The World Policy Institute is a think tank dedicated to coming up with strategic solutions to global problems. Specifically they seek solutions to challenges that “cannot be solved from traditional ‘foreign-versus-domestic’ boxes”. Indeed they deliver on addressing a multitude of issues, reporting on issues from the state of Serbia and Kosovo to the impending global water shortage, specifically as it relates to energy usage and needs. The think tank employs around 30 people who research and write on these topics. The organization has been privately funded since its founding in 1961.
For me, the question on what type of think tank I would like to work for is really asking: To whom would I prefer to answer? It seems to me that the distinguishing feature of the different types is how they are funded and therefore what sort of bias is going to be expected of your work. I obviously would prefer to have the freedom to make arguments based solely on my research and understanding of materials and would want to work for the type of think tank that would not demand “input” towards my work. This rules out the government funded one as far as I am concerned. I would therefore either want to work for a privately funded think tank or university, but I honestly do not know which would grant me more freedom.
If I could create my own think tank which would focus on any topic I would choose education. My interest in education has been growing and I believe that there are many issues surrounding education which would be extremely interesting and beneficial to research. One issue that interests me is human rights surrounding education. I wonder exactly what degree of education should be guaranteed? What degree should be compulsory? Do these change depending on the environment/culture? I am also interested to know more about how education is currently delivered according to the country and region and what learnings can be gathered from the best practices. I would also want to better understand the state of education inequalities both in the U.S. and other countries and better understand how education resources could/should be allocated. I am also interested in non-formal education such as the way cultures socialize their children and imbue moral principles upon them. I would like to also understand how education takes place over a lifetime. I think most of us have experience of being taught shortcuts early in our education before we are ready to understand more complex theories. (I was taught to use a comma whenever I would pause for a breath, which I later found out is not truly a good rule) I am interested if practices such as this one have lasting effects especially when it comes to education about social norms and morality.