Positive Impact of Policy through PolicyCON

PolicyCON and its positive impact on individuals willing to harness their inner dialogue and let the world know their opinion on policy through the right channels.

When individuals think about policy, and I am guilty of this, we envisage a group of men with suits sitting in a large board room discussing areas they believe need reforming. The general public’s opinion is not a top priority, if even it is considered at all. I believe such preconceived perceptions of policymakers come from recent decisions that have sparked media interest and social media outcry—namely, the American Supreme Court judgment to overturn Roe v Wade. Consequently, in more than 20 states, abortion is banned or restricted earlier in the pregnancy. Women’s health organisations have heavily opposed this decision throughout the legal and policy but to no avail.

Now, you might be thinking, why is this relevant to PolicyCON? Unfortunately, the company cannot overturn the Supreme Court’s decision. It is lobbying in the right direction to engage individuals such as activists, blue-collar workers and interested individuals and direct them to the process in which the Policy is made. Ascertaining a diverse view of a specific subject will be reflected once the policy is made. Consequently, a larger population of individuals may benefit from such a policy.

PolicyCON aims to revolutionise how individuals engage with policy; this includes connecting individuals who may not be policy professionals with the policy-making process. This allows a diverse array of perspectives during the policy-making process that can create a fairer and more beneficial policy.

The five stages of Policy development include: 1) identifying the issue the policy will rectify. 2) setting an agenda, 3) formulating the aforementioned policy, 4) implementing, and 5) evaluating the policy.

The presence of individuals within each stage of the policy-making process would have a direct impact on the resulting creation of the policy. This is often an understated impact; for example, if a group of corporate individuals on a salary of, let’s say $150,000 were deciding on the sickness policy for workers of a big company. And let’s say they decided between themselves, with limited outside consultation, that sick days should not be paid for the first week. The impact this would have on a minimum wage worker who was genuinely ill and needed the money to pay for rent and utilities would be monumental; now, if this was compared to the above-average salary earner of $150,000, there is an apparent numerical disparity. This disparity can also be reflected in the attitudes of high earners; for example, they may not fully understand what was at risk when they decided not to pay sick days for the first week. In turn, the worker would then struggle to make maybe ends meet. This is why connecting regular people with policy-making professionals and the process is highly integral, as policy’s impact on thousands of lives is so understated.

With the evolution of social media, especially TikTok, within this last century, many people are expressing their disgust and discontentment with some regions of their work, for example, the lax policies on mental health and denying the impact this can have on the well-being of workers. Such energy would be better channelled engaging with policy making. Whilst social media would get the message out, it would only reach some right people; no part of the policy-making processes scours social media looking for issues a few disgruntled employees are having.

However, if they became the change by partaking in the policy-making process, this would be more beneficial for the employee and encourage any other individual with similar grievances to speak out to remedy the situation. For example, if a company refuses to acknowledge bad mental health as a genuine reason for calling out sick to work, this should be remedied through the policy-making process. During discussions with the policymakers of that company or public policy which would become law, these concerns by workers could be expressed, and such matters would have to be acknowledged by almost all the stages of the policy-making process. The result could lead to a company being mandated by law to acknowledge bad mental health as a viable reason to take a sick day.

To summarise this column, it is evident that PolicyCON aims to bridge the gap between policymakers and the general public, allowing for a more diverse perspective during the policy-making process. This, as a whole, will have a gigantic impact on thousands of workers across the country as such policies are being created, giving regard to everyday workers who keep the economy running by keeping shelves stacked, growing crops and providing the nation with the essentials for life and living, which without a doubt, is the most important job of all.