The Unsaleable Policy Division

For the second round, the guest will have been given a public policy problem ahead of time. It might be a real problem or it might be a totally fictitious one. During recording, they have 5 minutes to pitch your solution to that problem. At the end of the presentation, the host will ask questions for a few minutes about the idea.

For the second round only, the solution to this problem needs to be:

  1. actually deliverable and preferably grounded in some evidence (if you can find any!), and
  2. something people would never vote for in a million years

Explain how the second round works

Introduce the Unsaleable Policy Division and explain what the guest has to do. Say something like:

“For our second round you’ll be taking up a role in our Unsaleable Policy Division. The job of this unit is to come up with solutions that might actually work but that people would never vote for in a million years.

“You’ve been given a policy problem in advance of us recording today’s episode and you were asked to prepare a presentation about how you would solve that problem.”

Explain the policy problem

Tell listeners what the problem is that the guest has been asked to solve. Say something like:

“What was the problem you’ve been asked to solve?”

Ask them for context and an elevator pitch

Start the conversation asking for some context and their elevator pitch, so that you can structure their time for them. Say something like:

“Why don’t you start off by giving us some context to this problem?


“OK. So in a few sentences, give us an overview of your solution. What’s you elevator pitch?”

Guest presentation

The guest will present for 5 minutes.


Explain how this round is scored. Say something like:

“Time for your scores. In the Unsaleable Policy Division, employees get marked in four areas: presentation, originality, practicality and electoral viability.

“You get high marks if:

  1. your presentation is good
  2. your solution is original
  3. your solution would work
  4. and I wouldn’t personally vote for it

Mark the guest on a scale of 0 to 10 for each of these criteria. There are 40 points available in this round.

Move on to Round 3

Once this part of the podcast is finished, we’ll move on to round 3: The Big Idea.