Bridging Silicon Valley and Washington

In today’s era where technology is the number one driver of interactivity, knowledge and communications, it’s important that Silicon Valley and Washington DC are able to understand, comprehend and communicate with each other.

Often, technologists fail to grasp the important role of public policy, how to participate in the policy process, and how to explain their work in language that lawmakers can grasp.

Likewise, Washington policymakers must better comprehend today’s technologies and innovate solutions that match the speed and complexity of emerging tech challenges, from social media and artificial intelligence to privacy and security.

The challenge is that, at this moment, few people can speak to both. Meeting the challenges of tomorrow will require far more people that pair Silicon Valley’s creativity with the impact of Washington. Thus, the creation of the Aspen Institute’s Tech Policy Hub.

The Hub is a West Coast-based policy incubator, focused on training a new generation of tech policy entrepreneurs. In June of this year, the Hub welcomed its inaugural cohort of 15 engineers, startup founders, and academics to our ten-week fellowship program.  If you have an interest in technology policy, be it as a founder or company staffer, think-tanker, faculty or student, you’re welcome. Fellows are not expected to come into our program with previous policy expertise or degrees; it’s beneficial to be new to policy, reducing any preconceived notions of what it should look like.

Think of the Hub as a Y Combinator focused on policy thinkers and the impact of their ideas.  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. Previous fellows have met with over 20 policy leaders, including the Lieutenant Governor of California and a former US Chief Technology Officer, presented to leaders of a transatlantic commission on solutions to combat the spread of misinformation through deepfakes, and pitched to officials from the City of San Francisco on how to improve event security.

Now it’s your turn to get involved, as the Aspen Tech Hub is looking for the next class of amazing leaders to help us build Policy at the Speed of Tech.

The full time is an in-person incubator fellowship program from January 2 to March 6, 2020, and fellows receive $18,000 for ten weeks of participation.  Interested in learning more?  Apply here before August 15.  And, if you have questions, check out the FAQ on the Aspen fellowship page and attend a Q&A based webinar on August 14, 2019 (register here) at 10AM PST/1PM EST. Or contact [email protected].

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