Aspiration’s Policy Leadership Program is seeking participants for the first-ever Policy Leadership Cohort (PLC); an opportunity for emerging leaders to meet, learn, and build connections with each other as they deepen their policy knowledge and enhance their policy practices.
The PLC is designed to support practitioners at all stages in their policy journey as they work through challenges and opportunities in doing the work of reforming laws and policies relating to technology, justice, and human rights; navigating policy and policymaking for a; and deepening strategic and systemic change to build a more just and equitable digital future.
This is an opportunity to sharpen existing skills and acquire new knowledge, tactics, and approaches to deepen strategies and enhance policy outcomes for digital policy in Europe and beyond.
Aspiration welcomes you to explore the emerging Program Agenda, or better understand the views on the context and the need.
Want to participate now? Aspiration is launching two offerings in June:
- The first Policy Leadership Cohort, where emerging policy leaders will meet, learn, and build connections with each other as they deepen their policy knowledge and enhance their policy practices.
- On-demand mentoring, where established policy practitioners hold office hours to answer questions and provide guidance on a range of policy skills, practices, and strategic approaches.
A program to broaden the field and deepen impact
- The Policy Leadership Initiative is designed to support and enhance a greater plurality of voices, identities, experiences which would enrich essential digital policy conversations, and ultimately drive meaningful policy change and shift power on the European level. The focus will be on:
- Deepening leadership for new entrants and policy practitioners at all stages of their journey, through mentoring, knowledge transfer, peer learning, and skill building;
- Broadening and diversifying the policy and policymaking spaces, through supporting solidarity and prioritising intersectionality in policy efforts;
- Advancing more impactful, relevant, equitable, and inclusive digital policy outcomes, by supporting, elevating, and partnering with underrepresented voices in key policymaking centres.
An emerging program agenda
- The program is in early development, and they welcome conversations and collaboration as they sharpen the focus. They plan to explore and pilot offerings that include:
- Policy learning cohorts: A series of strategic workshops, tools, and resources tailor-made to support emerging policy leaders as they sharpen, deepen, and broaden their policy skills. Key learnings will include confidently navigating the EU legislative arena; refining narrative, honing negotiation skills, networking effectively, and crafting policy positions, strategy, and measuring success.
- On-demand mentoring: Through the Leadership Office Hours, they are expanding the support available to policy practitioners, who may be facing a range of challenges, including navigating institutional or organisational politics, public speaking, fundraising, career transitions, and cultivating management and leadership styles. They are always looking to hear from mentors and mentees who are interested in participating.
- Peer Learning & Strategy Development: Independently and in collaboration with partner organisations and institutions, they will offer regular touchpoints for peer learning, strategy development, and skills-building, designed to facilitate tailored and care-focused support for policy practitioners.
- Developing policy and skill building materials: To ensure the learnings and insider knowledge can reach everyone, they plan to build out a repository of helpful resources and materials to empower practitioners at all stages of their policy journey, such as checklists before coming to Brussels or meeting a Member of the European Parliament; how the EU legislative process (actually) works; tips for writing convincing policy memos.
- Storytelling: Having had more than 100 conversations with policy and policy-adjacent actors in and outside of Europe, they will be sharing the incredible policy journeys, the obstacles, challenges, and wins of policy actors across the broad spectrum of digital policy, social justice, and human rights.
- Building a community of practice: Through regular touchpoints, including virtual and in person convenings they are building a community of practice and support, where leaders can learn, co-create, strategise, and care for themselves and for each other.
- Strategic Services: To complement the mentoring, peer learning, and community components of the program, they are providing on demand, tailored, and rapid response policy support to policy and policy-adjacent actors. Services on offer include support on developing and executing policy strategy, topic-related advice and guidance, support in navigating the Brussels policy stakeholder ecosystem, agenda setting and building a presence, public speaking, building coalitions, and more.
- All aspects of the program are being co-developed in collaboration with program participants and advisors. The goal is to fully realise a leadership program that meets new and growing leaders where they are and provides in-context and on-demand support in their journeys and efforts.
Who they are hoping to work with in the Policy Leadership Cohort
- Many people with complementary skills and experience are facing similar challenges in advancing equitable and strategic policy outcomes that reflect the broad needs of under-represented voices and communities. They believe they can help each other work through these challenges. Working as a cohort, participants will gain a deeper understanding of digital policy strategy in a practical sense and get help, expertise, and support from a group of similarly situated practitioners.
- They welcome expressions of interest from anyone for whom one or more of the following questions apply and resonate:
- Are you new to a policy related role, or have interest in being a digital policy practitioner?
- Do you have interest in better understanding how to more confidently engage in EU level policy advocacy, which includes navigating the institutions, refining narratives, sharpening negotiation skills, building policy strategies, and cultivating networks?
- Are you wrestling with challenges relating to your policy journey, whether it be a role transition, an organisational struggle, finding a work/life balance that is sustainable, or fostering a work environment that is rewarding and nurturing?
- Would you value an opportunity to develop skills and practices that can build your confidence and your capacity to support your partners, collaborators, and enhance policy outcomes?
- Do you face internal or external resistance in driving change forward and would benefit from forums of conversation to overcome some of these obstacles?
- Do you want to speak and learn from others facing similar or related challenges?
- They are mindful of the privilege often afforded to those who work in public policy. The PLC is striving to manifest a diverse and equitable cohort by prioritising participants who have strong potential to positively impact front-line and marginalised communities, toward advancing the agency, confidence and impact of underrepresented voices in policymaking spaces and those who are subject to technology harms.
- Who they are not looking to work with at this time: They may broaden the PLC in the future to include individuals from other sectors, including government institutions, the media, and industry, but in this phase they are seeking participation from actors from civil society including NGOs, collectives, and independent activists.
For more information, visit Aspiration.