We are a specialised public affairs advisory.
What we excel at
We build consensus on the legislative and extralegal issues you care about. From structured engagements with high-level stakeholders to grassroots campaigns.
We encourage future thinking on policy. We help pre-empt areas of public or policy friction, and help you plan for them.
We develop policy positions. We also guide in-house policy teams in design thinking.
Tech & Policy Education
We deliver educational primers and workshops on emergent technologies and the legislative process.
We are passionate about tech built differently. That is tech built with a human and society-centred focus from the beginning. We look to be the partner of choice for governments, agencies, and companies interested in developing regulatory testing solutions for emergent technologies.
Our hackathon methods move beyond temporary engagement between emergent technologies and policymakers, and builds 'collaboration as habit.'
Why do we bring together the worlds of technology and policy?
In 1959 the Rede Lecture was delivered by physicist and novelist C.P Snow. His lecture on the 'two cultures' expressed concern about the divide between 'men' of science and 'men' of letters. Six decades later we are both concerned and inspired by this divide; because it persists and because it can be resolved.
Techpol strives to be a hub where technology and policy meet. Innovation and the technologies that arise from it have always brought about profound changes to the world we live in. But today the scale, scope, and speed of these developments require us to rethink how technology and policy interact.
Technology, in and of itself, is often neutral. It can, however, be used in ways that increase or reduce the welfare of individuals and society. Policies are often not neutral; they reflect our values and aspirations. How we bring policy to bear on innovation and technology will have a strong influence on its development, impact, and diffusion.
The extraordinary task is to respond to emerging technologies with policies that together will maximise the human experience while minimising risks.
We do this broadly by helping companies think through and respond to the public policy impacts of their inventions, and assisting governments in bringing new techniques and tools to the policymaking process.
Meet The Team
CEO & Founder- The 'policy wonk'
Gwen Ngwenya is a public policy expert. She was Chief Operating Officer at a leading South African think tank before taking up the role as Head of Policy and MP in the national legislature (Parliament).
Before moving back to South Africa she lived in France, India, and the UK where she worked as an economist covering the pharmaceutical and airline industries. Her interest in tech began when she was recruited by a global fintech company. She has degrees from the University of Cape Town (BSocSc) and Université Paris XII (International Economics) , where she wrote her thesis on Optimal Cartel Policy in India.
Techpol brings together a team who are just as passionate about innovation in public policy as they are about innovation in tech.
Technical Advisor- The 'techie'
Tim Hall is a data product designer, and has spent the last 4 years working in banking building customer facing data prototypes, from investment planning to market research tools.
He is a practiced hand at building data prototypes within large bureaucratic systems, working both with and against ingrained frameworks when needed. His passion is in using technology to ease peoples lives, either through reduction of risk, or by automating away stressful tasks.
Before this he worked in the software development side of logistics and demand planning.
He holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand.
Legal Advisor- The 'legal eagle'
Gabriel Julius Albertyn Cross is an admitted advocate who was called to the bar in 2011 and practiced at Group One Chambers until February 2019.
He holds the following degrees: a BSocSc in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from UCT, a BSocSc (Hons) in Philosophy from UCT, an MSc in Philosophy from Edinburgh University and an LLB from UCT. He was formerly an attorney at Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs in its Banking & Finance and Commercial Litigation Departments.
Gabriel was a general commercial litigator with particular experience and interest in contractual disputes. He also worked in matters involving construction law, insolvency, evictions and intellectual property. Gabriel is also a CEDR accredited mediator.