Think Tank Initiatives

As a community-informed think tank, our methodology is based on critical research and the all-affected principle

 

We believe think tanks have the responsibility to center the needs of people most affected by organizational, structural, and policy changes. We want to be transparent about how we hope to realize a new industry framework that reflects the priorities of its workers, and wholeheartedly welcome you to hold us accountable to these principles.

 

Please do not hesitate to reach out with constructive critique on how we can improve.

Current Initiatives

members of a community, neighborhood

The Neighborhood's Table aims to create a responsible, actionable, and replicable framework for hospitality businesses to organically connect with their local community, collaboratively combat displacement, and invest sustainably in their neighborhoods.

Focus Areas: Hospitality, Gentrification, Development, Media

bowl, money, food items, pens for chopsticks, newsletter clippings for noodles

Equitable Representation in Media is our award-winning work that advocates for systematic solutions to better represent BIPOC people and foodways within the media ecosystem, with a specific focus on food & beverage media.

Focus Areas: Food, Beverage, Media, Journalism

Past Initiatives

collage of faces, signs, statue of liberty

Unlearning Scarcity, Cultivating Solidarity for the Asian American Community examines scarcity mentality outside the mainstream understanding that centers white Americans, and offers relevant frameworks for addressing scarcity by developing, and engaging in, sustainable solidarity practices.

Focus Areas: Asian American, Race in the U.S., Mental Health

Think Tank Process

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Phase 1: Internal Research

We start with an internal deep-dive to understand how we can build upon the existing body of work on a subject matter. Our goal is to pinpoint where we are best able to add value, especially through the analysis and critique of power dynamics. We often publish Primers on a subject to share our findings with our community.

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Phase 3: Synthesize into Resources

After 18-24 months of interviews, Town Halls, brainstorming workshops, and other qualitatitve research collection, we synthesize the insights from the community into custom toolkits with specific new guidelines and actionable steps for implementation.

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Phase 2: Interviews & Focus Groups

The core of our methodology is to center those directly impacted by existing inequities. We spend hundreds of hours in focus groups and 1:1s to hear the lived experiences of each person, build genuine relationships with them, and understand what they recommend for industry-wide change.

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Phase 4: Iterations, Events, Updates

We see all of our resources as living pieces of work to be regularly updated. We continually refine the content of our toolkits with feedback, new or updated examples, and commentary from events such as public Town Hall forums and panel discussions.

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Phase 5: Accountability Groups

Phase 6: Industry White Papers

We recognize that implementation of change takes time and rarely follows the planned or expected course. We work with our main stakeholders across different organizations to create a custom roadmap for internal and external accountability.

We see white papers as a tool to present the realities of long-term implementation in a structured way. Our white papers offer real examples of learnings, successes, and challenges resulting from process changes at various organizations. We hope this transparency can serve as a guide on what exact steps need to be taken at an organizational level, disrupt resource-hoarding, and encourage collective action.

Acknowledgement of Limitations and Privileges

It is a privilege to be able to do the work we do, and we want to acknowledge the limitations of our process:

  • We conduct our interviews via Zoom, which requires high-speed internet and is not as accessible as it should be for those with visual and/or auditory disabilities. Whenever possible, we offer accessible features such as closed captions, but realize that certain community members may still find it difficult to join our sessions.

  • Our interviewing, writing, and editing team is small (typically fewer than 5 individuals for each resource). While our team is generally 100% BIPOC, we know that we cannot fully understand the complete scope of identities and experiences that are impacted by the topics our toolkits address. Even with diligent research and efforts to reach beyond our own networks, we recognize our resources can never be fully comprehensive. We hope that with continued public events like Town Halls, we will be able to capture more points of view for inclusion in these resources.

  • We are a third-party think tank without formal authority over the organizations and policy centers we engage with for the Implementation portion of our framework. While we commit to making this process as frictionless and rewarding as possible for our partners, we recognize the limits of our ability to hold these organizations fully accountable for changing in line with the community’s recommendations.

Support our Think Tank research

Our team is continuously working behind-the-scenes to produce research and toolkits that are free and available to all. If you've learned something from our work, we encourage you to consider supporting us by becoming a monthly patron or with a one-time donation. We thank you for your generosity!

All contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

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