Governance and Policy Weekend

An event organised by the Governance & Policy

The Governance and Policy Weekend is a 3-days event that aims to promote reflection on local and global policies to understand their importance and impact on synthetic biology.


Through the 3 days event, you will map policies and create solutions on Biodiversity and Biosecurity through the Global Policies Hackathon, establish positions and connect with biodiversity youth organizations in the Biodiversity Youth Forum and communicate and defend your ideas with other synbio enthusiasts in the Synbio Debates.

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Global Policies Hackathon - Sep 23rd-25th

Map the policies around Biodiversity and Biosecurity and identify problems in your community or country, and create solution proposals based on the mapped policies. The Global Policies Hackathon will be in collaboration with the biosecurity organization IBBIS and the participation of youth biodiversity organizations.

Biodiversity Youth Forum - Sep 24th

Synthetic biology can be used to maintain global biodiversity. However, some community sectors perceive its use in agriculture as problematic. During the Biodiversity Youth Forum, you will know and network with representatives of different youth organizations making efforts on biodiversity; you could also join the discussions on the scientific and social aspects surrounding the topic and ultimately participate in a position of iGEMers about biodiversity.

SynBio Debates - Sep 23rd-24th

We challenge you to debate on the most controversial topics in synthetic Biology. Join us in the iGEM SynBio Debates. Unpack your best verses, gather your brainstorm powers and sharpen your mind to confront equally-bright teams in a series of epic debates on important topics that concern ethics, policy and synthetic biology. The best teams with the most creative arguments will get to shine at the final at the iGEM Grand Jamboree. More information coming soon!


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Talks & Speakers

Safeguarding Modern Bioscience and Biotechnology: The International Biosecurity and Biosafety Initiative for Science (IBBIS)

The International Biosecurity and Biosafety Initiative for Science (IBBIS) is a new international entity that focuses on reducing biological risks associated with advances in technology. IBBIS will work collaboratively with global partners to strengthen biosecurity norms and develop innovative tools to uphold them. IBBIS will undertake this work to safeguard science and reduce the risk of catastrophic events that could result from deliberate abuse or accidental misuse of bioscience and biotechnology. IBBIS’ initial work will focus on developing biosecurity tools and best practices for DNA synthesis providers around the world to prevent the misuse of DNA synthesis technology, but IBBIS’ activities will broaden over time.

Learn more about Hayley Severance!

Learn more about Chris Isaac!


Careers in Governance, Policy and Diplomacy for Scientists

Are you interested in pursuing a career in governance, policy or diplomacy? Join a discussion around these exciting topics! We're hosting Nancy Connell and Stephanie Norlock to share their career paths in the field, the challenges that they faced, their biggest takeaway working in governance and policy and many more!

Learn more about Nancy Connell!

Learn more about Stephanie Norlock!


Prizes: Global Policies Hackathon & Synbio Debates

  • Recognition in iGEM Social Media.
  • Winners and participation certificates.
  • iGEM Merch Vouchers.
  • Presentation in Grand Jamboree (Attendance to the Jamboree depends on the participants).