How can think tanks effectively engage the public?
Pavan Srinath was invited to speak on public engagement and social media at the “Think Tanks, Public Policy and Governance: Ideas, Analysis, Innovation and Impact” summit in New Delhi on April 28. The conference brought together a large group of think tanks in India along with some from USA. It was organised by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Programme at the University of Pennsylvania, Observer Research Foundation, Brookings India and the US Embassy in New Delhi.
Pavan was a part of a panel discussion titled “Engaging Policymakers, Journalists and the Public” along with Dr Kirit Parikh and chaired by Siddhartha Dubey from Brookings India.
Pavan spoke about how Takshashila is an institution of the internet age, believing in influencing public opinion, especially elite opinion, to transform public policy in India. With an explicit focus on public narratives, Pavan elaborated that for Takshashila social media engagement and public communication are core functions, and not an additional responsibility unlike in many other think tanks and organisations. He spoke on the need for decentralisation, timeliness, credibility and voice while engaging both the public and policymakers. He also stressed that quick and continuous engagement on social media did not mean that think tanks ought to be reactive, but that they should be prepared for upcoming policy debates ahead of time.
You can read more about Pavan’s views on effective public engagement on here.