Sandro Gianella

I ended up being a translator or API between policy-makers, legislation, regulation on the one side and technology and the Internet on the other. Two sides that speak different languages but it's important they get to better understand each other. 

Have done so for Google and Stripe over the past 10+ years as part of their Public Policy Teams and also ended up writing a Blog about GR teams in the process. 

Outside of work I am now fully remote in beautiful Bavaria near the Alps and am a passionate cyclist and spending as much time as I can either thinking about, talking about or indeed riding bikes.
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Positions

Head of Public Policy - EMEA

  • Stripe
  • Aug 2017 - Present

Public Policy and Government Relations Manager

  • Google
  • Jan 2012 - Jul 2017

Analyst

  • Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Sep 2010 - Dec 2011

Research Analyst

  • Global Affairs Canada
  • Aug 2011 - Dec 2011

2021

Aug 19, 2021
Aug 19, 2021
Published an article

Why Venture Capital needs Public Policy Teams


Technological progress exponentially shapes our economies, societies and ways to live. New products, business models and technological solutions to the big (and seemingly small) problems of our time have always forced humanity to strike a delicate balance. Allowing for and actively pushing for that progress on the one hand and the needed legislative, regulatory and political guardrails for these technologies on the other given that they often challenge and change our existing norms and behaviors.
The purpose of most Public Policy teams in technology companies is to translate between the worlds of technology “the builders”, politics “the rule-setters” and regulation “the enforcers”.
It’s time Venture Capital firms start to build Public Policy functions to engage more directly in the debate between technological progress and the political and legislative reactions to it. The discussion goes to the core of their raison d’etre — pushing and backing entrepreneurs who are building cutting edge technologies and companies with the ability to ensure powerful, positive change that endures. 
Both the firm and their portfolio companies would benefit from having the capacity to engage in a dialogue and building a base-level of understanding of the current and future legislative environment their technologies and products will have to operate in.

https://medium.com/gr-blog/why-vcs-need-public-policy-teams-735328157818
Aug 03, 2021
Aug 03, 2021

European startups are booming. So why is Brussels still obsessed with Big Tech?


As title by Politico in an interesting take on whether policy-makers in Brussels are getting the balance right between thinking through the right regulatory parameters for big technology companies while also continuing to work to remove barriers for the fast growing startups and scale-ups across the continent. 

Usually as policy professionals we stay in the background, prepare for others to make a point and work behind the scenes but I was happy to see our work with Stripe referenced here. 

It's the reason I'm passionate about what our team does as we often are representing and fighting for the interest and attention of issues that helps online businesses across Europe - the more the merrier!

Politico:

That might be changing. Successful entrepreneurs, like Spotify's Daniel Ek, Patrick Collison of Stripe or Klarna's Sebastian Siemiatkowski, follow a different path, one of tweets and high profiles in Brussels.

The Collison brothers, who started their company in Silicon Valley, are applying a more assertive approach to engaging European policymakers. The company recruited its top lobbyist in Europe, Sandro Gianella, from Google.

There has been some progress.

EU countries in March agreed on the
"Startup Nations Standard," a set of best practices to establish a startup-friendly environment, with an office in Lisbon tasked with monitoring progress.

https://www.politico.eu/article/pr-problem-high-flying-startups-not-brussels-priority/
Apr 05, 2021
Apr 05, 2021
Launched Stripe in the UAE
Managed company expansion
Ever since I had started at Stripe back in 2017 the question of when we are going to be able to put the ME in EMEA was high on the agenda. Users across the Middle East were asking for our products to be available. 

Marking the end of a 2.5 year project with fabulous colleagues from across the country I helped Stripe navigate the political and regulatory framework in the UAE and got to see us launch for the first time in a country in EMEA outside the European Union!

🇦🇪🇦🇪🇦🇪
https://stripe.com/newsroom/news/stripe-launches-uae

2020

Sep 30, 2020
Sep 30, 2020
Wrote an article
GRs role in market expansion - art or science?

Government Relations and Public Policy teams are most often associated with their role in helping their companies monitor and influence legislation in markets they are already present in and to build the needed relationship to do so successfully.
There is a lot less discussion, deliberation and clarity (as far as we can see) about the involvement of GR teams in the elusive yet critical business of entering new markets for the first time. We would love to change that and are eager to hear from you about how GR teams should think about their role and what lessons learned are out there.
A few thoughts and observations to get us started.

https://medium.com/gr-blog/grs-role-in-market-expansion-art-or-science-e330b06059e4
May 14, 2020
May 14, 2020
Wrote a Blog Post
“It’s complicated” — the relationship between Product Development and GR

Impactful GR functions are close to the core of the business or NGO they are supporting — they inhale the mission statement and overarching strategic goals. Their focus areas, skills on the team and achievements directly relate to them. What should the relationship and integration be with product development? A question that we think deserves more attention and thought. When was the last team a GR function was mentioned in a [shipped] E-mail from a product lead?
https://medium.com/gr-blog/its-complicated-the-relationship-between-product-development-and-gr-2acd095e2b1d
May 13, 2020
May 13, 2020
Launched a Blog
Together with Ansgar Baums we finally pulled the trigger on a joint Blog about all things Government Relations.

Why?


How times have changed! The API between business and the messy political world out there becomes C-level relevant. Be it the license to operate, market access barriers, corporate governance or building and defending a brand of a “woke” CEO that allows the company to continue to attract talent across functions and continents. Government Relations teams (you may also call them public affairs or public policy functions) are one of those functions who are currently in high demand: These could be golden days for GR.


You would assume that such new interest in GR would also lead to more thoughtful analysis of or even a strategic management consulting branch specifically focused on GR challenges. This is not the case. Take the example of the Harvard Business Review - we have not found a single article specifically addressing the GR management topics. This is odd
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