This innovative model brings northerners from the three territories and Inuit Nunangat together — in person — to develop made-in-the-North recommendations on issues which are important in their communities.
Northern Policy Hackathons are an effective way of engaging a diverse group of people who are passionate about driving solutions for pressing policy issues. By advancing skills in policy development, this model builds and sustains policy capacity across the North.
Based on our experience of carrying out three Northern Policy Hackathons we have developed and tested a Northern Policy Hackathon Toolkit. We know that people are looking for innovative ways to contribute to policy discussions online, so the toolkit includes ideas on adapting policy hackathons to take place online.
On May 14-16, 2019, the Gordon Foundation convened their third Northern Policy Hackathon in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. The third Hackathon brought together northerners from across the three territories and Inuit Nunangat, to develop innovative policy recommendations on northern housing. Participants were from a wide array of backgrounds, including a Gwich’in elder, landlords, community members, business owners, the non-profit sector, academic institutions, municipal, territorial, regional, Indigenous leadership, and the federal government.
Recommendations on Country/Traditional Food
October 25-26, 2017
Recommendations on Small and Medium Sized Enterprises
August 21-22, 2018
Recommendations on Housing
May 14-16, 2019
Northern Policy Hackathons create a space for rich conversation, but they are also designed to go beyond dialogue. They provide an essential opportunity for participants to create and recommend viable federal policy solutions to problems that many northerners face.
Northern Policy Hackathons bring together people from across the North so that networks can be built and expanded. This provides a platform to share best practices and sustain regional collaboration on issues of common concern.
There will be many opportunities throughout the event to develop a wide array of skills including consensus building, presenting ideas, and policy-writing.
The Foundation works in collaboration with partners to share the policy recommendations with key stakeholders that are best placed to translate policy into action.
The Foundation also conducts research with partners to provide background and context. This research is designed to bolster dialogue and provide an overview of existing, relevant policy work.
Hackathons are short, intensive, all day events – typically lasting several days – during which a number of people meet to engage in collaborative problem-solving. Traditionally, hackathons refer to computer programmers gathering to develop leading-edge software. This model has proven very effective in driving innovative solutions, and has now been adapted by governments, non-profit organizations, universities, and crown-corporations.
What makes Northern Policy Hackathons different from a regular policy conference or workshop is the focus on generating concrete, actionable outcomes. Policies that impact the North are often made in the South. Northern Policy Hacakthons are designed to help shift this narrative and create a norm of federal policy being made by northerners for northerners.
Get the toolkit