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The Geneva Challenge 2017

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The Geneva Challenge 2017

The Graduate Institute announces the launch of the  The Geneva Challenge 2017 – Advancing Development Goals Contest under the patronage of Kofi Annan, whose objective is to stimulate interdisciplinary problem solving and analysis among master students around the world.

Graduate Institute professor Martina Viarengo, chair of the contest’s Academic Steering Committee, revealed the theme for 2017 would be The Challenges of Employment. “Employment is regarded as a tool to improve living standards and eradicate poverty, but the question is: what kind of employment will nurture sustainable growth and development? Understanding this challenge requires interdisciplinary solutions which cross traditional academic boundaries, and we invite graduate students from all academic programmes to submit their recommendations.”

The Geneva Challenge, inspired and generously supported by Ambassador Jenö Staehelin, longtime partner and friend of the Graduate Institute, is open to teams of between 3 to 5 enrolled master students from anywhere in the world. In 2016 the theme was The Challenges of Urbanisation, and 114 teams submitted project entries with 60% of participants coming from developing country universities. The winning team of students from Universidad Nacional de Colombia and London School of Economics and Political Science proposed a solution for urban waste management, using Bogota as a case study.

The students teams are invited to: 

  • identify a challenge stemming from employment;
  • 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.

Selection Process

Your submissions will be evaluated by an interdisciplinary academic steering committee who will select semi-finalists to be published on the competitions website and then reviewed by an independent jury of experts with academic, governmental and private sector backgrounds.

Three finalist teams will be invited (traveling and accommodation expenses covered) to an oral presentation in Geneva, where they will defend their ideas and answer questions from the jury and from the public. The finalists will also be present at an awards ceremony where the results of the contest will be announced preceded by a high-level key-note speech on the challenges of employment.


The ADG contest distributes 17,500 CHF in monetary prizes. The winning project is awarded 10,000 CHF, the second prize receives 5,000 CHF and the third, 2,500 CHF.

Application Process

  • Complete the online application form
  • Pay the application fee
  • Provide contact details for two academic referees (also on the application form).
  • Upload all your supporting documents (see Application Checklist) before the deadline (see above). All your documents will need to be uploaded onto the online application form; please do not send them by e-mail or regular mail.
  • Validate your application by clicking on “Submit”.

Official Link: http://graduateinstitute.ch/TheGenevaChallenge

Deadline: 25 May, 2017


Type of Opportunity Competitions and Awards
Deadline25 May,2017



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