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January 23, 2012 |  36 comments |  Print  Your Opinion  

Policy Workshop Competition

Your Ideas, Your NATO

Policy Workshop Competition: We are excited to announce our newest policy workshop! We want you to tell us your ideas for promoting NATO values, building partnerships, and engaging members in the Smart Defense initiative. Winners receive a cash prize and a trip to Berlin to present their ideas to policymakers!

UPDATE: The competition has now concluded. Check out the winners' presentations and feedback from US Ambassador to Germany Philip Murphy, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General Stefanie Babst, and other decision makers!

Atlantic-community.org invites students and young professionals to contribute their policy ideas on key issues of the upcoming NATO Summit in Chicago in our new policy workshop, “Your Ideas, Your NATO”. We want to feature ideas from young people in all NATO Member and Partner countries on how the Alliance can build a sense of community, reach out to new partners in North Africa and the Middle East, and encourage participation in NATO’s Smart Defense initiative. Tell us what you’re looking for from “your NATO” and have a chance to discuss your ideas directly with decision makers, including US Ambassador Philip Murphy and a NATO representative, during the May 21 summit!

Our competition has two components: an op-ed article, where you propose your ideas in one of the three topic areas, and an online debate among the shortlisted entries, where you will work with your peers from throughout NATO Member and Partner countries to jointly develop a memorandum for policy makers. This means you’ll be actively involved in working with people from other countries to debate, compromise, and arrive at joint recommendations. As part of the next generation of decision makers, you’ll be asked to both defend your own position and arrive at a workable consensus, just like the real policy-making process.

We're open to new ideas and new perspectives. You don't have to be an expert on NATO or international security; you just need to have some good foreign policy ideas and be able to support your arguments. And when you register with atlantic-community.org, we'll help you get started with background resources, opportunities to ask questions of NATO officials, and other useful information.

Awards
All high quality submissions that meet the criteria will be published in the Your Opinion section on atlantic-community.org.

15 articles, 5 in each category, will be shortlisted and their authors invited to take part in the online debate portion of the competition. From these 15 finalists:

Three winners, one in each category, will receive a cash prize of 500 EUR each, as well as a round trip flight and four nights’ accommodation in Berlin, Germany to attend the May 21 award ceremony, where they will present their policy memos. See video of our last event, where winners of the "Ideas with Impact" competition presented their recommendations to US Ambassador to Germany Philip Murphy and CDU/CSU Foreign Policy Spokesman Philipp Missfelder.

Three runners-up, one in each category, will receive a cash prize of 250 EUR each.

Eligibility
The competition is open to all citizens of NATO Member and Partner countries aged 35 or younger. Read the terms and conditions here.


How to Participate

1. Register Now!
Become a member of atlantic-community.org by registering here: http://www.atlantic-community.org/index/users/register Once you’ve registered, you’ll receive continuous updates about the competition, including information resources, jury selection, policy makers appearing at the event, and the opportunity to participate in a Q&A with NATO officials before submitting your policy ideas!

2. Submit an Article
Write a 600-800 word op-ed style article addressing one of the three questions listed below. The article must be written in English and contain clear policy recommendations relating to the chosen topic. It should clearly explain your policy ideas, outline why your recommendations are useful or better than current approaches, and describe how your recommendations could be effectively implemented. It should be free of technical jargon and be accessible and understandable to a general audience.

All articles must be the sole original work of the participant. Jointly authored articles cannot be accepted.

All articles will be judged on the quality of the ideas and the construction of arguments, not on the opinions expressed. Your article will also be edited for grammar and consistency by a native English speaker. We strongly encourage anyone with interesting policy ideas to participate, even if you have little experience writing in English. See our article How to Write an Op-Ed for further suggestions and guidelines.

Please include: (1) a professional-looking, high-quality picture of yourself in your Atlantic Community profile and (2) a short author byline (1-2 sentences) at the end of the article

Please note that each category has a different deadline for submission. See below.

Submit your article through atlantic-community.org by logging in and clicking the “Submit Article” button on the front page or following this link: http://www.atlantic-community.org/index/articles/add

If you encounter technical difficulties with your submission or have any other questions regarding the competition, please contact Jason Naselli, Managing Editor, at "naselli(at)atlantic-community.org"
If you've previously registered but have forgotten your password, click here.

3. Be Part of the Online Debate
In each category, five articles will be shortlisted and put up for discussion in the Open Think Tank at atlantic-community.org. During the week, the five shortlisted authors will be invited to make constructive comments and criticisms of each other’s articles and defend their own arguments. The shortlisted authors will then come together in an online workshop to construct a joint policy paper, the Atlantic Memo, out of the best ideas, with moderating and assistance from the Atlantic Community editorial team.

Our expert jury of academics and think tankers will then judge the five shortlisted articles, with their assessment counting for 2/3 of the final tally. The other 1/3 will be based on the authors’ online collaboration. The jury includes Prof. Colette Mazzucelli from New York University, Dr. Christian Mölling from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), Mr. Giuseppe Belardetti from the Atlantic Treaty Association, and Dr. Jorge Benitez from the Atlantic Council (USA).

Read the Atlantic Memos and winning articles from our previous competitions, Ideas with Impact and Women on Transatlantic Security.

Article Questions

Category 1: Values and Community
NATO's New Strategic Concept "reconfirms the bond between our nations," not only as a group of nations committed to collective security, but as "a unique community of values, committed to individual liberty, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law." Yet while the Alliance is functioning and the values which bind it are fundamental to each of its members, NATO is too often seen by the people of its member nations as "they" rather than "we." Many Americans tend to think of NATO as a primarily European organization, decreasingly relevant to American interests, while many Europeans view NATO as an embodiment of American presence in Europe, rather than a true alliance.

Question: How can NATO encourage ownership and identification among its member nations and their publics? How can it turn “they” into “we”?

Deadline for submission: February 23, 2012 => Category 1 has concluded. Read the Atlantic Memo, the shortlisted articles, additional policy ideas and the announcement of the winners.

Category 2: Partnerships after the Arab Spring
NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue aims to contribute to regional security and stability, achieve better mutual understanding, and dispel misconceptions. In 2011, unprecedented changes occurred in the Middle East with people demanding better living conditions, the protection of human rights, and more accountable and democratic governments. The Arab public awakening has demonstrated that the political landscape in the Mediterranean and the Middle East is fundamentally changing with new electoral processes in Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco. The crisis that erupted in Libya in early 2011, at NATO's door step, is just one example of how the security of NATO countries and the security of the Mediterranean and the Middle East are so closely linked.

Question: How should NATO support the long-term transition process underway in regional partner countries and how should NATO work in these changed environments in order to further the goal of regional security and stability?

Deadline for submission: March 15, 2012 => Category 2 has concluded. Read the Atlantic Memo, the shortlisted articles, additional policy ideas and the announcement of the winners.

Category 3: Smart Defense
In February 2011, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen introduced the concept of Smart Defense - "ensuring greater security, for less money, by working together with more flexibility." To accomplish this, he said NATO "must prioritize... must specialize... and must seek multinational solutions." However, the European Union, much of its membership overlapping with that of NATO, has endeavored to accomplish a similar task through pooling and sharing, but shrinking defense budgets and concerns over sovereignty have severely limited progress. The United States, which recently released a review of its own defense strategy, has highlighted the need to spend wisely, and with significant cuts to its defense budget, "smart" spending will necessarily be more than a catch phrase. Yet even in this time of austerity when defense spending is certain to decline, nations have reservations about the multinational efforts required to make smart defense effective.

Question: How might NATO encourage nations, concerned about diminished sovereignty, to invest in Smart Defense? What mechanisms would make this kind of cooperation efficient and effective?

Deadline for submission: April 5, 2012 => Category 3 has concluded. Read the Atlantic Memo, the shortlisted articles, additional policy ideas and the announcement of the winners.


Important Dates

February 23: Deadline for Category 1

February 27 – March 2: Shortlisted articles for Category 1 published on atlantic-community.org

March 3 – 8: Category 1 shortlisted authors collaborate on Atlantic Memo

March 9: Atlantic Memo published for Category 1

March 12: Category 1 winner and runner-up chosen

March 15: Deadline for Category 2

March 19 – 23: Shortlisted articles for Category 2 published on atlantic-community.org

March 24 – 29: Category 2 shortlisted authors collaborate on Atlantic Memo

March 30: Atlantic Memo published for Category 2

April 2: Category 2 winner and runner-up chosen

April 5: Deadline for Category 3

April 9 – 13: Shortlisted articles for Category 3 published on atlantic-community.org

April 14 – 19: Category 3 shortlisted authors collaborate on Atlantic Memo

April 20: Atlantic Memo published for Category 3

April 23: Category 3 winner and runner-up chosen

May 21: Presentation of your ideas to decision makers at award ceremony in Berlin, Germany


Resources

If you think you’ve got some ideas but need to read more about some of the issues, check out some of our helpful resources here. Remember to register and you’ll receive updates when new resources and information are posted.

NATO LibGuides: NATO’s New Strategic Concept

NATO Mediterranean Dialogue

NATO and the Arab Spring: Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks about NATO's support for the Arab Spring in his video blog - June 21, 2011

NATO LibGuides: NATO and Libya

NATO A-Z: Smart Defense


About atlantic-community.org

Atlantic-community.org is the first online foreign policy think tank. With over 6000 members, our mission is to encourage open, independent, and democratic dialogue on the challenges facing Europe and North America. We especially want to provide a voice for a new generation of thinkers and young leaders, giving them the opportunity to publish and debate side by side with established experts and to have their policy ideas considered by senior officials. This gives our members real political influence, while decision makers benefit from the next generation’s fresh ideas.

Our main section is Your Opinion, where op-eds written by members and edited by our staff are published on a daily basis. Readers comment on the ideas and suggestions presented in the articles, and we periodically condense these debates into Atlantic Memos – executive summaries that harness the collective intelligence of the community, and present the best solutions and policy recommendations. These memos are sent to policy-makers in over 27 countries in Europe and North America.

Atlantic-community.org is a project of Atlantische Initiative e.V., a German non-profit organization dedicated to building and strengthening a strong transatlantic community and a culture of constructive foreign policy debate.

See our About Us page for more information.

If you are interested in helping promote the competition or for any media inquiries, please contact Joerg Wolf at "wolf(at)atlantic-community.org"

Sponsors
The competition has been made possible by generous contributions from the NATO Public Diplomacy Division, the US Mission to Germany, and the Heinrich Böll Foundation

Media Partners

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Comments
Fuad  Shahbazov

February 5, 2012

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How we could submit our articles ? We have to send it to e-mail ? If its that,please give e-mail for the article.

Thank you !
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Unregistered User

February 5, 2012

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Is this open to 'Other Partner' or 'Contact' Country citizens too? eg Australia.
 
Mathew  Shearman

February 6, 2012

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Dear Fuad,

In order to submit your article you must register with atlantic community and:

Submit your article through atlantic-community.org by logging in and clicking the “Submit Article” button on the front page or following this link: http://www.atlantic-community.org/index/articles/add

EB: The competition is open to all NATO partner countries, including Australia. If in doubt, you can check here: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/51288.htm

 
Unregistered User

February 7, 2012

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Is it possible a working group of young professional to present a policy papaer?
Thank you
 
Jason  Naselli

February 7, 2012

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Dear Ioannis,

As we will be forming a "working group" of the shortlisted authors to develop a policy memo, each entry for the competition must be made individually. Since the requested articles are brief, I would suggest each member of your team submit a separate article.
 
Unregistered User

February 7, 2012

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Hi,

Is it all right if we submit articles for all three categories?

Thanks,

Mark
 
Jason  Naselli

February 7, 2012

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Dear Mark,

Yes, you can submit up to 3 articles, one in each category.
 
Unregistered User

February 8, 2012

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Hello Sir/Madam,

The directions state that one article is to be submitted. Can I submit 3 articles ? I do understand only 1 will be picked, but is it okay to write and submit all three articles? Thank you

RK
 
Unregistered User

February 8, 2012

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I just noticed that you have answered my question. Thank you.
 
Philipp  Körner

February 10, 2012

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Will we get a certificate of Attendance, even if we are not in the top 15?
Tags: | question |
 
Unregistered User

February 11, 2012

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Will they make any exceptions to the age? I am a student but I'm 43...

DB
 
Joerg  Wolf

February 11, 2012

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@ Philipp

Sure, we can do that.


@ Donn Baca,

Sorry, can't do, but I'd very much appreciate your input and would like to publish an op-ed from you. You can submit an op-ed outside of the competition.
 
Jonas  Meldgaard

February 16, 2012

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Hello,

What exactly do you find relevant to include in the author byline? - and is 800 words the ABSOLUTE maximum(will ex. 806 be rejected?)

Kind regards
 
Joerg  Wolf

February 16, 2012

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@ Jonas

"What exactly do you find relevant to include in the author byline?"

Please have a look at the author bylines of the last couple of articles we published.

"and is 800 words the ABSOLUTE maximum(will ex. 806 be rejected?)"

Yes, because we got to draw the line somewhere and also be fair to everyone who is playing by the rules. I am sure you find a way to cut 6 words... ;-)

Shorter articles are often better and more convincing than longer articles. We we do realize that it is often more difficult to be concise.
 
Joerg  Wolf

February 16, 2012

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@ Everyone

We are looking forward to receive and then read your submissions.

If you have any questions or technical problems, login and post them here. Or send us an email to the address mentioned in the above article.

Seven more days until the deadline for the first category... This is getting exciting.
 
Unregistered User

February 20, 2012

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Can I participate even though my country is not a NATO member? (México)
 
Joerg  Wolf

February 20, 2012

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@ Manuela,

I would love to publish a short opinion article (600-800 words) from you outside of the competition. As a topic, you can choose any security or economic issue that is of great importance to both Europe and North America. Articles should have a strong thesis and ideally make concrete policy recommendations.
 
Marielle Catherine Ness

February 21, 2012

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Sir or Madam,

I have read both the description above and the op-ed article, however have not found directions regarding references or citations. Frist, is there a specific citation style we should use? Second, are citations included in the word count?

Thank you in advance.

Best,

Marielle
 
Jason  Naselli

February 21, 2012

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Dear Marielle,

As we are looking for articles in an op-ed format, they should not include academic citations. Instead, you should support your ideas with references in the body of the text. You may also include a few (generally no more than 5) hyperlinks to resources that provide background information.

Please remember that the article should be written for a general audience, like an opinion piece is a newspaper.
 
Marielle Catherine Ness

February 22, 2012

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Mr. Naselli,

Thank you for your response.

Best,

Marielle
 
Marielle Catherine Ness

February 22, 2012

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A question was asked on 5 February about submitting articles. When I click on the "Submit Article" button it directs me to a general submission page titled "Create a New Open Think Tank Article." First, is this the correct page? Second, if this is the correct page, is there a means of distinguishing given op-ed topics from others besides our titles? Last, if we are using the general submission page to submit our op-eds, should the submission type be "Your Opinion" and first topic be "Your Ideas Your NATO?"

Thank you in advance.

Best,

Marielle
 
Nargiz  Guliyeva

February 23, 2012

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Dear Editors,

I tried several times to submit my article, but the system didn’t work. Although I pushed the button of “paste from word “above text formatting section, I couldn’t paste the text from Word. Can I send both pdf and word documents to this mail address: staff@atlantic-community.org ?

Thank you beforehand.
 
Joerg  Wolf

February 23, 2012

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@ Nargiz

I am sorry, you had trouble with the submit sytem.

Yes, please send your article as a WORD document to staff@atlantic-community.org

I apologize for the inconveniance.

 
Jason  Naselli

February 23, 2012

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Marielle,

That's exactly right, the submission type should be Your Opinion and the first topic should be Your Ideas, Your NATO. I see you were able to successfully submit your article.
 
Nargiz  Guliyeva

February 24, 2012

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@Joerg

Thank you very much!

I've already send it.

Best regards
 
Unregistered User

February 28, 2012

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I see that the deadline has already passed, are you still accepting late applications? I am eager to take part in such a wonderful event.

Thank you very much in advance
 
Jason  Naselli

February 28, 2012

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Dear Gulnaz,

Only the deadline for the first category has passed. While we can't accept late entries in that category, you still have time to write for Category 2 (deadline: March 15) and Category 3 (deadline: April 5).
 
Unregistered User

March 5, 2012

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Hi,

I really would like to enjoy this experience, but as I did graduate right this month at the first three years of university i have a doubt about my chance to partecipate at NATo's project.

Do you need a postrgraduate certificate?

Regards, Federica
 
Joerg  Wolf

March 6, 2012

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@ Federica,

I assume you are asking whether you are eligible for this competition. If you are citizen from a NATO Member or Partner country and 35 years or younger, then you are eligible to participate.

Best of luck!


 
Hasmik  Grigoryan

March 11, 2012

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Dear Jason Naselli

I was trying to submit my op-ed article. When I pushed "save and view", it said error and that the text field shouldn't be empty ( though it wasn't empty). Anyway, I tried once again without saving, but just copying the article from my word document and then pushed submit article button and it brought back to the page "create a new open think tank article". From the previous comments I understand that I have done right but, anyway, can I be sure that the article was submitted?

Thank you in advance
Hasmik
 
Jason  Naselli

March 12, 2012

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Dear Hasmik,

We have not received your article unfortunately. If you are copying from a Word document, you need to use the "Paste from Word" option, which is the furthest right option on the top row in the text box. Please note you also need to have the title and thesis sections filled in, and select from the "First Topic" menu: Your Ideas Your NATO.

Please let me know if you continue to encounter problems.

Best,
Jason
 
Hasmik  Grigoryan

March 12, 2012

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Dear Jason

I submitted my article.

Thank you very much for your help
Hasmik
 
Olga  Papadopoulou

March 15, 2012

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Dear Editors,

Is it possible please to inform me if you have received my article for Category 2 "Partnerships after Arab Spring", because I encountered several problems.

Moreover, my article is ok with the number of words, the thesis and the byline?

Thank you in advance for your prompt reply.

Kind Regards,
Olga
 
Karen  Joy  Harriger

March 15, 2012

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Hello,

I tried to submit my article for Category 2 via the "Submit Article" link, but I encountered some problems. I was originally able to submit it, but upon going back to make a couple of edits it refused to let me submit my article (it said I had exceeded the word limit, even though previously this was not the case). Currently it is "unpublished." Should I try to submit it this way again, or should I just send it to the above email?

Thanks,

Karen
 
Karen  Joy  Harriger

March 15, 2012

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Hello,

I apologize for my confusion - I understand why it is "unpublished," of course, but I am still not sure exactly if I submitted it correctly. I tried submitting it online several times, since I was unsure, and I also emailed it to the staff@atlantic-community.org, so I apologize for any inconvenience all my confusion has caused.

Since I did have so much confusion, I was also wondering if you had received my submission? If you could let me know, that would be great. Thank you so much - and thank you for this opportunity!

Karen
 
Karen  Joy  Harriger

March 15, 2012

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Hello,

I just got notification that you received my submission via email - thank you!

Karen
 

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