Policy Fellows discuss the policy challenges

Funded by the ESRC, CSaP's Policy Challenges initiative addresses high-priority public policy issues identified by our Policy Fellows.

Policy Challenge workshops bring together academic experts with stakeholders from government, business and civil society to provide senior decision makers with fresh insights on, and practical recommendations for, some of the problems they face. The Policy Challenges Briefings have a specific remit: to encapsulate the insights provided by an interdisciplinary group of researchers on these policy problems.

Behavioural insights into emergency planning and response

Initiated by GO-Science, this Challenge looks at how the behavioural sciences can help policy makers gain a better understanding of the way people behave in an emergency situation, and therefore be better prepared for a national emergency. The first Policy Challenge Briefing was launched at the CSaP Annual Conference on 10 April 2014.

Climate resilience in the built environment

The key question driving this Challenge is how policy makers might better understand the effects of climate change on cities and urbanised and urbanising populations, and reflect on the adaptation of existing built environments and modes of governance. The briefing was launched on 21 January at a distinguished debate at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Ageing and public health

Addressing the impacts and opportunities of an ageing population, this Challenge investigated what a future ageing society might look like, the benefits to society, and the implications for policy. The briefing was launched at the CSaP Annual Conference in Cambridge on 14 April 2015.

Data science

The availability of large government datasets, and the tools to link and analyse them, offer huge potential for governments to improve the delivery and implementation of public services. Enabling this step-change in the way we use data requires not only that new techniques be developed to link and analyse datasets but also that governments consider the accessibility of their data for research and the challenges this poses in terms of public acceptability. The briefing was launched at the international conference "Policy making in an era of big data" in Cambridge on 15 June 2015.

For more information on the Policy Challenges initiative, please contact:

Dr Moira Faul

  • 9 August 2023

    Reading Group on Five Times Faster #3: Rethinking the economics of climate change

    In July 2023, the Cambridge Zero Policy Forum met for the third of four reading group sessions on Five Times Faster: Rethinking the Science, Economics, and Diplomacy of Climate Change, by Simon Sharpe, Senior Fellow at the World Resources Institute. The session focused on economics and included opening remarks by Dimitri Zenghelis, Special Advisor, Bennett Institute for Public Policy, University of Cambridge.
  • 27 July 2023

    The Global Biodiversity Framework and the UK

    In June 2023, Craig Bennett (CEO at The Wildlife Trusts and former CSaP Policy Fellow) met with the Cambridge Zero Policy Forum to discuss the Global Biodiversity Framework agreed at the 2022 UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) and what this means for the UK.
  • 17 December 2020

    How can we reach an objective assessment of organisational resilience?

    In our fifth resilience seminar, Bill Hodson spoke to attending Policy Fellows about organisational resilience. Bill is the incumbent consulting director at Cambridge Consultants, and former business director at Fraser Nash consultancy.
  • 30 November 2020

    Planning for Resilience

    Can resilience be planned for? In the second seminar of our workshop series on resilience, Dr. Eloise Taysom and Dr. David Cleevely guided a lively debate on the balance between optimization and resilience within a system.
  • 24 November 2020

    Resilience and Reducing Organised Crime

    In our fourth resilience seminar, Dr Colin Wilson (Communities & Engagement Unit, Home Office), delivered the contradictory maxims that must be followed to reduce organised crime in young people – a phenomenon that is as much about failures in community resilience as it is about individual proclivities.
  • 16 November 2020

    Resilience, Industry and Infrastructure

    In the third seminar of our online workshop series on resilience, we asked: How can resilience be defined in industry and infrastructure?
  • 6 February 2015

    Connectivity and flow in future cities

    In 2014, for the first time, more people live in cities than in rural areas. By 2050, more than 70% of people are predicted to be living in cities
  • 5 February 2015

    Podcast available: Cities in a changing climate

    A podcast of our event on resilient cities is now available.
  • 20 March 2014

    If you were planning a sustainable city, what would you include in it?

    What will the impact of increasing numbers of people living in cities be on society, or biodiversity, or on food, water and energy security?