Today was fascinating. I visited both the Brookings Institute and the Urban Institute – both with their head offices in Washington DC – both I have admired from afar for a number of years. I have tentative follow-up meetings with each early next week. My first observation is that they are much larger than I expected – both take up floors of very large buildings with naming rights. See photos above.The Urban Institute was just a quick visit to drop in some material for my meeting next week. I spent some time reviewing their publications and was surprised to open one of their books on Public Property Infrastructure and find New Zealand as a case study – with even a mention of our very own Kevin Simpkins! The Urban Institute have a more specific focus than Brookings – dealing with social issues.Brookings have a library that I could live in for months and a great bookshop on the ground floor (so I am sure I have already busted my weight limit). There I met Adriana and talked through the American ‘Government, Think Tank and Lobby’ landscape in just over two hours. I am hoping to obtain further information to help with Project 2058 and Project 2008. Interestingly they also have a Project 2008. Volume 1 they published in March and a second volume is planned later this year. I have purchased the first and am looking forward to a good read tonight.The two pre-conference courses start tomorrow and Saturday – so more about those tomorrow night.

Text and photos by Wendy McGuinness (from Washington)