Skip to content

Apply to the California 100 Tech Policy Hackathon


California 100 is a transformative statewide initiative focused on inspiring a vision and strategy for California’s next century that is innovative, sustainable, and equitable. This initiative, in collaboration with the University of California and UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, aims to articulate a strategy for California’s next 100 years that is grounded in systematic research and evidence, deeply engaged with Californians around the state, and guided by core values and commitments to innovation, resilience, inclusion, sustainability, and equity.


One of the thirteen focus areas of California 100, and a throughline to all of its efforts, is Advanced Technology. Technology can be harnessed to improve the efficiency and efficacy of governmental operations, and the Californian technology economy can be supported and stimulated, or regulated and reformed, through the levers and incentives of policy. Part of the aim of California 100 is to surface and support a variety of diverse ideas to improve California through technology. To achieve this goal, we are soliciting tech policy ideas from Californians that can serve as the basis of a hackathon to develop and support these ideas to fruition. 


We invite ideas that improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and equity of government agencies and programs, through the improved use of technology. Tech policy often takes the shape of a proposed law, regulation, publicly-funded program, or governmental activity. 



The hackathon is a full-day, in-person, participatory event held on Stanford’s campus on Saturday, April 2nd, 2022. During the event, you will be introduced to a group of other participants whose ideas are in similar topic areas, and you will have the opportunity to iteratively refine and develop your idea, as well as form a group with others proposing similar ideas, with the help and mentorship of subject matter experts, technology leaders, and policymakers. 

The event will culminate in presentations of your final ideas, with a panel of judges selecting five winning proposals. The winners will receive a prize of $1,000 per person, and will be placed into working groups with experts and policy leaders for the purpose of developing the idea into a demonstration project, draft legislation, or “moonshot” goal that is achievable in the next 50 to 100 years. 

To apply to attend the hackathon, you will write a policy memo describing your idea and its potential effects in California. Please consider both short- and long-term effects; California 100 is dedicated to futures thinking and envisioning a trajectory for California as a state of innovation and inclusion. The authors of the best policy briefs will be invited to attend the hackathon in person at Stanford, with their travel and lodging costs covered.

Policy memo guidelines: memos should be a maximum of two single-spaced pages, in PDF  format. Your memo should clearly describe the problem you have identified, what actions are needed to solve it, who would implement those actions and who would benefit from them, what resources (financial or otherwise) would be required to implement your idea, and where those resources would be provided. 

Policy memo examples and resources: 

Preventing Racial Bias in Federal AI (M. Livingston 2020)

Meeting STEM Workforce Demands by Diversifying STEM (S. Benish, 2018)

JSPG Governing Board member Erin Heath, AAAS – “Communicating Science Through Policy Briefs”

NSPN Board member Kumar Garg, Schmidt Futures – “Getting Things Done”

-Educational Equity Guide to Writing an Effective Policy Memo

Deadline: The deadline to apply is January 31st, 11:59 pm PST.  We have hosted a Webinar to provide more detail about the initiative, review the application process, and answer questions, and will be hosting a second webinar in January. (Recording here). Please register below to indicate your interest in applying:

Register here to receive more information 

Application process: Please email your policy memo as a PDF attachment to Please include in the body of your email your full name, address, age, educational institution (if applicable), and a one or two-word description of  the topic area of your proposal (e.g., “housing”, “outer space”, etc.)

Who Should Apply: Any young Californian (ages 18-35) with an idea for how to improve California.   

More information: Please visit our our website at to learn more about the California 100 initiative, and join our Advanced Technology mailing list at

Questions: Please email the California 100 advanced technology team:  

Please Forward: Please feel free to forward this message to any group or person who might be interested.