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
A network of leaders, policymakers and thinkers
- 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.
- 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.
Policy Network receives funding and support from a number of sources including private donations, sponsorship and grants. Policy Network is committed to only accept sponsorship for projects that advance the aims and core values of our organisation.
In 2013, Policy Network received funding from Lord Sainsbury of Turville and from organisations: the Barrow Cadbury Trust; the Friedrich Ebert Foundation; the Foundation of European Progressive Studies; the Samuel Lindow Foundation; the Confederation of British Industry; the City of London Corporation; and the European Commission Representation in the United Kingdom.
External funding and partnerships supports our research, publications and allows us to provide conferences, seminars, and debates at no cost to participants, the vast majority of which are open to the public. Our publications are available, free to download, on our website.
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
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"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
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, prime minister of Denmark and leader of the Social Democrats
"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
"Policy Network has been extraordinarily successful in building an
international network of progressive thinking. They bring together
people with an interest in developing a stronger international movement
on the centre-left, helping to compare and contrast the experiences of
different centre-left parties, but at the same time building a crucial
sense of camaraderie across national divides."
Ed Miliband, leader of the UK Labour Party
"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