Empowering first-gen scholars to lead in digital policy

The CIVICA Policy Summer Institute supported by Google concludes its second year.

CIVICA – The European University of Social Sciences and Google have once again joined forces to champion diversity and inclusivity within the digital policy ecosystem. The recently concluded Policy Summer Institute provided first-generation students with invaluable professional experience at the intersection of government affairs and digital public policy. 

In its second year, the Policy Summer Institute included eight carefully selected outstanding CIVICA students from various social science disciplines, ensuring a diverse and well-rounded cohort across the ten partners of the CIVICA alliance.

Internships in key European cities with insightful experience week at Google

The programme commenced with an immersive experience week at Google's offices, offering the students valuable insights into the inner workings of Google's Government Affairs and Public Policy teams. The opportunity to engage with industry professionals right from the beginning set the stage for a transformative learning experience.

Following the experience week, the students embarked on internships of up to nine weeks at policy agencies located in London, Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Madrid, The Hague and Warsaw. During the internships, each scholar was paired with a dedicated Google mentor, who provided support and career guidance, enhancing the learning experience and fostering a sense of professional development.

For this year's edition, Google also supported ten political consultancies that closely worked with the company to host interns in their offices for up to nine weeks between June and July. This additional opportunity allowed students to gain valuable knowledge of the consultancies' operations while working directly with Google's Global Affairs and Public Policy teams, potentially creating future employment opportunities.

Impactful closing event and policy proposal presentations

The highlight of the Policy Summer Institute was the closing event, hosted online by Google on 19 July, where the scholars had the opportunity to present and vote on the "Policy Challenges" they had been working on. From digital talent and skills initiatives to empowering integration in EU markets, participating students presented compelling and innovative solutions to the policy challenges they faced. 

The audience comprised Google representatives, members of the CIVICA community and policy agency partners. The scholars' presentations showcased their growth and development throughout the programme, underlining the positive impact it had had on their professional journeys.

Continued dedication to empowerment, diversity and inclusion

Google's Vice President of Government Affairs & Public Policy Europe, Annette Kroeber-Riel, expressed her delight at the continued success of the Policy Summer Institute. She emphasised that the programme reinforces their shared commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. Giorgia Abeltino, Google's Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador in Europe, commended the programme for providing unparalleled opportunities and support to students and driving positive change in the industry.

Enora Palaric, International Alliances Manager at the Hertie School, reaffirmed CIVICA’s dedication to fostering this initiative, recognising the importance of providing students with private sector experience to be better prepared for the job environment. “Thanks to the support of Google, CIVICA continues to make a concrete difference by empowering talented students from all backgrounds to become future leaders in the digital policy landscape,” she said.

The fact that past scholars have secured future work and study opportunities after completing the Policy Summer Institute testifies to its success. Last year, three out of nine students were offered positions after participating in the programme, underscoring its effectiveness in nurturing and elevating young talent in the digital policy domain. 

The collaboration between CIVICA and Google through the Policy Summer Institute sets an inspiring example for the future, showcasing the power of partnership in breaking down barriers and fostering inclusivity within the industry. As the programme continues to empower a diverse, talented and innovative generation of policy leaders, the journey towards a more equitable and inclusive digital policy ecosystem remains steadfast.



CIVICA – The European University of Social Sciences brings together ten leading European higher education institutions in the social sciences. CIVICA aims to build an inter-university campus that provides joint and long-lasting opportunities in teaching, research and innovative learning, while enhancing academic excellence and facilitating civic engagement in Europe and beyond. CIVICA was selected by the European Commission as one of the pilot European Universities in 2019 and confirmed as successful alliance in 2022 for its full roll-out under the Erasmus+ programme. Read more on