The Power of Policy Entrepreneurship

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In the dynamic world of policymaking, a unique breed of individuals is driving transformative change. Enter policy entrepreneurs—visionaries within government structures dedicated to pioneering policy innovations that shape our society’s future. While akin to traditional entrepreneurship, their focus extends beyond profit to catalyze positive shifts across diverse sectors, notably in research and innovation.

A Catalyst for Change

Policy entrepreneurship operates at the nexus of government action and societal progress. By leveraging their dynamic skill set, these individuals champion initiatives that fuel innovation, drive economic growth, and tackle pressing challenges. Their influence extends far beyond drafting laws; they are architects of societal transformation.

The Anatomy of Policy Entrepreneurship

  1. Identifying Challenges: Policy entrepreneurs excel at framing societal issues and proposing innovative solutions. In the realm of research and innovation, this means crafting policies that foster creativity and propel progress.
  2. Building Coalitions: Collaboration is key. By harnessing networks and advocating for change, policy entrepreneurs amplify their impact and pave the way for meaningful policy reform.
  3. Leading with Purpose: Successful policy entrepreneurs lead by example, demonstrating the viability and impact of their initiatives through tangible action.
  4. Resource Optimization: Operating within constraints, these entrepreneurs deploy resources efficiently, maximizing the potential for positive change.
  5. Scaling for Impact: Their ultimate goal? To scale up innovative policies, ensuring widespread societal benefits and lasting change.

Driving Innovation Forward

The ripple effects of policy entrepreneurship are felt across various sectors. Initiatives like the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) exemplify the transformative potential of policy-driven innovation. Through collaborations with government entities, FAS spearheads programs that bolster scientific advancement and enhance national competitiveness.

Empowering Startups and Universities

Governments play a pivotal role in nurturing entrepreneurial ecosystems. Policies aimed at supporting startups, such as tax incentives and funding programs, empower these engines of innovation to thrive. Additionally, initiatives like the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program underscore the government’s commitment to fostering innovation within small enterprises.

The Day One Project: Shaping Tomorrow’s Policies Today

At the forefront of policy entrepreneurship stands the Day One Project—a beacon of innovation in policymaking. Through rigorous research and collaboration, this initiative generates actionable policy proposals that address pressing societal challenges. From sustainable aviation to closing the digital divide, the impact of Day One Project’s memos is tangible and far-reaching.

Charting a Path Forward

As we navigate an ever-evolving landscape, the role of policy entrepreneurship grows increasingly vital. By championing bold ideas and driving systemic change, these trailblazers pave the way for a brighter, more innovative future. Explore the Day One Project’s repository of ideas and join the conversation—because when it comes to shaping policy, every voice matters.

About the Speakers and Mentors

Adriana Bankston

Adriana Bankston is a former bench scientist turned science policy expert, with a wealth of experience in research and academic policy changes within university settings. Her career was dedicated to showcasing research discoveries on a broader scale. Notably, Adriana also led a non-profit organisation and held various entrepreneurial roles, connecting with professionals worldwide.

Adriana Bankston

Adriana’s role as a senior fellow in science policy with the Federation of American Scientists showcased her expertise in policy entrepreneurship. Her work at this non-profit mirrored the dynamic nature of a startup, making her well-equipped to discuss the convergence of science and policy.

Based in Washington, DC, USA, Adriana was ideally positioned to offer valuable insights into research-powered innovation, real-world impact, and the art of building strategic partnerships and talent scouting. Her diverse background and passion for research made her a dynamic speaker for discussions surrounding innovation, collaboration, and talent development.

To learn more about Adriana:

Juan Fuentes Fernández

Juan Fuentes Fernández

Juan Fuentes Fernández, based in Copenhagen, is a seasoned expert with a career spanning over a decade in various areas, including strategy, international business development, PR & Comms, brand and activation management, project and people management, market research, and CSR.

Having worked across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas, Juan’s global perspective is reflected in his extensive professional journey. His notable achievements include:

Professional Experience

  • LALIGA Delegate for the Nordic Countries (2021-Present): Appointed by LALIGA, the Spanish football league, Juan leads the growth strategy in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland.
  • LALIGA Delegate for the Middle East (2017-2021): Spearheaded LALIGA’s successful expansion in Egypt, Sudan, and Libya.
  • Editor at Oxford Business Group (Philippines): Analyzed emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Trade and Investment Advisor for the Embassy of Spain: Represented Spanish interests in Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.

Academic Involvement: Juan’s academic contributions include research and co-authoring a Working Paper for Harvard Business School on LALIGA’s strategic development. He has served as an instructor and master thesis supervisor in various sports management programs in Spain and Europe.

Angel Investor: As an investor, Juan focuses on sports and entertainment-related startups, emphasizing industry validation and expansion. He avoids investments in projects collaborating with LALIGA or seeking collaboration with his organization.

Multidisciplinary Project Coordination: Juan has successfully managed diverse teams for award-winning projects, such as the Spanish-Arabic football dictionary by the Instituto Cervantes and LALIGA, which received the “Publication of the Year 2021” award in Spain.

Recognition and Social Impact: Juan has been shortlisted as a winner in Spain’s inaugural Nova 111 list, particularly in the telecom, media, and entertainment category. Dedicated to social impact, he has volunteered with various NGOs for over a decade and is a member of Common Goal, donating 1% of his salary to support social causes.

Areas of Expertise: Juan Fuentes Fernández excels in entertainment and sports management, international business development, strategy, market research, PR & Comms, brand and activation management, project and people management, CSR initiatives, academic instruction, keynote speaking, and angel investment. His multilingual and multicultural proficiency further enhances his ability to make a significant impact across various sectors.

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