Thought leadership

Single lightbulb glowing outside of cluster of non-glowing lightbulbs

We help clients engage with stakeholders by leveraging expert analysis and original research.

By developing new thinking, producing engaging assessments and managing well-targeted events, we help clients to develop their market position with customers and present their concerns and vision to policy makers.

Client team: Caerus Capital

Issue: Oxford Analytica produced the first phase of a study that assesses the current role played by the private sector in African education, with the aim of understanding the potential for leveraging its resources to improve access to quality and relevant education for all.

Engagement: Guided by a panel of experts on education in SSA, the engagement team sought to identify opportunities available to investors in education in SSA and set out actions that policy makers can take to improve access to quality education. The team conducted a review of literature on the current and future issues facing SSA’s education systems and produced a mapping of current private education provision in SSA. In view of the sector’s growth, the team developed an index of market potential for private education and analysis of the trends shaping investment in the region’s education systems. We also provided an assessment of the risks associated with the obstacles to the private sector’s increased contribution to SSA’s education systems.

Result: The Phase I report served to support the work of the UN Commission on Financing Global Education. The final report, which includes case studies conducted in six countries by Parthenon EY, was released at the World Economic Forum Africa Summit on 4 May 2017. It highlights not only the existing role of non-state actors as education providers but also the opportunity to further integrate the private sector into Africa’s expanding education systems.

Client team: Accenture

Issue: In partnership with Accenture, we looked at the digital health transformation from the perspectives of those at the forefront of it: the Chief Information Officers.

Engagement: We interviewed 33 CIOs across seven countries and three continents to get their perspective on digital health, both now and in the future. We produced a series of reports, published in partnership with Accenture, looking at organisational transformation, stakeholder management, and the role of the CIO within their respective organisations.

Result: Accenture was able to build its reputation as a thought leader on digital health.

Client team: Public Policy

Issue: Microsoft wanted to engage with governments and policymakers on the long-term challenges for cyber security, and the real-world effects of policy decisions.

Engagement: Our Advisory thought leadership team wrote a study on how governments can maximise internet benefits by matching cyber security priorities to user needs. We developed a hierarchy of needs for internet users, ranging from access through resilience to connectivity to trust, considering the role of cyber security at each level. In our report, we applied this framework to plausible real world scenarios and case studies. With Microsoft, we then facilitated a conversation between the private and public sectors on how governments can take advantage of the internet-enabled economy while improving risk management for cyber security users.

Result: Microsoft has gone on to make cyber security in 2025 one of the core themes of their public policy outreach.

Client team: Marketing and Business Development

Issue: King&Wood Mallesons wanted to highlight their extensive China expertise to European investors.

Engagement: Our Advisory thought leadership team proposed a study on the value of European FDI flows into China in 2020 in sectors like life sciences, financial services and media. We produced a report containing econometric analysis, forecasts of sector-specific regulatory developments and a survey of key regulatory issues for investors. Read the report.

Result: King&Wood Mallesons drew on the report to build its reputation in Europe on China, reaching out to clients and prospects. The report received coverage in The Economist, The Daily Telegraph, The Sydney Morning Herald and other publications.

Client team: Public Policy

Issue: NASA wanted to promote a debate about the role government can play in developing a bigger economic ecosystem around space exploration. It wanted this to coincide with US presidential and congressional elections.

Engagement: Our Advisory thought leadership team produced a report which forecast drivers of demand in the space economy and compared international practice on the commercial exploitation of space exploration.

Result: Launched at a policy event in Washington DC, NASA used the report to start conversations with key stakeholders in the Obama administration and Congress.

Client team: Marketing and Business Development

Issue: Hogan Lovells wanted to develop their Africa practice.

Engagement: Our Advisory thought leadership team created a report on how regulation and governance shape investor experiences and business success across sub-Saharan Africa, with trend analysis on the influence of political, economic and social factors on investment in the mining, power and private equity sectors. Read the report.

Result: Launched at Hogan Lovell's Africa Forum, our work was featured in a global roadshow showcasing the firm's Africa credentials.

Client team: Policy at Dubai's World Goverment Summit

Issue: The client wanted to advance a discussion on global best practices to boost teaching and learning, in support of their mission to be the primary global forum dedicated to shaping the future of government worldwide.

Engagement: Our thought leadership team produced a study, Gamification and the Future of Education, examining how ideas found in board games and video games could enhance education systems.

Result: Launched as one of the key thought leadership studies at the event, the report stimulated debate among delegates, and attracted substantial regional and international coverage.

Client team: Marketing and Business Development

Issue: What factors will drive sustainable trade over the next 10-15 years?

Engagement: Two thought leadership reports from our Advisory thought leadership and CSR teams, using trend analysis and scenario planning:

  • Insights: Five Drivers of Sustainable Trade
  • Scenarios for the Future of Sustainable Trade

Read the reports

Result: Commerzbank positioned itself as a leader in sustainable trade financing.

Client team: Public Policy Research

Issue: How can policymakers gain a holistic understanding of national prosperity that is not based entirely on traditional wealth indicators such as GDP?

Engagement: Our Advisory thought leadership team constructed an index which measured both wealth and non-wealth (such as wellbeing, happiness and social mobility) indicators and their role in creating prosperity. This is the first global index to provide an empirical framework for prosperity as a complex blend of both income and wellbeing. View the Prosperity Index.

Result: The Prosperity Index garnered significant media and policymaker attention, and the client went on to enhance substantially the index, its engagements with policymakers, and its offerings around the index.