skip main menu skip submenu

Take on The Global Challenge!

Want to make a positive difference in the world, but still trying to figure out how you can apply your unique skills to the issue you care about? Thinking of starting a social venture but need to better understand the problem you’re trying to address?

With support from
RECODE, the Trico Charitable Foundation and the Skoll Centre, the Global Challenge is now open to students and recent graduates from participating Canadian higher education institutions*. Students and recent graduates are invited to learn more about the issues they care about and present their findings to the world.
Tackling global challenges starts with understanding a problem and its wider context, rather than jumping straight into a business plan or an idea for a quick fix. Participants are asked to demonstrate a deep understanding of a pressing social or environmental issue by mapping out the landscape of the current solutions and identifying missing opportunities for positive change.
Applications are open from
October 20 to December 20, 2016.
For more information on
how to apply, including submission guidelines, resources and FAQ, visit
* Participating schools: University of New Brunswick, Mount Royal University, Carleton University, University of Calgary, Bow Valley College, Simon Fraser University, Concordia University, The University of British Columbia, Ryerson University, HEC Montréal, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Apply and have a chance to:

  • Win one of two cash prizes of $2,500 at the Canadian final event
  • Present your findings at the Global Challenge Final at the University of Oxford, UK (this opportunity is for the two winners of the Canadian final)
  • Win one of three cash prizes at the UK Global Challenge Final
  • Win tickets to the 2018 Skoll World Forum On Social Entrepreneurship

The two winning Canadian teams/individuals will also have the chance to
apply for up to $10,000 to run Apprenticing with a Problem—funding to further their Challenge findings by doing a secondment, research project, or internship.

Key Dates

October 20 – December 20, 2016 — Student registration open

Registration for the Global Challenge 2017 is now open. You are required to submit your proposed topic and the names of the individual or team members wishing to participate via our online form no later than
20 December 2016.


Your university department will review all proposals and may provide you with feedback on the suitability of your chosen topic so that any adjustments may be made before the final submissions deadline.

February 6, 2017 — Final submissions deadline

You must submit your final materials for review by your local judging committee no later than February 6, 2017. Please check with your university department for the specific details of how to submit.
See our Submission Guidelines for advice on the structure, content and format of your final submission.

February 6 – 24, 2017 — Shortlisting and selection by judges

Each institution will have a panel of judges who will review and select their students’ entries to the Global Challenge. Your institution may wish to hold a local pitching event, or select the winner through review of submissions alone.
Once selected, your institution’s winning team or individual will be invited to the Canadian final competition taking place in March (date and location to be confirmed).
Finalists will be notified by February 24 at the latest.

March 24-25, 2017 — Canadian final pitching competition

At the national competition, teams from across Canada will compete to win a place at the Global Challenge Final in Oxford. The event will take place at the Hotel Arts in Calgary.
The two winning teams or individuals from the Canadian final will receive
$2,500 (per team) in prize money and be invited to the Global Challenge Final event in Oxford.

April 30 – May 1, 2017 — Oxford Global Challenge Final event

The final event will be held at the University of Oxford, UK, where teams from all over the world will pitch for the three top prizes.
Participants will benefit from personalized feedback from a panel of expert judges, who work in impact-focused organizations such as private foundations, impact investment firms and social enterprises. Furthermore, finalists will have the opportunity to build relationships with students from a range of other schools, all of whom are passionate about positive social change.
In addition to the final pitch event, finalists will be invited to attend an Oxford college dinner where they will be addressed by an influential social impact leader.

For more information about The Global Challenge, visit

Oct 20, 2016 | Tags: ,