aka Copenhagen Consensus   |   Tewksbury, MA   |


The Copenhagen Consensus Center is a think-tank that investigates and publicizes the best policies and investment opportunities based on data and cost-benefit analysis for governments and philanthropists to make the world a better place. Copenhagen Consensus creates a framework in which solutions to the world's biggest problems are prioritized explicitly on the basis of data and cost benefit analysis with the goal of achieving the most 'good' for people and the planet.

Ruling year info



Dr. Bjorn Lomborg

Main address

1215 Main St Pmb Se132

Tewksbury, MA 01876 USA

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NTEE code info

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (Q05)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (S05)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (W05)

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Haiti Priorise

Haiti faces some of the most acute social and economic development challenges in the world. Despite an influx of aid in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, growth and progress continue to be minimal, at best.
With so many actors and the wide breadth of challenges from food security and clean water access to health, education, environmental degradation, and infrastructure, what should the top priorities be for policy makers, international donors, NGOs and businesses? With limited resources and time, it is crucial that focus is informed by what will do the most good for each gourde spent.
The Haïti Priorise project will work with stakeholders across the country to find, analyze, rank and disseminate the best solutions for the country.
We will engage people and institutions from all parts of society, through newspapers, radio and TV, along with NGOs, decision makers, sector experts and businesses to propose the most relevant solutions to these challenges. We will commission some of the best economists in Haiti, the region and the world to calculate the social, environmental and economic costs and benefits of these proposals.
Once the research is available, we'll ask everyone - from Nobel Laureates to everyday citizens - to set their priorities for the country, sparking a nationwide conversation about what the most effective and efficient solutions are for Haiti.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Copenhagen Consensus Center is a think tank that researches the smartest solutions for the world's biggest problems, advising policy-makers and philanthropists how to spend their money most effectively. We're trying to get the most out of every dollar spent on solving problems, and we aim to give a tailwind the best ideas. Every Copenhagen Consensus project asks how to use the resources we have to do the most good.

In order to best answer this vital question, the Copenhagen Consensus approach is to commission research from the world's top economists looking at the best possible solutions. Research papers with cost and benefits on the solutions are commissioned, findings discussed with stakeholders, and presented to decision makers and the interested public. We solicit public input through youth forums, rural forums, and sector-expert roundtables, which help to ensure that no major challenge is overlooked.

We rarely talk about priorities in a policy context, but not discussing them openly doesn't mean we don't prioritize, we just do it in the dark and without a debate.

The most deserving unfunded investments are often “boring" in the sense that they do not provide any good photo-opportunities, or provide benefits that may be huge but have no immediate champions: well-nourished children, for instance, will become highly productive adults, but without the extra nutrition they will not constitute a strong pressure group but simply be marginalized kids with little or no ability to campaign or attract political support.

There is a large body of research and data addressing developing issues, including cost-benefit analysis. However research papers are technical, unfortunately often making them inaccessible for non-researchers.

Furthermore we know of no other organization that provides cross sectional analysis enabling comparison of costs and benefits of different policy options and investments.

In brief, a Copenhagen Consensus project consists of the following initial stages:

1. Conduct a desktop review to further scope out the project and to identify potential stakeholders to engage.
2. Assign roles to staff and consultants, and develop local presence, to meet the internal capacity requirements of the project.
3. Create a stakeholder map and engagement plan that covers a country's private, public and social sectors. Specific attention is placed on analyzing the media market, potential partners and groups to draw on for researchers.
4. Enact the stakeholder engagement plan to introduce the project and gather information from the stakeholders on the current operating environment (emerging opportunities and challenges).
5. Constitute a reference group with about five to ten top-level representatives sourced from the major stakeholders. They are to be referred to and conferred with throughout the duration of the project as a sounding board for general advice to include vetting the list of potential research ideas.
6. Introduce the project to the public via media publications with the widest reach in order to promote engagement in the process from project's inception. The media outreach will both ensure more input to the initial bid for ideas, as well as ensure more interest in the outcome of the research, which will be published throughout the second half of the project.
7. Engage stakeholders to help coordinate sector experts and potentially host roundtables on the topic areas
8. Hold Sector Expert Roundtables for each topic area to discuss potential interventions and solutions.
9. Create a list of the top viable policy interventions from the Roundtables and via surveys, further stakeholder engagement and input from the project partners and reference group.
10. Appoint specialist economists to write research papers on the costs and benefits of the interventions. Each specialist will be chosen for his or her knowledge of a specific issue. They will be sourced both domestically and internationally with a focus to ensure local expertise.
11. Review the initial drafts of each research paper to provide initial feedback to researchers.
12. Test and challenge the research with peer groups to ensure a wide range of perspectives on the costs and benefits of solutions to each problem.
13. Hold Review Roundtables to bring together sector experts for a second round of discussions to hear draft research results and provide feedback to the economists.
14. Invite stakeholders to comment on the research via short non-academic viewpoint papers. This will give businesses, NGOs and government agencies the opportunity to provide their perspective on the interventions.
15. Collate and publish all of the analysis via the media and online. The papers are the building blocks of the project that promote debate about the competing options and lift knowledge.

The Copenhagen Consensus is a network organization with staff around the world, including Project Managers, Research Managers, a Chief Economist and a communications team.

Commissioned Researchers
300+ of the world's top economists have produced research commissioned by Copenhagen Consensus Center. As an example the Post-2015 Consensus involved over 60 teams economists from the institutions listed below. The economists have been identified as the leading experts within their field. Copenhagen Consensus Center continuously updates its list of researchers.

• Brookings Institution
• Brown University
• Center for Global Development
• CESIfo
• Claremont McKenna College
• Colorado State University
• Cornell University
• Duke University
• European University Institute
• Fung Global Institute
• Harvard Kennedy School
• Harvard School of Public Health
• Harvard University
• Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
• Imperial College London
• Iowa State University
• Lahore University of Management Sciences
• London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
• McGill University
• Monash University
• Public Health Foundation of India
• Resources for the Future
• Sao Paulo School of Economics
• Scotland's Rural College
• Simon Fraser University
• Stanford University
• Texas A&M University
• Toulouse School of Economics
• Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
• University of Adelaide
• University of Bergen
• University of Colorado
• University of London
• University of Maryland
• University of Minnesota
• University of North Carolina
• University of Oxford
• University of Pennsylvania
• University of Toronto
• University of Waikato
• University of Washington
• University of Waterloo
• University of Wisconsin
• Vanderbilt University
• Vienna University of Technology
• VU University Amsterdam
• Wesleyan University
• World Bank
• Yale University

“Copenhagen Consensus is an outstanding, visionary idea and deserves global coverage"
The Economist

“Copenhagen Consensus is a foundation of great international prestige that sponsors many investigations into how to make the best investments to help humanity, protect the environment, generate sustainable development and effective social development. It is a very beautiful organization, with some very clear goals."
Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia

“Bjorn Lomborg's work with the Copenhagen Consensus is a vital, solution-oriented contribution to the economics of global warming – and the many other problems facing a growing planet."
Bryan Walsh, Time Magazine

“I've served on four "experts committees", beginning in 2004. All involved hard choices among attractive alternatives to meet crucial objectives for development and health. And the reason I keep serving? I learn so much."
Thomas C. Schelling,
Nobel Laureate in Economics

"Enlightening, eye-opening, brain-nourishing stuff!"
Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times

“The Copenhagen Consensus prioritization process is the most interesting, innovative and useful approach by any think tank in recent decades."
Michael R. Sinclair, Executive Director, The Harvard Ministerial Leadership in Health Program, Harvard School of Public Health

The Copenhagen Consensus Center was ranked by the University of Pennsylvania as one of the world's Top 20 Advocacy Campaigns

“Because the results of Copenhagen Consensus are so concrete, and because they are based on solid knowledge, the results provide a valuable insight for politicians – an insight that is in fact used by policy makers."
Anders Fogh Rasmussen,
as Prime Minister of Denmark opening the Copenhagen Consensus 2008 conference



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Board of directors
as of 06/20/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Scott Calahan

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No