Leadership Projects

On Think Tanks Fellowship Programme

  • Funder/Sponsor: Hewlett Foundation
  • Dates: January 2017 – March 2018
  • Partners: Politics & Ideas; On Think Tanks

P&I members created, directed and coordinated the On Think Tanks Fellowship, a one-year long programme in which 11 think tankers from developing countries (the fellows) developed and implemented a learning and personal development plan (reviewed and supported by mentoring from On Think Tanks School experts), participated in capacity building activities, and collectively developed a new leadership paradigm for think tanks. Human centred design methodology was applied so as to enable a collective creation and ensure that outputs were relevant and useful.


Emerging young leaders

 This is a one-year program to help young leaders from policy research institutions and/or government agencies become real agents of change to transform their organisations and make them healthier, more aligned with global possibilities and challenges, and with a larger and deeper contribution to their people and communities.

After completing the program, participants will possess the skills and knowledge necessary to launch them into a path towards a new kind of leadership. They will have the confidence to set-up new organisations or transform existing ones. Participants will also contribute to the formation of future generations of leaders.

Throughout a year-long program, participants will:

  1. Develop and implement a learning and personal development plan

Each participant will be invited to think about his or her desired path of development. Participants will be introduced to different leadership assessment tools and select those that are more aligned with their way of analyzing and thinking. Plans will also be shared among the group, enabling a joint path of discovery and support towards change. Plans will be reviewed and supported by mentors and relevant experts introduced by mentors, with a monthly virtual meeting with each leader. 

  1. Strengthen or develop new skills and abilities through capacity building activities

Participants will be guided to select and participate in courses offered by well-known institutions that are relevant to their own plans: this will give them the opportunity to be exposed to new ideas and the experiences of others. Also, they will be invited to test their new ideas or concepts, and share more widely their work through the production of blog posts, articles and interviews for P&I´s channels as well as for our strategic partners. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to learn about emerging and cutting-edge approaches to leadership through a series of monthly meetings, with a main focus on integral leadership pillars: uniting external and internal worlds, feminine and masculine qualities and heart and mind (for more on this, read this post.)

  1. Collectively develop ofa new leadership paradigm

 Guided by mentors and through a provoking set of virtual discussions related to their personal paths as well as relevant readings, the cohort will co-produce actionable methods and ideas to inform the development of a new leadership paradigm for their organisations. To this end, we will apply a combination of design thinking and Theory U so as to enable a collective creation and ensure that outputs are relevant and useful. These outputs will be shared among the larger community of emerging leaders to incorporate feedback and make their legacy available for colleagues around the globe. These could take the form of online publications, online gatherings and discussions, mirror presentations to the next generation of fellows, etc.


Online course: Leading from the depth

  This upcoming online course will help researchers, civic activists, and policymakers who are interested in co-creating the next generation of policy research institutes and governmental agencies, where innovation and purpose are the everyday chemistry. Leaders who dare to think and operate differently, integrating their inner sources with the outside, in deep alignment of mind and heart, and with eagerness to combine masculine and feminine qualities to enrich perspectives and approaches.

During six weeks, we will combine live sessions with exciting and thought provoking modules and readings that will inspire participants with emerging practices and case studies from different points of the planet. We will also enable the co-creation of a prototype to address a leadership challenge identified by the group: this will be a unique live experience on what a new type of co-leadership can bring to recurrent predicaments and big questions. This co-creation will be presented within their organisations and to peer organisations of P&I to incorporate their perspectives and enable its use by a larger group of leaders.

Stay tuned for the release! 


Inspiring new leaders series

  • Funder/Sponsor: Individual
  • Dates: March 2018-today
  • Partners: Universidad Austral, Fundación Columbia, Trascender and others

P&I is developing a series of workshops, talks and an online course targeted to leaders in international organisations and in governmental agencies interested in transforming their organisations with new and more integrated approaches. Using Theory U (a change methodology developed by the Presencing Institute at MIT) as a general framework to enable the activation of collective intelligence, we offer a variety of tools and approaches (including those from The art of hosting, Circling, Agile methods, etc.) to deal with recurrent challenges from a distinct place. New leadership implies co-leading with others, integrating mind, heart and body in the way we define organizational problems and how we co-create evolving prototypes to solve them.



Our members have wide experience in mentoring think tank leaders in enabling needed changes within their organisations, including addressing their own personal challenges and struggles. We have frequently connected peers and can bring into the discussion space concrete cutting-edge and revolutionary ideas from literature and hands-on experience.

Frequent topics that we have been required to provide mentoring on how to:

  • Innovate the funding model
  • Develop a practical and viable MEL strategy to improve work
  • Motivate and inspire staff
  • Develop an organisational strategy or long-term plan


Interested leaders can contact us at contact@politicsandideas.org to explore mentoring opportunities.