not belong in a Global Congress