Policy Hack at SNS To Turn Policy Problems Into Proof-of-Concept Solutions
Cristina A.
26 Jun 2018

The Startup Nations Summit Organizing Committee believes that hands-on policy design and experimentation knowledge exchange should lead to actual implementation. The Startup Nations Summit 2018 in Surabaya, Indonesia, will feature a global edition of the Startup Nations Policy Hack for the second year.

Why a Policy Hack?
Disruptive technologies pose opportunities and challenges for both traditional industries, as well as governments in grappling with unexpected and unfamiliar regulatory issues.

To help policy leaders tackle these challenges, Startup Nations developed in 2017 a program that offers a new, collaborative approach, based on multi-stakeholder dialogue, sandbox-type idea exchanges and validation mechanisms - the Startup Nations Policy Hack. The policy hack model is focused on real policy challenges, effective implementation and impact.

The Startup Nations Policy Hack is designed to help both the public sector, startup entrepreneurs and incumbents co-design solutions that will have higher chances of tackling the specific problems that have been identified once implemented. Seasoned, expert policymaker peers join policy hack teams to guide the process and provide feedback.

During a Startup Nations Policy Hack, participants –grouped into teams and supported by mentors –have an opportunity to receive feedback along the hack process (before, during and after the actual hack day) from a variety of stakeholders, including assigned team members, mentors, and policy hack judges.

Apply to Participate
Team leaders will return to their national economies after having tested and refined their ideas and solutions with stakeholders who bring related experience in grappling with the issues identified, and will thereby be better prepared for local implementation. Winners commit to reporting their implementation experiences within six months.

SNS will allow winners of local editions of the Startup Nations Policy Hack to come together to test programs and policies that build healthier ecosystems, based on the collective experience of GEN community members.

The following are ideal candidates for the policy hack:

  • Public sector leaders focused on helping new and young businesses in their country who are looking to implement an innovative policy tool (such as a change in regulation or a specific program) but would like to put their policy idea to the test in front of peers and entrepreneurs prior to implementing it.
  • Government officials who need to unleash a wave of innovation in a specific industry or policy domain, and who have some ideas about how to do it, but need to build momentum or wish to test the idea prior to implementation at home.
  • Leaders of cities, regions, or countries that are interested in creating a regulatory sandbox-type platform for dialogue between the regulator and an innovator.

In sum, the Startup Nations Policy Hack is intended to help those who are ready to move from a relatively well-defined policy idea to an early implementation or tested policy stage.

If you are interested in participating in the policy hack, you may apply by submitting your policy idea by submitting your Public Policy Lean Canvas to sarolta@genglobal.org. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, until the maximum number of teams is reached (12).

If you are not currently in a position to move forward with a specific policy proposal, but perhaps you have recently implemented a policy change, you may also request to become one of the peer members on specific policy hack teams and help those who are just undergoing change. You can use the policy hack as an appetizer for upcoming policy changes without going through a policy change yourself.


See other Frequently Asked Questions.

Learn more about the Startup Nations Summit, here.

Cristina A. Fernandez

Vice President for Policy + Research | Global Entrepreneurship Network

Cristina Fernández focuses on integrating public officials into startup ecosystems across the world, creating platforms for them to exchange ideas… More