MERGE 2022 had 200+ participants from more than 30 countries across the globe competing for $20K+ in sponsorships from companies like 1Password and Art of Problem Solving (AoPS). Special guests included Mark DeLoura, former Senior Advisor for Digital Media at the White House, who helped judge the "best projects committed to hacking with a policy mindset."
From April 24th - 25th, 2021, students worked in teams to estimate the answers to some of the world's most pressing numerical questions.
From July 2nd - 4th, 2021, students worked in teams to draft and create solutions to address environmental issues, racial and sociocultural bias, healthcare shortages, and technology gaps. In total, there were 500+ participants, 65 submission pieces, 59+ countries represented, and 35+ judges, mentors, and speakers.
From March 27th - 28th, 2021, Merge was the world's first Hack + Policython. Over 400 students attended to write and hack together a product for better policy. Learn more more at https://hackpolicy.co/merge
From February 20th - 21st, 2021, the Education Policython expanded upon Students Improving Schools to provide over 400 students resources and support to submit a policy brief and Op-Ed to their communities. See more at https://scholar.harvard.edu/policython/education
Students Improving Schools
From December 12th - 13th, 2020, our Students Improving Schools (SIS) Conference was a 24-hour policy-ideation competition designed for NYC high school students. From a discussion-based conference and close-knit workshop sessions, to collaborative proposal writing and 1-on-1 mentoring office hours, the SIS Conference of 2020 was jampacked with policy ideas on all things education reform. Learn more at https://scholar.harvard.edu/policython/event/studentsimprovingschools
Watch the recap of this 100 high school student policy-writing competition at: https://youtu.be/zNUbN15xrvU.
The Pandemic Policython
From October 23rd - 25th, 2020, the Pandemic Policython was an international policy-writing competition (i.e., a "policython") for all students, high school and beyond, to join, collaborate, and deliberate on the policy solutions that can best address today's most pressing issues. A policython is a competitive, team-based event, in which a "policy brief" is the expected deliverable. Similar to the framework of a weekend-long "hackathon," a policy brief was to be submitted by each student team within the 48-hour timeframe of the Pandemic Policython. Participants received the opportunity to network with fellow students interested in policy, heard from professionals in the field of public policy, law, and government, attended various workshops, received guidance from on-call mentors, and received assessment on their final submission pieces from our panel of expert judges. The Pandemic Policython was a non-partisan, virtual competition for students to brainstorm, discuss, and rework their very own policy proposals. With well over 1,000 applicants, 400 participants, 150 submissions, 50 mentors, and 10 workshops/events, we were able to conclude our first policython event with over 3,000 cumulative volunteer hours completed.
To view the workshop recordings, participant handbooks, and resources of the like, visit our Notion page: https://bit.ly/policythonnotion.