July 28-30, 2023 at Fairmont State University
Summer Policy Institute 2023 is a convening focused on policy, where participants will learn the ins and outs of policy change through a research and data lens, as well as crucial skills rooted in community engagement and grassroots mobilization. Policy sessions will equip participants to focus on defining the problem as a key first step before progressing to proposing solutions. Fully finalized policy ideas that emerge from SPI will be directly connected to the people most impacted.
The Summer Policy Institute (SPI) is an annual event for undergraduate students, graduate students, and people of all ages interested in bettering West Virginia through policy change.
SPI brings together highly qualified traditional and non-traditional undergraduate students, graduate students, and policy-curious people of all ages to build policy knowledge, leadership skills, and networks. The convening is co-hosted by the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy and the American Friends Service Committee.
SPI attendees participate in interactive sessions where they learn the ins and outs of policy change through a research and data lens, as well as crucial skills rooted in community engagement and grassroots mobilization. Attendees will meet West Virginia leaders from government, non-profit advocacy, and grassroots organizing spaces to build relationships and networks.
Throughout the convening, participants work in small teams to identify and develop policy proposals to shape the future they want to see in the Mountain State, culminating in team “policy pitches” to community leaders. Sessions will equip participants to focus on defining the problem as an essential first step before progressing to proposing solutions. This will ensure that no fully finalized policy ideas emerge from SPI without authentic engagement–and ideally partnership–with the people most impacted.
Many SPI attendees have gone on to continue advocating for their policy ideas and to hold internships with West Virginia non-profits and in state government.
After three years of virtual SPI, the WV Center on Budget and Policy are excited to announce that they will be returning to an in-person format for SPI 2023! The event will take place at Fairmont State University from July 28-30.
There will be full days of live content and team work from July 28 through July 30, culminating with the policy pitch competition on the final day.
Leading up to the policy pitch competition, teams will develop their policy proposals with support from our coaches and issue area experts, as well as have the opportunity to practice their policy pitches before they present to our judges. For a more detailed explanation of what policy proposal development will entail, please refer to this document.
There is no cost to attend, and students can work with professors to receive course credit. It is required that participants attend all sessions during the three-day convening.
If there are any learning/disability accommodations you need the WV Center on Budget and Policy to provide to be able to fully participate in the event, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep in mind that this year we will be returning to an in-person conference and will not have virtual programming options available.
You’d be a great fit for SPI if you:
- Are a West Virginian of any age who cares about our state and its people
- Want to make your community a place where everyone can thrive
- Fall anywhere from policy-curious to policy expert or in between
- Are a nerd for data and well-researched ideas
- Want to learn more about effective issue advocacy
- Are a great team member
- Can devote three full days to the institute