Policy Challenge 2012

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I am attending the first Policy Challenge event at George Washington University, organized by Arizona State University, sponsored by NASPAA and several public policy schools around the country. The event started with the following call last year:

A Call to Action: The Startup America Policy Challenge

In December 2011, the White House announced the Startup America Policy Challenge where federal government agencies challenged the American public to serve as entrepreneurial problem-solvers, identifying the best solution for administrative change to a particular public challenge. To kick off the challenge, the U.S. Chief Technology Officer, Aneesh Chopra, asked the enterprising American public to identify ways in which the U.S. Department of Education, Department of Energy, and Department of Health and Human Services might break down barriers to entrepreneurship and best enable the use of new learning technologies, clean energy technologies, andhealthcare information technologies in administrative practice, respectively.

The first day of the event focused on presentations by the finalists. The proposals included a wide variety of topics, including a project on Open-Source R& Investments in Assessment Technology, Foreign Students Fostering Innovation in the U.S. Labor Market, Incentivizing Utility Solar System Leasing Programs, Community Compost Collectors, and two health-related projects suggesting new business models for health care provision and health care training.

The jury is still out and the winner will be announced later today. Members of the jury include for example former U.S. CTO Aneesh Chopra and Hon. Linda Lopez, Arizona State Senator.

Stay tuned for more results from day 2, which promises to be a lot of fun. It’s an NSF-sponsored workshop on the future of participatory challenge platforms with public intent.

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About Ines Mergel

I am Full Professor of Public Administration at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at University of Konstanz, Germany. Previously, I served as Assistant and then Associate Professor (with tenure) at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, NY. In my research, I focus on informal social networks in the public sector and the adoption and diffusion of digital service innovations in government organizations. I teach classes on social media management, digital government, public management, and social network analysis.

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