OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

GIG: Government is Good

Elected officials commit to mentorship and internship; every elected leader, at local state and federal levels, has at least one 16-24 year old in her or his office, on a GIG internship. That's an estimated 500,000 GIGs in the US alone. Elected officials' offices are ripe grounds for learning soft and hard skills, and having youth influence our government would improve it!

Photo of diane walton
3 2

Written by

Elected officials' offices are ripe grounds for learning soft and hard skills, and having youth influence our government would improve it!   Could be a subset of existing Public Service partnerships; goal is gaining experience on the way to next job.  It's a learning experience, a career starter.   Create a GIG registry where elected officials make their commitment, youth express interest and GIGs are registered.
Possible metrics: 
1. GIGs at local, state and federal levels  (year one goal: 100,000 etc...)
2. interns who are employed/have next job 12 months out (GIG youth vs other youth)


Who does this idea benefit, who are the main players and what's in it for them?

youth 16-24 get benefit of experience and network, new ideas and new aspirations. elected leaders (and the rest of us) get benefit of youth point of view. (elected leaders' public approval could go up too! though not the goal here...)

How is your idea specifically increasing access to employment opportunities and pathways for young people?

Creates an expectation, a space for increased youth employment in every community. Public service is a base from which to reach into a variety of career pathways. Once they've worked the range from policy to constituent response, GIGsters will have a different sense of their community and new aspirations.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Identify a few elected leaders who do this, or something like this, already. Get a mayor, a judge and a few others to commit to joining in, to being GIG pioneers. Establish a group identity and a virtual presence to check in on these offices, and start gathering data. then talk to more elected officials, gather support. Get GIG owners. Be ready to go big by Summer 2015.

What skills, input or guidance are you keen to receive from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

how do we embed this in public practice?

The idea emerged from:

  • An individual

How do you envision your idea being implemented?

  • Keen to be involved in prototyping but need partners at some stage


Join the conversation:

Photo of Timothy Herlihy

Yeah, the perfect spot for getting your hands wet is Langley. I'm sure their old building structure can tell you lots on information, scenarios and interpretations. I personally think alot of elected officals has to walk a narrow example for social representation and it is a very selective position. I'm sure many political officals would love to contridict my statement but most brass officals rather keep their thoughts to a private and prestige party.

Not a bad idea tho.

View all comments