Crowdsourcing the State of the Union

Do you have a policy idea that belongs in the State of the Union?


Each year, the President delivers an address to Congress on the State of the Union (SOTU). Generally viewed as a primarily political event, the speech has a less widely understood purpose: it is perhaps the most important policy agenda-setting moment of the year, representing the culmination of months of pre-work across a president’s Administration. 


But too few members of the S&T community know when or how to contribute their ideas to this process. 


We’re on a mission to develop a “Crowdsourced SOTU,” assembling 50 of the most ambitious S&T ideas from across the community that we believe should inform President Biden’s first State of the Union. 


In early Fall, we will showcase these ideas and share them with key Administration policymakers.

A Spotlight for S&T Ideas


The SOTU address outlines a clear policy agenda for the Administration’s priorities for the year, and science and tech can represent an important piece of this vision. For example, in his first speech as President to Congress, President Biden called for the creation of an “Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health” to catalyze breakthrough treatments for cancer, diabetes and other biomedical challenges. These statements were later matched by a $6.5B funding request for a new health science agency in the Administration's proposed budget.


Anticipating the Calendar

Ideas included in the State of the Union typically have been carefully crafted and collated many months in advance by policymakers across the federal government through an extensive internal process. By anticipating the calendar, the S&T community can meet the needs of policymakers ahead of schedule, arming them with the most impactful ideas as they work towards the SOTU.

What ideas belong in the State of the Union?

We are on a mission to crowdsource 50 of the most ambitious science and technology ideas to inform the Administration’s policy agenda by early Fall. We will then develop, amplify, and deliver these ideas throughout the SOTU process, and in early 2022, we will highlight the best of these ideas at our Day One S&T SOTU, where we will bring together a collage of Administration speakers, Day One contributors, and thought leaders. What’s your SOTU policy idea?


How it Works

To contribute your SOTU idea below, please provide: 

  1. A pithy sentence that you could imagine President Biden pitching as a policy idea in his SOTU address;

  2. A short paragraph that details actionable steps to actualize the idea;

  3. A federal agency or office that is best positioned to execute those steps.



In President Biden’s first SOTU, he should call for all educators to have access to high-quality assessments that measure what students know and provide timely, useful information to teachers.


To realize this goal, the federal government should fund a $100 million research center that leverages new technologies to build better educational assessments. The project would run competitive research grant programs to examine the ways in which next-generation technologies such as natural language processing and machine learning could improve testing while making exams in middle and high schools more timely and cost-efficient.


Agency/Office: Institute of Educational Sciences, Department of Education