UNDERSTAND | October 16, 2017

SNS Policy Hack Teams Tackle Variety of Topics from Data Processing to Artificial Intelligence

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Unlike traditional policy hacks where challenges are chosen by the organizers, the SNS Policy Hack called for team leaders who bring specific, real challenges to the table, along with a preliminary idea of how to address such challenges and the commitment to test the hacked solution in their respective ecosystems.

A policy hack is a collaborative way of developing a policy. Each SNS Policy Hack team will consist of a team leader, peer policymakers and entrepreneurs. Team leaders will be supported by mentors to flesh out the design and implementation of their proposed solution.

Delegates to SNS 2017 in Tallinn, Estonia this November may still request to be matched with one of the following team leaders by sending an email to sarolta@genglobal.org (please state your experience in dealing with similar policy issues as your chosen team leader).


Team Leader: Lenard Koschwitz, Allied for Startups, European Union

As Director for Public Policy, Lenard aims to make data protection rules fit startups’ needs. He will therefore "hack" at SNS, a framework for initiating a sandbox between national data protection regulators and startup associations for deeper understanding of data processing in the case of innovative small businesses. This sandbox would focus on ex-ante elements (wherever a startup needs to get approval before a product can be launched) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the single reference to businesses active in the EU.

The team members are:

  • Lenard Koschwitz is the director of Allied for Startups. Since he joined in 2015 he built up and led the organisations’ public policy activities in Europe. He’s passionate about policy and spends much of his time discussing tech and the Digital Single Market. Prior to that he advised a Spokesperson for Justice and Home Affairs in the European Parliament, mainly on data-related policies like privacy and data flows. He studied political science and European studies in Germany and Belgium.
  • Winfried Veil is a referent at the German Ministry of the Interior. Since 2010 Winfried Veil is working for the Federal Ministry of the Interior of Germany where in the beginning he was competent for labour migration law. Since 2013 he has been working for the Project Group on Data Protection Reform in Germany and Europe which was negotiating the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation on behalf of Germany. At present Winfried Veil is competent for general and legal IT and digitization issues and for data policy.
  • Freddy Nurski is the Managing Director of GEN Belgium. Freddy has more than 30 years international experience in Digitization of Business Processes: general management, sales & account management and consultancy. As a member of the Executive Management team of GE Information Services EMEA, ISS Europe and S1 Corporation, Freddy worked with major global companies and FI's to implement Digitization of Business Processes. As Managing Director of n2euro his main focus is on implementing go-to-market alliances between technology companies to deliver fully integrated solutions and building communities.
  • Christopher Mott is the CEO of OpenStrategic Global Ventures from the Netherlands. His specialties are corporate development & strategy, mergers & acquisitions, equity financing and business development.


Team Leaders: Lieke Vollenbroek & Pieter Waasdorp, City of The Hague and Ministry of Economic Affairs, respectively, The Netherlands

Lieke and Pieter will join forces to create a startup label, which would be beneficial in both monitoring startup policy, as well as removing legal barriers for growth for startups. Creating a startup label would not just enable targeted incentives or regulatory exemptions to address bottlenecks for young companies, but also create valuable data for government. Because such label would open opportunities to benefits for firms for a period of time, it is important to clearly define the group that can register as a startup and avoid disincentives for scaling.

The team members are:

  • Lieke Vollenbroek is a senior policy advisor of the City of The Hague. Currently responsible for urban economy at the municipality of The Hague. Previously responsible for economic migration at the Ministry of Security and Justice. Founding mother of the Dutch startup visa and the concept of a European startup visa.
  • Pieter Waasdorp is the EU SME envoy since 2014 and director of Entrepreneurship at the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands. Pieter has a vast experience since 1991 in the Dutch administration. He has worked at the Ministry of Economic Affairs in several management functions and as programme manager. Also he worked as a programme manager for a joint progamme of the ministries of Economic Affairs and Education, Culture and Science. International affairs is a topic which runs as a red thread through his curriculum viteae.
  • Mattia Corbetta is an Expert on Innovation at DG for Industrial Policy, Italian Ministry of Economic Development. His main activities encompass the design, implementation, dissemination and monitoring of public policies such as the Italian Startup Act and other measures dealing with innovation (e.g. the Italia Startup Visa and Hub programs). In the past, he worked at the Italian Chambers of Commerce in Switzerland and Morocco, at the Italian Embassy in Syria and at the United Nations Volunteers program in Germany.


Team Leader: Marten Kaevats, Ministry of Economic Affairs & Communications, Estonia

Countries around the world now face the challenge of understanding the rise of Artifical Intelligence, which is increasingly impacting the daily lives of their populations. We need to legalize AI. In Estonia, a taskforce was formed, which has suggested four different options regarding how to regulate AI in a user-friendly way. During SNS Policy Hack, those options will be discussed and the pros and cons of each approach mapped against what the entrepreneurial ecosystem expects.

The team members are:

  • Marten Kaevats is the National Digital Advisor in the Government Office of Estonia or unofficially the Chief Innovation Officer of Estonia. He studies the impact of various scalable technologies on the spatial behaviour of individual people and communities, as he believes that the industrial revolution and the hyperlocal model of life will create reformatory changes to the spatial and social behaviour of people.
  • Mikk Lellsaar is the Executive Officer of Estonian Government cloud. Since 2014 he has worked for Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications with implementing cloud technology within public sector. He is responsible for the development of Estonian Government hybrid cloud solution and Data Embassies. He has been working with enhancing digital continuity of Estonian information systems and mitigating the IT risks of government information system. Mikk has managed several processes of migrating public information systems into the cloud and lead creating of policy guidelines for cloud usage in national level.
  • David Moskovitz is the Director of Startup New Zealand and GEN New Zealand. Dave is software developer by trade, as well as an angel investor and company director. He spends most of his time working with startups helping them take their products to a global market. He's currently chair the boards of Publons and The Appreciation Engine, and also on the boards of InternetNZ, Startup NZ, The Domain Name Commission and Open Polytechnic. He's been deeply involved as a mentor in the Lightning Lab accelerator programmes, the R9 Government Accelerator, and over 20 startup weekends.
  • Arvind Gupta is the Founder & CEO of Digital India Foundation. Arvind has over 25 years of industry experience, having worked in diverse sectors in variety of leadership, policy and entrepreneurial profiles in India and Silicon Valley, USA. He is the Co-founder of DigitalIndiaFoundation is a leading thought provoker in areas of Smart Cities, Internet Governance, Cyber Security, Electronics Manufacturing & DigitalPayments. He was awarded the Eisenhower Global Fellowship for Innovation for year 2014.


For more information about the SNS Policy Hack, please visit the FAQs page. The SNS Policy Hack is hosted by the Estonian Presidency of the EU and the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) and powered by Dell.

Sarolta's work focuses on building relationships between public policy experts around the world via Startup Nations network and managing GBAN,… About the author