OpenPolicy Europe

   Today, there is a lack of youth engagement in policymaking. On one hand, we (yes, young people talking here) feel decision-makers do not account for our needs and priorities and the decision-making process lacks transparency. On the other hand, decision-makers need more concrete and useful proposals, which can be discussed and considered. We decided to build OpenPolicy Europe to fix this.

   OpenPolicy Europe is the first digital hub for understanding and engaging with policy at European and Member State levels. It is a tool that allows you to get a better understanding of how the policymaking process works, who’s involved, what policies are in place where, and how you can get involved in policy making.

   It all started with a hackathon. On March 2020 I participated with a group of friends from the European Youth Energy Network on the SOLVE THE GAP – 48h EU Youth Digital Hackathon, during which we developed the idea for OpenPolicy Europe. Surprise surprise: we won. So, then we had the ambitious mission of turning the idea into reality.

   I became the responsible for the UX design and web development processes and team, and we started by further developing our prototype on Figma. The design phase was a lot about balancing inputs from the policy team (who creates de content) with our discussions on how the information should be given to the user. From these conversations the prototype evolved, and the database schema was created. To be mentioned that we were lucky to have the help of a graphic designer, who created our visual identity and logo. Once this was done, we moved on to code our platform on Ruby on Rails.

   The website was officially launched on September 2021, yet there is still a lot to be made. Our goal of presenting policymaking in a transparent and appealing way is still not being fulfilled, thus we want to work on improving our users’ learning path and on gamifying the platform. Big challenges ahead.

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