The King’s College London Policy Institute has announced the anticipated return of their “Policy Idol” competition. Student Life Correspondent Ansel Bayly writes about what to expect from the competition.
The Policy Institute is calling on students to submit their policy ideas for the chance to pitch to a panel of judges and win up to £1000.
The deadline for entries is January 22. Previous years have seen finalists judged by former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and former Universities Minister Jo Johnson. Finalists are invited to deliver a 3 minute pitch of a policy desing of their choice before fielding questions from the panel of judges. They are judged on the substance of the policy and the quality of their delivery. If contestants are chosen from the first round of pitching to present in the final, they have the chance to win the first place prize of £1000. Meanwhile, individual category victors for Style and Substance each win a further £500. The Audience Choice prize sees winners receiving a further £250.
The Policy Idol final is one of the biggest events of the year for the Institute; finalist groups are able to invite guests to a complementory dinner, and the audience is invited to participate by voting on their favourite policy. Last year’s competition saw policies dealing a range of issues from homelessness to disabled access to decriminalising sex work.
The winning policy from the 2022 competition was a three point plan to prevent spiking at venues. The group called for free drinks testing kits, paid for with taxes on alcohol producers, additional training for venue employees on spiking, and extra staff or cameras in the bar area to watch for spiking.
Contestants who pass the heats are also provided with training and support by the team at the policy institute.
Emma Fallside, who competed in the final last year, said:
“Policy Idol was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had at university. It’s really an opportunity to work on an issue that you’re passionate about and learn about important skillsets like presentation and argument structure in a hands-on way. No matter how far you progress in the competition it’s a really fun experience which I would recommend to anyone who is considering applying. It is a lot of work, but if it’s something that you’re interested in researching it’s very worth it.”
Sofia Cusano, the Events and Stakeholder Manager for the Policy Institute, told Roar a bit more about the competition:
“Policy Idol, from the Policy Institute at King’s, is an annual competition open to current students in which contestants pitch their policy ideas in just three minutes to a panel of judges from the worlds of politics, academia and industry. Last year we were delighted to have the former Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard on the panel of judges for the grand finale and this year we promise another distinguished judging panel.
The competition offers students a chance to win cash prizes and get advice, training and support from leading experts in their field. You can now apply for Policy Idol 2023, either entering by yourself or as part of a team. Applications close on Sunday 22 January.”
The last final, hosted by BBC Home Editor Mark Easton, was streamed live on YouTube. You can view the video here.
You can apply for the 2023 competition here.