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TRENDS Named in Top Ten Best New Thinks in the World 2016

TRENDS Research & Advisory, based in Abu Dhabi, has received global recognition for its work by being included in the top 10 “Best New Think Tanks” in the world by the 2016 Go To Global Think Tank Index. TRENDS was established in August 2014, by Dr. Ahmed Al Hamli, President and Founder, to further knowledge and understanding of how we understand security in today’s world. From its inception, TRENDS has been building a global network of researchers, practitioners, and analysts, along with partnering with a number of other leading think tanks and research centers in the world. The inclusion of TRENDS in the 2016 Index demonstrates its achievements in becoming a leading institution in the region and an important contributor to the development of innovative solutions worldwide.

The Go To Global Think Tank Index is produced by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, an institution part of the prestigious Ivy League group of universities in the USA. The Index first appeared in 2007 and given the rigor of the methodology and its work the Index has become known as “the insider’s guide to the global marketplace of ideas.” TRENDS is one of almost 7000 think tanks studied for the report, including 405 think tanks in the Middle East North Africa Region (7 think tanks in the UAE were part of the study). The Index is created through a process of review and recognition with over 4,750 journalists, policymakers, public and private donors, and subject area and geographical specialists providing information and feedback about the think tanks under review. The TTCSP then assembles expert panels to assess and evaluate the information received before coming to the rankings in the Index.

The author of the report about the Index, James McGann explains that “the peer nomination and selection process, as well as the work of the international Expert Panels, have enabled us to create the most authoritative list of high performance think tanks in the world.” Dr. Ahmed Al Hamli expressed his great pride in being recognised as one of the top new think tanks in the world and attributed this success to the hard work being done by the individuals within the TRENDS network and the cutting edge research and analysis being produced.

The Index highlights the growth of think tanks globally, along with the importance of the work done by think tanks to help policymakers and the public to make informed decisions about public policy. TRENDS has contributed this global development through its wide array of activities including publications, conferences, media contributions, and evidence provided to governments. The TRENDS network consists of its in house staff, 40 Non-Resident Fellows, 7 institutional partners around the world; including the Stimson Center of Washington DC, ranked 21st top think tank in the USA. Dr. Richard Burchill, Director of Research and engagement for TRENDS views the wide array of experts and institutions as a key part of the TRENDS success in shaping global debates on key issues.

In its first two years, TRENDS has been able to make a considerable impact in the world of policy formation and analysis, as well as providing authoritative information and interpretations regarding the GCC and world events. The work of TRENDS has figured prominently in media outlets around with the world with its events being covered by newspaper, television and radio. In the past six months TRENDS has provided expert evidence in two official government enquiries. TRENDS President, Dr. Al Hamli, gave evidence before the UK House of Lords in an inquiry about the change nature of power in the middle East. And TRENDS made a key contribution to a study by the French Senate on causes of radicalisation and responses.

TRENDS has organised, or co-organised with its partners, 14 different conferences, knowledge transfer events, and roundtable discussions across four different countries. These events have brought together leading experts to speak on matters related to understanding terrorism and extremism, the threats to security posed by extremists, how best to formulate responses to extremist threats, security challenges in Gulf region, the impact of foreign policy decisions around the world. The events have taken place at times of significant interest, such as the recent USA elections and the impact of extremism in Europe. The TRENDS events have been attended by policy makers, researchers and analysts, providing insightful and authoritative discussions. Many of the TRENDS events have been open to the public, giving exposure to a wide audience of interested individuals.

On its website TRENDS has put together an impressive array of material, from reports, to research papers, to multimedia material, creating a formidable resource for the UAE and the wider world. TRENDS has produced over 140 policy orientated papers directed at governments, specialists and general public on a wide range of issues of global concern. It has published almost 20 in-depth research papers, and provides over 60 lectures and video interviews taken from events organised by TRENDS. TRENDS has also published four major reports on issues such as understanding Iran, Russian foreign policy, the impact of Brexit and the challenges faced in securing the state in the face of threats from terrorism. The work of TRENDS has also appeared in leading academic journals and edited collections.

In the world of today with its ever increasing complexities and challenges, think tanks have an important role to play through informing and educating. Think tanks act as a vital bridge between knowledge and power and serve the overall public interest by providing information and ideas that is accessible and reliable. In this environment think tanks have to aggressively present their work and outcomes in the marketplace of ideas in order to have an impact. Being rated as one of the top 10 new think tanks in the world demonstrates the success of TRENDS in providing critical geopolitical and macroeconomic analysis of the highest quality for maximum impact.

The link to the report can be found here The TRENDS entry is at page 133, Table 33 (listed as TRENDS Policy and Research, confirmed by the report’s author that this is supposed to be TRENDS Research & Advisory).