If 2018 was the year that the D.C.-Silicon Valley divide became abundantly apparent, then 2019 is the year that we can and should do more to bridge that divide. To do so, we need more bridge crossers: experts in both technology and policy.
This is why we are so excited to announce that the Aspen Tech Policy Hub, a West Coast policy incubator training a new generation of tech policy entrepreneurs, has opened for applications for its inaugural 2019 cohort.
The Hub takes technical experts, teaches them the policy process through a paid in-residence fellowship program, and encourages them to develop outside-the-box solutions to society’s problems. It models itself after tech incubators like Y Combinator, but trains new policy thinkers and focuses the impact of their ideas.
Who? Anyone with an interest in technology policy. Founder or company staffer? Think-tanker? Faculty or student? You’re all welcome. Fellows are not expected to come into our program with previous policy expertise or degrees; in fact, we prefer people who are new to policy (they don’t have preconceived notions of what it should look like).
When? Summer 2019 (June-August).
What? A full time in-person incubator fellowship program. We teach fellows policy and give them access to resources to make them successful. Programming includes:
- Regular classes exploring what policy is: problems, alternatives, outputs, etc.;
- Action-oriented practical exercises, such as ‘how to write a policy memo’;
- Mandatory morning pitch meetings for sharing ideas in progress;
- Partnerships with experienced policy mentors who can help provide project guidance;
- Practical resources, including designers, copy editors, legal experts, and comms specialists; and
- Evening off-the-record dinners with top corporate and government policy experts.
We then encourage fellows to work in teams to develop new and innovative ideas for solving problems, with a high tolerance for risky ideas that flip the usual way of doing things. Fellows “exit” our program by presenting their final projects to real decision-makers.
Why? Our alumni base will understand the importance of successfully mixing tech and policy no matter what jobs they move onto, and many will continue to contribute to our research and strategy agenda.
Cost? Here’s the best part: we pay you! Successful applicants receive $7,500/month for their participation.
I’m sold. What next? Apply here before February 27. Writing matters, so take your time with the application.
I’m interested but I have questions. Cool. First, check out the FAQ on our fellowship page as many common questions are answered there. If you have additional questions, we have several recruitment events you can join.
- We will host a Q&A based webinar on February 6, 2019 (register here), and February 25, 2019 (register here), from 9am-10am PST/12pm-1pm EST.
- For Bay Area residents, we will also host a Q&A session from 4pm-5:30pm on February 6, 2019 at Toy Soldier (52 Belden Pl, San Francisco, CA 94104); the session will be followed by a happy hour for prospective applicants and friends of the fellowship. Executive Vice President of the Aspen Institute Elliot Gerson will be our special guest. Please sign up here.
- For Washington, D.C. residents, we will host a recruitment event on February 19, 2019 at the Aspen Institute (2300 N Street, NW, Suite 700) from 11:30am-1pm. Lunch will be provided for those who register before February 15. Please sign up here.
Questions not answered? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.