About us

Leading international thinktank and political network


Register for all the latest updates in our regular newsletter

Home About us

About Policy Network

Policy Network is an international thinktank and research institute. Its network spans national borders across Europe and the wider world with the aim of promoting the best progressive thinking on the major social and economic challenges of the 21st century.

Our work is driven by a network of politicians, policymakers, business leaders, public service professionals, and academic researchers who work on long-term issues relating to public policy, political economy, social attitudes, governance and international affairs. This is complemented by the expertise and research excellence of Policy Network’s international team.

How we work
Policy Network sets out to rigorously analyse the structural changes facing the advanced democracies, and to facilitate ideas and policy solutions to complex governance challenges. Inherent in our approach is a focus on drawing out the tension between policy ideas and the practical impediments to their implementation.

The network-building side of Policy Network seeks to form intellectual consensus behind these ideas and facilitate dynamic platforms for international exchange, ideas dissemination and political reflection.

A platform for research and ideas
  • Promoting expert ideas and political analysis on the key economic, social and political challenges of our age.
  • Disseminating research excellence and relevant knowledge to a wider public audience through interactive policy networks, including interdisciplinary and scholarly collaboration.
  • Engaging and informing the public debate about the future of European and global progressive politics.

A network of leaders, policymakers and thinkers
  • Building international policy communities comprising individuals and affiliate institutions.
  • Providing meeting platforms where the politically active, and potential leaders of the future, can engage with each other across national borders and with the best thinkers who are sympathetic to their broad aims.
  • Engaging in external collaboration with partners including higher education institutions, the private sector, thinktanks, charities, community organisations, and trade unions.
  • Delivering an innovative events programme combining in-house seminars with large-scale public conferences designed to influence and contribute to key public debates.

In addition, the structure of Policy Network is tailored towards generating significant charitable and private sector sponsorship of core activities, including events, conferences and publications. Policy Network offers consultancy to organisations engaged in governance, public management, and public policy practice through research, capacity-building, project management, and thought leadership drawing on our in-house team and associate network.

The Progressive Governance Network, for which Policy Network acts as the secretariat, is at the core of our activity and identity. Dedicated to promoting international dialogue between progressive parties and actors, we have held conferences and leaders summits in countries including: Norway, UK, Chile, US, South Africa, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands and Denmark.

Our supporters

Policy Network receives funding and support from a number of sources including private donations, sponsorship and grants. Policy Network is committed to only accepting sponsorship for projects that advance its aims and core values.

In 2016, Policy Network received core funding from Lord Sainsbury of Turville. In addition, support for specific projects was received from the Barrow Cadbury Fund; European Commission; Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES); RSPB; Nissan Europe; Aberdeen Asset Management; Bertelsmann Stiftung and Foundation of European Progressive Studies (Feps). Event sponsorship was also received from E!Sharp; Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research;  TechUK; Deutsche Börse and Gatsby.

Policy Network worked in partnership with the Swedish Social Democratic party to deliver Progressive Governance 16 in Stockholm and partnered in events with Canada 2020, Center for American Progress, Speri, Progressive Policy Institute, UCL European Institute and Renner Institut.

Join the network

Engaging with Policy Network and following our activities brings free access to high-quality publications and research, and the opportunity to learn, engage and network with experts in your field. Sign-up to our newsletter, come to our events and read our publications. Register your email address or follow us on Twitter and Facebook to receive our newsletter and priority invitations to workshops, policy seminars and major political conferences.


"Policy Network is at the cutting edge of debate on future options for policy making, in particular in thinking about what should be done at European level. Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council

"I have had the pleasure of being part of Policy Network's work for almost 15 years and, of course, during those years I have made many good friends in the network and it is always a delight to be in the company of the excellent thinkers of Policy Network. In Policy Network I have always found a source of inspiration that never dries out. Time and time again I have been engaged  by new ideas, new insights, and straight talk, and straight talk is important. Policy Network is committed to the politics of reality, the politics of real life for real people." Helle Thorning-Schmidt, former prime minister of Denmark

"Without Policy Network, Europe may have been a lot less European, the UK a lot less European, and European Social Democracy a lot less European. London-based thinktank Policy Network cannot be appreciated enough for its important work of sharing ideas and exchanging government experiences all across Europe." Lodewijk Asscher, deputy prime minister of the Netherlands and minister of social affairs and employment

"Like so few others, Policy Network is confronting the big challenges of our times: how to come to terms with globalisation and the complex interplay between domestic and international politics. By championing a progressive agenda, it has become an invaluable force for better governance in Europe and other parts of the world." Pascal Lamy, former director-general of the WTO and honorary president of Notre Europe - Jacques Delors Institute

"Policy Network is unique in Europe for advancing the cause of the progressive agenda that EU countries need to transform their economic and social models to make them fit for the 21st century. Its workshops and conferences are extraordinary events for the quality of intellectual exchanges between policy leaders and thinkers from the UK, Europe and the world beyond." André Sapir, Economics Professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and Senior Fellow at Bruegel 

"Around Europe the liberal left is anxiously and urgently asking questions about how it can and should shape contemporary  capitalism. Policy Network is becoming an indispensable part of that European conversation - stimulating ideas and bringing people together. A valuable and crucial thinktank."  Will Hutton, principal of Hertford College, Oxford and chair of the Big Innovation Centre

"No other think tank has the international network or reputation of Policy Network. It has served as a forum for debate for political leaders and thinkers from all over the world, while its own publications have had a major impact upon political discourse and policymaking." Anthony Giddens, former director of the London School of Economics

"Policy Network is an essential institution. It provides a forum for wide-ranging and open debate on the challenges we face, and fosters analysis that is intellectually rigorous and politically engaged." Andrew Gamble, head of the Politics Department, Cambridge University

"Policy Network helps us to understand the divisions in our developed societies and invites us to continually reflect on the role of the welfare state and the reforms necessary to protect the foundations on which it was built...It poses fundamental questions about the future of social democracy in Europe and the role it can play in developing a suitable response to the crisis of financial capitalism." Michel Noblecourt, political editor of Le Monde 

"The progressives' smartest think-tank." Philip Stephens, Associate Editor of the Financial Times