About the Center for New Ideas
The Center for New Ideas is a think tank devoted to developing ideas on how to take advantage of the opportunities and respond to the challenges that Belarus faces in the 21st century.
Our mission is to help society and the government build a more open, prosperous and resilient Belarus. We go about this by engaging with society to discuss reforms and supporting independent research and future leaders.
The three pillars of the Center for New Ideas
Engagement with society to discuss policy
We aim to involve the general public in expert policy discussion on Belarus’s development. Each year, we host two major conferences in Minsk and more than a dozen regional events in cooperation with local organizations. We have organized more than 65 public events in Belarus dedicated to social, economic and political challenges since 2014.
The Center for New Ideas fosters public discussion about Belarus’s development through its online platforms and in cooperation with major Belarusian media outlets. 35,000 people currently follow us on social media: this is one of the best performance indicators among all Belarusian civil society organizations.
Our evidence-based analytical products are a source of expertise not only for traditional think tank audiences, but also for a broad spectrum of Belarusian society.
Besides conducting quality research, the Center for New Ideas strives to effectively communicate its results. For this reason, our research products (such as the Ranking of Belarusian Cities) enjoy vast public outreach.
Moreover, Belarusian experts and activists from other organizations also write articles for our website and participate in our podcasts, thereby creating thematic communities for different audiences–from educators to feminists.
Support for future leaders
The Center for New Ideas invests in new generations of activists and thinkers through educational programmes such as the School of Young Reformers, the Belarus Urban Fellowship and the Vitali Silitski Fellowship. Our programs equip participants with knowledge and skills and enable them to establish contacts with those at the forefront of an evolving Belarus. In turn, new leaders can make a greater contribution to enacting positive changes in the country.
Our events attract many new leaders, both as guests and as speakers, who are subsequently empowered to publish their work on the CNI website.
We are building a network of young Belarusian leaders, in all parts of the country and beyond its borders.
Our theory of change
It is important for us that ideas for making Belarus more open, prosperous and resilient are able to take flight, reaching decision-makers and becoming the most influential in society. If the best policy proposals reach the widest possible audience, they are more likely to be implemented. Most of our events are open to everyone, as we believe that only open discussion, involving all members of society, can lead to real change.
It is equally important for the future of Belarus that the country overcomes its leadership deficit. That’s why we invest in the development of knowledge and skills among young people. We bring them together to create a network of young people able to bring positive change to the country. The more educated and progressive the leaders of Belarus are, the more likely it is that the country will be successful in the 21st century.
The organization’s structure
In Belarus, we are registered as an informational and educational establishment called The Center for New Political, Economic and Social Ideas. Dr. Ryhor Astapenia is the founder and chairman of the organization and Anton Radniankou is its director. Together they manage the organization and represent the Center for New Ideas.
Most of our team members have full-time jobs at other organizations. They run their own businesses, head departments at international corporations, work in the media and serve in diplomatic missions and at civil society organizations. Dozens of active individuals have been part of the Center for New Ideas, and we are always glad to welcome new members to our team.
We are proud of how the Center for New Ideas has grown out of a student initiative. We started in 2012 as an online magazine called Idea, with the ambitious goal of becoming a Belarusian equivalent of The Economist and focus on world politics and the global economy.
A few years in, we moved away from this concept, as we did not want to comment on challenges abroad: it was more important for us to tackle problems in our own country. That is why we initially registered our organization as an NGO in 2017, later deciding to transition into a think tank in 2020.
How to support the Center for New Ideas
The Center for New Ideas isn’t involved in any commercial activity, therefore we rely on two resources: the enthusiasm of our team and your financial aid. You can support our organization and make a voluntary donation to our bank account here:
Informational and educational establishment “Center for New Political, Economic and Social Ideas”
Minsk, 7 Amuratorskaya str., office 2І – 11
Bank account: BY30BELB30150123340060226000
Sort Code: BELBBY2X in OJSC “BelVEB”
Members of our organization also collect donations through the MolaMola platform, and we encourage you to support them.
Anton Radniankou raises funds to support the Belarusian podcast community