4th Annual Penn Public Policy Challenge

December 19, 2012

The Fels Institute of Government is excited to announce that the competitors for the 4th Annual Penn Public Policy Challenge have been selected! The quality of work and creativity demonstrated by this year’s applicants is the best yet. Comprised of both undergraduate and graduate students, the ten teams will study, develop, and present new approaches to help remedy some of the biggest issues in Greater Philadelphia.

45 students make up the ten teams: eleven hail from the Fels Institute of Government, seven from the School of Social Policy & Practice, six from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, three from the Wharton School of Business, two from Penn Law School, two from Fels and Penn Law, two from the School of Design, two from the Annenberg School of Communication, one from the College of Liberal and Professional Studies, one from the Perelman School of Medicine, one from the School of Nursing, three from the Undergraduate School of Arts and Sciences, and one from the Undergraduate Huntsman Program. Some of the ideas that the teams will focus on are:

•    economic development
•    job creation and clean energy
•    food access and human welfare
•    improving access to health care
•    increasing economic opportunity in Philadelphia
•    improving public schools in Philadelphia
•    setting up a network for non-profits in the area
•    addressing safety issues in public schools
•    fighting childhood obesity and encouraging healthy lifestyles
•    making plans for vacant lots and abandoned buildings
•    finding solutions to violent crime in the city

Over the next three months, teams will work extensively with Fels professors, staff, and mentors that have already been through the process. The Public Policy Challenge will also provide workshops to help improve the teams, informative handouts, pitches, and executive summaries. In January, a round robin competition is held and five teams are chosen as finalists. These teams will continue to develop and practice their proposals and presentations. On February 24th, the finalists will present in front of a crowd of their peers and judges who will then declare the winner.

The winning team will receive a cash prize to be split among the team members to help implement the team’s policy proposal. The winning team will move on to the 2nd Annual National Invitational Public Policy Challenge, also hosted by Fels, which will take place on March 16th and 17th in Philadelphia.

We are excited to see what these teams have in store for us!

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