top of page
Okay, Boomer: what will the next generation of policymakers do differently?


The policymakers of tomorrow address the governance challenges of the next 20 years.


The Competition

The Hertie School students of today will be the policymakers of tomorrow: they will work in international organisations, think tanks, NGOs and government affairs. This competition encourages students to think about the future of public policy, drawing from past and present experiences. How do the policymakers of tomorrow envision the world of public policy in 20 years?

What will the policymakers of tomorrow do differently? What primary policy challenges need to be tackled – and how?


This competition is open to all Hertie School students currently enrolled in the Master of Public Policy, Master of International Affairs, Master of Data Science for Public Policy and Executive Master of Public Administration programmes.

  • Guidelines
    Students should select one aspect of public policy or one specific governance challenge and reflect both on past developments and a vision for the future. Students are encouraged to think creatively and critically about how to tackle complex policy and governance challenges of the 21st century. Students are free to write on any policy area or governance challenge of their choosing. Thematic areas could, for example, include: Climate change and environmental sustainability Artificial intelligence, automation and cybersecurity International migration, refugees and displacement Human rights and democracy International crises and security The essay should be between 1,200 and 1,500 words and should be submitted in a PDF document, double-spaced, Times New Roman, font 12.
  • Criteria
    Formal criteria: The essay should be between 1,200 and 1,500 words and should be submitted in a PDF document, double-spaced, Times New Roman, font 12. All quotes and sources should be cited – APA is recommended. Grammar and style: The writing should be clear, concise, consistent, and not include grammar and spelling mistakes. Creativity: The essay should show original thought and an ability to engage with relevant examples and literature. Students should express an opinion – this is more of an op-ed than an academic paper or scientific publication. Coherence: The arguments put forth in the essay should be coherent and logically sound. Specificity: Students should focus on one area of aspect of public policy, or on one specific governance challenge. They should use specific examples to demonstrate their arguments. Relevance: The topic and examples should be relevant to the prompt of the competition.
  • Submission
    The deadline for this competition has passed. The winner will be announced in Spring 2024.
  • Prize
    The authors of the top three essays will be announced in Spring 2024. The authors of the three winning essays will be awarded €500, €300 and €200, respectively. Additionally, the three winning essays will be published on the Hertie School’s website and its social media channels, as well as in The Governance Post, the Hertie School’s student magazine. The author of the winning essay will also be recognised during our 20th anniversary celebrations.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Sophie Morris (s.morris[at]hertie-school[dot]org).

The Jury

The selection of the most compelling essays will be decided by a jury comprised of:

Dean Thurid Hustedt

Thurid Hustedt is Dean of Graduate Programmes and Professor of Public Administration and Management at the Hertie School. Her research focusses on public sector change dynamics, political-administrative relations and comparative public administration. Hustedt holds a PhD and a Diploma in Public Administration from Potsdam University.

Prof. Joanna Bryson, PhD

Joanna Bryson is Professor of Ethics and Technology at the Hertie School. Her research focusses on the impact of technology on human cooperation and AI/ICT governance. She holds degrees in psychology and artificial intelligence from the University of Chicago (BA), the University of Edinburgh (MSc and MPhil) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (PhD).

Prof. Shubha Kamala Prasad, PhD

Shubha Kamala Prasad is Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Hertie School. Her research examines domestic sources of foreign policy, spanning substate conflict to diaspora mobilisation. Prasad was awarded her PhD in Political Science in 2020 from the Department of Government of Georgetown University in Washington, DC. She completed her MPhil and MA in International Politics at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

Gabriel Rinaldi

Gabriel Rinaldi graduated from the Hertie School with a Master of International Affairs in 2022. He is an editorial journalist and reporter for Süddeutsche Zeitung Dossier, a new newsletter-based information service at the intersection of German policy and politics. He studied political sciences, sociology, international affairs and economics in Berlin, London, and Milan and received training at Journalism School ifp in Munich.

Benjamin Stappenbeck

Benjamin Stappenbeck is the Director of Communications at the Hertie School. Before joining the university, he worked at the German Ministry of Justice, overseeing communications for the Corporate Digital Responsibility Initiative (CDR-Initiative). He holds a Diploma in Political Science from the University of Potsdam and he also studied European Affairs at Sciences Po Lille in France.

bottom of page