The point-to-surface method comes from the Soviet notion of an "experimental point"; the principle is that you:
1. Determine a policy goal you would like to reach
2. Designate several "experimental points" where you'll test different tactics.
3. At each of the points, the chosen method will be carried out by local officials according to local conditions.
4. When you have results from your experiments, you lift the successful ones upwards, publicizing their successes as "model experiences," and synthesizing generalized policy guidance for a wider rollout. This is the "to surface"
5. The new guidance is implemented across the country, according to local conditions.
You can think of this, briefly, as "top down to bottom up to top down to bottom up" policymaking. The key feature of it is that it's much less dumb than trying to implement policy everywhere, all at once, without testing it at all first.
Fans of Sci-Hub will want to read Heilmann's piece on the matter:
https://www.jstor.org/stable/20066378?seq=1