About us

Smart Thinking was set up in 2017 as a platform dedicated to aggregating all the latest public policy research and analysis from the leading UK think tanks. From these beginnings it has grown to become a positive space where well-researched, well-evidenced policy ideas from across the political spectrum can be found. The Smart Thinking Membership Network grew out of our work with the think tanks and aims to create a stronger think tank sector with training, career opportunities and networking.

Meet the team

We are a small but growing team at Smart Thinking and work hard to ensure that all member events are well-run, tailored to the think tank sector and fun to attend. If you have any queries, feedback or suggestions for future events then please get in touch!

Emily Redding


Emily is the Founder and Director of Smart Thinking which she set up after several years working in think tanks. Alongside experience in both think tank research and fundraising she has a background in business, initially qualifying as a Chartered Accountant. Emily manages the relationships with all our members and curates the different training and events topics, working with providers and venues to produce the best events.

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Fiona Oakley

Events & Business Development Manager

Fiona curates all of Smart Thinking’s events pages, ensuring all the latest public think tank events are highlighted for our audience. She is also responsible for working with our advertisers to place their latest policy and think tank job adverts. After many years working in education, Fiona started working at Smart Thinking in March 2020.

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Dawn Ayling

Events Manager

Dawn joined the Smart Thinking team in January 2023 after 20 years working for a national charity as a senior manager and brings with her many skills including HR, business services and systems management. Dawn is responsible for all member event administration including monitoring attendance lists and managing all invites. If you have a query regarding any of our training or events then please get in touch with Dawn.

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