Sciences po School of Public Affairs Launches the First Public Policy Incubator

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The Sciences Po School of Public Affairs is launching a public policy incubator to train students in developing innovative and robust public policy solutions. Prioritising citizen experience and the development of new start-ups, the programme combines expertise in engineering, design, digital technology and the social sciences to transform policies.

The incubator's partners include Facebook, for whom this is a first partnership with a higher education project, Harvard, the Global Public Policy Network and the municipality of the City of Paris.

10 prototypes per year to renew public policies

Under the auspices of the 17 United Nations sustainable development goals, students will develop innovative applications and solutions to improve the lives of citizens, local authorities, administrations, and businesses. The incubator's public and private partners will call upon the students to solve wide-ranging problems relating to issues of broad public interest. Ten prototypes for redesigning public policies are expected to be produced each year.

A week of creativity from 16 to 21 January 2017

To mark the incubator's launch, a week of creativity will take place from 16 January in conjunction with the different partners. During this week, Sciences Po students will join with coders and designers to develop prototypes for citizenship and inclusive-economy related policies. The week's programme includes a hands-on session at Facebook on Tuesday 17 January with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and a two-day hackathon at the Facebook HQ in Paris on 20 and 21 January.

The students will present their prototypes before a jury on Saturday 21 January and will then work on the development of the prototypes from February to May 2017.

An incubator at the centre of students' learning at the School of Public Affairs

The incubator is intended to perform a full innovation cycle, from the creativity phase through to the practical implementation of functional policies that can be fed directly into the start-ups. Students from partner schools are welcomed in a spirit of sharing knowledge and skills. Each week, students will dedicate half a day to the incubator.

A student-led project that aims to improve the lives of citizens, and the performance of administrations and businesses

For Yann Algan, dean of the Sciences Po School of Public Affairs, "The digital revolution represents a promise of democratic innovation to reinvent public policy and restore confidence. Universities have a central role to play in leading the encounter between knowledge and technologies and finding tangible solutions to the challenges of the world today. With students playing a central role and the strong support provided by our partners, the public policy incubator will help to redesign public policy in the digital age, improving the lives of citizens, and the performance of administrations and businesses." 

Find out more

  • How can digital technology reconcile citizens with politics? Yann Algan, researcher and dean of the Sciences Po School of Public Affairs, invites us to look at the digital revolution as a revolution of politics and citizenship. Read the interview with Yann Algan.
  • Big Data, Be Happy. In his research work, Yann Algan shows that big data can help us move towards a more humane economy. Read the interview with Yann Algan. 
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