International Policy Network


International Policy Network

The International Policy Network (IPN) is a non-profit organisation based in the United Kingdom that funds groups and workshops to promote market solutions to international policy debates.

Vision

According to its website, "IPN aims to empower individuals and promote respect for people and property in order to eliminate poverty, improve human health and protect the environment. IPN promotes public awareness of the importance of this vision for all people, both rich and poor.

"IPN seeks to achieve its vision by promoting the role of market institutions in certain key international policy debates: sustainable development, health, and globalisation and trade. IPN works with academics, think tanks, journalists and policymakers on every continent."

Activities

To achieve its vision, IPN claims to undertake the following activities:

*Supports like-minded individuals and groups around the world with websites, small grants and advice
*Sponsors and co-ordinates conferences, workshops and seminars
*Works with experts to produce books, monographs and opinion articles for the media
*Co-ordinates the participation of experts at key international conferences
*Engages with and promotes its partners to the news media

Source: [http://www.policynetwork.net/main/content.php?content_id=1]

Issues

The IPN's main areas of interest are
* Sustainable development and the environment
* Health [http://www.fightingdiseases.org/blog] [http://www.fightingdiseases.org]
* Free trade and globalisation
* Intellectual property and technology
* Economics

In November 2004, IPN released a report claiming that "climate change is 'a myth', sea levels are not rising and Britain's chief scientist is 'an embarrassment' for believing catastrophe is inevitable." It called "the science warning of an environmental disaster caused by climate change ... 'fatally flawed'" and contested predictions that the global sea level would increase by a meter over the next century, saying that "sea level rises will reach a maximum of just 20cms." Moreover, the report listed some benefits of global warming, including "increasing fish stocks in the north Atlantic and reducing the incidence of temperature-related deaths among vulnerable people."

The British newspaper "The Guardian" claimed that IPN had received $50,000 from ExxonMobil, which "list [ed] the donation as part of its 'climate change outreach' programme." [http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1361276,00.html]

Criticism

George Monbiot has criticised IPN, accusing them of undeclared interests and deception, for example, in [http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/george_monbiot/2006/09/post_437.html this piece] for The Guardian, in which he also berates the BBC's complicity:

"...stop describing [lobbyists] as "thinktanks". This is unfair and partial. When, for example, someone from Friends of the Earth - which is rightly described as a "campaigning organisation" or a "pressure group" - is up against someone from the International Policy Network, which is described as a "thinktank" or an "educational charity", the person from the IPN looks like the more objective commentator, even though he is the one with a direct financial interest in the outcome of the discussion (IPN, for example, which argues that we should not seek to reduce our carbon emissions, has received $295,000 from Exxon). I think a better description would be "lobby group" or "corporate-funded campaigning group". Let everyone speak, but let us know who they are and who's behind them."

Links to other organisations

*The Institute of Economic Affairs
*Atlas Economic Research Foundation
*Stockholm Network

IPN was founded by Antony Fisher in the UK as the "International Institute for Economic Research" (IIER) in 1971. Fisher went on to found the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in the USA in 1981, and from this point the IIER traded as Atlas Foundation UK. The organisation underwent a further rebranding in 2001, when it changed its name to IPN. In the USA, the Atlas Foundation also provides training and funding to start libertarian think-tanks. Fisher founded the influential Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a classical liberal think tank based in London. The founding Director of IPN, Julian Morris was previously Director of the IEA's Environment and Technology Programme.

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*Julian Morris, "Executive Director"Julian Morris founded International Policy Network in 2001. He has been the Director of the IEA’s Environment and Technology Programme. Julian graduated from Edinburgh University in 1992 with a degree in economics. He has two Masters Degrees in economics and a Graduate Diploma in Law from the University of Westminster. He is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Buckingham. He is married to IPN's Environment Programme Director, Kendra Okonski.

*Mark Baillie, "Editor"Mark Baillie has worked in more than 14 countries in the fields of security, finance, economics, business and politics as a soldier, foreign correspondent, diplomat and business consultant. He works in English, French, Spanish and Italian and works to spread the message of IPN and its associates in international news media.

*Kendra Okonski, "Environment Programme Director"Kendra Okonski has worked in environmental policy since 1997. She has edited several IPN publications, including two books, Adapt or Die (2003) and Environment and Health (2004). She writes frequently in the international media and also writes for The Commons Blog (a blog about free-market environmentalism
free-market environmental
ideas). She has a BA in Economics from Hillsdale College (Michigan, USA) and grew up in Montana and Chile.

*Philip Stevens, "Health Programme Director"Philip is the author of numerous health policy publications, including Free Trade for Better Health (2005) [http://www.fightingdiseases.org/pdf/Trade&health_web.pdf] , The real determinants of health (2005) [http://www.fightingdiseases.org/pdf/Determinants_of_Health_web.pdf] and The 10/90 Gap and the diseases of poverty (2004). [http://www.fightingdiseases.org/pdf/Diseases_of_Poverty_FINAL.pdf] His writings on health policy have appeared in a wide range of international newspapers. Philip has also held research positions at the Adam Smith Institute and Reform in London, and spent several years as a management consultant. He holds degrees from the London School of Economics and Durham University.

*Alec van Gelder, "Research Fellow"Alec van Gelder has a B.S. in finance from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania in the U.S and a Master’s degree in International Economics and Development from Université Catholique de Louvain La Neuve (UCL) in Belgium. Alec has worked for the Regional United Nations Information Centre in Brussels.

Trustees/Directors

* Linda Whetstone (Chairman)
* Robert Boyd
*John Blundell
* Mike Fisher
* George F. Ohrstrom
* Daniel Oliver
* Bridgett Wagner

Previous staff

*Kristen Veblen, (left in 2007)
*Stephanie Drnasin, Events (left in 2006)
*Ellen Bisnath, Communications (left in 2007)
*Nicole Grey, Development and Events (left in 2005)
*Roger Bate, Director (left in 2003)
*Margalit Edelman, Media Director (left in 2002)
*Philippa Jeffery, Coordinator (left in 2002)
*Marcia Leighton, Coordinator (left in 2002)

ome of IPN's Partners

*Institute of Public Policy Analysis, Nigeria
*Inter-Region Economic Network, Kenya
*Free Market Foundation, South Africa
*Africa Resource Bank
*Action Research Community Health, India
*Institute of Public Affairs, Australia
*Making Our Economy Right, Bangladesh
*Open Republic Institute, Ireland
*Association for Liberal Thinking (Liberal D��nce Dergisi), Turkey
*Centre for the New Europe, Belgium
*Timbro, Sweden
*Liberty Institute, India
*Centre for Civil Society, India
*Institute of Economic Affairs
*Inter Region Economic Network - Kenya
*Kenya Institute of Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA)
*Montreal Economic Institute
*Centro de Divulgacion del Conocimiento Economico, Venezuela
*Libertad y Desarrollo, Chile
*Fundacion Libertad Democracia y Desarrollo, Bolivia
*Instituto de Libre Empresa, Peru
*Cordell Hull Institute, USA
*The Lion Rock Institute, Hong Kong
*Instituto Liberdade, Brazil

External links

* [http://www.policynetwork.net/ IPN website]
* [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=International_Policy_Network Entry for IPN] on the SourceWatch website.
* George Monbiot: [http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/george_monbiot/2006/09/post_437.html Smoke in our eyes] (The Guardian, 27 September 2006)
* George Monbiot: [http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1880825,00.html Pundits who contest climate change should tell us who is paying them] (The Guardian, 26 September 2006)


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