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The Geneva Challenge 2018 The Challenges of Climate Change

Deadline: 16 April 2018
Open to: graduate students from all academic programmes
Award: the winning project will receive a cash prize of around 8.628 EUR

The 2018 edition of the Geneva Challenge is a project funded by Swiss Ambassador Jenö Staehelin and is supported by Kofi Annan, the high-patron of the contest. The Geneva Challenge aims to encourage interdisciplinary problem-solving analysis among master students on advancing human development within the scope of a relevant topic. This year, students are invited to develop analysis-based proposals on “The Challenges of Climate Change”.

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and has become a critical concern for both developing and developed countries. As the key to this issue is an interdisciplinary solution, crossing traditional boundaries between academic disciplines, graduate students from all academic programmes are invited to provide helpful strategic recommendations.

This year, they distribute five prizes, one per continent. The five finalist teams will be invited to come to Geneva for their project showcases and the award ceremony in November 2018.

Teams of 3-5 master students must submit an 8,000 words proposal which:

  • Identify a challenge stemming from climate change;

  • Construct an interdisciplinary analysis on how it affects different aspects of development in a specific (but transposable) context;

  • Propose innovation at the policy, practice, process or technology levels turning the challenge into development opportunity.


  • Participants of the contest 2018 must be enrolled as graduate students at the time of their registration for the contest;

  • “Graduate students” to be anyone enrolled in a post-bachelor level university programme with a maximum duration of 2 (two) years, or anyone who can prove to be studying towards acquiring a masters level degree;

  • Participants must gather in teams of 3 (three) to 5 (five) graduate students, who are able to contribute from at least 2 (two) different disciplinary perspectives to the submitted analysis;

  • The participants can be enrolled in the same graduate programme, collaborate with students from other programmes from the university they are enrolled in or coordinate with students from different universities and institutions worldwide.


  • All members of the 5 finalist teams will be invited to come to Geneva for an oral presentation where they will defend their proposals and answer questions from the Jury and from the public;

  • The winning project will receive a cash prize around 8.628 EUR. The two teams in second place will receive around 4.314 EUR. The two teams in third place, around 2.157 EUR;

  • The finalists will also be present at the awards ceremony where the results of the contest will be announced preceded by a high-level keynote speech on The Challenges of Climate Change;

  • Travel expenses such as flights, visa requests and accommodation are covered by the organization of the contest for this purpose.

How to Apply?

  • Registration for teams ends 16th April 2018;

  • Submissions are due by the 20th August 2018.

What is the difference between the two deadlines?

The registration deadline is simply the date by which they need you to fill in the application form, and send your proof of enrollment that confirms your status as master students.

  • Make sure to have the proofs of enrollment for each team member ready before completing the registration form. The documents (enrollment certificates or student cards) should contain your name, your graduate programme, and a recent issuance date.

  • In case you do not have these documents at the time of your registration, please send them to this email address ([email protected]) before the deadline of April 16th, 2018.

For more information visit the official call.