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World's Challenge Challenge

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What is the World's Challenge Challenge?

  • The World’s Challenge Challenge is a global initiative of Western University
  • The competition helps students develop their academic, oral presentation, and entrepreneurial skills, all while encouraging them to take action on global issues and challenges.
  • Teams of 2-4 students are invited to present innovative solutions to some of the world’s most complex issues.
  • With so many issues and challenges ahead, we need the collective efforts of many - from across the globe and across different disciplines - to create solutions that can work. Come and be part of the World’s Challenge Challenge and become a global leader!
  • The World’s Challenge Challenge is an opportunity to bring together individuals with a broad worldview, seeking to study, influence and lead in the international community and to create global citizens who think creatively and critically, about significant issues that affect us all. It starts with one idea, one discussion. Who knows where it may lead?
  • Winning teams from each partner university will be invited to the World’s Challenge Challenge Global Final at Western University in London, Canada to compete for a grand prize of $30,000 to help further develop their proposed solution and support implementation.


Global Issues such as poverty, food security, public health, inequality and environmental degradation are the product of global relations in which we as global citizens bear some responsibility. The World’s Challenge Challenge encourages young minds from different disciplines to come together to address a global issue, offering solutions to implement in partnership with communities.

The World’s Challenge Challenge competition recognises that there are no simple solutions to the significant challenges facing the world and that proposals offered to address some aspect of these global issues must take this perspective into account and be seen as part of a larger picture of the global inequalities that exist today.

How it works

Student teams submit a brief application with a synopsis of their chosen issue or problem, and how they propose to address it.

Once all applications are reviewed to ensure they meet entry qualifications, students are given approximately 4 weeks to prepare a 5-7 minute presentation to sell their solution. A first round of presentations selects semi-finalist teams who will move on to the final presentation round.

Each team will have 5-7 minutes to talk about the World’s Challenge you wish to tackle, using a PowerPoint presentation (or similar) for visual support. Although you will not have to present them, you will need to add all the references you used for your presentation in the final slide.

When preparing for your presentation, please consider the following requirements:

  1. Clearly identify the global issue that your team is addressing. We encourage student teams to consider the Global Goals* as part of their presentation.
  2. Reflect upon the role that your own country or Western countries may have in the existence and/or perpetuation of the global issue.
  3. Reflect upon the role that you, as individuals and local communities, in the existence and/or perpetuation of the global issue.
  4. Present an idea to help address the global issue, using logical and convincing arguments, and including the way local and global communities can collaborate to develop joint solutions.
  5. Solutions should include realistic plans for implementation, with some consideration for budget, logistics and possible partners.
  6. Provide as many statistics and supporting research as possible to both the World’s Challenge and your solution.
  7. Polish your presentation to make it organized, visual and engaging. 
  8. Ensure that your presentation meets any technical guidelines of your internal competition.  Technical requirements for the International Finals will be provided to all finalists.

* On September 25, 2015 at the UN, 193 world leaders adopted the Global Goals, a series of 17 ambitious goals to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice and tackle climate change for everyone by 2030.

Application information and deadlines

The Challenge finals for 2020 were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The winning St Andrews Team from 2019-20 will be competing in the 2020-21 finals.  Please note that the 2021 finals will be held virtually – finalists will not be able to travel to Canada. As the finals will be held virtually, we have the opportunity to put forward a second team.  As such, we are launching a call for applications for the academic year 2020-21.

The Global Office will be working the Careers Centre to run this year’s Challenge.  There will be an official launch event early in Semester Two.  Please check our Facebook page for updates.

The Enterprise Adviser in the Careers Centre, Bonnie Hacking, will be running a Global Goals Creativity Café in Week 3.  During this session, participants will have an opportunity to learn more about the Global Goals and brainstorm ideas for meeting them.  Bonnie will also be running one-to-one sessions with participating teams as well as pitching competition to provide support for the final.  Further information will be available in Semester Two via Facebook and this webpage.

Applications should be submitted to by 5pm on 3 March 2021. The Finals will take place on Wednesday 17 March 2021.

Please complete the World's Challenge Challenge Application Form 20-21 (Word, 559 KB)

You may also wish to review the World's Challenge Challenge Scoring Rubric (Excel, 194 KB)


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