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Heywood Foundation Public Policy Prize

Heywood Foundation is delighted to announce the launch of the Heywood Foundation Public Policy Prize. Submissions are now open, and prizes of up to £25,000 are available for the best and most thought-provoking answers.

COVID-19 has tested our institutions and societies as much as it has our bodies. It has caused massive disruption and forced governments, communities and businesses to respond. In addition to the terrible loss of life and health, there have also been secondary shockwaves. Economies have shrunk, supply chains disrupted, and jobs lost. Societies and communities have been affected. COVID-19, and its after-effects, have hit harder those in certain sectors, geographies and ethnicities.

Yet for all the disruption and horror, there have been at least some positives. In surveys, around 9 in 10 Britons say there are aspects of lockdown they would like to keep, such as getting more time with family or more exercise. Public services and businesses have been forced to innovate, such as bringing forward plans to digitise and personalise customer service. Carbon emissions fell. Three-quarters of a million people volunteered to help the NHS. Previously car-packed city roads became filled with cyclists and pedestrians.

Important innovations often arise in the face of major challenges. Disruptions prompt innovators to find new solutions. Disruptions also trigger behavioural changes that might otherwise have taken years to arise. But the opportunities created can be fleeting. Do you see possibilities created out of the challenges of COVID-19, that society, citizens and policymakers should think about and seize? The Heywood Foundation* has created this two-part Challenge Prize to stimulate this discussion, and to create an additional channel of ideas back to UK policymakers.

The first challenge prize is for spotting key opportunities or possibilities created by the COVID-19 crisis:

  1. What is a key challenge or opportunity presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences?

Short answers are encouraged (no more than 300 words).

The second challenge prize seeks to find innovative answers to the challenges or opportunities presented:

  1. In the case of a problem, how might we fix it? In the case of an opportunity, how do we capitalise on it?

Submissions are limited to 1,000 words, with a short summary at the start.

Prizes Available

  • Question 1:

  • Top Prize: £5,000

  • 10 Runner-ups: £500 each

  • Question 2:

  • Top Prize: £25,000

  • Second Prize: £10,000

  • Third Prize: £5,000

  • 15 Runner-ups: £1,000 each

You do not need to submit answers to both questions, although you are most welcome to. In the case that you submit an answer to question 2 but not question 1, please make clear what the problem or opportunity is that you are addressing. Good luck!



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