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The Policy Boot Camp Programme

The Policy Boot Camp is a modular course run by CFGM based around Kolb’s experiential learning cycle to guide students though the policy making process. 

2019 Policy Bootcamp at the University of Manchester

In its first iteration in 2019, around 100 students from the University of Manchester signed up and participated, working in teams with practitioners from central and local government, experts and civil society, students and gained insights into influencing decision-making using case studies from practice. Students developed policy briefs, outlining a policy idea they developed, before pitching them to policy for feedback.

The environment the boot camp creates mimics the fast-paced and collaborative environment of the policy arena. You have to work collaboratively and think fast to produce solutions to problems UK policy makers face.

Shane Green
Bootcamp participant and intern at Metro Dynamics

  • Over 100 students attended the Introduction to Policy Making session led by Prof Andy Westwood and speakers from the House of Lord Parliamentary staff and Policy@Manchester
  • Around 40 to 50 students participated in Sandpits on:
    • How can we ensure economic growth in GM is more environmentally sustainable, socially inclusive and prosperous for residents?
    • How can Greater Manchester be a national leader in ending rough sleeping and reducing homelessness?
    • How does Greater Manchester become carbon neutral by 2038?
    • How can we build public consensus about responding to climate change?
  • 10 teams pitched the ideas developed at the sandpits to GMCA and Cabinet Office.

Led by Professor Andy Westwood, the first module provided an Introduction to Policy Making that covers how to develop actual policy briefings to catch the attention of decision-makers.

Then, working in teams with input from policy makers and influencers, in what we call Sandpits, students applied the theory to develop policy ideas to help overcome some of the ‘too difficult’ challenges facing Greater Manchester. These included climate change, rough sleeping and inclusive growth. At the final session, the Pitch to Policy, selected ideas were presented to Alan Harding, Chief Economic Advisor to the Mayor, who provided feedback on those ideas. Students were then invited to apply for a paid internship (funded through an external grant), of which most have been placed with policy organisations.

Future Bootcamps

We are hoping to run similar boot camps in the future. If you or your organisation would like to be involved, please email Jay.

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