The Annapolis Institute was established in 1993 to advance the principles of the Founders - including free enterprise, individual freedom and limited government; and to help leadership at all levels to anticipate and understand the forces shaping the lives of people, communities and institutions in the 21st century - especially technology, demography, politics, the economy and culture.
The Institute is engaged in a variety of activities. These include:
- policy research and database development,
- roundtables and forums,
- technical assistance and advisory services to business, government and community organizations,
- communication - including publications, briefings, op-ed page articles and alternative media for transmitting the findings and conclusions of Institute studies and programs to attentive publics and opinion leaders at every level.
These are some things the Institute does not do.
- First the Institute will not do proprietary studies unless some results can be published for public education purposes.
- Second the Institute does not limit its research and advisory services to leadership and technology issues. We address any local, regional, national or global issue if it affects America's ability to grow, innovate, compete and influence events.
- Third, the Institute does not lobby. We do respond to requests of elected officials for information and advice and to invitations to testify before Congress or state legislatures, but our influence is achieved in the marketplace or ideas -- not in "Gucci gulch."
Factors shaping the Institute's development.
The Institute has many unique features that give it an opportunity for rapid growth and impact.
- First, we've had the luxury of nearly two decades of experiences in designing, planning and operating think tanks. When the doors opened at the Institute, we knew what we wanted to do. We hit the ground running. We were not improvising.
- Second, we decided early on to create a "virtual organization," a network of talented people held together by faxes, modems, telephones, express mail, airplane tickets, shared values and common purposes. A core staff of project managers and specialists in computers, communications, graphic design, conference management and other disciplines support the network of senior fellows, associates and contractors. This flexible staff of freelance professionals means the Institute's leadership core can tap the best talent available and turn on a dime as the issues change and the need for new kinds of talent arises.
- Third, we decided to create a "research communications" organization. That means two things: (1) our positions on public policy issues would be research driven and (2) we would concentrate talent and resources on finding more effective and even novel ways of packaging and communicating our views. We try to minimize jargon. We edit to achieve "kitchen table" English. Our reports are shorter rather than longer and include executive summaries, sidebars, dialogue boxes and other navigational aids. We use lots of graphics - maps, charts, pictures and even renditions and cartoons - to communicate concepts, ideas and facts. We are always exploring new channels for disseminating our products and services.
- Finally, we decided to focus our resources on communicating our ideas, research findings and commentaries through the mass media, where most people get their news and information. Though we write books and juried articles, we prefer op-ed pages in leading national and regional newspapers - more than 300 op-ed articles in nearly 100 newspapers in the first eight years, radio and television news programs, and personal appearances for briefings and speeches to communicate to members and to the public.