What is the Policy Lab?

Turning ideas into actions

The laboratory for public innovation is an open, participative space where students can show their inventive side and carry out professional projects. The goal is to prepare students to act responsibly for the common good. Students will brainstorm fresh ways of thinking about complex political questions, so as to create concrete solutions. The laboratory works hand-in-hand with partners from the public and private sector. Students will benefit from the space’s flexible and experimental approach, that combines research and action, mobilises skillsets from different disciplines, and prepares students for the workplace by allowing them to carry out a practical project. 

The laboratory is built around four main poles:

  • Case studies : combining different disciplinary approaches, its goal is to allow them to grasp from the inside the various stages and aspects of a public policy challenge (a reform, the merger of two institutions, the implementation of a project, etc.).
  • Simulations are an active learning exercise that combine two aims: to confront students to a real-life situation, and to allow them to examine different ways of responding in a collective framework.
  • Public Policy Incubator : launched by the School of Public Affairs on January 16, 2017, during a creativity week, this program brings together students, researchers and public and private partners (local authorities, government, administrations, institutions, companies, and other economic and social actors) around a shared conviction: that the digital revolution is also a revolution in policy.
  • Democratic innovation will make the most of the stimulating environment, and the synergy between academics, students, citizens and political actors, so as to develop online and offline initiatives to facilitate dialogue between civil society, experts and political leaders.

Combining research and action, as well as different disciplinary approaches, these initiatives are designed to prepare students to think about public policy in new ways and develop concrete solutions for the new challenges we face. This entails preparing students for the professional world, by fully integrating a practical dimension into their academic training.

For each of these initiatives, the Policy Lab suggests relevant methodology and provides support for students and teachers undertaking these innovative projects, through regular training and brainstorming sessions (group and individual).