Online Workshop Makes New Generation NATO Advisors

"Your Ideas, Your NATO" is a unique NATO policy competition. Sponsored by the NATO Public Policy Division, the US Mission to Germany, and the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the competition utilizes the power of the internet to bring together students and young professionals in order to generate new policy ideas for NATO.

Berlin, Germany, March 16, 2012 --(, the award-winning open think tank for foreign policy, is running an online workshop competition for students and young professionals to offer their policy ideas on important issues of this May’s NATO Summit.

“Your Ideas, Your NATO” is a unique forum for young people 35 years and younger in NATO’s Member and Partner countries to connect to the transatlantic debate, and enables them to present their policy ideas directly to influential decision makers.

Entrants are asked to submit a short article in one of three debate categories – Values and Community, Partnerships after the Arab Spring, and Smart Defense. The authors of the top 5 articles in each category are then invited to collaborate to form a joint policy paper, the Atlantic Memo.

Articles from the Values and Community category, published last week, propose innovative ideas like developing a "points system" to track country contributions to NATO, developing NATO academies for military personnel in member states, and applying the principles of corporate social responsibility to NATO activities.

The authors' collaborative Atlantic Memo, with specific policy proposals based on these ideas, were released Monday, March 12, on
The deadlines for the remaining categories were March 15 for Partnerships after the Arab Spring and April 5 for Smart Defense. One winner from each category will win a cash prize of 500 EUR based on their submitted article and debate contributions, as decided on by an independent, international jury of academics and think tank analysts. The winners will be given a round trip flight and four nights’ accommodation in Berlin, Germany to attend's May 21 conference, where they will present their policy memos to decision makers and receive feedback.

Why “Your Ideas, Your NATO”?

The "Your Ideas, Your NATO" competition is designed to use the power of the internet to allow young people from all over the world to come together to form collaborative, constructive policy recommendations, not just a set of opinions.

"Internet technologies in general and social media in particular are often described as enabling more participation, but most often are used just for protesting," says Joerg Wolf, project manager and editor-in-chief of "It's high time to take the next step and use the internet for policy innovation."

It also turns the focus towards the unique relationship between Europe and North America, which has been losing ground in the public perception. According to the 2011 Transatlantic Trends Survey, a majority of young Americans consider Asia more important than Europe, including 76% of 18-24 year olds. Similarly, the Transatlantic Trends leadership survey showed EU publics were only half as likely as their leaders to have a very favorable opinion of the United States.

"By having young people work with their peers from other Member and Partner nations, this competition gets young people thinking in a transatlantic context and emphasizes the value of the Alliance to those who did not experience the Cold War firsthand," says Wolf.

About is the first online foreign policy think tank. With over 6500 members, its mission is to encourage open, independent, and democratic dialogue on the challenges facing Europe and North America. It is especially focused on providing a voice for a new generation of thinkers and young leaders, giving them the opportunity to publish and debate side by side with established experts and to have their policy ideas considered by senior officials. This gives our members a measurable impact, while decision makers benefit from the next generation’s fresh ideas.

For More Information

Values and Community week:

Competition Homepage:

Media Contact

For inquiries, contact Jason Naselli, Managing Editor
Tel: +49 30 206 337 88
Email: naselli(at) is a project of:

Atlantische Initiative e.V.
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Jason Naselli
0049 30 206 337 88