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Interview | Voices from the Think Tank Community with Isotta Ricci Bitti

Isotta Ricci Bitti, Managing Director, APROPOS Group


This interview was originally published by the Think Tank Lab at DGAP - German Council on Foreign Relations.

Isotta Ricci Bitti is Co-Founder and Managing Director at the APROPOS Group, which just celebrated its 1st anniversary. With formats like Political Dialogues and The Policy Design Sprint APROPOS focuses on the how of politics and shows the impact that process design can have on improving political communication and cooperation.We asked Isotta what she thinks are the most pressing challenges in today's think tank landscape and what she wished she had known on her first day in the think tank business.


What project or topic is currently occupying your mind the most in your work? I am currently focusing on the development of the Open European Dialogue platform, a long-standing political dialogue initiative involving members of parliaments from across Europe. This initiative, which has been active for nearly a decade, serves as a strategic infrastructure for our think tank partners. We are exploring ways to expand the platform's scope, integrate more deeply into parliamentary proceedings, and disseminate our methodologies for effective political dialogue and collaboration, with the goal of enhancing our engagement with policymakers across Europe. In your opinion, what are some of the most pressing challenges that the think tank sector faces today, and how do you think we can address them? Think tanks need to adopt more strategic approaches to funding to ensure their longevity and independence. This includes experimenting with diverse funding methods and developing new partnership models to engage a broader range of stakeholders. Establishing multi-faceted relationships with partners who share similar values and missions is crucial for innovation within the sector, especially in response to significant societal changes.


What do you wish you had known on your first day in the think tank business? Reflecting on my initial days in the think tank industry, I realize I underestimated the significance of explaining complex ideas in a clear and accessible manner. Finding ways to advocate for research findings and recommendations and adapting your communication to diverse stakeholders is just as crucial as the research itself. This requires flexibility and openness. Despite these challenges, my commitment to advancing constructive political dialogue and shaping our democratic processes remains as strong as before.


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