Aspen Institute and Think Tank Methodology

I have had little previous exposure to Think Tanks, so it was very helpful to visit the links provided by Jordi and Brody. I chose to examine what the Aspen Institute does and how it as a Think Tank contributes to policy making. After browsing through their very informative website, I have a better understanding of what Think Tanks do and what Aspen Institute specializes in.

One of the Aspen Institute’s focuses is implementing changes in corporate and investment practice. This entire semester has been spent studying what are proper business practices, ethics, and morals. Aspen’s organization ensures corporations are being run with good morals and ethical practices. Aspen’s Corporate Values Strategy Group “ is a unique business-labor-investor coalition dedicated to ensuring long-term health of society through business practice and policy that create and reward long-term-value.” The group brings together “senior business leaders, investors, corporate governance experts, labor leaders, and academics to discuss strategies for promoting change in business practice, investment practice and policy in support of long-term competitiveness.” By bringing nearly every representative impacted by business together, changes can be made to ensure that businesses practice proper ethics.

It would be interesting to take one of their previous case studies and analyze its effectiveness on the corporate structure. Think Tank’s like the Aspen Institute are protecting the consumer from ruthless business practices and should be recognized more.

Another potential paper idea would be to examine how Think Tanks differ in their methods. Aspen clearly brings together representatives from each party to discuss solutions to problems and or preventative measures. Some Think Tanks bring in smart people who are critical thinkers, but have no relationship to the issue at hand. It may be interesting to examine which method is more effective.


3 responses to “Aspen Institute and Think Tank Methodology

  1. I thought the last point you made about comparing different think tanks would be very interesting and useful in finding very opposing policies on an issue. While it sounds as though the Aspen Institute does a great job at bringing together individuals and leaders from all different areas of business, I would imagine that can also bring about about a lot of conflict and possible disagreement. I wonder if certain groups tend to have more say in website’s views. T

  2. I too am interested in the Aspen Institute, so it was interesting reading what you thought of them. Your statement about how some think tanks bring in people who have no relation to the problem at hand interested me. I feel that if someone is a good critical thinker, someone who possess a sociological imagination, he or she is able to think appropriately about any topic. In other words, though he may not have the technical knowledge necessary for discussion, he can judge right from wrong, equal from unequal. I posit that having people who aren’t affected by the issue at hand can sometimes be helpful (then again, it can also be detrimental).

  3. You are correct that Aspen focuses more on a process of bringing people together. I would love to get to one of those conferences or events sometime myself.

    What was the new idea you had?

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