Central Council

Virtual Policy Hackathon

The Economics Society of Australia is excited to announce our Virtual Policy Hackathon event!

What does the event involve?

You'll compete in a team under the mentorship of an economist to develop a very brief, specific and actionable policy proposal that relates to improving the health of the Australian economy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This event is all about encouraging innovative ideas.

When is the event?

  • One-hour introductory Zoom call to meet your team mates and mentor, brainstorm and chat about your proposal, on 27 July, 6-7pm.
  • One-hour Zoom call with your mentor sometime between 27 July and 7 August, to be scheduled at a time agreed with your team and mentor.
  • One-hour Zoom call on 10 August, 6-7pm, to present your idea.

Who is it for?

We’re targeting young professionals (including economists and anyone with an interest in economic policy, not necessarily with an economic background) and students.

How do I prepare and how much time do I have to commit?

You’re NOT required to do any preparation before the introductory call. As a starting point, we ask only that you let us know what broad topics you might be interested in, so we assign you into teams with others who share similar interests. However, if you are interested in doing some background reading beforehand, we’d encourage you to take a look at the initial ‘Optional reading’ list below.

You'll have a couple of weeks to draft a one/two page policy memo together with your team, test your idea with your mentor and decide how to present it.

Why should I participate? We've picked our top three reasons below:

  1. We have an incredible line-up of mentors to guide you in developing your proposal, including Professor Jeff Borland, Professor John Quiggin, Danielle Wood and Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark.
  2. We have an equally amazing line-up of judges, including Professor Alison Booth and Peter Martin.
  3. By participating, you’ll have the chance for your policy proposal to be written up in The Conversation. This is a real opportunity to make a contribution to policy debate in Australia right now.

Sign me up!

Please fill out this 3 minute survey to (i) register and (ii) let us know which topics you might be interested in. We'll assign you to groups based on your interest and get back to you in the next couple of weeks.

Applications now Closed

What next?

Once you’ve registered, we’ll share further details about judging criteria, teams, topics and mentors closer to the event.

Optional reading

Below is some optional reading to help you identify which topics you might be interested in and to provide some examples of specific ideas that have been suggested. Please note that these topics aren’t confined to a particular political interpretation and the articles are only examples to get you thinking.


Example materials

Introduction (the basis for the topics below)

Treasurer’s Statement on the Economy

Prime Minister’s Address

Reskilling & upskilling the workforce

Deferred repayment loans

Infrastructure reform

Energy infrastructure reform

Planning System Acceleration Program

Tax reform

Temporary tax levy

Cutting red tape

Productivity Commission recommendations


Extension, reimagination or cessation of JobKeeper


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