Nonpartisan Think Tennessee Dedicated to Moving Our State Forward

Looking for a nonpartisan voice making a positive impact on our state? Read more about Think Tennessee, just one of several nonprofits we have featured on our blog.


With the current political scene creating a rift between political parties, new nonpartisan think thank Think Tennessee provides pragmatic policy recommendations to the public discussion regarding our state. Think Tennessee, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, brings together leaders from throughout the state and from many sectors—business, academics, law, medicine, government—as well as from both sides of the political aisle.  Think Tennessee’s President Shanna Hughey was senior adviser to Mayor Karl Dean, and its Board Chair Bob Cooper served as state attorney general under Governors Bredesen and Haslam.

Think Tennessee blends top-notch research and policy analysis with a drive to get this information into the hands of policymakers, the media, nonprofit organizations and citizens. “The way we do that is by assessing what matters to Tennesseans and identifying opportunities to improve the quality of life for everyone in our community,” says board member and Vanderbilt University School of Law Professor Tracey George. “There is a lot of room in the middle and everyone regardless of political party wants access to sound and thoughtful information.”

The group’s first project is a State of Our State dashboard. The 1 to 50 ranking shows where Tennessee stands on 88 issues such as high school graduation, road quality and voter turnout. “These important metrics help us to evaluate how we are doing as a state. It also informs what we do next. We can focus on areas of improvement by using this thoughtful evidence-based way to improve measurably the lives of Tennesseans,” Tracey says.

Tracey outlines three ways local citizens can get involved with Think Tennessee.

“First, visit our website so that you as can provide feedback to your elected officials and possibly think of running for office yourself. Two, contribute. To make sure we can maintain our unbiased reporting, ideally we will receive donations from across the spectrum, ranging from small donations of $5 to large donations. That makes us a public good. Finally, make recommendations to us. If you think there are certain issues in the state that are starved for thoughtful unbiased recommendations tell us what they are.”

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