WonkComms DC Breakfast Club: How to Be a Digital Think Tank

9am to 11am
Wednesday, 8th November 2017
Brookings Institution
1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Coffee, croissants and comms. What could be a better way to start your day in #wonkcomms?

Over the last few years, think tanks and other policy-making organisations have taken on the challenge of digital – some more aggressively than others. Many have upgraded their online presence, engaged with their networks on social media, published research in full on their sites and found new and innovative ways to communicate complex, expert information.

But how has this experience been for the communications professionals charged with implementing it? What new ideas are really working? What are the pitfalls? Is it truly transformative? And if it is, how can we make it really work for both our audiences and our researchers?

WonkComms’ inaugural DC Breakfast Club will bring together policy communications professionals to share best practice and their own experiences of what works (and what doesn’t) over croissants and coffee.


Mike Connery, SVP, Digital Communications, Powell Tate will kick off the discussion with a few thoughts on what has changed in the two years since he wrote his influential article on how think tanks should develop their digital presence: ‘The Digital Think Tank’. He will be followed by Ashley Wood Schelling, Director of Digital Engagement at The Brookings Institution which has been ahead of the game in this field. We will then move onto the main discussion between us as a group of policy communications practitioners.

The policy communications agency, Soapbox, has partnered with WonkComms to run a successful series of Breakfast Club events in London. Both are excited to bring that partnership to the U.S. This first event is something of an experiment, and we encourage anyone who is interested in developing the DC WonkComms community to get in touch with Joe Miller.

We would like to thank the Brookings Institution for providing us with the facilities for this event.


Joe Miller is the Director of the DC studio of Soapbox, a design and digital agency that focuses on creative communications for ideas that matter. He has led digital strategy projects at Eastern Research Group, The Century Foundation, and the Congressional Budget Office. Prior to his shift to content strategy, we was a senior staff writer at FactCheck.org, a copywriter with the Mack/Crounse Group and an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of North Carolina—Pembroke and the United States Military Academy. He received his PhD in political philosophy from the University of Virginia, his MA in philosophy from Virginia Tech, and his BA in philosophy from Hampden-Sydney College.

Posted in breakfast club
One comment on “WonkComms DC Breakfast Club: How to Be a Digital Think Tank
  1. […] the first DC Breakfast club, we took a look at how to be a digital think tank. Our speakers were Ashley Wood-Schelling, Director of Digital Engagement at the Brookings […]

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